Article Tools

Font size
Share This

It’s definitely time to start thinking about your family’s Thanksgiving feast, so here are some great recipes that will help you plan a meal that everyone will love. The side dishes are just as important as the juicy turkey. So, keeping that in mind, here are some of my favorite sides to complement your delicious meal. Enjoy!

Apple-Pumpkin Bisque

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups chopped onions

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 pounds pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into chunks

4 large McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, cut up

4 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For sage cream:

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon sage

1 tablespoon apple juice

Dash salt and black pepper

In a 5-quart Dutch oven, in butter over medium heat, cook onions and garlic 5 minutes. Add pumpkin and apples; cook 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Pour cooked bisque in blender and puree. Meanwhile, mix sage cream ingredients in small bowl; blend well. When ready to serve, drizzle sage cream over bisque. Yield: 6 servings.

Sage-Flavored Stuffed Turkey Breast

1-1/2-pound boneless, skinless turkey breast, all visible fat removed

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

For stuffing:

1/2 small onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, diced

1/2 of a whole wheat pita, cut-up in small pieces

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon crumbled sage

Dash of black pepper

Combine and prepare all stuffing ingredients in a bowl; set aside.

Rinse turkey breast; pat dry with paper towel. Prepare turkey breast by cutting it lengthwise down center almost in half; don’t cut completely through. Lay breast flat; lightly cover with plastic wrap. Pound to flatten slightly with a mallet. Place stuffing down center of breast and roll up, tying it with string to keep in shape while cooking. Heat a Dutch oven, adding oil to cover bottom of pot. Brown turkey a few minutes on each side. Pour 2 cups chicken broth over turkey. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour, or until breast is nicely browned. Transfer to cutting board and set aside. Bring liquid in Dutch oven to a boil over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together water and flour. Whisk into the boiling broth mixture until gravy is thick and bubbly. To serve, ladle 1/4 cup gravy onto 6 platters. Place 1 slice turkey breast onto each serving of gravy. Yield: 6 servings

Mashed Potato, Bacon and Onion Stuffing

8 medium russet potatoes, peeled, cut into pieces

1 small onion, peeled and halved

8 ounces bacon, cut in 1/2-half inch pieces

2 cups chopped onions

3/4 cup freshly chopped parsley

Salt and black pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan bring potatoes and small onion to a boil in cold water to cover. Lower heat; cover and simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are very tender. Drain well; reserve onion. In a large skillet, cook bacon until lightly browned; remove with slotted spoon. Add chopped onions to drippings and cook until lightly browned. Add parsley; cook 1 minute. In a large bowl, mash potatoes and small onion. Stir in bacon, chopped onions, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Yield: about 8 cups, enough for a 10 to 12-pound turkey. Or bake in a 2-1/2-quart shallow casserole in preheated 350° oven 20 minutes until hot and lightly browned.

Chestnut stuffing

1 stick butter or margarine

2 cups diced celery with tops

1 cup chopped onion

1 (15-1/2-ounce) can chestnuts, drained, broken up

6 cups (1/2-inch cubes) day-old white bread, lightly toasted*

1 teaspoon dried sage

Salt and black pepper, to taste

1 cup chicken broth or water

In large pot melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Add celery and onion; cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add chestnuts, bread cubes, sage, salt and pepper; toss to mix. Stir in chicken broth. Yield: 8 cups, enough for a 10 to 12-pound turkey. Or bake in a greased 2-1/2-quart shallow casserole in preheated 350° oven 25 to 30 minutes until top is golden brown.

* To toast bread cubes, spread them out in a jelly roll pan and bake in preheated 350° oven stirring twice.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

3 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into bite-sized cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pinch of ground ginger

Salt, to taste

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a small baking dish with cooking spray. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into bite size cubes; place in the baking dish. Melt butter in a small saucepan; be careful not to brown or burn the butter. Pour the melted butter over the sweet potatoes, and add the olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Toss to evenly coat the sweet potatoes. Bake in the oven for 60 minutes, stirring two or three times during roasting period to prevent sticking. Yield: about 6 servings.

Cream Cheese Stuffed Cranberry Sauce

1- 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 (16-ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce, chilled

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Fresh mint, optional

Blend together cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth and spreadable (add another 1/2 tablespoon of mayonnaise, if needed). Add nuts and mix well.

Open the can of cranberry sauce and carefully slide onto a dish so that the cranberry sauce is on its side. Slice the cranberry sauce in 1/4 inch rounds and spread cream cheese mixture on one side of the round and place another round on top, sandwich style. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Garnish with mint, if desired. Yield: 6 servings.

Featherlight Buttermilk Biscuits

3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)

2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons vegetable shortening

1 cup buttermilk

Into a large bowl, measure cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir until combined. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until evenly combined. Add buttermilk to flour mixture and mix together with hand just until dough forms. (Do not overmix or biscuits will be tough.) On lightly floured board, pat dough into 7-inch square. Cut dough into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 4 pieces to make 16 biscuits. Place biscuits on large ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 400° for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Serve biscuits warm or cool on wire rack to serve later. Reheat before serving, if desired. (These are extra-tender because they’re made with cake flour!) Yield: 16 biscuits.

Kitchen Tip:

To keep apples fresh, store them in your refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag and keep them away from strong-smelling foods.

Please send your email requests to, and write “Helen’s Kitchen Request” or “Helen’s Kitchen Recipe Exchange” in the subject line to make sure that I receive and promptly respond to your email.

Baked Apple Marmalade

(Great on biscuits!)

1 cup sweet orange marmalade

1/2 teaspoon water

8 medium-size baking apples, cored

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut in 8 pieces

Mix marmalade in a large shallow baking dish. Peel apples half-way down from stem-end. Mix pecans and cinnamon; spoon into apple centers; top with a piece of butter or margarine. Arrange on sauce in baking dish. Bake at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes, spooning sauce over apples 2-3 times, until apples are tender when pierced but still keep their shape. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Syrup thickens upon cooling. Yield: 8 servings.