Thanksgiving Table Treasures: The Sides That (Almost) Steal the Show

The iconic image from the Norman Rockwell painting, Freedom from Want, is of the mahogany hued, glistening, whole roast turkey being presented at the table. We, at the Turkey Talk Line, answer thousands of calls each season to help cooks achieve memory making results for their own family tables.


The Thanksgiving table is a celebration of the harvest, the bounty of the season and the blessings from the earth. We gather to give thanks for this bounty and our celebration includes a wealth of delicious dishes in addition to that beautiful turkey.

Look again at that Rockwell table and we find our own selves coming to the table, asking, “What is in the covered dish?” Oyster dressing? Cornbread and sausage stuffing? Or maybe Mom found a new holiday classic on the Butterball website: fingers crossed for Sauteed Leek, Giblet and whole grain dressing!

Thanksgiving is heavily grounded in tradition. My family always makes the same comforting assortment – foods that loudly say, “holiday,” to me. However, over the course of time, things evolve.

Several years ago, family members began to require a Gluten Free diet. Perhaps your family has a member who is vegetarian or has a nut allergy. Aunt Grace can’t do dairy and cousin Donny is off yeast. The glorious buffet of side dishes give us the freedom, flexibility and permission to stray from tradition, accommodate dietary restrictions and breathe new life into our annual celebration.

The Butterball website and the Butterball Cookbook Plus™ App are great recipe resources.  While Butterball Fresh and Frozen Turkeys and gravy packets are already gluten free, I needed help with the sides. By entering gluten free into the search bar, I felt I had hit the jackpot! The classic Green Bean Casserole, which we had served and loved, could be served gluten-free by substituting the fried onion with some crunchy almonds.

So many times people feel that special diets require “giving up” and “going without.” But sometimes a simple change is all it takes to bring back a favorite recipe.  No one who tries the decadent and luscious Golden Mashed Potatoes with Chives recipe from the Butterball website will feel deprived. In fact, you may never make mashed potatoes any other way again.

After the huge success and positive responses from my substitutions on the holiday classics, this year I’m going out on a limb.  So long canned cranberry relish, hello, Dried Fruit & Tomato Chutney. Wish me luck, but I doubt this one could be wrong!



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