Round out the Thanksgiving menu with mashed and sweet potatoes galore, comforting classics, and surprisingly cheesy gratins. Perfect mashed potatoes are revered for being silky, starchy, and creamy. Our two-potato method achieves all three textures. You also can't go wrong with stacked, swirled, baked, or gratinéed spuds. Sweet, mashed, roasted, or truffled: We've got just the potato dish your family is craving. For every potato casserole, include a platter of Thanksgiving vegetable sides. Then, you'll have a truly beautiful table.
Thanksgiving Potato Dishes
"It's not Thanksgiving without sweet potatoes."
If your gang feels that way, give them something snazzy, like twice-baked sweets with chipotle—or cheese-crusted wedges. If you serve a white-potato crowd, though, we offer a range, from homespun to downright dressy.
From casseroles to mashes, hashes to gratins, your options for Thanksgiving potato sides are more tasty and lighter than ever. You don't even have to tell your Turkey Day guests that their side of spuds is lighter. Just let them delight in the silky, creamy texture of your prepared meal.
Potato and Parsnip Gratin
The addition of parsnips is an elegant twist to this traditionally all-potato dish. Parboiling and drying the sliced parsnips and potatoes first will keep them from absorbing the sauce in the oven so the gratin stays creamy. Half-and-half is our dairy of choice for this dish—a combination of equal parts cream and whole milk that gives the sauce its body while keeping the saturated fat at just 3g per serving. Toss the vegetables gently with the sauce so the slices don’t fall apart.
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Keep mashed potatoes warm by placing in a heatproof bowl, covering with plastic wrap, and setting over a saucepan of gently simmering water. This will keep them moist and warm without scorching. A ricer finely breaks up the cooked potatoes without activating the potato starches, which could make the consistency gluey. It also allows the butter and liquid, such as milk or buttermilk, to quickly incorporate so the mash is smooth and free of lumps. If you don't have a ricer, use a potato masher, being careful not to overwork the potatoes. Our Butternut-Swirled Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Mashed Potatoes variations require a little extra time but are well worth the effort.
Sweet Potato Stacks with Sage Browned Butter
Holiday sweet potato sides can lean toward too-sweet territory; a dose of salty, nutty Parmesan balances the flavor in these adorable, delicious stacks. Get the kids to help by having them stack the slices and cheese in muffin cups as you follow behind with the browned butter. Use small potatoes so the slices will fit into the muffin cups. Make sure to slice the potatoes on the thin side, about 1⁄4-inch thick, so they’ll cook through (insert a toothpick in the center of each stack to test for doneness). You can also alternate with slices of baking potato or parsnip for pretty white and orange layers.
Mom's Smashed Mashed Potatoes
To keep potatoes warm until the meal is ready, place them, loosely covered, in a heatproof dish or bowl, and set them (without submerging them) in a larger pot of hot water over very low heat. They'll stay warm without scorching on the bottom.
Potato and Leek Gratin
A mandoline will slice the potatoes quickly and to the same thickness, though a sharp knife will also work. Instead of being buried in cream, the potatoes and leeks are simmered in and drizzled with milk so the potatoes get wonderfully crisp and tender and the cheeses form a melty, golden crust. The result is a rich, rustic potato side with contrasting flavors and textures—a bit of crunch to round out the stuffing, sauces, and mashes on the plate. Reheat leftovers in the oven until crisped and warmed through, and then serve with eggs and a side of fruit for breakfast.
Sweet Potato Casserole With Crunchy Oat Topping
This classic casserole often straddles the line between side and dessert (indeed, we've enjoyed the leftovers both ways). We dial down the sugar to steer the dish back to savory territory, and add a crunchy oat and nut topper for texture. A final drizzle of maple syrup just before serving gives the casserole a lovely sheen. While we call for a ricer in our master mashed potatoes, a potato masher is perfectly acceptable here since the spuds will be bound with an egg, topped, and baked. Chopped almonds or walnuts would be a delicious sub for the pecans.
Cheesy Potato Casserole
Rather than using sodium-loaded canned soup, we made our own creamy sauce to update this dish.
Parmesan-Coated Potato Wedges
When addressing the two sides of the potato debate (sweet potatoes, with their lovely autumnal color, versus good old-fashioned white mashed), you could just double down on the love and please everyone by mixing both varieties in the same serving. Crunchy on the outside and creamy within, these sweet and Idaho roasted potato wedges are like amped-up oven fries with the added appeal of Parmesan cheese.
Mashed Potato Casserole
The combination of buttery Yukon gold and fluffy baking potatoes offers richness and a nice contrast both in flavor and texture. We recommend using a food mill to ensure the potatoes are evenly mashed and, just as important, not overworked, so they won't get gluey. If you don't have a food mill, cream the potatoes and cooking liquid with a potato masher.
Truffled Pommes Anna
Cooks doing something more elegant (say, with the turkey roulade) can put out white truffle-scented pommes Anna and sit back for the oohs and aahs. A small amount of truffle oil infuses the whole dish with loads of earthy essence. If you don't have truffle oil, you can use olive oil for a more subtle flavor.
Twice-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle
Twice-baked sweet potatoes get mixed with a spicy-smoky chipotle butter that balances the sugar. Look for similar-sized sweet potatoes so they'll cook at an even rate. To make ahead, stuff the potato halves, cover, and refrigerate up to one day. Set out at room temperature as the oven preheats to take the chill off.
Roasted Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes
These potatoes are perfect for a holiday meal: quick and convenient, but still plenty dressy. They cook in about the same time it takes for a large roast to rest before carving. Bake the potatoes in their jackets so the outsides get nice and browned while the buttery interiors gently cook through.