Side Dish FAQs

Look for answers to your burning side dish questions in our Q&A with the Pillsbury kitchen staff.

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I love non-traditionally seasoned turkey (southwest, Mexican, etc.) but don’t want that flavor in my stuffing/dressing – any suggestions?

Make the stuffing in a separate baking dish and season the dressing as you desire. Or use a slow cooker to cook and bake your stuffing separate from the bird. Some ideas:

Bacon-Cornbread Stuffing

Sausage and Cranberry Baked Stuffing

Apple Walnut Stuffing


My gravy is either too thick or too thin—what can I do to fix it?

Too thick: Add chicken broth instead of water, a little bit at a time, whisking until smooth.

Too thin: In a small bowl add flour or cornstarch to some extra chicken broth. Whisk into gravy and let it cook.


Looking for the perfect gravy recipe? Classic Pan Gravy


What's a good side dish to bring to a Thanksgiving dinner?

First ask the person that is holding the dinner what will they be cooking and plan around it. Here are some tasty options.

Oven-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Three-Potato Gratin

Roasted Balsamic New Potatoes


Gravy Solution: If the drippings are too salty, reduce the amount of turkey drippings added to your gravy, or simply make it with reduced-sodium broth. Give these easy turkey gravy recipes a try:

Classic Pan Gravy

No-Drippings Gravy


It’s a 6 hour drive to my in-laws’ house. What dishes can I make that will survive the long car ride?

Here are several options, from main dishes to delicious desserts:

Ultimate Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Slow Cooker Chive-and-Onion Creamed Corn

Perfect Apple Pie

Apple Crostada with Caramel Topping


I want to mash a large quantity of potatoes ahead of time. Can you tell me how?

Some recipes to get you started:

Ultimate Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Skin-On Mashed Potatoes

Golden Mashed Potatoes

Leek and Garlic Mashed Potatoes


I am going to fix 4 boxes of scalloped potatoes as one of my holiday sides; can I prepare ahead and refrigerate and bake later or do I have to bake them right away?

You can prepare the scalloped potatoes up to 8 hours ahead. Just cover and refrigerate then bake as directed on package.


I have the mashed potatoes and I want to add some sour cream into the recipe. Should I cut down on one of the other ingredients to allow for the added sour cream?

Yum! Sour cream will give the potatoes a creamier texture. Just replace some of the milk and butter with the sour cream… Best Mashed Potatoes


How can I use my slow cooker to ease the burden of not having enough oven space?

You can make your potatoes and keep them warm on low in a slow cooker for several hours – be sure to stir them occasionally and add a tablespoon or two of milk as needed to keep them moist.


I use the Green Giant Asparagus Spears over the holidays as a side dish, microwaving them and adding a sprinkle of cheese. How would I do this as a make-ahead dish?

Drain, pat dry with a paper towel then cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight – sprinkle with cheese and heat in microwave as you normally would.


I want to make a sweet potato pie from a sweet potato box mix, which contains two pouches. Do I need to use both of them?

Yes. Make both pouches as directed on the box then use 1 ¾ cup of the prepared sweet potatoes to replace 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree in your standard sweet potato pie recipe. The remaining sweet potatoes from the pouches can be served as a side or set aside for another use.


When making green bean casserole, can frozen beans be used, and should they be thawed before using? 

Frozen is the perfect alternative to canned green beans! It’s best to thaw frozen vegetables before using them so that the casserole bakes more evenly.


I’m on a tight budget this year—what can I serve that will be filling enough for a party of 8 people, but won’t break the bank?

Easy Green Bean Casserole

Mushroom-Potato Bake