Smoky Autumn Side Dishes

Submitted by Megan
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Since we’ve all been beginning to do some heavy thinking on what to prepare for Thanksgiving in our own homes or on what we can bring to another household’s festive meal, we thought we would let you in on some of our favorite side dishes for fall and Thanksgiving.

The first thing that comes to mind besides the turkey is, of course, stuffing.  An old favorite around here is frying up several slices of our applewood smoked bacon (dice the slices before you fry them up) and then simply mix the diced bacon pieces, along with any deliciously smoky bacon grease that might still be in the pan, right into your stuffing before you bake it or stuff it into the turkey.  If you’re a person who likes to ad the turkey’s gizzards and heart to your stuffing for extra flavor and texture, try tossing them into the pan with some diced, sizzling bacon before adding them to your stuffing.

As a lighter part of the meal, an arugula salad with butternut squash and applewood smoked turkey is a great bitter-and-sweet starter.  Another veggie-centric side favored by Midwesterners is cabbage braised with bacon.  This dish is perfect in any fall or winter month and you might hear us bring it up again in the future.  The ingredients are all very easy to find and you probably already have many of them in your kitchen.

There are quite a few soups in the Nueske’s recipe file that are well-suited to the autumn table as well.  Our favorite is a butternut squash soup with bacon but if you take a moment to check out the “Soups” category of our online recipe section, you’ll find other soups that will go well on any Thanksgiving table, including another butternut squash soup variation, this one with roasted apples and applewood smoked ham.

If you want to know what our easiest – and also one of our best-loved – recipes is, we’ll tell you: just prepare your family’s favorite mashed potatoes; garlicky smashed baby reds, classic buttermilk mashed, whatever is your forte.  Then simply fry up some diced Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon and sprinkle those lovely browned bits of bacon on top of your dish of mashed potatoes right before serving… it’s guaranteed to be well-received all the way around the table.