Five Great Sides That Will Keep Your Turkey Company

Cooked and carved the turkey till you’re all tuckered out? Maybe you’re visiting family and friends and need a delicious side dish, pronto. Not to worry. Save time and your sanity by picking up a scrumptious, already-prepared side item from a local caterer or grocery store.

Whether you’re craving savory or sweet, hot or cold, light or heavy, here’s a list of mouthwatering dishes that are sure to be gobbled right up:

Pumpkin Bread

Decadently moist and delicately sweet, this bread is one of our favorites. The rich and flavorful pumpkin is perfectly complemented by the spicy notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. And it’s dual-purpose as an ideal side or dessert!

Catering to You, 8121 Cantrell Road, 614-9030

• $10.50 per loaf, serves 5-6

• Orders for Thanksgiving must be placed by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, and picked up by 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 24.

Also try the apricot pecan rice, a slightly creamy blend of mixed rice, apricots and pecans, or the carrot soufflé. We also hear Brenda’s rolls and Billie’s side salad are the best around.

Broccoli Salad

One of our office samplers described this concoction of broccoli florets, dried cherries, pecans and cheddar cheese tossed in a caramelized onion vinaigrette as “the best thing she’s ever tasted.” It’s simple and fresh—the perfect mix of sweet, savory and tart.

Palette Catering, 600 N. Tyler (in Hillcrest), 666-1885.,

• Individual size: $2.50, half pint: $4 (serves 2-3), pint: $7 (serves 4-5) and quart: $13 (serves 6-8)

• Palette’s holiday hours begin on Nov. 1 and will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. Chef and owner Jeremy Pittman recommends placing your Thanksgiving order as far in advance as possible.

The fresh snap peas and carrots, seasoned with salt and pepper and dressed lightly with oil, are also an excellent green and light choice. If you need a starch, try the mixed grain salad, a blend of quinoa, barley and other grains seasoned to perfection. Have a side dish special request? Ask Jeremy about it; we bet he’ll whip it right up!

Southern Corn Pudding

This year marks Diane’s 36th year serving Thanksgiving dinners in the area, so it’s safe to say she knows what locals love. Her Thanksgiving menu consists of old-fashioned staples like Southern corn pudding, made with fresh corn, eggs, cream and real butter. If you’re craving Thanksgiving just like Grandma used to make, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Diane’s Gourmet, 11121 N. Rodney Parham, 224-2639.

• Dishes are sold by the serving, with a minimum of six servings. Call for details.

• Orders must be made by Nov. 20, the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Try the cornbread dressing made with homemade broth and scratch-made cornbread, the orange pecan sweet potatoes, the green beans almondine or the homemade buttery rolls. For the sweet tooth, Diane’s also makes pumpkin, pecan and apple pies.

Baked Hubbard Squash

Chef Tommy McCoy at the new Kroger Marketplace on Chenal Parkway devised a recipe for the Hubbard Squash, one of the most hardy winter varieties. Large and round, the Hubbard Squash has a greenish blue to grayish blue exterior and yellow flesh. McCoy says it’s delicious when baked in the oven with butter and brown sugar.

•  Kroger Marketplace, 16105 Chenal Pkwy., 821-6834.

• Sold whole and in smaller portions. Call for details.

• From now till Thanksgiving. Call for details.

According to McCoy, Kroger Marketplace also prepares traditional Southern- and Northern-style dressing, as well as entire Thanksgiving meals featuring turkey and two or three sides.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

According to Christina Latendresse, the prepared-foods team leader at Whole Foods, the roasted Brussels sprouts are the store’s most popular Thanksgiving-time side item. Whole Foods takes the freshest, highest quality Brussels sprouts, seasons them with salt, pepper and olive oil and then roasts them. Magnifique.

Whole Foods Market, 10700 N. Rodney Parham, 221-2331,

•  Although they don’t have an official date yet, Latendresse says the cutoff for orders will likely be 72 hours before Thanksgiving.

Other popular side options include orange mashed cranberry yams and butternut squash with spinach and cranberries. Whole Foods also offers two new Diestel smoked turkey dinners this year—one served with macaroni and cheese, pecan cornbread stuffing, creamy potatoes with turkey gravy, creamed spinach and dinner rolls, and one New Orleans-style smoked turkey dinner served with dirty rice, red beans, two quarts of gumbo, seafood-stuffed mirleton squash, collard greens and cornbread. The dinners are $109.99 and $119.99, respectively, and they each serve 6-8 people. Whole Foods has plain, pre-roasted turkeys, as well as vegan and vegetarian main course options.

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