Cooking with Aicha: Easy & Affordable Thanksgiving Side Dishes


Easy & Affordable Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year! It combines all of my favorite things: family, food, and festivities. As a self-proclaimed “Hostess with the Mostess,” Thanksgiving is my time to shine! I prepare the whole year with different recipes so that I can wow my guests with good eats and then go into hibernation lol. Because, while I love the fun and I do enjoy the time spent in the kitchen, Thanksgiving can require a lot of time spent in the kitchen. So I’ve had to get creative over the past few years in order to allow myself to be a part of the fun too! The trick is to make quick, easy and affordable side dishes that compliment your main course but shine all on their own.

I’ve tried many recipes but the three below are some of my absolute favorites and they’ve been a hit at our Thanksgiving table every time they make an appearance! I’m excited to share a video to go along with the recipes so grab the recipes from this post and then follow along with me in the video!

Let me know your thoughts on the recipes, especially if you try them out, and please share some of your favorite Thanksgiving side dish recipes!

Side Dish #1: Parmesan Garlic Green Beans

These green beans will make even the pickiest eater clean their plate! I had a girlfriend who shared that has never really liked green beans, no matter how they’re prepared. Once I made these parmesan garlic green beans, even she ended up approving so trust me when I say, they’re worth a shot this Thanksgiving! I love that the process for prep and cooking is straightforward and mostly hands-off. As soon as you snap and season your beans, you’re just throwing them in the oven. This allows you to focus your attention on other dishes.


  • Green Beans
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Lemon Zest


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Farenheit
  2. Snap the ends off of your green beans
  3. In a large bowl, season your green beans with all of the spices
  4. Chop the fresh garlic and add it to your bowl
  5. Drizzle enough olive oil so that your green beans are evenly coated
  6. Grab an oven-safe pan and throw your green beans on
  7. Put your pan in the oven for 20-25 minutes
  8. Once your green beans are fresh out of the oven, add your lemon zest
  9. Finally, sprinkle the grated parmesan onto your green beans like crazy!
  10. Transfer your beautiful Parmesan Green Beans to your serving plate or bowl and enjoy!

Side Dish #2: Sweet Corn Pudding

Thanksgiving Sides


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2-3 cans whole kernel corn
  • 2 cans sweet corn kernels
  • Pink of salt and pepper
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp fine corn meal
  • ½ cup sugar


  1. Open the cans and drain your corn kernels in a strainer
  2. In a saucepan, bring your half-and-half to a very low boil just to warm it
  3. On a separate pan, add your stick of butter to warm
  4. Add your whole corn kernels to the butter and sauté for a few minutes
  5. Add your salt and pepper
  6. Add your warm half-and-half to the corn mixture (save just a little bit of the cream)
  7. Mix in the sweet corn kernels
  8. Add corn meal to thicken and whisk consistently to avoid lumps
  9. Mix in your sugar to sweeten and taste
  10. And Done! You can throw it in the oven for an extra crust on top.

Side Dish #3: Creamed Spinach

Thanksgiving Sides


  • Baby Spinach
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • 1/2 Medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. Milk
  • 1/4 c. Half-and-Half
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • Salt 
  • Garlic powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 c. freshly shredded Parmesan


  1. Bring a pot of salt water to boil and cook your spinach for just 1 minute
  2. Drain the spinach immediately in a strainer in your sink and let the water seep out
  3. Let the spinach sit and cool while you prepare your sauce
  4. Warm a pan on the stove and add your butter
  5. Combine your finely chopped onion and shallot and cook them down until soft
  6. Add your minced garlic and allow that to cook for a minute as well
  7. Once your veggies are soft, add your milk, half-and-half, and cream cheese to the pan and allow your sauce to thicken
  8. in the meantime, season with your salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper
  9. Mix in the spinach, careful not to crush it
  10. Add both your shredded and grated parmesan, adding more or less depending on how creamy you want your spinach
  11. Taste for seasoning and add seasoning as needed
  12. And Voila!

Cooking with Aicha!

Check out the video on Youtube and cook along with me!