Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday. I love the food, but it’s more than that, it’s about being together with my family on that day. Which I guess is kind of strange considering the family I enjoy Thanksgiving with are the same ones I see all the time, but…it’s different, you know? Some of my best memories of each year happen on Thanksgiving Day.
For Thanksgiving dinner, we usually stay very traditional: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberries, pumpkin pie – and so on. But many times we try new recipes. Today I’m going to share two favorites that I’ve made and our family enjoys: Loaded Baked Mashed Potatoes and Pumpkin Pecan Dump Cake.
The Loaded Baked Mashed Potatoes are a heavenly side dish that almost everyone loves. I think it’s perfect for anyone who likes mashed potatoes, but doesn’t prefer gravy (yes, there are actually people who don’t care for gravy). It’s also great if you want a potato dish that can be made in advance and heat up well on Thanksgiving Day.
The Pumpkin Pecan Dump Cake is a dessert that is easy, so if making a pumpkin pie isn’t your thing, you could make this. It’s great for guests who don’t care for pie crust (huh? yes, it’s true).
And before you start agonizing over your decision if you should go with regular mashed potatoes vs. Loaded Baked Mashed Potatoes and Pumpkin Dump Cake vs Pumpkin Pie…rest easy. I’ll tell you that you should make all of them. Especially if you are feeding a crowd.
Making Loaded Baked Mashed Potatoes is much like making mashed potatoes, except you add all kind of yummy stuff to them, like roasted garlic:
Plus cream cheese, sour cream, milk, Cheddar cheese, and one stick of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® that has been cut into pieces.
All of that is mashed up, placed in a baking dish, and topped with more Cheddar cheese, bacon, and sliced green onions before you put it in the oven:
When it’s done, you have this comforting Thanksgiving side dish…easy, right?
- 5 lbs russet potatoes, skin peeled & cut into chunks
- 2 heads of garlic
- Olive oil
- 1 stick I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!®, cut into pieces
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Optional toppings: real bacon pieces and sliced green onions
- Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender. Drain well and return potatoes to pot.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut off the top quarter of the garlic head and set garlic head, cut side up, on top of a piece of foil that is large enough to wrap around the entire garlic head.
- Drizzle the top (cut area) with olive oil. Wrap foil around the garlic head. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until garlic cloves are very tender and soft. Carefully unwrap garlic head. Squeeze out roasted garlic or use a small knife tip or fork to "pop" out the cloves. Set aside roasted garlic and discard skins.
- With potato masher, mash potatoes well. Mash in I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!®, cream cheese, milk, sour cream, and 2 cups of Cheddar cheese until all ingredients are combined with the potatoes and everything is smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spray a baking dish (approx 13x9") with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spoon loaded mashed potatoes into baking dish. Top with remaining Cheddar cheese. If desired, top with sliced green onions and bacon. Bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and top begins to brown.
Well, if you think the Loaded Baked Mashed Potatoes are easy, you’ll be even more impressed with the Pumpkin Dump Cake. It’s crazy easy!
In a bowl, you mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, brown sugar, eggs, and pumpkin pie seasoning. This is poured in a baking dish and it’s sprinkled with dry spice cake mix and pecans. Then, you melt two sticks of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® I do this in the microwave, but you could also do this in a saucepan on the stove.
The melted I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® is poured evenly over the top of the dry cake mix and pecans in the baking dish.
It’s baked in the oven and when it’s done, you have a dessert that has a pumpkin bottom, but a sweet and crispy top. Scoop or cut pieces and top them with whipped cream, ice cream, or even a drizzle of caramel. See…I told you it was easy.
- 15 ounces solid pack pumpkin
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie seasoning
- 1 box spice cake mix
- 2 sticks I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!®, melted
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- Optional: whipped cream, ice cream, caramel sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degress F. Spray a 13x9" baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a bowl, mix together pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs, and seasoning with a whisk until blended. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle top of mixture evenly with dry cake mix. Sprinkle pecans on top of the dry cake mix. Drizzle the melted I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® over the top of the cake mix and pecans as evenly as possible.
- Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes, or until top is browned and when a knife is inserted in middle, it comes out clean. Allow to cool, can be served warm or room temperature. If desired, top with whipped cream, ice cream, or a drizzle of caramel sauce.
These are just two of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes and there will be more on the way. I hope you enjoy them and if you do make them, I’d love to know how you and your family like them.
Disclosure: Thank you to Good to Know & Unilever Spreads for being a sponsor. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.