Everything but the Bird

Local Flavor Alana Harris 20200923 Vero Nov39


If you’re the primary cook in your family, Thanksgiving is your Super Bowl. You have a lot on your plate before it comes time to actually fill everyone else’s plates, from crafting a menu and shopping for groceries to setting the table and baking the pies.

This month, we’re here to help you streamline the process with standout side dishes that are sure to wow your crowd, big or small. The recipes can be multiplied to serve a multitude or made as is for a small gathering, with leftovers to spare.

Sure, the turkey is often seen as the long-standing star of the show, but let’s be honest — turkey can be … boring. The best way to liven up your holiday spread is with a variety of
flavorful side dishes. Whether you bake your own bird, order a takeout turkey from your local gourmet market, or skip the turkey altogether, these accompaniments might just take center stage this year.


Sweet Potato Puff

Servings: 6–8

This entire dish can be prepared the night before; simply cover with foil and refrigerate. Reheat foil-covered dish in the oven at 350 F for 20 minutes before serving.

  • 3–4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup corn flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 F. Use a fork to poke holes in the sweet potatoes. Roast sweet potatoes on a baking sheet for 45–60 minutes, or until cooked through, then remove from oven and let cool to touch. Remove the potato skin and place cooked potatoes in the bowl of a stand mixer. Reduce oven heat to 350 F.

Beat cooked sweet potatoes in stand mixer with the wire whisk attachment until texture appears smooth and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients and beat until well incorporated.

Transfer potato mixture into a greased casserole dish and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the topping by placing all ingredients in a medium bowl and stirring with a fork until well combined.

Remove casserole from oven and spread mixed topping evenly over the top. Return dish to the oven and cook 10 more minutes until topping is golden brown.

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