Start New Traditions Using Jake Cohen’s Thanksgiving Side Recipes

He helps us embrace some subtle twists on the classics.

Thanksgiving can be tricky business. There’s a lot of pressure to embrace tradition, coupled with a ton of tricky kitchen prep. Though if you’re struggling to find joy in your old mashed potato, stuffing, and vegetable medley recipes, not all hope is lost. We have some delicious advice for those of you who want to shake things up without totally deviating from tradition — all thanks to Jake Cohen.

If you’re like us, you’re glued to Cohen’s Instagram (for the uninitiated, he posts charming and approachable videos of himself preparing incredible-looking meals). Even if you’re social media adverse, you likely recognize his name for his frequent appearances right here: He previously helped Katie bake challah, taught us to make a killer tabbouleh salad, and reminded us that zucchini definitely belongs in baked goods. So of course we feel comfortable looking to him for much-needed Thanksgiving inspiration.

Below, you’ll find a subtle (and appropriately butter-heavy) twist on mashed potatoes, a moist and soft stuffing (spoiler alert: Challah will be at play), and a vegetable dish that manages to be a little acidic, a little sweet, and a little crunchy. Whether you add these dishes to your table on the big day or treat yourself to a decadent side as a pick-me-up on a random weeknight, we know you’ll enjoy these scrumptious recipes.

Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

Serves 8 to 10
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

3 pounds russet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
3 sprigs rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper

Put the potatoes in a large pot and add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Season the water with 2 heavy pinches of salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then cook the potatoes until tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring continuously, until browned and nutty in aroma, 6 to 8 minutes. Slowly stir in the cream and rosemary, then reduce the heat to medium and bring to a light simmer. Cook until fragrant and infused, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the rosemary and discard. Season with a heavy pinch each of salt and pepper, then keep warm.
Pass the cooked potatoes through a potato ricer or food mill back into the pot. (Alternatively, just mash with a potato masher.) Stir in the cream mixture until incorporated and smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, then serve.

Watch Jake and Katie whip up this recipe in the video below:

Challah and Sourdough Stuffing

Serves 8 to 10
Prep Time: 25 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

1 pound sourdough bread, cubed into 1-inch pieces
1 pound challah bread, cubed into 1-inch pieces
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted buttter
3 medium leeks, white and green parts only, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 medium parsnips, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup minced parsley
1 Honeycrisp apple, chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 300°F.
On a sheet pan, combine the sourdough and challah bread pieces and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until dry and crisp. Let cool. Raise the oven temperature to 375°F.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the leeks with a heavy pinch of salt and pepper and cook until jammy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the carrots, celery and parsnips and cook until softened but still slightly crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the sage, thyme and garlic and continue to cook until fragrant for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and season again with salt and pepper. Let vegetable mixture cool before using so as not to curdle the eggs in the next step.

In a large bowl, toss the toasted bread with the vegetables, almonds, parsley, and apple. Season with two heavy pinches of salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the stock, apple cider, cream, vinegar, and eggs, then pour over the bread mixture. Mix thoroughly to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Transfer wet stuffing mixture to a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. Let sit for 20 minutes at room temperature to soak. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden and set. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Watch Jake and Katie make this stuffing in the video below:

Date-Roasted Vegetables

Serves 8 to 10
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

For the Vegetables:
2 pounds small rainbow carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, outer leaves trimmed and halved
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons date syrup (silan)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or balsamic vinegar)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Topping:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup raw pistachios, roughly chopped (or walnuts or pumpkin seeds)
½ cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Roast the vegetables: Preheat the oven to 450°F.

On a sheet pan, toss the carrots and Brussels sprouts with the olive oil, date syrup lemon juice, and 2 heavy pinches each of salt and pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden and tender. (You can stir the vegetables, but only after 20 minutes of roasting.)

Meanwhile, make the topping: In a small skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pistachios, dates, thyme leaves, and a heavy pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the nuts are toasted and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes.

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a platter. Top with the pistachio mixture and crumbled goat cheese, then serve.