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In our previous blog post we covered turkey storage and roasting. If you need a refresher course check it out here. Which bird is the right one for you? We’ve covered that too.

So the bird’s the word every Thanksgiving, right? But there’s more to Thanksgiving than just the turkey. Ducks and ham are also welcome at many tables along with classic sides like mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauces and jellies, fresh baked rolls served with creamy butter and roasted veggies. We’ve gathered some of our favorite recipes from our friends at to get you ready for Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season.

stuffing or dressing

It seems to come up every year - is it dressing or stuffing? It depends who you ask! Although the ingredients are largely the same, the big difference is whether this favorite side dish is cooked in a dish or, well, stuffed in a bird.

The first appearance of stuffing was found in a collection of Roman dishes known as De re Coquinaria which translates to Cooking and Dining in Imperial Rome. In fact, the term “dressing” didn’t exist in relation to this dish until the 1850s when Victorians began referring to it as dressing to avoid offending delicate sensibilities (the Victorians are the same folks that brought us the terms “light meat” and “dark meat” to replace the more scandalizing breast and leg).

Location also plays a part in whether it’s referred to as stuffing or dressing (or even “filling”) at your table. Southerners tend to call it dressing, Northerners often refer to it as stuffing, and some folks in Pennsylvania know it as filling. Whatever you call it, it’s a Thanksgiving classic!


Cranberry Pecan Skillet Stuffing

Total Time: 1 hour; 20 minutes active

Servings: 6

This delightful stuffing is delicious for any Thanksgiving meal. Serve it with tofu steak and mushroom gravy for vegans.


  • 4 to 5 cups vegan multigrain bread, cut in 1/2- to 1-inch cubes and toasted

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

  • 2 cups onion, diced

  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced

  • 3/4 cup celery, diced

  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced

  • 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 teaspoon dried sage

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large iron skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, and green pepper for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and dried herbs and continue to cook for a few more minutes until mushrooms are tender. Stir in the vegetable broth, cranberries, pecans, salt, pepper, and toasted bread cubes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes, then uncover and bake another 5-10 minutes. Let the stuffing sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information

302 calories, 12 g. fat, 0 mg. cholesterol, 543 mg. sodium, 42 g. carbohydrate, 7 g. fiber, 10 g. protein

Potato, po-tah-to

However you say it, potatoes often served with Thanksgiving dinner. Creamy mashed potatoes served with a rich gravy or a simple pat of butter are nearly as essential as the turkey itself. The first published recipe for mashed potatoes arrived in 1747 with an entry in The Art of Cookery made Plain and Simple by Hannah Glasse.


Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Total Time: 35 minutes; 10 minutes active

Servings: 8

Butter and chives add rich and delicious flavor to this simple, yet classic American favorite.


  • 4 pounds combination of yellow and Russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons salt, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups half and half

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste


  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough water cover and 2 tablespoons of the salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain them and set aside.

  2. In a small saucepan, gently heat the half and half and butter until the butter is just melted.

  3. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, add the half and half and butter, 1/2 tablespoon salt and pepper. Mix together with a spoon and add in the chives, once the ingredients are incorporated. Do not overmix or over-handle the potatoes. Serve immediately.

Serving Suggestion

Enjoy these classic mashed potatoes alongside roasted turkey or other meats or a vegetarian entree. For richer, creamer potatoes, add more half and half and/or butter. For a smashed potatoes version, don't peel the potatoes and mix cooked potatoes just until small lumps remain.

Nutritional Information

610 calories, 11 g. fat, 35 mg. cholesterol, 80 mg. sodium, 45 g. carbohydrate, 5 g. fiber, 6 g. protein

the sweetest potato

Sweet potatoes are ancient plants and scientists believe that they were first domesticated in South America thousands of years ago. After his trip to the Americas, Christopher Columbus brought them back to Europe in 1492 and they spread across the world from there. Fun fact: Sweet potatoes are not actually even related to potatoes and are a cousin of the morning glory plant.


Sweet Potato Bread

Total Time: 15 minutes active, plus 1 hour for baking

Servings: 1 loaf

Sweet potatoes show off their versatility in this deliciously moist sweet bread, where traditional pumpkin bread spices are equally at home.


  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/3 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, allspice and cinnamon together.

  3. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the sugars and vegetable oil until the sugars are dissolved and smooth. Add the vanilla and mashed sweet potatoes and blend well. Stir in half of the flour mixture. Add the water and eggs and stir well. Add the remaining flour mixture and blend well. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour. Test for doneness by poking the center of the loaf with a skewer or toothpick. The skewer should come out clean. Let the loaf rest for about 15 minutes before turning it out of the pan.

Serving Suggestions

This quick bread goes well with milk, chai tea or coffee as a mid-day treat. Try a slice with a smear of cream cheese and some fresh fruit for breakfast.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 286, Fat: 12 g, Cholesterol: 42 mg, Sodium: 221 mg, Carbohydrate: 42 g, Dietary Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 4 g