Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Potato Gratin, Roasted Squash with Sorghum Butter and Glazed Brussel Sprouts

Happy Sunday!  I am not sure I have ever posted on a Sunday before, but with Thanksgiving just several days away, I thought I better get on with a few turkey day recipes. We are officially empty nesters for Thanksgiving.  That is why you haven’t seen a whole lotta hullabaloo and turkey fixins’ from me this year.

Several  of our children are out of town for the holiday and one will be spending Thanksgiving with their new family (by marriage).  It’s just me and Mr. B, so we are not even sure what we are doing yet!  Just call us free spirits. 😉 I did, however, want to share some recipes with you for several simple side dishes that are perfect for a smaller gathering at Thanksgiving or an evening meal at home any day of the week.

They are traditional side dishes, but these versions are lighter and healthier and we can all use a few less calories and fat around the holidays!  Gotta save those for the desserts!

The flavor comes from the Yukon gold potatoes and 2 cheeses in this dish. No heavy cream here!

The first recipe is for a Potato Gratin.  This dish is very flavorful and uses whole milk rather than than the traditional heavy cream.  I have made it a few times and actually enjoy it with most of the Gruyère added in with the potato and milk mixture as opposed to using the cheese only a topping, as the original recipe called for.  I thought it was more flavorful this way.  If you stay with the traditional method and do not add the cheese in with the potatoes, you will need to add a bit more salt than suggested.

I prefer adding some of the cheese to the milk and pottao mixture. It added a really nice flavor.

Roasting squash is another favorite of ours.  I would normally use Acorn Squash for this dish, however, I discovered Delicata Squash last season and am now a huge fan.  They are very sweet when roasted and I like that they are small enough for an individual serving.  They don’t need much done to them since the roasting brings out their sweetness.  I rub just a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and some fresh thyme on the squash and then finish it with this Sorghum Compound Butter at the end.  You can use a little butter and brown sugar or maple syrup, if you prefer.

Roasted squash is easy to make and is a great side dish for any meal

Finally, don’t forget the brussel sprouts.  Yes, I know…you may not like them, but give them another chance.  I got pretty bored with roasting them, so I have come up with an alternative that gives them a bit of a glaze and sweetness that turns those little buggers into a side dish that is quite good.

I steam them in a bit of water that has some salt, freshly ground black pepper, and sugar.  I left them whole this time, but Mr. B prefers when they are cut in half.  Once tender, I add butter and boil off most of the liquid.  They are then finished with a splash of good balsamic vinegar.  There is a syrupy consistency to the sauce that adds such a nice flavor to the brussel sprouts.  Just give it a try…you might even like them!

Forget roasting these buggers and try this recipe for something different!

Here are some other suggestions for your Thanksgiving holiday:

You can smoke a turkey using the Sorgum Herb Butter just as we did with a chicken.  Mr. B has smoked turkeys in years past and they are always moist and incredibly flavorful.

Make this awesome baked ham if you want something other than the traditional turkey.  You can see the photos of the ham on my site and there is a link to the recipe for this delicious Dijon Maple Spiral Glazed Ham.  You could also try this recipe for Pecan-Baked Ham from John Besh’s new cookbook, Around My Family Table.

It you are looking for a perfect holiday soup, try this French Pumpkin Soup.  It is one of our favorites.

This Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream is made with fresh pumpkin puree and is incredible.  You haven’t had pumpkin pie until you make it with fresh pumpkin.

Bourbon in desserts in awesome, so how about this recipe for Bourbon Pecan Pie?

Here are some other recipes from around the web that look mighty tempting for this Thanksgiving holiday!

Cocktails – Cranberry Ginger Fizz Cocktail – from Barb at Creative Culinary

Appetizers – Nut Crusted Fried Brie with Pomegranate-Jalapeno Jelly from Denise and John at New in My Soup

Main Dishes – Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter & Roasted Shallots from Dara at Cookin’ Canuck

Stuffing – Southern Cornbread Dressing from Lana at Never Enough Thyme

Salads – Roasted Carrot & Beet Salad with Feta from Tami at Running with Tweezers and Sweet Potato, Bacon and Pomegranate Salad with Spinach from Marla at Family Fresh Cooking

Desserts – Chestnut Layer Cake from Jamie at Life’s a Feast and Pumpkin Creme Brulee – from Lindsay and Taylor at Love & Olive Oil

Just in case you haven’t had enough dessert, here are some beautiful Pina Colada Truffles from White on Rice Couple

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Potato Gratin, Roasted Squash with Sorghum Butter and Glazed Brussel Sprouts

Yield: 8 servings - for the Potato Gratin

Prep Time: 15 minutes - for Potato Gratin

Cook Time: 45 minutes - for Potato Gratin

Total Time: 1 hour - for Potato Gratin


For Potato Gratin:
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt (or more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Dash of whole freshly grated nutmeg
2 pounds Yukon Potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch-thick slices (use a Mandoline to do this, is you have one)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese (or more if you add some cheese to the potato and milk mixture) *Use the weight measurement
1/2 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese *Use the weight measurement

For Roasted Squash with Sorghum Butter:
4 Delicata Squash
Extra Virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Leaves from two sprigs of thyme, chopped
Sorghum Butter or butter combined with brown sugar or Maple syrup

For Glazed Brussel Sprouts:
1 pound fresh brussel sprouts, washed, trimmed and left whole or cut in half (your preference)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt (or more to taste)
freshly ground pepper, a couple of good grinds
1 cup filtered water
1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Good splash balsamic vinegar (a nice one)


For Potato Gratin:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Rub a broiler-safe 11x7-inch baking dish with garlic; discard garlic. Coat dish with butter. Combine milk and next 5 ingredients in a skillet (add Gruyere cheese at this point, if you are going to do that); bring to a simmer. Cook 8 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender. Spoon potato mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.
3. Preheat broiler. Broil 3 minutes or until golden. Let stand 10 minutes.

For Roasted Squash with Sorghum Butter:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut a thin slice of the squash away from one side of the squash, so that you are able to scoop out the seeds and stringy insides of the squash. With a pastry brush, brush the insides and the rims of the squash with a little extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle each with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and the chopped thyme leaves.
3. Place squash with inside facing up on a greased baking sheet and roast at at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, until insides are tender. Remove from the oven and baste with Sorghum butter or butter mixed with brown sugar or maple syrup. Roast for another 10 minutes until brown and very tender. You may want to broil them for just a few seconds to finish the browning process. Serve immediately.
Serves 4

For Glazed Brussel Sprouts:
1. Heat water, salt, pepper and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Add brussel sprouts and bring to a boil. Cover and steam on low heat for 10 minutes if they are whole or 7-8 minutes if they are cut in half (the water will need to be simmering lightly).
2. Check to see if they are almost tender. When they are, remove the lid, add the butter and bring to a boil, stirring the sprouts so that they are covered with the liquid in the pan. Boil until the liquid is reduced, just a minute or two. Add a good splash of balsamic vinegar. Toss the brussel sprouts to coat. The sauce should be sweet and buttery with a syrup-like consistency. Serve immediately.
Serves 3-4

The Potato Gratin recipe was adapted from Cooking Light

9 Responses to “Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Potato Gratin, Roasted Squash with Sorghum Butter and Glazed Brussel Sprouts”

  1. 1

    Barbara | Creative Culinary — November 20, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

    I’m an empty nester of sorts too; empty partially because my youngest daughter works at Nordstrom’s in the Visual department. which means she and her crew work for 2 months doing behind the scenes prep and then spend Thanksgiving day transforming the store to Christmas decor seemingly overnight.

    I’m tired of waiting for her to come over, grumpy and exhausted, so this year I’m supposedly dining with friends. What I’m really doing is making a turkey dinner to deliver to the store for her and her immediate crew of 7. It’s sort of Thanksgiving and Christmas combined because only her supervisor knows. Your potato dish would be perfect; so my seeing this today is prophetic!

    Thanks for including my cocktail. That they won’t be getting. :)

    • Gwen replied: — November 20th, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

      LOL to the cocktail! You can save those for us! 😉

      I love the surprise you have in store for your daughter and her co-workers. That is awesome and in the real spirit of the holidays. I am sure she will be very surprised!

      Have a great Thanksgiving, Barb.

  2. 2

    paula — November 20, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

    Yum. I’ve been looking for a new Thanksgiving side and this is perfect!

  3. 3

    Laura @ GotChocolate — November 20, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

    WOW! That’s ALL looks SO delicious! What’s for dessert? Haha!

  4. 4

    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — November 20, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

    Everything looks just delicious, Gwen! I haven’t tried the Delicata Squash before, but I’m surely going to be looking for them now. Thanks so much for mentioning my good ole southern cornbread dressing. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    • Gwen replied: — November 26th, 2011 @ 9:45 am

      You are welcome! I hope your Thanksgiving was a great one!

  5. 5

    redkathy — November 20, 2011 @ 11:19 pm

    Lovely display Gwen! We too are empty nesters but have a few family members to feed. I’m gonna try your brussels. Hubby and I love them. As for the guests, no brussels for those picky eaters. Their loss :)

    Have a Blessed and fabulous Thanksgiving my friend!

  6. 6

    Monet — November 21, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    Now this looks like the kind of side dishes I’d love to eat this Thursday. Brussel Sprouts are one of my favorites! Thank you for sharing with me…I hope you have a wonderful week full of feasting and family.

  7. 7

    Stephanie — November 22, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

    Yummm…this looks fantastic! I just made Sweet Potato & Curry mash myself. Go side dishes!

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