3 Delicious Ina Garten Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Thanksgiving side dish recipes from Ina Garten's kitchen

Quentin Bacon

Ina Garten has hosted multiple cooking shows, penned nearly a dozen cookbooks, and has captivated even those who shy away from the kitchen, so it's only natural that we'd turn to The Barefoot Contessa for guidance before the biggest food-centric holidays of the year, like Thanksgiving.

We're bringing you three delicious Ina Garten side dish recipes straight from her 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 big holiday dinners—and the rest of autumn, too.

Haricots Verts With Hazelnuts and Dill

Haricots Verts With Hazelnuts and Dill
Quentin Bacon

You may associate string beans with one thing you did not want to see on your plate as a child, but this recipe will make you wish you started eating them earlier. For starters, there's so much flavor in this dish thanks to the rich hazelnuts and dill, and secondly, they're really good for you. They make for a truly delicious side that would complement just about any main dish. 

Serves 6


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


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.

Baked Spinach and Zucchini

Baked Spinach & Zucchini
Quentin Bacon

We think of this delicious and super easy dish as a spinach and zucchini gratin. This version takes everything we love from mac and cheese and a spinach dip, which, in our opinion, makes it the perfect side to serve at any Thanksgiving feast. Plus, they're so charming when served in mini iron skillets.

Because the dish is topped with baked cheese, it will harden and lose its creaminess if left out at room temperature for too long. Our advice? After you cook it, leave it in the oven at a low setting to keep it warm.

Serves 6


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


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and 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.

Roasted Beet, Butternut Squash, and Apple Salad

Roasted Beet, Butternut Squash, and Apple Salad
Quentin Bacon

Few flavors indicate the start of holiday season quite like butternut squash and apples do. This salad makes for the perfect pre-feast, nutrient-rich dish that your guests will absolutely love. Each bite is so rich in flavor without feeling overwhelming. Even if you're not a huge fan of salad, we can almost promise that this one can get you to reconsider.

Serves 4 to 6


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 1/2-inch diced
1 lb. crisp red apples, halved, cored, and 1/2-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


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 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.

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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