If you’re like me, Thanksgiving is ALL about the sides: crispy, custardy stuffing rubbing elbows with creamy, thyme-scented, Gruyère-crusted scalloped potatoes, the happiest union under a blanket of gravy, punctuated by tart dollops of cranberry sauce.
Below you will find a recipe for a very classic bread stuffing from my cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs. It’s seasoned with Bell’s Seasoning, which, if you are unfamiliar, is a finely ground mix of rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, marjoram, thyme, and pepper. Just pulling out the box every year fills me with nostalgia for Thanksgivings past.
The below selection of Thanksgiving side dishes is organized as follows:
PS: Thanksgiving Menu 2022
Vegetable Side Dishes
This year I’m going to welcome a second potato dish to the Thanksgiving table: this cheesy hasselback potato gratin, a recipe I’ve been eyeing for about a year now, one that did not disappoint when I gave it a spin last weekend. Find a few more favorite vegetable side dishes below:
Sweet Potato Casserole
Last Thanksgiving, I brought back my Great Aunt Phyllis’s candied yams. Here they are in all their glory, creamy, orange-scented, brandy-spiked sweet potatoes buried under a blanket of brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon-spiced pecans. This is a very classic recipe, unapologetic in its use of butter and sugar, and I have not altered the recipe a hair, but for adding salt to the purée.
There was a stretch of years during which my mother commenced each of her Thanksgiving dinners with butternut squash soup. Just before serving, she drizzled over top a cranberry coulis and a little crème fraîche. The contrast of colors made for a beautiful presentation, but those festive swirls tasted good, too, offering complementary pops of sweetness and tang. I keep meaning to get the recipe… stay tuned.
If you like starting Thanksgiving with a small bowl of soup, any of these would be nice.
Do yourself a favor and, as soon as you can, make a batch of homemade salad dressing. Here are three favorite salad dressings, all of which keep for weeks in the fridge.
On holidays such as Thanksgiving, when there is such a wide variety of dishes on the table, I am inclined to simply toss good greens with a good homemade vinaigrette and call the salad done. I do, however, love the two salads below, both of which are substantial and festive. If your gathering is shaping up to be a small one, and you’re thinking about paring down your menu, a heartier salad in the mix might be a nice option.
Biscuits & Bread
There is something really nice about a roll on the Thanksgiving table. Here are two favorites:
That said, if you don’t feel like messing around with portioning and shaping dough, or you find yourself more pressed for time, you could always make focaccia (this one or this one):
Or my mother’s peasant bread. No one will be disappointed.
Here’s the gluten-free variation of my mother’s peasant bread:
And if you are altogether yeast averse, biscuits are a great alternative, wonderful to have on hand for leftovers as well. Here are two favorites:
Stuffing Two Ways
Below you will find a recipe for a no-frills stuffing: olive oil-toasted bread tossed with sautéed onions and celery, Bell’s seasonings, and copious amounts of butter. It, along with the kale version, hands down every year is my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal.
Know you can customize the seasonings and add-ins of this recipe to your liking. Also: you can make it ahead and freeze it. See instructions in the post for how to freeze it.
A round-up for 25 Thanksgiving side dishes, plus a classic bread stuffing from my cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs.
Notes: If you’re using my mother’s peasant bread for the stuffing, you don’t need to remove the crust. If you are using crusty bread, remove the crust. 1.5 lbs of bread is roughly 1.5 loaves of peasant bread.
Bell’s Seasoning is readily available at most grocery stores. It’s a mix of finely ground rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, marjoram, thyme, and pepper. If you can’t find it, I would imagine using some combination of the noted dried herbs would work. A smaller amount of chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, and oregano would also be nice.
- 1½ pounds peasant bread, torn into 1– to 2-inch pieces (about 12 cups)
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
- 2 cups finely diced onions (1 to 2 onions)
- 1 cup finely diced celery
- 1 tablespoon Bell’s Seasoning, see notes above
- 1½ cups homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1 egg
- Softened unsalted butter, for greasing
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss the bread with ¼ cup oil; it will feel saturated. Season the bread with salt and pepper to taste. Spread it onto a sheet pan in a single layer, reserving the bowl. Transfer the pan to the oven and toast the bread for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Set it aside to cool briefly.
Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, melt the butter with the remaining ¼ cup oil over medium heat. Add the onions and celery, season with a pinch of salt, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring, until soft and beginning to color.
Return the toasted bread to the reserved bowl. When the onions and celery have finished cooking, scrape them into the bowl over the bread. Sprinkle with the Bell’s. Add 1 cup stock, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Toss. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed — this is your chance to get the seasoning right before you add the egg. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ½ cup stock with the egg and add it to the bowl. Toss them to combine.
Grease a 9 × 13-inch baking pan with the softened butter and spread the mixture into it. Cover the pan with foil, transfer it to the center rack of the oven, and bake the stuffing for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and bake the stuffing for 10 to 15 minutes more, until the bread is golden. Remove the stuffing and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving it.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stovetop, Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: classic, bread, stuffing, dressing