Light, modern takes on two classic Thanksgiving sides

By Kara Furr

While green bean casserole and yams with marshmallows certainly have their place on the traditional Thanksgiving table, it’s fun to try something new from time to time. This year, serve your guests healthier, up-to-date versions of these two classic side dishes.

As a bonus, these simple dishes both roast in the oven, so they’re easy to throw in together at the last minute while your turkey rests.



Roasted green beans with spiced breadcrumbs

(Adapted from

Serves 4


1 lb. green beans, trimmed

4 T olive oil, divided

1 cup panko

Scant 1/2 t paprika

Pinch cayenne pepper

Coarse salt and ground pepper


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss together green beans, 2 T olive oil and salt and pepper to taste on a large baking sheet and spread out. Make sure your baking sheet is large enough that the beans have space around them. Roast 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. When the beans have 10 minutes left, toss together panko, 2 T olive oil, paprika, cayenne and salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Spoon breadcrumbs over roasted green beans and serve.



Maple-glazed acorn squash

(Adapted from

Serves 4


1 acorn squash, seeded and sliced into half-moons half an inch thick

2 T olive oil

1½ T brown sugar (light or dark)

¼ cup maple syrup, warmed

Salt and pepper to taste*

*If you’re a fan of sweet and spicy, add a pinch of cayenne to this mix.


1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Toss together squash, oil and salt and pepper on a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread out.

3. Sprinkle tops of squash evenly with brown sugar.

4. Roast for 35–40 minutes, flipping halfway through.

5. Ten minutes before the roasting time is up, brush a small amount of maple syrup over each piece of squash and finish roasting.

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