Family Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching here in the United States, I wanted to share some of our family's favorite holiday side dishes. These have been used over the years with lots of success and I just have a feeling that you will enjoy them every bit as much as we do!

IMG 0492 1000x715Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats– you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

Basic Dressing

No more stuffing out of the box.. make your own using my favorite family recipe

(makes 12-16 generous servings)

  • 2 stick butter
  • 4 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 c. coarsely chopped celery
  • 2 tsp. dried sage
  • 2 tsp. salt (+ more to taste)
  • 4 tsp. coarsely ground pepper (+ more to taste)
  • 6 1/2 c. chicken broth or turkey drippings (you can use more or less, depending on how moist you like your dressing)
  • 2 loaves stale white bread, cut into cubes (9-10 c.)
  • 2 bunches fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Saute onions and celery for about 10 minutes, until softened and transparent.  Add spices and stir to coat onions & celery; cook for 3 minutes.  Add 1/2 c. chicken broth or drippings and cook for about 5 minutes, until broth has reduced, stirring often.

Remove onion mixture from heat.  In a large dutch oven or very large mixing bowl, combine onion mixture with bread cubes, parsley, eggs and chicken broth.  Mix well.

Tip: If you don't have bread that is really dry and stale, you can substitute toasted cubes of bread. Simply cube it in ½ x ½ inch pieces and place it in a 200 degree oven on a sheet pan for 25-30 minutes or until it is nice and dry.

You can then stuff your turkey loosely with the stuffing, and cook the remainder in a buttered baking dish for 30-45 minutes at 375.  However, we recommend that you cook your stuffing separately, and if you are smoking a turkey, you'll want to do this anyway.

Stuffing variations:

  • Cornbread Stuffing – use 4 1/2 c. each crumbled cooked cornbread and cubed white bread.
  • Fruity Stuffing – Add 1 c. each walnuts & dried cranberries or 1 c. each raisins and pecans.
  • Other tips – For “wetter” stuffing, use 1/2 c. more broth and 1 more egg; for dry stuffing, use less broth and brush top with butter 5 minutes before removing from oven.
  • Add 2 c. finely chopped green apples.
Perfect Cranberry Sauce

Tired of using the canned cranberry sauce? Here is how to make the real stuff! Super easy and super impressive!

(makes 5 servings)

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 lb fresh cranberries
  • 1 c. water

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to med-low and simmer until thickened.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes

(makes 5 servings)

  • 5 large sweet potatoes, baked, peeled and cut into chunks*
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened (Real butter, please!)
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. whipping cream (more if desired)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 c. pecans (optional)
  • 2 Tbs. melted butter
*Tip: fresh sweet potatoes are best but canned will work in a pinch.

In a mixing bowl, beat together butter & brown sugar.  Gradually add chunks of sweet potatoes alternating with cream until mixture is smooth.  Add cinnamon and ground cloves.  Pour into a buttered glass baking dish and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle pecans on top, and brush with melted butter.  Return to oven for 5 more minutes.  Serve with whipped cream, if desired

Holiday Green Beans

Taking green beans to the next level

(makes 8 servings)

  • 3 lbs. fresh green beans, rinsed, ends trimmed
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. cooking wine

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet.  Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes.   Add green beans and sauté for another 5 minutes, tossing with onions, and adding oil as needed.  Pour cooking wine into bottom of pan and sprinkle beans with salt.  Cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and toss with kosher salt and coarse pepper.

Grandpa Carrow’s Hot Chocolate

(makes 8 servings)

  • 7 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cups cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1 TBS vanilla
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Heat over medium low heat stirring constantly until warmed through. Do not boil.

Order Jeff’s Rubs and Barbecue Sauce TODAY!
Jeff's Rubs and Sauce

✅ My rubs and sauce will be the best thing you’ve ever tasted and it’s a great way to support what we do!


You can also order the formulas for my rubs and sauce and make these yourself at home. Grab those HERE and download immediately.

Jeff’s Smoking Meat Books

smoking-meat-book-coverSmoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue – The book is full of recipes and contains tons of helpful information as well. Some have even said that “no smoker should be without this book”!

With more than 1000 reviews on and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it comes highly recommended and is a Bestseller in Barbecuing & Grilling books on Amazon.

AmazonBarnes & Noble | German Edition

smoke-wood-fire-book-coverSmoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat – Unlike the first book, this book does not focus on recipes but rather uses every square inch of every page teaching you how to smoke meat. What my first book touched on, this second book takes it into much greater detail with lots of pictures.

It also includes a complete, step-by-step tutorial for making your own smoked “streaky” bacon using a 100 year old brine recipe.

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  1. Daryl Standrich November 23, 2021 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    Kick the dressing up a notch! Add a pound of your favorite breakfast sausage. My mom made it like this for years, now we do to.

  2. Stewart Abercrombie November 23, 2021 at 8:50 am - Reply

    Great recipes and products thanks

  3. Art November 23, 2021 at 8:42 am - Reply

    You and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I enjoy your recipes.

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