Best New Thanksgiving Sides For An Award-Winning Meal
Plot twist! We all expect certain dishes on the Thanksgiving table — but it might be time to mix things up. In the spirit of keeping things interesting, we picked out some Thanksgiving side dishes that put a new spin on old favorites.
You’ve probably been to enough Thanksgiving dinners to know that all that glitters is not golden brown turkey — it’s the side dish co-stars that really shine and make the holiday meal’s storyline remarkable. Of course, there are recurring cast members that you don’t want to cut, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rewrite the script to advance your Thanksgiving story. With that in mind, we put together some side dish recipe options so you can create a choose-your-own-adventure Thanksgiving meal with a Hollywood ending.
Spinach Mashed Potatoes
No dish is safe on the Thanksgiving table — not even the mashed potatoes. To avoid a civil war, they can’t be taken off the table, but they can be elevated with fresh green streaks of spinach. To thicken the plot, the greens marry harmoniously with Parmesan cheese to keep your guests coming back for more.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Garlic sneaks its way onto the Thanksgiving table one dish at a time… and where it starts taking over the plot is with the potatoes. The tuber and the herb wrestle and tumble into butter for a trifecta of flavors that set off an unexpected explosion of delight. Spoiler alert: these creamy mashed potatoes are killed off in the end.
Tomato Pancetta Cornbread Stuffing
Stuffing is the hero we all cheer for, but even the best heroes are entitled to subplots to give them deeper dimensions. With Tomato Pancetta Cornbread Stuffing, the sundried tomatoes join pancetta and cornbread to update the predictable tale with a new story — and a nostalgic nod to a Thanksgiving staple.
Cranberry Pecan Wild Rice Stuffing
Cranberry Pecan Wild Rice Stuffing is Thanksgiving’s antihero. It’s unexpected and, perhaps, unwelcome. But when the pecan texture tangos with the earthy flavor of the wild rice while contrasting with the sweetness of the cranberries, the result is so devilishly divine it’s hard not to root for this holiday side.
Drunken Sweet Potatoes
Every story needs a Hagrid — a loveable half-giant who’s had a few too many rough nights but is always entertaining. At Thanksgiving, that’s the role of this Drunken Sweet Potato casserole — a joyous addition to the table that doesn't take away from the main course. It’s predictable in its rich, sweet synthesis of brown sugar and sweet potatoes of Southern tradition, yet simultaneously unpredictable with each boozy bite.
Crispy Sweet Potato Roast
Some of the simplest subplots are the most complex. So it goes for Thanksgiving side dishes like this Crispy Sweet Potato Roast with the aesthetic charm of Hasselback potatoes. With just olive oil, butter, and shallots, these roasted sweet potatoes subtly seduce diners without any grand gestures or stunts to move them on to the next scene.
Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Cranberries And Apples
Brussels sprouts are Thanksgiving’s natural antagonist — these roasted vegetables are revered by few and reviled by flocks more. But every villain has, at the very least, frenemies to support them — in this case, it’s the blithe bacon, amiable apples, and cordial cranberries. Together, they make Brussels sprouts palatable to even the most dubious diners without alienating their biggest fans.
Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Reality bites with Brussels sprouts, but they don’t sting when they’re bathed in a warm bath of cream to soften the texture and flavor. Topped with a mixture of breadcrumbs and Gruyere, its evolution is the result of both compromise and comfort food. It’s a supporting role worthy of an award when kids give this dish a ‘G’ for 'good' rating.
Green Bean Casserole
Tater Green Bean Casserole
On the list of usual suspects: green bean casserole. With the addition of potatoes and cheese, guests may think they’ve lost track of the plot, but that’s just part of the buildup. When they get to the tender green beans under the crunch of fried onions, it will all come together just before dinner’s grand finale.
Carmelized Onion And Bacon Green Bean Casserole
Bacon is a ringer for green bean casserole that will keep your audience wanting more. This Carmelized Onion and Bacon Green Bean Casserole doubles down on rich ingredients for maximum flavor impact. The plot reveals the sweetness of carmelized onions united with bacon for a happily-ever-after ending on Thanksgiving Day.