Easiest Thanksgiving Veg: Escarole with Cranberries and Sliced Almonds

How are you all doing with Thanksgiving prep?

The holiday snuck up on me this year. Luckily I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving in my home for 7 years now and I have quite a few tried and true recipes. Even-though I’m a Thanksgiving veteran, I totally understand how people get freaked out about hosting especially if it’s for the first time. Thanksgiving is a big meal ,but it doesn’t have to be stressful if you stick to simple recipes. And by simple, I do not mean boring. Take a deep breath and break down the meal into courses. once you’ve done that, choose one basic recipe for each.

You don’t need to make it all fancy-schmancy-out-of-a-magazine perfect for the meal to be special and delicious. The turkey itself is pretty easy because all you do is season the bird, the oven does the rest. Honestly, as long as you have your cooking time down, you are golden. I refer to this calculator every year to calculate turkey cooking times. If you don’t have time to roast a whole bird or prefer less meat, why not try roasting just the breast. I love making this Super Moist Herbed Mayonnaise Turkey Breast. It’s crazy simple and yet so delicious!

I try to prepare appetizers, sides and salads that have a lot of flavor but don’t require a lot of work. One of my favorite sides is this Escarole with Cranberries and Sliced Almonds. It’s in season now and has a mild yet slightly sweet flavor which everyone usually loves. This recipe takes less than 20 minutes to prepare which means it can get thrown together at the very last minute with very little work. It’s also super budget friendly, flavorful and very healthy and cranberries and almonds make it very pretty on your table.

And when it comes to dessert (everyone’s favorite course), I say make-ahead all the way. Pies are great and can be made 2-3 days in advance depending on the type). This year, I’m making Sweet Potato Pie with Ginger. Mmmmmmm…. Happy Thanksgiving, all!

What are your Thanksgiving go-to recipes?

Escarole with Cranberries and Sliced Almonds

Serves 8


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 heads of escarole, washed throughly and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


1. Heat olive oil in a very large pot (I use my dutch oven) over medium heat. Add in garlic and onions and cook until they begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes.

Toss in escarole and stir to help it wilt. Pour in chicken stock and allow the greens to cook down, about 10-15 minutes—you want the greens to wilt down but not be overcooked. Once the greens are cooked, place them into a serving bowl and top with cranberries and almonds. Serve warm.

Christina Stanley-Salerno is a mama, recipe developer, food stylist, photographer and blogger She loves cooking for and with her family. Life is hectic, but Christina is passionate about mealtime because she believes that family meals are the glue that holds everyone together. Creating simple, quick and healthy meals is her specialty and her trick to keeping the family meal a reality, even on busy weeknights.

Follow her on Twitter @TakeBackTables

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