Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday. Why? It’s all about food! And let’s be honest: it’s all about the side dishes, not the main dish. You can never have enough gravy and mashed potatoes! Sure, you can make all kinds of plant-based main dishes like mushroom cutlets, tofu cutlets, seitan roulades, Tofurkeys, and all that. But the sides are where it’s at. So we put together our favorite easy Thanksgiving side dish recipes to help you really enjoy the holiday this year.
Tip #1: Get organized well ahead of time. Plan your menu. Start shopping a week before the big day if you can. And make as much as you can in advance. Pies can be frozen. Cranberry sauce can sit in the fridge. Even gravy can be made ahead and then reheated.
When you do get cooking in the kitchen, read over your recipes and start the ones that take the longest first. Get the gravy simmering and the stuffing baking so while those are cooking you can prep other items. That’s how you get it all done in the least amount of time. It also helps to group similar tasks together. If two recipes call for onions, chop all the onions at once. If you’re adding savory herbs in both the stuffing and gravy, chop all the herbs at once. In fact, try to prep all your ingredients at once. That way your onions won’t burn because you’re running back and forth from the fridge to the counter to the stovetop all the time. Have everything prepped and ready to go before you turn on the heat.
This basic idea is called mis en place, French for “getting your shit together” (not literally). It saves TONS of time in the kitchen and helps you enjoy cooking instead of dreading it. Plan, gather, chop, and prep ahead. Mis en place will make your Thanksgiving feast more fun for everyone, including the cook!