We asked The FruitGuys staffers to pony up with their favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. And maybe we’re all watching a little too much Netflix, but all the recipes featured a main ingredient with a certain stand-out hue that just so happens to be front and center of a new Netflix-exclusive show. See if you can guess the color that ties the following recipes together.
Super Simple Squash Soup
After you’ve chopped the squash in half with a large knife, this is a good recipe for kids to help with—they can hide the garlic in the squash.
Recipe by Heidi Lewis, writer in residence
- 1 whole winter squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 cup onion, celery, and carrot (mirepoix), finely diced
- 32 ounces stock (chicken or vegetable)
- Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
- Fresh parsley and oregano, chopped
- Heat oven to 400°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Trim off the top stem of the squash, then cut in half. Scoop out the seeds and pierce outer skin with a fork.
- Pour ½ tablespoon olive oil into each cavity and spread over cut side of squash.
- Place squash cut-side down on the parchment-covered baking sheet, and tuck garlic cloves (unpeeled!) into the cavity.
- Bake 45–60 minutes, until squash is fork-tender. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
- In the meantime, heat remaining tablespoon of oil in the soup pot and sauté mirepoix until just tender. Do not brown.
- Scoop cooked squash out of the skin and add to the pot with garlic. Cover with stock, and heat to a low simmer.
- Blend soup with a hand or immersion blender, or transfer to a countertop blender and puree. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese and herbs.
Serves 6. Prep time, 20 minutes; cook time, 1 hour.
Sweet and Spicy Fall Sweet Potato Salad
I adapted this recipe from Ox restaurant in Jersey City. It was one of the most popular dishes on the menu. Feel free to substitute butternut squash for the sweet potato, spinach for the arugula, or almonds for the walnuts. It’s a salad; Mix it up!
- 4 sweet potatoes, quartered
- 2 bunches of arugula (one large box is fine)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1–2 chipotle peppers, more if desired (canned is fine)
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 1 navel orange
- 2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ cup Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Heat oven to 400 °F degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix three tablespoons olive oil, mustard, salt, and oregano, then add in potatoes to coat lightly.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes. Shake the pan to brown potatoes on all side. Let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, put chipotle, shallot, vinegar, honey, and orange juice in a blender. Add a dash of salt and pepper then turn on, adding about a half of cup of olive oil slowly until emulsified. Set aside.
- Combine sweet potatoes, arugula, nuts, and cranberries in a large bowl. Add dressing to taste and toss gently. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Serves 6 as a side dish. Prep time 20 minutes; cook time 25 minutes.
— Sondra Weimar
Recipe by Non-Reactive Pan, clarosouthwick.com/blog
I always hated canned cranberry sauce, but at a friend’s potluck one year, I encountered this: A fresh cranberry sauce that contained the juice and zest of an orange, fresh grated ginger, and minced shallot – all nicely chopped together with the tart-sweet goodness of fresh cranberries. It was divine!
- 1 (12-oz) bag fresh cranberries
- 1 navel orange
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- ½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- Finely grate two teaspoons zest from the orange.
- Cut away and discard peel and pith from orange; cut sections free from membranes.
- Pulse cranberries with zest, orange sections, sugar, cinnamon, shallot, and ginger in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
- Chill, covered, at least 2 hours to let flavors develop.
Serves 3–4 as a side dish. Prep time, 10–15 minutes; chill time, 2 hours.
— Gretchen Bay
Creative Services Manager, San Francisco
When I left my family and moved from Chicago to Los Angeles, friends immediately became family, especially for Thanksgiving. This simple recipe from my friend Jocelyn requires just a few ingredients with sweet carrots taking center stage.
- 4 cups carrots, sliced and cooked soft
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 ¼ cup of cream or half-and-half
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Heat oven to 400 °F, and mix the cornstarch with the cream.
- Butter a 9×9-inch baking dish and sprinkle with sugar.
- In a blender, blend together carrots, salt, honey, cream, eggs, and melted butter until smooth, and pour into the baking dish.
- Bake for 45 minutes, careful to be very quiet while baking so that the soufflé may rise.
Serves 8. Prep time, 20 minutes; cook time, 45 minutes.
— Debbie Gown
Account Executive Los Angeles
This recipe was initially an unwelcome addition to our Thanksgiving table. The large tray of orange mush was outside of our normal turkey, stuffing, and gravy routine, and everyone was skeptical—but it’s since become a family staple. Even the kids who won’t eat their vegetables will ask for second helpings of this sweet-and-savory squash pudding.
Recipe by Amanda Pineault, FruitGuys alumna
- 5 medium butternut squash
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes or fresh minced onion
- 4 tablespoons powdered milk
- 4 eggs
- 4 tablespoons Wondra flour
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 ounces diced bacon or vegetarian bacon bits (optional)
- Heat oven to 375°F.
- Remove stems before cutting each squash in half and scraping out the seeds.
- Place squash cut-side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, then turn cut-side up and continue roasting until fork tender, another 20–30 minutes or so, depending on the thickness of the squash.
- When cool enough to handle, peel the squash or scrape out the cooked flesh and mash it. Drain off any liquid that pools. You should have 8 cups of mashed squash (this can be done in advance).
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until smooth.
- Spread in a 9×13-inch (or similarly sized) baking dish and sprinkle with bacon bits, if using. Bake at 300°F for 1½ hours.
Serves 8. Prep time, 20 minutes; cook time, 2 hours.