5 AMAZING Sides For The PERFECT Thanksgiving Meal

The holidays can be stressful, especially if you are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. There is so much planning, prepping, and cooking involved that it could definitely get overwhelming; HooplaHa wants to help. Here is our list of 5 side dishes to complement the main course and make your Thanksgiving meal absolutely perfect:


1) Salted Caramel Eggnog

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • ¾ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 5 eggs
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup caramel syrup, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, plus more for garnish
  • ¾ cup good quality dark rum
  • 2 egg whites for garnish

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan, combine milk, cream cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then remove from heat
  • Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes
  • In a large stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar on medium high until fully combined
  • Add caramel, sea salt, and rum. Continue whisking to combine
  • Beat the egg whites on high until foamy peaks form
  • Pour the eggnog in the glass with room for fluffy egg whites
  • Garnish with nutmeg and caramel sauce

2) Bourbon Bacon Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 15 to 20 sage leaves
  • ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons brown butter
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  • Add the potato chunks to a large pot and cover with cold water
  • Bring the potatoes to a boil and cook for 30 minutes or until they are fork tender
  • Heat a large skillet over medium low heat and add the chopped bacon
  • Cook the bacon until it is totally crispy
  • Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel
  • Set aside 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in a bowl
  • Put sage leaves and butter into the skillet and cook until crispy, about 1 to 2 minutes per side
  • Remove them with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain
  • Drain the potatoes and mash them, then use an electric mixer to whip them
  • Add in the reserved bacon fat, milk, bourbon and brown butter
  • Whip the potatoes until everything is combined
  • Crumble the sage on top and top them with the bacon

3) Pumpkin-Shaped Cheeseball

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 (8 oz.) tub vegetable cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp. Hidden Valley Ranch Spicy Ranch Mix
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced (save the stem)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided use

Instructions

  • Using an electric mixer, combine both cream cheeses
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons of the ranch mix, green onion, red pepper, and one cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Spread out a large sheet of glad cling wrap
  • Sprinkle ¼ cup of the shredded cheese onto the plastic wrap
  • Top with cheese ball mixture
  • Use the rest of the shredded cheese and sprinkle it onto the tops and sides of the cheese ball
  • Tightly wrap the ball with two layers of cling wrap
  • Wrap it with four rubber bands (doubled up)
  • Place the cheeseball in the fridge overnight
  • Cut off the rubber bands
  • Remove the cling wrap
  • Add the pepper stem on top
  • Serve with crackers

4) Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Cinnamon Butternut Squash, Pecans, and Cranberries

Ingredients
  • 3 cups Brussels Sprouts, ends trimmed, yellow leaves removed
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 ½ pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Lightly grease the foil lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Slice the Brussel sprouts in half, add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and toss
  • Place Brussels sprouts onto the baking sheet, cut side down and roast for 20 to 25 minutes
  • During the last 5 to 10 minutes, turn them over
  • For the butternut squash, prepare another baking sheet the same way
  • In a medium bowl, combine squash, 1 tablespoon olive oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon, and toss to mix
  • Place squash in a single layer on the sheet
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning half way through until softened
  • In a large bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts, squash, pecans, and cranberries and mix
  • Add an additional 2 to 4 tablespoons of maple syrup if desired

5) Pumpkin Pie Bites

Ingredients

  • 2 pre-made, ready to roll pie crusts
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg for egg wash
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Whipped cream

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease and flour (or use nonstick cooking spray) a mini-muffin pan. Set aside
  • Roll the dough or pie crust out on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin
  • Using a round cookie or biscuit cutter (approximately 3 inches diameter) cut at least 24 rounds out
  • Carefully press each round into the mini-muffin pan. Use your fingers to round the ends into a pie crust
  • Brush egg wash from one egg to the top edges of each pie
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating each until combined
  • Add pumpkin puree and beat to combine. Stir in vanilla and pumpkin pie spice
  • Spoon mixture into each mini pie crust almost up to the top
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden around the edges
  • Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack, or chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
  • Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with more pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon on top and before serving. Keep refrigerated
  • Pies will be puffy when they come out of the oven, but will sink back down when cooled

Please let us know if you try any of these because they look delicious!

And don't forget about the main course... the Turkey!

7 Tips For Cooking The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey


Tips For Carving Your Turkey To Savor Every Bit

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