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Thanksgiving Side Dishes: Recipes

WebMD Expert Column

Traditional green bean casserole or sweet potatoes are classic side dishes at Thanksgiving. This year, why not add one or two new seasonal sides?

Choose from Brussels sprouts and bacon, quinoa pilaf with cranberries and pecans, or cauliflower gratin.


Brussels Sprouts and Bacon


8 cups trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts (quartered, if large), about 2 pounds

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped shallot (about 2 large shallots)

5 slices turkey bacon, finely chopped (6 slices center-cut bacon can be substituted, but then delete the olive oil)

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dried thyme can be substituted)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put Brussels sprouts in a large microwave-safe dish. Cover the Brussels sprouts with cold water, and then use a lid to drain most of the water out of the dish. Cover the dish and microwave on high until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan and heat over medium-high. Stir in the shallot and bacon pieces over medium-high heat until onion is golden and bacon is browned and crisp (about 3 minutes).
  3. Reduce heat to moderate and stir in Brussels sprouts, thyme, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for a minute or 2 to blend flavors and allow flat edges of Brussels sprouts to brown.

Yield: Makes about 8 servings

Per serving: 135 calories, 8 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fat, 1.3 grams saturated fat, 3.2 grams monounsaturated fat, 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 6 grams fiber, 250 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 40%. Omega-3 fatty acids = 0.2 grams, Omega-6 fatty acids = 1.1

Quinoa Pilaf With Cranberries and Pecans

Quinoa Pilaf Ingredients:

2 cups dry whole-grain quinoa

4 cups water

2/3 cup dried cranberries

4 to 6 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

1 cup finely chopped celery

2/3 cup toasted pecan pieces

Citrus Vinaigrette Ingredients:

4 tablespoons lemon juice

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/4 teaspoon salt

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