Essential Thanksgiving Side Dishes and Dessert

These complimentary dishes keep with tradition.

Thanksgiving is a time to be with family and friends. Traditions are a big part of the Thanksgiving holiday, and every family has their own way of celebrating. From stuffing the turkey, to cooking certain side dishes, to taking in a football game.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is another favorite tradition that is enjoyed by more than 46 million people each year in person and on TV. The tradition of tugging on either end of the Thanksgiving wishbone is known as a “lucky break."

Last but not least, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for the people and blessings of the past year. The Thanksgiving holiday is truly a celebration of praise and thanksgiving.

We hope that all of these Thanksgiving recipes will become a tradition for your family! These recipes are very are delicious and super easy. They are gems of recipes and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

The Creamed Spinach side dish is a wonderful recipe. If you’re looking for a good spinach side dish for Thanksgiving, I think this is going to be one of your favorites. This dish is easy and quick to make and the flavor is delicious. Definitely not low cal, but really has great flavor. I used organic baby spinach. You can add 1/2 cup grated parmesan reggiano to make it more creamy. After making this recipe you will never buy frozen creamed spinach again! 

The best potato side dish is Oven Roasted Potatoes. This dish is a great roasted potato side dish made with olive oil and herbs. This recipe is delicious and easy.  I used Yukon Gold potatoes because I like their taste.  If you are cooking for a large group, feel free to double the recipe with no problem.

Finish off your Thanksgiving feast with just the right dessert: Apple Pie. When also fails; make apple pie. This recipe makes a one 9-inch pie; it is one of the best apple pie recipes I have had. I used a mix of apples for an amazing taste. You can sprinkle cinnamon on the apples to add to flavor. This hands down will be the best homemade apple pie you’ve every have. This pie is a FIVE STAR recipe, and is definitely a keeper!

Your only disappointment will be that there will be no leftovers, so if you’re having a gathering, double the recipes. Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy cooking and eating! 

Creamed Spinach


  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 to 4 bunches (2 1/2 pounds total) flat-leaf spinach, trimmed and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounces bar cream cheese, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • pinch ground nutmeg


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When preparing spinach, discard any yellow leaves and tough stem.  Spinach can be gritty, so clean it thoroughly and rinse several times with cool water, until there is no grit left at the bottom of the bowl. Add spinach, and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute. Drain in a colander; rinse with cold water until cool. Squeeze spinach to remove as much liquid as possible; coarsely chop, and set aside. In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add cream cheese and milk; cook stirring, until cream cheese is melted and smooth. Stir in spinach. Simmer over medium heat until mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. Add nutmeg; season with salt and pepper.

Oven Roasted Potatoes


  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed


Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.  In a large bowl, combine oil, garlic, basil, marjoram, dill weed, thyme, oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir in potatoes until evenly coated. Place potatoes in a single layer on a roasting pan or baking sheet.

Roast for 20 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, turning occasionally to brown on all sides.

Apple Pie


  • 3 pounds mixed apples (such as Granny Smith, Gala and McIntosh)    
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  •  2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 disks dough for Basic Crust 
  • 1 large egg, beaten


Peel and core the apples; slice 1/4 inch thick. Toss with the granulated sugar and lemon juice. Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cook, stirring, until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, cinnamon and salt; cook until thickened, 1 more minute. Let cool.

Roll out 1 disk of dough into a 12-inch round on a floured surface; ease into a 9-inch pie plate. Add the apples, mounding them slightly in the center, and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Roll out the remaining dough into a 12-inch round. Lay it over the filling; press the edges of the crusts together, then fold the overhang under itself and crimp to seal. Brush with the beaten egg. Cut a few slits in the top crust. Chill 1 hour.

Place a baking sheet on the lowest oven rack and preheat to 425 degrees F for 30 minutes. Place the pie on the hot baking sheet; lower the temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake until golden, 1 hour to 1 hour, 10 minutes. (Cover the edges with foil if they brown too quickly.) Cool on a rack.


Amanda M. Socci, Freelance Writer November 17, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Fantastic recipes, Jill. Never would have thought of using cream cheese to make a spinach dish. I always struggle when trying to make a pie crust. I think this is one of those instances where a live in-person class conducted by you would be awesome. I know I'd go!
Jill R. Lewis, Freelance Writer- Photographer November 18, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Thanks Amanda for your kind words! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Best, Jill


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