Looking for some last minute ideas for your Thanksgiving feast? We asked our Chicago Lifers to share their favorite easy Thanksgiving recipes. Feel free to try these out and let us know what you think.
1. LOADED CHEESY MASHED POTATO BALLS
Contributed by John Costa
- 4 cups leftover/cold mashed potatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 3/4 cup chopped, cooked bacon
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 eggs
- block of cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- oil for frying
- In a large mixing bowl combine cold mashed potatoes, green onion, bacon, garlic powder, black pepper, and one egg. Mix well.
- With lightly floured hands, pick up a tablespoon-sized ball of potato mixture and flatten into a small pancake. Place cube of cheese in the center and wrap the potato mixture around the cheese. Repeat until all mixture is used up.
- In three separate bowls, add flour, bread crumbs, and remaining egg (whisked). Coat the potato ball in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. Coat once more with egg and once more with bread crumbs. Set aside – store in fridge while you wait to fry.
- In a medium pan heat oil over medium/high heat (to approximately 350˚F). Fry the potatoes in batches until browned on all sides. Transfer fried potato balls to paper towels to drain excess oil. Sprinkle with salt. Once all potatoes are fried – transfer to a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven for five minutes at 400˚F. Enjoy!
2. STUFFED MUSHROOMS
Contributed by Dana Brandle
- 20 fresh mushrooms
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp onion, finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp red peppers, finely chopped
- 14 Ritz crackers, finely crushed
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- Remove stems from mushrooms. Finely chop enough stems to measure 1/4 cup. Discard remaining stems or refrigerate for another use.
- Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add chopped stems, onions, and peppers. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in cracker crumbs, cheese, and seasoning. Spoon mixture into mushroom caps. Place on baking sheet.
- Bake 15 minutes or until heated through.
3. BROCCOLI CASSEROLE
Contribute by Lauren Hornor
- 1.5 lbs broccoli florets
- 1 can cream of celery soup
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup Bisquick
- 1/4 cup firm butter
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a large pan heat 1 inch of water until boiling. Add broccoli and cook 10-12 minutes. Drain and place in ungreased 1.5 quart casserole dish.
- In a bowl mix soup with milk until smooth. Pour over broccoli. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Mix Bisquick and butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Sprinkle over cheese.
- Bake until crumbs are light brown, about 20 minutes.
4. SWEET POTATOES IN ORANGE CUPS
Contributed by Jennifer Schelberger
- 2 lbs sweet potatoes (you want to use potatoes that are really orange, also known as yams)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup evaporated skimmed milk (you can substitute with regular milk)
- 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
- 3 navel oranges
- mini marshmallows
- chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Poke the yams several times with a fork or knife to pierce the skin.
- Place on foil or a sheet tray in the oven and bake for 1 hour.
- Let yams cool for several minutes, cut in half and scoop out the fluffy insides.
- Mash the yams with butter, maple syrup, evaporated milk, and salt until creamy and fluffy.
- Cut the oranges in half and slice a very thin disk from the bottom so they rest flat.
- With a pairing knife cut around the inside rim of the orange removing the orange sections and pulp. Place any of the orange juice and pulp in a bowl and discard the white membranes and seeds. Save the juice and pulp for cranberry sauce recipe or just enjoy as a snack.
- Fill each orange cup with 1/4 cup of puree and top with several mini marshmallows (you can cover and refrigerate these overnight).
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place on a sheet tray and bake for 20-25 minutes.
BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE AWESOMENESS
Contributed by Lee King
- 16 oz package frozen blueberries
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1.5 cup packed (like, slam the sugar tight in the cup) brown sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1.5 cup quick oats
- 1.5 sticks butter, room temperature (soft, but not melted)
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a big bowl combine sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, and salt. Add the soft butter to the mixture and combine with a fork or your hands to make a “crumble.”
- Put the frozen blueberries in a baking dish large enough to hold everything. Sprinkle blueberries with the lemon juice.
- Top with crumble mix and bake at 350°F for half an hour then keep checking for crumble to be brown and blueberries to be warm and not frozen anymore – it might take a little while longer. Just keep checking until you think it’s “done.”
- Eat with some vanilla ice cream!