The main attraction of Thanksgiving is undoubtedly the turkey, but there is so much that can be done in the way of sides as well. Today I want to share with you a bake-before Thanksgiving turkey recipe that we use and a few of my favorite side dish recipes that will not tie-up precious oven space.
(Weight Watchers Online)
This is a fantastic zippy twist to the standard cranberry sauce.
Candied Sweet Potatoes
(Betty Crocker: More Slow Cooker Recipes pg. 155)
I am only allowed to make this once a year at Thanksgiving. It’s a family favorite, and I’d like to remain ignorant of the calories and fat . . .
4 lbs dark-orange sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups miniature marshmallows or 25 large marshmallows
- Place sweet potatoes in 3 1/2 – 4 quart slow cooker.
- Place butter in medium microwavable bowl. Microwave uncovered on High about 1 minute or until melted. Stir in remaining ingredients except marshmallows; pour over sweet potatoes. Stir to coat sweet potatoes with butter mixture.
- Cover and cook on low heat setting 6-8 hours or until potatoes are very tender.
- Sprinkle marshmallows over potatoes. Cover and cook on low heat setting about 10 minutes or until marshmallows are melted.
(Betty Crocker: More Slow Cooker Recipes pg. 149)
I actually don’t eat carrots, but this is a huge hit with the fam so I make it every year :).
Easy Bake-Before-Thanksgiving Turkey
(created with tips from my Mom and Brother-in-law Joe)
I like using bone-in turkey breast instead of a whole turkey because there is a lot more of the meat everyone loves and less annoying deboning to-do after. Cooking the turkey on Wednesday eliminates nasty clean-up on Thursday and frees up oven space.
Turkey Breast (figure at least 1/4 pound of meat per person)
Large Roasting Pan
Plastic garbage bags
- Defrost turkey breast according to package instructions.
- Rinse clean and remove any “innards” or “gizzards” (the gross stuff a turkey comes stuffed with). My sister-in-law Jennifer uses rubber gloves when handling her meat – I won’t do it any other way!
- Massage turkey breast with olive oil and place pats of butter on top.
- Season generously with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder.
- Baste and cook according to package instructions.
- When turkey breast is completely cooked, debone and place meat in a warming tray or dish. Fill tray/dish with clear turkey broth.
- Cover with tin foil and refrigerate until Thursday.
- On Thursday put tray/dish of turkey meat and broth in the oven at 200F until warm for up to 2 hours.
What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes?