It’s one of my favorite things to be thankful for. I don’t have to cook Thanksgiving dinner. Vince and I are blessed to be invited to a gathering of friends every year. All we have to do is show up with a side dish. In true southern fashion, the turkeys are deep-fried and everyone takes copious amounts of vegetables, salads, side dishes and desserts. In keeping with the spirit of not being responsible for the main course, I’m sharing some delicious Thanksgiving side dish recipes. Some of the vegetables featured are still available at our local farmers’ market. Please try to buy local produce whenever you can. For more great recipes, be sure to check out the Holiday Gift Guide that is featured in this issue of Lowcountry Weekly. Happy Thanksgiving!

Squash and Tomato Casserole

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

3 to 4 yellow squash, sliced ¼-inch thick

¾ cup diced red onion

1 (10-ounce) package grape tomatoes, halved

1 cup cooked and crumbled bacon

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cheddar cheese and Monterey jack cheese together in a bowl. Lightly grease a square baking dish with cooking spray. (You’ll be making two layers, so be sure to divide the squash, onion, tomatoes, bacon and cheese for each layer.) Spread half of squash in prepared pan, scatter with half of the onion and half of the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper. Top with ½ cup of crumbled bacon and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Repeat with another layer of the remaining squash, onion, tomatoes, salt and pepper, bacon and cheese. Sprinkle top with 1 cup panko breadcrumbs. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake, uncovered, for 60 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Serves 8.

Creamed Cauliflower and Spinach

1 head cauliflower

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2/3 cup heavy cream

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish with cooking spray. Cut cauliflower into florets. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower florets and cook until tender. Drain well. Place cooked florets in a food processor. Add butter, mustard, cream and ½ cup parmesan cheese. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chopped spinach. Pour mixture into prepared pan and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 15 or 20 minutes or until heated through. Serves 4 to 6.

Sweet Potatoes with Maple Pecan Drizzle

4 small sweet potatoes

4 tablespoons butter, melted


½ cup maple syrup

½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut sweet potatoes into ½-inch slices. Spread them out on a large baking sheet. Drizzle the potatoes with melted butter. Sprinkle them with salt. Toss well to coat and then spread them out on the pan again in a single layer, making sure that they are not touching each other. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn slices over with tongs and continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes. In the meantime, bring maple syrup to a boil in a small sauce pot. Add the pecans and bring back to a boil. Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat. Pour the sauce over the hot sweet potatoes and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

The writer owns Catering by Debbi Covington and is the author of three cookbooks, Celebrate Beaufort, Celebrate Everything! and Dining Under the Carolina Moon. For more great recipes and to view her cooking demonstrations, visit and subscribe to Debbi’s YouTube channel. Debbi’s website address is She may be reached at 843-525-0350 or by email at