Side Dishes and Salads for Entertaining
Field Pea and Pasta Salad
Recipe: Field Pea and Pasta Salad
Farfalle and fresh veggies make a delicious summer side. Mix the dressing up to three days in advance; then toss when ready to serve. We like using mini farfalle in this recipe so that all of the ingredients are about the same size, but swap in any pasta shape you like.
Green Bean Potato Salad with Lemon-Soy Vinaigrette
Potato salad gets a fresh and crunchy twist with bright flavors and lots of yummy texture. Make the Lemon-Soy Vinaigrette ahead of time for an easier assembly.
Spinach-and-Romaine Salad with Cucumbers, Radishes, and Creamy Mint Dressing
This cool and creamy salad is the perfect side for any spring or summer meal. Dress it up for Easter brunch, but keep the recipe on file for a quick summertime side to bring to a last-minute cookout.
Recipe: Lemon-Herb Potatoes
Assorted herbs, lemon juice, and garlic is all you'll need to make this zippy side dish. It's great served warm, chilled, or at room temperature.
Spinach-Apple Salad With Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
This deluxe version of spinach salad features a tangy sweet maple syrup vinaigrette, sliced apple, onion and and goat cheese and is topped with sweet curried pecans.
Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes
Recipe: Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes
Everyone loves the simplicity of mashed potatoes, so make it a tradition to always have some on your Thanksgiving table. Crafting delicious mashed mashed potatoes is not easy, but this recipe shows you how it’s done. It also brings the rich flavor of browned butter—those nutty taste you simply can’t get any other way—into the bowl. You’ll love the rich buttermilk, which adds fluff and creaminess to the mashed Yukon gold potatoes. Once you’ve whipped your potatoes to the perfect texture, you can garnish them with parsley, rosemary, or thyme. Once you sample the flavor of these potatoes, you’ll want them on the table every night of the week.
Recipe: Carrot Orzo
Though made with orzo rather than rice, this colorful dish is similar to risotto.
Green Beans With Mushrooms and Bacon
We loved the dash of dried crushed red pepper—it made the flavor lively, not hot.
Hurry-Up Homemade Crescent Rolls
Recipe: Hurry-Up Homemade Crescent RollsThis from-scratch recipe is suited for any level of cook—even first timers. Tip: Brush unbaked rolls with lightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and fennel seeds. Or, brush unbaked rolls with melted butter; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, kosher salt, coarsely ground pepper, and dried Italian seasoning.
Simple Beet Salad
Recipe: Simple Beet Salad
Fresh herbs and chopped walnuts dress up Simple Beet Salad. For a twist, add crumbled goat cheese.
Mushroom, Apple, and Goat Cheese Salad
Potato Cobb Salad
Recipe: Potato Cobb Salad
Instead of being tossed together in a bowl, the colorful ingredients for Potato Cobb Salad are arranged on a plate. To save time, the potatoes can be cooked overnight so they are ready to assemble just before serving.
Green Bean-and-Red Bell Pepper Toss
Combine French green beans and red bell pepper strips with shallots and garlic for a delicious side dish that's far from boring.
Golden Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe: Golden Macaroni and Cheese
This homemade baked macaroni and cheese recipe beats the boxed kind any day of the week. For a divine main dish, stir in chopped cooked ham before baking, and then sprinkle top with chopped cooked bacon before serving.
Sweet Onion 'n' Fruit Salad
Recipe: Sweet Onion 'n' Fruit Salad
In Sweet Onion 'n' Fruit Salad, tangy mango and papaya offer the perfect complement to caramelized onions for a flavorful side salad.
Crowder Pea Succotash
Recipe: Crowder Pea Succotash
Move over, butter beans. Crowder Pea Succotash, jazzed up with fresh thyme and red bell pepper, is set to become a new classic Southern side.
Recipe: Tomato Gravy
Recipe: Parmesan Grits
Feature grits the next time you entertain. Offer both plain and cheese, and keep them hot in slow cookers or chafing dishes. Choose quick-cooking, regular, or white or yellow stone-ground grits. (We don't recommend instant here.)
Serve several toppings, such as Tomato Gravy featured in the photo, so guests can mix in their favorite flavors. Here's some great ideas:
- Gravies and pestos
- Shredded cheeses
- Roasted vegetables
- Crumbled bacon
- Grilled corn kernels
Kentucky Bluegrass Salad
Recipe: Kentucky Bluegrass Salad
A scattering of dried cranberries teams up with fresh pears and asparagus for an impressively easy salad.
Easy Three-Seed Pan Rolls
Recipe: Easy Three-Seed Pan Rolls
These rolls start with frozen bread dough but taste as if they're made from scratch--perfect for no-fuss entertaining. You'll get a spectacular look and big flavor while saving time.
Recipe: Baked Onions
Sweet, caramelized pearl onions make an elegant side dish. This version is flavored with butter, white wine, and brown sugar and then baked for less than an hour.
Thai Noodle Salad
Recipe: Thai Noodle Salad
Add some Asian flair to your menu with the sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavors that make up Thai Noodle Salad.
Recipe: Melon-and-Mozzarella Salad
This rainbow of summer fruit makes for an elegant presentation and a refreshing side for a luncheon, brunch, or dinner.
Marian's Apple-Fennel Salad
Recipes: Marian's Apple-Fennel Salad
Raw fennel is crisp and tasty, a perfect complement to apples and arugula. Test kitchen professional Marian Cooper Cairns recommends using a handheld mandoline for ultrathin apple slices.