The holiday season is upon us, and home cooks everywhere are beginning to plan their huge holiday meal spreads. While the main dish, whether turkey, ham, lasagna, or otherwise, always take the spotlight, side dishes are what complete the meal. There are so many tried-and-true staples that show up at the holiday dinner table each year. For those who are looking to add a new spin to a favorite classic, here are four reinvented holiday side dishes to bring to your dinner table this season.
Mashed Lemon Maple Squash
A holiday dinner isn’t complete without some fantastic mashed potatoes, but who says you can’t have an exciting new mixed root veggie dish sitting beside it? When searching for some variety of mashed potatoes, many people go for a sweet potato or yam. Many forget about all the flavor and creaminess that sweet winter squash can bring. Adding lemon peel, lemon juice, and maple syrup makes this dish irresistible.
Mashed potatoes are a loved side dish and are believed to have originated from the Incas in South America. Since being introduced in America, they have been a homemade treasure. Instant mashed potatoes were developed as an ideal way to get vegetables to deployed soldiers during WWII. They were nothing like the fluffy, creamy deliciousness we have today. Over time, companies began looking into the best ways to dehydrate potatoes. Eventually, in 1957 some researchers cracked the case and found the best way to make instant mashed potatoes using a process which used to this day.
Green Bean and Tomato Casserole
Green beans can take many forms when it comes to holiday dinner sides, but none may be as rich and delicious as green bean casserole. While there’s not much that could make this side dish any more delectable, some home cooks swear by adding tomatoes to their meals. The extra kick that a layer of ripe grape tomatoes can bring to this casserole will surely be a hit.
The Campbell’s Soup Company created the traditional green bean casserole as an easy recipe that only needed three ingredients: green beans, fried onions, and cream of mushroom soup. It was first created in a Campbell’s test kitchen in 1955 before going on to become a holiday staple for American families. Campbell’s has stated that they believe about 40% of their Cream of Mushroom soups nationally, is purchased for this classic dish.
Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
Mac and cheese aren’t just for the kids’ table anymore. This baked macaroni and cheese dish incorporates rich butternut squash for added creaminess and flavor in the tried-and-true classic.
Many home cooks would shy away at first glance, wondering how butternut squash could pair nicely with macaroni and cheese. However, the roasted squash’s consistency is a perfect match with the melted cheese and brings baked macaroni to the next level.
Macaroni and cheese in all forms has made its presence known as a favorite holiday side dish for families all across the United States, but the recipe originates in Italy. It was first prepared similarly to a lasagna, using large, flat noodles and layering different cheeses and spices in between. It gradually made its way West and the structure changed into the classic small noodles and cheese sauce we see today.
An interesting twist on the original classic, New Ambrosia is a fresh fruit and vegetable salad that’s a lovely way to bring some sweetness to your holiday spread. Delicious citrus flavors from oranges and grapefruits combine with creamy avocado, spicy jalapenos, and tasty English cucumbers to make a flavorful salad base. The homemade dressing incorporates buttermilk, olive oil, and lime juice along with extra spices and has a sweet kick of coconut to top it all off.
The idea of ambrosia comes from Greek mythology, where the dish was said to be the fruit of the gods. It was rumored to grant the gods their immortality, but if a mortal were to eat it, they would be killed. Ambrosia today is inspired by that forbidden fruit idea and, while every family has a different way of preparing it, ambrosia is always a sweet and delicious treat to have on the holiday dinner table.
No matter what side dishes you’re serving at an upcoming holiday dinner, be sure to get your produce from Grower Alliance. We only distribute the highest quality, freshest fruits and vegetables so you can rest assured that whatever you’re making, it will taste incredible with Grower Alliance produce.