Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and you know what that means — getting ready to stuff our faces silly. But before we eat, there needs to be a menu. And although the big turkey will be the star of many tables on Thanksgiving, some people might find the usual side dishes repetitive and boring. While we won’t knock a good helping of hearty cornbread stuffing or a bright platter of green bean casserole, there’s nothing wrong with a little twist this Thanksgiving. Maybe you want to try some chutney or focaccia instead of the usual canned cranberry jello mold or helping of biscuits. Although the fancy foodie terms might scare off some, no one will deny that the dishes below are delicious and hint at the culinary traditions we remember at Thanksgiving. Look at our Top 5 favorite Thanksgiving sides, and maybe you can add one or two (or all) of them to your menu this year.
Also Read: Thanksgiving History Fun Facts
5. Chorizo and Feta Hasselback Squash
Are you tired of those sticky, sweet, glazed carrots constantly thrown onto your plate as a kid? You could swap one orange vegetable for another and use a squash instead. The lovely lads from Sorted Food have a chorizo and feta Hasselback squash risotto recipe that’s delicious and looks great on the table. Aside from peeling and prepping the butternut squash, the prep work is minimal. Once the squash is ready, toss all the ingredients into a roasting pan like this nonstick one by Farberware and put it in the oven at 425°F for 20 minutes.
4. Wild Rice and Quinoa Stuffing
If you are over the boxed Stove Top or looking for a bag of stuffing that looks more like croutons at the grocery store, swap that dish for wild rice and quinoa stuffing. Although some of your relatives might think it’s too shy for their bellies, they’ll think twice once they try a mouthful of this goodness. Since the recipe uses a variety of mushrooms, grains, and kale or Swiss chard (depending on what you can find), the dish will also be good for the non-meat eaters at your table. Could you serve it on this EcoSmart dish to brighten up the table?
3. Apple and Onion Chutney
Forget about the cranberry jelly mold that pops out of the can. What about going for a different flavor for the turkey’s condiment? Laura from Mother Would Know makes an excellent apple and onion chutney that still uses seasonal ingredients but gives your Thanksgiving meal a different twist.
Although preparing this dish may take much longer than using a can opener, your guests will feel special knowing that you went through all the fuss to do something homemade for them. And if that one uncle insists on using cranberry on this turkey leg, you can serve both sides in this divided serving dish.
2. Garlic Rosemary Monkey Bread
Is cornbread cramping your style? Let me know if you’re done with the primary dinner roll. You can turn a traditionally sweet dessert into the bread side for your Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of using cinnamon and sugar, you will use garlic and rosemary for this super easy dish. And don’t worry about planning for extra prep time; this garlic and rosemary monkey bread recipe uses store-bought biscuit dough that you can find next to the ready-to-bake chocolate chip cookie rolls.
You will need to cut each biscuit round into smaller pieces, roll them into balls, and then pop them into a greased oven-safe pan like this bundt pan by Nordic Ware. What makes this extra decadent is the shredded fontina cheese you roll the dough balls in before baking. After 23 to 25 minutes at 375°F, you can rip into this one, which will be fun for the kid’s table.
1. Potato Kugel
Who doesn’t love a bowl of hot and creamy mashed potatoes? But you can have that every other night of the week, especially if you visit one of your favorite fried chicken chains. So what about doing something else with the potato? I would like to say hello to the potato kugel.
Rooted in Ashkenazi Jewish traditions, Smitten Kitchen’s version takes potatoes cut into noddles and put into a casserole. Get ready to whip out the spiralizer for this one! The dish is pretty simple, using seven ingredients you can easily find at home. However, after baking it in a 350°F oven for 75 to 80 minutes, it is a perfectly crisp hash brown-looking pie that will satisfy everyone’s potato needs on Thanksgiving. And if you want it to look more rustic, use a cast iron skillet.
Will you make any of these unique sides for Thanksgiving? Do you have any other exciting recipes we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below!