Thanksgiving in a Crust

 

Why save pie for dessert? We reinvent the seven most-classic Turkey Day side dishes as pot pies, hand pies and other with-a-crust recipes.

 

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Bring on the Pie

Pie gets a lot of hype around Thanksgiving, hot at the center of the apple-pumpkin-pecan debate. The dish is so beloved that we started to wonder why revelers should have to wait until dessert to partake of its varied flaky, crumbly crusts. We reimagined seven of the most-classic Thanksgiving side dishes as pies so enticing –– hand pies, pot pies, casseroles with cleverly constructed crusts –– that by the time dessert rolls around, your guests will be saying, "Pumpkin what?"

Creamed Corn with Cornbread Crust

This recipe combines two favorite dishes into one very corny, savory pie. We puree some of the creamed corn to make the pie extra creamy and release the corn's starch, which thickens the pie base (no flour necessary). The cornbread crust is unbelievably buttery and crumbly: It floats atop the pie almost like a biscuit.

Get the Recipe: Creamed Corn Casserole with Cornbread Crust

Mushroom and Green Bean Casserole Wellington

Take the classic side out of the casserole dish and wrap it in a blanket of puff pastry for a creamy green bean-and-mushroom pie that can be served sliced or eaten hand-held (we won't tell). Snappy beans and tough-yet-tender mushrooms are perfectly complemented by the buttery, flaky crust.

Get the Recipe: Mushroom and Green Bean Casserole Wellington

Creamed Spinach with Phyllo Crust

What could make steakhouse-style creamed spinach even better? A dozen layers of crisp, buttery phyllo dough. To save a little time on the day of your dinner, you can cook the spinach the day before.

Get the Recipe: Creamed Spinach with Phyllo Crust

Parsnip and Apple Tarte Tatin

This beautiful-to-behold tarte tatin surprises with its sweet, tangy and earthy flavors, and thanks to its upside-down preparation, is as easy to execute as it is elegant. Rosemary-roasted apples, parsnips and onions become even sweeter and develop a beautiful ruby hue when baked atop a layer of caramel. Salty, savory Parmesan rounds out the dish, ensuring that this is indeed a side and not a dessert. Bake it a few hours ahead of your meal and serve it at room temperature.

Get the Recipe: Parsnip and Apple Tarte Tatin

Loaded Baked Potato Slab Pie

This showstopper of a side dish is the ultimate pot pie, perfect for Thanksgiving, a dinner party or any holiday. We took a creamy potato gratin, added salty bacon and stuffed it all inside a tender, flaky crust.

Get the Recipe: Loaded Baked Potato Slab Pie

Mulled-Cranberry Hand Pies

Don't be fooled by the fruit -– these hand pies are most definitely a side dish, not a dessert. Simmered with a variety of seasonal spices and little sugar, the cranberries turn out warm and tart (like cranberry sauce meets mulled wine). The filling can be made up to four days ahead; then assemble and bake the pies day-of or the day before.

Get the Recipe: Mulled-Cranberry Hand Pies

Creamed-Onion Pie with Herbed Cracker Crust

Creamed onions are made even richer in this sweet and tangy pie studded with pancetta and red pepper flakes. The salty, herb-speckled crust is so addictive you'll want to break it off and use it as a spoon.

Get the Recipe: Creamed-Onion Pie with Herbed Cracker Crust