You’ve got a lot of stuff ahead of you on Thanksgiving day…and going crazy making lots of side dishes shouldn’t be one of the things you need to worry with. I selected fairly simple sides for my first Thanksgiving dinner and most of them also happen to be very traditional ones at our house. We don’t usually have recipes for them but they’re so simple that you really don’t need one. Instead of just written some general instructions for you to adjust as you see fit since many of them are fairy basic foods.

Sugared Carrots

Cut about 2 pounds carrots into 1/2 inch slices. Toss carrots in pot of water and boil until carrots are tender but not mushy (10-15 minutes). Drain off water. Add a couple tablespoons of butter and sugar. Melt both while tossing carrots in pot with a spoon.

Sweet Potatoes

You can make sweet potatoes in your oven but on Thanksgiving it’s often occupied by other things already. I almost always just scrub down the potatoes (but don’t go overboard since you don’t eat the skins anyway) and individually wrap them individually in plastic foil. Poke a few holes through the plastic and potato with  a knife or fork and microwave. One large sweet potato takes 8-10 minutes. Use a towel or pot warmer to squeeze each potato;  if feels soft and mashes in your hand, it’s done. The same method works on regular potatoes too and can speed up the process before grilling, etc

Cream Cheese Corn

Pour 2 pounds frozen corn, a few tablespoons butter and 1 package of cream cheese into a large pot. Cook on medium heat, stirring from time to time, until butter and cream cheese are melted and corn is heated.

simple Thanksgiving sides

Fresh Green Beans

Trim ends off green beans and snap in half if desired. Boil beans with a few pinches of thyme, lemon pepper or other herbs. Once beans are soft, drain water and add a bit of butter.

Brussel Sprouts

About 2 pounds of sprouts will make 8 servings. Wash the sprouts and then soak for 10 minutes in water. Rinse, de-stem and then cut an “X” in the bottom of each sprout (where it used to be attached to the plant). Cook in a pot of boiling water until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and toss with a couple tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper to taste.

Looking for more Thanksgiving recipes and tips? Visit The Thanksgiving Countdown