Unexpected guests dropping? Here are 7 recipes to make Thanksgiving sides in less than an hour

Unexpected guests dropping? Here are 7 recipes to make Thanksgiving sides in less than an hour

Why stop at a stuffed turkey, when your side dishes are the real stars…

7 Thanksgiving sides in under an hour! Image Credit: Shutterstock

Imagine this - the table has been set, and you are all ready to host a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Everything is in place, suddenly unexpected guests drop in!

You do some quick math in your head - the turkey might suffice, the side dishes might have to make up for it, but is there enough?

Don’t worry, Specialty Outlet Chef Giovanni Lapid of Basilico restaurant at The Cove Rotana Resort in Ras Al Khaimah has got you covered with 7 recipes you can try for the perfect ‘Sidesgiving’. And the best part? You can make them under an hour!

1. Candied Yams

Candied Yams Image Credit: Supplied


  1. 1 kg orange sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch thick rondelles
  2. 400 gms unsalted butter, melted
  3. 30 gms cinnamon powder
  4. 1 orange (peel without pith, mince to use as zest)
  5. 6 pieces of star anise
  6. 12 pieces of cloves
  7. 200 gms brown sugar
  8. 5 gms salt
  9. 30 gms walnuts, chopped

(Note: Orange sweet potatoes are known as American yams)


1. In a bowl, combine the melted butter, cinnamon powder, orange zest and a pinch of salt. Whisk these altogether.

2. On a baking dish line with butter paper, arrange the sweet potatoes on an even layer.

3. Pour the butter mixture over the sweet potatoes and dredge them with the brown sugar on top.

4. Add the star anise and cloves around to add more aroma tot the sweet potatoes.

5. Cover the whole dish with aluminium foil.

6. In a preheated oven, bake the sweet potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes at 180C or until soft but not mushy.

7. Once cooked, remove the aluminium foil and bake again for another 5 to 8 minutes or just until the sweet potatoes have caramelised.

8. Serve them on a dish and pour over the same butter and sugar mixture. Garnish with extra orange zest and dried chopped walnuts.

2. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes Image Credit: Supplied


  1. 1 kg large potatoes, local (adora, mondial, safrane, sagitta)
  2. 400 gms unsalted butter
  3. 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  4. 300 ml cooking cream
  5. 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  6. Maldon sea salt flakes to taste
  7. 60 gms chives
  8. Truffle oil
  9. 300 gms parmesan cheese
  10. 1 bulb garlic, roasted


1. In a large pot, boil the potatoes in water with salt, crushed garlic and fresh thyme. Cook until potatoes are soft.

2. Once cooked, strain the potatoes and transfer onto a bowl.

3. While still hot, crush the potatoes with a fork or potato masher with some butter, cream, roasted garlic paste and parmesan cheese.

4. Season the smashed potatoes with salt, pepper and truffle oil.

5. To prepare the dish, arrange the smashed potatoes onto a deep dish. Add more crushed black pepper, truffle oil, grated parmesan and generous amount of chives.

6. To roast the garlic, drizzle some olive oil and wrap the whole bulb in aluminium foil. Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until soft at 180C. Once the garlic is cooked, remove from the foil, squeeze onto a chopping board, and make it into a paste.

3. Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce Image Credit: Supplied


  1. 500 gms frozen cranberries, thawed
  2. 400 ml apple juice
  3. 300 ml orange juice
  4. 30 gms cinnamon
  5. 6 pieces star anise
  6. 9 pieces cloves
  7. 120 gms brown sugar
  8. 30 gms ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  9. 1 piece orange zest
  10. Salt to taste


1. Put the cranberries in a saucepan together with the orange juice, apple juice and the rest of the ingredients.

2. Allow the mixture to boil then reduce the heat to medium. Let the cranberries simmer. Keep stirring but gently so that the cranberries don’t get too mushy.

3. Let the liquid reduce then adjust the seasoning with more sugar as the cranberries will be very sour. Add salt to taste.

4. If the mixture gets too thick, add water or apple juice. Get a good sweet, sour and savoury balance from the sauce or as how you desire. Once the sauce reached your desired consistency, remove from heat and discard the spices.

4. Candied sweet potato

Candied sweet potato Image Credit: Shutterstock


  1. 2 pieces orange sweet potato, peeled and cut into rondelles
  2. Butter, melted
  3. Cinnamon powder
  4. Brown sugar
  5. Salt


1. Mix the melted butter with brown sugar, cinnamon powder and a pinch of salt. On a shallow dish line with butter paper, arrange the sweet potatoes in layers. Pour the butter mixture over the sweet potatoes and cover with an aluminium foil.

2. Bake the sweet potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender in a 180C oven. Once cooked and tender, remove the cover and bake again for 5 minutes or just until the sweet potatoes get caramelised.

5. Glazed chestnuts

Glazed chestnuts Image Credit: Shutterstock


  1. 120 gms peeled chestnuts
  2. 500 ml apple juice, packet
  3. 3 pieces cloves
  4. 30 gms white sugar


1. Place the peeled chestnuts in a pot and submerge them in apple juice. Add the cloves and sugar. Let it simmer until the chestnuts become soft to the bite.

2. You may need to add more apple juice if the chestnuts need more time to cook. Once done, remove the chestnuts from the liquid.

3. Strain the liquid and add more apple juice, cloves and sugar. Reduce the apple juice to a light syrup for glazing the chestnuts later on.

6. Sweet corn puree

Sweet corn puree Image Credit: Shutterstock


  1. Sweet corn kernels
  2. Milk
  3. Water
  4. Garlic cloves, minced
  5. Cream cooking
  6. Butter, diced
  7. Salt
  8. Sugar


1. Sweat the garlic with some butter. Once soft, add the sweet corn kernels, milk and water.

2. Allow to boil once then let it simmer until the milk has started to split and the corn turns soft. Once cooked, strain and reserve the cooking liquid.

3. Using a high-speed bar blender put the corn kernels in the blender jar while it is hot. Add some of the cooking liquid to help the blender.

4. The corn will turn into a thick paste. By this time, pour some of the cream and a knob of butter and continue blending. Repeat the same process until the sweet corn puree reaches a smooth consistency but is not loose. Season with salt and sugar. Pass the puree through a sieve to remove the corn skin.

7. Blanched vegetables

Blanched vegetables Image Credit: Shutterstock


  1. Baby corn
  2. Fine beans
  3. Butter
  4. Salt
  5. Pepper
  6. Vegetable stock


1. Blanch the baby corn and green beans. Shock them in iced water after blanching.

2. To prepare for the dish, toss the baby corn and beans in a hot pan with butter, stock and seasoning.

Know of any more holiday recipes? Tell us about them at food@gulfnews.com

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