Our teen chef, Kayla, from The Nerdy Chef, is back with easy Thanksgiving recipes for teens to whip up, adults to create for Thanksgiving feasts, or kids to cook with moms or dads. These simple Thanksgiving side dishes are that quick and simple to prepare and jam-packed full of flavor, plus they are definite eye-candy for a turkey-extravanganza. And if you are still craving pumpkin, we definitely recommend our teen favorite Pumpkin Whoopie Pie cookies as a fave fall dessert. Garlic & Mustard Green Beans
Green bean casserole is a Thanksgiving staple, but I have a refreshing change. These green beans are packed with flavor and are so easy to make. They are much faster than other recipes, too, so you can spend more time making other delicious foods. I love the combination of sweet roasted garlic and sharp mustard, a perfect foil for tender green beans. This recipe is sure to brighten your Thanksgiving feast, but it is also easy enough to make any time of the year.
1 lb Green Beans, Washed & Trimmed 6 Cloves Garlic, Sliced 2 T Olive Oil 1 1/2 T Mustard
Heat oven to 450F and line a cookie tray with foil.
Toss the beans with the garlic, olive oil, and 1/4 cup water. Spread on the prepared tray and roast for 15 minutes.
Toss the beans with the mustard immediately and season with salt and pepper.
Serves 4, Recipe Adapted from Food Network Magazine
My family loads our Thanksgiving table with rich, luscious foods, but I always search for something to cut the wave of heaviness. These sweet and somewhat spicy glazed carrots are a fantastic way to break up my meal, and I'm sure you'll love them, too. The recipe is incredibly simple, and you can cook the carrots ahead of time and just glaze them before serving to make your day a little easier. The flavors are mellow and blend well together, but they are still unique. It is also a wonderful canvas for other flavors; feel free to throw in some orange zest or your favorite spices when you make the glaze. You can also change the amounts of chili powder or add some cayenne or hot sauce to alter the degree of spiciness. This is an excellent chance to experiment with flavors, and it will be delicious no matter what!
1 lb Carrots, Washed, Peeled & Cut into Coins 2 T Butter 2 T Honey 1 T Lemon Juice Pinch Chili Powder Pinch Cinnamon
Bring some water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the carrots and boil for 8 minutes or until almost tender. Drain.
Melt the butter in the pot. Whisk in the honey, lemon juice, chili powder, and cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper, then fold in the carrots. Cook until syrupy and tender, about 8 minutes.
Serves 4, Recipe Adapted from Sunny Anderson
Maple Pecan Sweet Potatoes
Admit it; you love those sweet potato dishes that are so full of marshmallows you can barely taste the potatoes. They are tasty, but sometimes you want some sweet potatoes that taste sweet but also taste like sweet potatoes. This is that dish.
The sweet potatoes alone have a wonderful contrast of textures. I cut them into two-bite pieces that get crispy on the outside but soft and creamy on the inside. Those are then tossed with crunchy bits of pecans and a sticky, buttery maple syrup glaze. It tastes like fall but is also reminiscent of those marshmallowy casseroles that everyone is addicted to.
1/3 Cup Chopped Pecans 1 1/2 lbs Sweet Potatoes 2 T Oil 2 T Butter 1 1/2 T Maple Syrup Pinch Chili Powder
Peel and dice the sweet potatoes.
Heat oven to 350F.
Spread the nuts on a cookie tray and toast until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Cool.
Heat oven to 400F.
Toss the potatoes in the oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a cookie tray and roast until tender and golden, about 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Melt the butter in a small pot. whisk in the maple syrup and chili powder and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the pecans and drizzle over the potatoes.
Serves 4, Recipe Adapted from Aida Mollencamp
In Thanksgiving dinners, mushrooms tend to assist other dishes instead of being the star; this recipe will change all of that. You will want to have these instead of your turkey, your stuffing, even your pie. They are just that good. There is a bit of an Italian flair with the balsamic and the garlic; however, the flavors are still relatively mild, allowing the dish to fit with the rest of your meal and letting the true earthiness of the mushrooms stand out. You can use any type of mushrooms you want, even mixing a few varieties together, but I like to use plain old white or cremini mushrooms. They cook just right: tender throughout and not burnt on the outside. I know you'll love this recipe because it is so easy and so delicious.
1 lb Mushrooms, Cleaned & Trimmed 5 Cloves Garlic, Minced 1/4 Cup Olive Oil 2 T Balsamic Vinegar 2 T Butter, Cubed
Combine the garlic, oil, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the mushrooms in the marinade and let sit for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Heat oven to 425F and line a cookie tray with foil.
Spread the mushroom son the prepared tray and sprinkle with the butter. Roast for 10 minutes or until tender and browned.
Serves 4, Recipe Adapted from Cheryl Bevergae Barnes