Turkey may be the star of the Thanksgiving meal, but exciting sweet and savory side dishes are the supporting actors that light up the dining table. You can be confident that despite the typical kitchen chaos and messy aprons, your Solstice™ kitchen by Shea Homes® is ready to handle all the dishes and prep. This Thanksgiving, try out these four variations on classic side dishes to surprise and wow your guests. 
 
Roasted carrots
Many of us may have experienced the unfortunate way carrots were once treated for holiday meals: boiled until mushy, then over-sweetened with maple syrup. Not anymore — roasting carrots accentuates their natural sweetness and keeps their visual integrity for tabletop appeal. A bunch of thinner rainbow carrots makes a stunning side dish when fanned on a plate, garnished with crunchy nuts, salty cheese, or a sweet-savory glaze. Simply toss carrots with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast in a 450-degree oven until cooked through. This recipe kicks the complexity up a notch by blanketing carrots with an herb creme fraiche sauce on a bed of farro and chickpeas, while this recipe keeps it simple with a traditional maple glaze and a tiny pinch of red pepper flakes for a kick. 

Roasted Rainbow Carrots Getty Images

A new take on green beans
Green beans most often appear in Thanksgiving menus in casserole form. We’re not ones to slander a classic, but beans’ flavor and texture often gets lost under all those crispy fried onions. Let their texture shine in a dish inspired by the French dish green beans almondine (or, amandine in France). In this iconic dish, green beans are sauteed in a hot pan, coated in a buttery, garlicky oil, then topped with toasted sliced almonds. To make green beans almondine, toast sliced almonds in a skillet until golden brown. Then, add oil to the skillet on medium heat and cook green beans for about six to nine minutes, until bright green and beginning to char. Add garlic and cook together until fragrant, then plate and sprinkle with almonds to serve. 

Green Bean Almondine Side Dish Getty Images

Cranberry… in a pie?
Tangy cranberry sauce is a familiar accompaniment to most Thanksgiving meals, but less familiar is cranberries blanketed inside flaky pie crust to accompany your pumpkin pie. Cranberry-apple pie marries tart cranberries, sweet apples, and warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg all inside homemade or frozen pie dough. To achieve a cute patterned pie top, use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes from a sheet of pie dough, then layer those shapes along the pie’s circumference for additional crust sturdiness. 

Cranberry Apple Pie Getty Images

All about the stuffing
Stuffing is perhaps the most classic Thanksgiving side, in all its carbohydrate glory. The best stuffings are a combination of textures: crunchy bread outside, soft and buttery on the inside. A classic preparation, with celery and fresh herbs like rosemary and sage, is most traditional — but there is endless room for variation. This recipe takes stuffing in an Italian direction, with ciabatta for the bread and pancetta for a savory salty kick. The best part? You can throw stuffing into a waffle maker for a Thanksgiving leftover waffle for weeks after the big day! 

Thanksgiving Stuffing Getty Images

No matter which side dishes grace your Thanksgiving table, what’s most important is sharing a delicious meal with friends and family in the comfort of your lovely Solstice™ home. So, unbuckle that belt and bring out the place settings — the holidays are officially here.

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