3 Delicious Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes From Ina Garten's Kitchen

Updated 12/11/19
Quentin Bacon

If there's one thing that we're 100% sure of, it's that Ina Garten requires no introduction. The Barefoot Contessa has hosted multiple cooking shows, penned 11 cookbooks (her latest, Cook Like a Pro, hits bookshelves today), and has captivated even those who shy away from the kitchen with her compelling television presence and mouthwatering recipes. So, it's only natural that we'd turn to the beloved cooking icon for guidance before the biggest food holiday of the year.

Ahead, the best-selling author shares three delicious Thanksgiving side dish recipes straight from her new cookbook, Cook Like a Pro, including a roasted beet, butternut squash, and apple salad that will have people coming back for thirds. Trust us, you're going to want to bookmark these recipes for the big day—and the rest of autumn too. Here are the Ina Garten-approved recipes that deserve a spot in your Thanksgiving spread this year.

Haricots Verts With Hazelnuts and Dill

Haricots Verts With Hazelnuts and Dill
Quentin Bacon

The late French chef Joël Robuchon was known to say he limits his dishes to no more than three dominant flavors so you appreciate the intrinsic flavors of a dish. Of course, I'm sure he didn't mean that literally because some subtle flavorings simply make other ingredients taste better, but I like his philosophy. Here, I flavor French string beans with toasted hazelnuts and fresh dill, and I think they all work really well together. Serves 6.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole hazelnuts (see tip)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. French string beans (haricots verts), stem ends removed
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
Good olive oil
1/4 cup minced fresh dill

1/2 cup whole hazelnuts (see tip)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. French string beans (haricots verts), stem ends removed
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
Good olive oil
1/4 cup minced fresh dill

Directions:

Place the hazelnuts in a large (12-inch) sauté pan set over medium heat. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, rolling them around occasionally until they are heated through. Transfer the nuts to a clean kitchen towel, fold the towel over, and roll them around until some of the skins fall off. (Don't worry if they don't all fall off.) Roughly chop the hazelnuts and set aside. Wipe out the pan with a kitchen towel.

Meanwhile, fill a large pot with 4 quarts water, add 1 tablespoon salt, and bring to a boil. Plunge the string beans into the water and cook for 5 minutes, until just tender. Drain immediately, plunge into a large bowl of ice water, and set aside.

When ready to serve, heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in the large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the string beans, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook for 3 minutes, stirring with tongs, until heated through. Off the heat, stir in the dill and hazelnuts and taste for seasonings. Serve hot.

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Baked Spinach & Zucchini

Baked Spinach & Zucchini
Quentin Bacon

No one taught me more about cooking than my late dear friend Anna Pump, who wrote many wonderful cookbooks. I think of her often but always when I'm making a dish inspired by her, such as this easy spinach and zucchini gratin. Serves 6.

Ingredients:

4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, divided
Good olive oil
6 scallions, white and green parts, sliced 1/4 inch across
1 lb. small zucchini, sliced in 1/4-inch-thick rounds (4 zucchini)
1 tbsp. minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 (10-oz) packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1 cup cooked basmati rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, plus extra
2 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated

4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, divided
Good olive oil
6 scallions, white and green parts, sliced 1/4 inch across
1 lb. small zucchini, sliced in 1/4-inch-thick rounds (4 zucchini)
1 tbsp. minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 (10-oz) packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1 cup cooked basmati rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, plus extra
2 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 × 14 × 2-inch oval baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and zucchini and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Lightly press most of the water out of the spinach and add it to the pan. Add the rice, basil, parsley, nutmeg, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and toss well. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter, and the 1/4 cup Parmesan. Pour the mixture over the spinach and zucchini and smooth the top. Sprinkle with some extra Parmesan and the Gruyère. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

It looks very professional to bake this in individual cast-iron pans.

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Roasted Beet, Butternut Squash, and Apple Salad

Roasted Beet, Butternut Squash, and Apple Salad
Quentin Bacon

A warm salad with apples, roasted beets, and squash is the perfect autumn lunch. It's both sweet and savory and I love the way the balsamic vinaigrette, with its hints of orange, honey, and Dijon mustard, works with the vegetables. Serves 4 to 6.

Ingredients:

1 lb. red beets, tops removed, peeled and 1/2-inch diced
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled and ½-inch diced
1 lb. crisp red apples, halved, cored, and ½-inch sliced
1 large shallot, halved and sliced
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp. liquid honey
1 1/2 tbsp. good Dijon mustard
3 oz. baby arugula (6 cups)
1/4 cup roasted, salted Marcona almonds

1 lb. red beets, tops removed, peeled and 1/2-inch diced
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled and ½-inch diced
1 lb. crisp red apples, halved, cored, and ½-inch sliced
1 large shallot, halved and sliced
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp. liquid honey
1 1/2 tbsp. good Dijon mustard
3 oz. baby arugula (6 cups)
1/4 cup roasted, salted Marcona almonds

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Arrange two oven racks evenly spaced.

Place the beets on a sheet pan, toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and spread out in one layer. On a second sheet pan, toss the butternut squash and apples with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and spread out in one layer. Roast both pans of vegetables for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing occasionally until everything is tender and lightly browned.

Meanwhile, for the vinaigrette, heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Over low heat, whisk in the balsamic vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, honey, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Keep warm.

Place the roasted vegetables and fruit in a large bowl. Add the arugula and vinaigrette and toss well. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve warm.

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Reprinted from Cook Like a Pro: Recipes & Tips for Home Cooks. Copyright © 2018 by Ina Garten. Photographs by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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