Looking for a Simple Thanksgiving Side? These Herb Popovers Are Quick and Delicious

If you don't have the patience to make rolls from scratch this Thanksgiving, these popovers achieve dramatic height without yeast or proofing. All you need is 40 minutes and five ingredients, plus salt and pepper.
There can never be too many shades of brown on your Thanksgiving table.
There can never be too many shades of brown on your Thanksgiving table. / Institute of Culinary Education

Serving multiple forms of bread is not only acceptable on Thanksgiving—it’s encouraged. If you’re looking for an alternative, or perhaps a supplement, to the classic stuffing and rolls this year, consider adding popovers to the menu. This simple recipe from the Institute of Culinary Education makes a show-stopping side dish for any holiday meal. 

Unlike other Thanksgiving sides in the bread category, these popovers require no drying, soaking, or proofing. To make them, start by heating an empty muffin tin in a 425˚F oven. While waiting for the tray and oven to warm up, whisk together all-purpose flour, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk the milk and eggs in a separate, larger bowl until frothy, and then add the dry ingredients. Mix everything together until you have a smooth, pourable batter. (It’s fine if some lumps remain.) 

Grease the hot muffin tin before filling the cups three-quarters of the way with batter. By preheating the tray, you’re helping the popovers get a head-start on their dramatic height. “Popovers are famous for that look of being very high when you bake them,” ICE chef-instructor Chayanin Pornsriniyom tells Mental Floss. “So when you hit it with the hot baking dish, it cooks and it sets as fast as possible. That’s how you get the ‘pop’ of the product.”

After cooking the popovers in a 425˚F oven for 20 minutes, lower the heat to 325˚F and bake them for another 10. They risk collapsing the longer they sit out, so serve them fresh out of the oven. “It would be a good ‘wowing’ moment for a holiday or Thanksgiving table,” Pornsriniyom says.

Based in Los Angeles and New York City, the Institute of Culinary Education is one of the largest schools of its kind. They offer a wide variety of classes in hospitality management and the culinary arts. If you’re interested in learning how to make more recipes like the one below, check out their curricula on their website.

Herb Popovers

Servings: 4

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups milk, at room temperature

  1. Heat the oven to 425˚F. When the oven is warm, place the popover or muffin tray in it to warm up; this will help the popovers get a better rise.
  2. While the popover tray is warming, place the all-purpose flour, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk together.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs until they are frothy, about one minute.
  4. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the mixture is the consistency of heavy cream. It’s okay if the batter has some lumps. Pour the batter into a measuring cup.
  5. Carefully remove the tray from the oven and spray with non-stick spray. Fill each popover/muffin slot with batter, about ¾ of the way to the top.
  6. Bake popovers for about 20 minutes, and then reduce temperature to 325˚F and continue to bake for another 10 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Serve warm.