Move Aside, Turkey: 3 Sides that Steal the Show

easy Thanksgiving side dishes

Usually, the ham or turkey is the centerpiece of the holiday dinner table. Why not change things up this year with these easy Thanksgiving side dishes! They’ll leave guests asking for more! Not only are they delicious, they’re perfect for your oral and overall health, too.

Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin C, which promotes healthy gums. This recipe also uses honey, a healthier alternative to refined sugar, and cinnamon, a spice favorite loaded with antioxidants.

Ingredients:

  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread the sweet potatoes in a single layer on a roasting tray or pan.
  3. Drizzle the oil, honey, cinnamon and salt and pepper over the potatoes.
  4. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender.
  5. Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl and drizzle with more oil.

Healthier Homemade Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

This is the perfect time of year to use butternut squash because it’s harvested in the fall and keeps well for several months. It’s also a great source of vitamins and potassium. Using butternut squash in this macaroni recipe will give your dish the creamy texture without the butter or heavy cream, making this a healthier and lighter choice.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups butternut squash, chopped (1 small butternut squash)
  • 16 oz. short pasta (consider using whole grain)
  • 2 ½ cups low-fat milk (almond milk can also be used)
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Add water to a medium pot until ¾ of the pot is full. Bring to a boil.
  2. Peel butternut squash and remove the seeds with a spoon.
  3. Chop squash into 1-inch pieces and add to boiling water.
  4. Boil for 12 to 14 minutes or until squash is tender. Drain and leave squash in colander.
  5. Refill the pot with water and bring to boil. Cook pasta according to al dente package directions.
  6. While pasta is cooking, make the sauce by putting the cooked squash into a blender.
  7. Add milk, salt and pepper, and paprika. Blend until smooth.
  8. As pasta drains, add the squash sauce back into the pot. Heat sauce at medium-heat until warm.
  9. Add cheese, stir until melted.
  10. Add noodles, stir, and serve immediately.

Easy Apple Dressing

Apples are good for your oral health and your brain health and add a surprisingly flavorful taste to traditional stuffing and dressing.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag (12 oz.) unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 cups chopped red apples (peeling the skin off the apple is optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups celery, sliced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ tablespoon sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray (canola or vegetable oil can also be used)
  • Mix bread cubes, apples and parsley in a large, heat-resistant mixing bowl
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onions and celery. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add chicken broth and sage, stir. Bring mixture to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and add to bread cubes mixture, stir until well combined.
  • Put mixture in prepared baking dish.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Let dish cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Looking for more healthy Thanksgiving tips? Check out our other thanksgiving-themed articles!

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