Thanksgiving is T-minus 9 days away and I’m sooooooo excited! Although, I’m not hosting this year, I’m always thrilled to make and to bring my favorite side dishes. In fact, I love these sides so much I usually make two to ensure we will have leftovers.
What are your go-to holiday recipes? Do have have ones that have become a tradition where it just doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving without them? For example, my brother-in-law grew up with twice-baked potatoes on his family’s Thanksgiving menu so we always include those when we’re together. We always had traditional mashed potatoes and candied yams or sweet potatoes on ours. Today, I’m sharing my two absolute favorites that have evolved slightly over the years but always remain on the menu.
how to make Sweet Potato Souffle
To say I love sweet potatoes would be an understatement. I ADORE them! In any form! They have always been my favorite Thanksgiving side dish that started out as sweet potatoes/yams with candied marshmallow topping in my childhood, to the sweet potato souffle recipe today I adapted from my step-father over the years.
How to make this recipe even easier
You know I love Trader Joe’s and I love it even more when shopping for Thanksgiving ingredients. They have the loveliest selection of peeled and chopped produce that can be a game changer when preparing so many recipes, this one included. Their sweet potatoes are no exception but if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s, find some pre-chopped ones at another trusted market to save time prepping.
How to make the yummiest topping for your sweet potato souffle
- For Souffle:
- 2 lbs. Sweet Potatoes (peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs lightly whipped
- 1 cup cream or milk
- 2/3 cup soft butter
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- For Topping:
- 1 cup melted butter
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup crushed pecans
- Boil peeled and chopped sweet potatoes until tender (about 15 minutes) and drain.
- Mix drained potatoes with electric hand mixer until creamy.
- Add butter, sugar, cream, eggs, vanilla and salt and mix until well blended.
- Pour into buttered 9 X13 dish.
- Add melted butter, brown sugar and flour for topping in separate bowl and stir together. Add pecans and stir until combined.
- Spread topping over sweet potato mixture.
- Bake on 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until topping is crisp and the souffle is bubbling.
- Spoon a large dollop (or two) on your plate and enjoy!
How to make homemade creamy Mashed potatoes
I grew up with my mother and her mother making the BEST homemade mashed potatoes, not just on Thanksgiving, but on regular rotation for dinner. So, I guess it’s a right of passage that I would be expected to make them, too. In fact, my daughters’ favorite dinner is salmon with mashed potatoes which we have at least twice a month. There are many ways to make them but our family’s favorite way, and the one I’m always requested to serve at Thanksgiving dinner, is this one.
- 5 pounds organic russet potatoes
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1 1/2 cups slightly heated cream or milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp herbs de provence for garnish (you can buy this at any grocery store)
- Peel and chop potatoes in half (or smaller for faster cooking) and boil until tender.
- Drain potatoes.
- Immediately mash with potato masher or mixer until smooth.
- Add softened butter and stir to combine.
- Add warmed cream or milk. (Cold milk or cream will create "chunks" that won't mash and get creamy) and continue to stir/mix until creamy. Add more if needed.
- Add salt and pepper (season to your preference)
- Keep warm in pan, just until serving.
- Scoop into serving bowl and sprinkle with herbs de provence for a pretty and tasty garnish.
I don't buy all organic produce but after reading about potato farmers that will only eat the small organic patch they plant for themselves, I started buying organic russet potatoes and they do make a difference. They actually taste fresher and seem to create even smoother and creamier mashed potatoes. Most markets carry them and they are usually just a couple of dollars more.