Perfect Sides for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving has come and gone but one thing that is still here for everyone is lots of leftovers. Whether you are looking for delicious salads, soups, or appetizers to compliment your Thanksgiving meal, this beet side-dish smorgasbord, which was originally posted on this article, is perfect for helping celebrate the holidays. Move over traditional green bean casseroles, canned cranberries, and mashed potatoes. There are some new dishes in town that will rock Thanksgiving festivities!

Prefer simple roasted beets? Try a Roasted Pumpkin and Beet Salad or Roasted Beets with Crumbled Gorgonzola. Looking to include some of the classics but with a twist? Maple Ginger Cranberry Beet Sauce or Balsamic Green Beans and Beets with Pecans are sure to be a hit. How about utilizing the beetroot’s greens or stems? The beet is edible from root to leaf and offers an array of side-dish opportunities!


Fall’s arrival cues vibrant red, orange, and yellow-colored leaves, crisp temperatures that motivate us to sweater-up, and every pumpkin lover’s dream comes true. Pumpkin lattes rule coffee shops. Pumpkin breads and muffins replace blueberry scones and bran muffins, and pumpkin pies and cheesecakes become dessert staples at every restaurant.

Every Fall, the beautiful stealthy pumpkin secures my affections. Although I may be one cup of pumpkin soup away from looking like an orange Oompa Loompa, there is more to the pumpkin’s famed lattes and pies that inspires my fondness and respect for Fall’s favorite squash.

Besides its sweet delicious flavor, the pumpkin is extremely nutritious providing antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The beautiful orange pigment of the pumpkin is produced by carotene, which converts into Vitamin A (retinol). 1 cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200% of our recommended daily intake of Vitamin A (converted beta-carotene). This key vitamin helps maintain healthy skin, teeth, and soft tissue. Vitamin A also promotes good vision, especially in low light, according to the U.S. Library of Medicine. Combine the pumpkin’s health benefits with the beetroot’s vast vitamins and minerals, such as Manganese, Vitamin C, and Folate (vital for pregnant and nursing moms), and we have an even bigger reason to eat more pumpkin and beets this Fall!



4-5 medium beetroots
1 small sugar (pie) pumpkin
1 red onion
1 large bunch of arugula
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
1 C reduced-fat feta (flavor to taste)
1 tbsp sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
1/3 C olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar



1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

2. Slice pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and pulp. Remove pumpkin skin with a vegetable peeler. Save the seeds if you wish to roast them. This video provides tips on roasting pumpkin seeds.

3. After removing the outer layer, cut the red onion into small wedges or quarters.

4. Gently wash and peel beetroots. Use gloves to avoid stained pink fingers or leave skins attached (beet skins ARE edible just not aesthetically pleasing to most). Avoid using porous cutting boards as red beets will stain.

5. Place beetroot, pumpkin, and onion on roasting tray lined with parchment paper and coat (drizzle or brush) with half the olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin.

6. Place roasting tray with vegetables* in the oven and cook for approximately 28-30  minutes, turning the pumpkin, beetroot, and onion after 15 minutes. Allow to cool and then assemble the salad.

7. In a small bowl, mix remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar and dried oregano. Gently toss (or drizzle) with roasted vegetables.

8. Place roasted vegetables on bed of arugula or combine arugula in the mix. Sprinkle with feta cheese and sunflower seeds. Toss if preferred.

Serve immediately or keep roasted vegetables and dressing separate from greens and chill in the refrigerator. Dressing and vegetables will keep for several days. Enjoy!

To see more about this amazing beet recipe, click here. For more delicious recipes, click here.