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7 Unusual Thanksgiving Sides

by Dale Dauterive

1. Buffalo Cheddar Bacon Stuffing

If there’s one thing other than the turkey your Thanksgiving meal must include, that would be the stuffing. We’re not talking about stovetop stuffing you make from a box--we’re talking spicy, salty, cheesy, and savory with this recipe for buffalo cheddar bacon stuffing. Bacon bits, scallions, blue cheese, and cilantro take this dressing beyond the dinner table. The secret ingredient that gives it a real punch--a splash of beer. This side dish has all the right stuff(ing). 

2. Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

When you think of your favorite Thanksgiving side dish, potatoes and macaroni might come to mind. If you want something a little unconventional that infuses these two flavors together--skip the regular mac-n-cheese and whip up this recipe for sweet potato and caramelized onion mac-n-cheese. Sweet potatoes introduce a vibrant color and luscious flavor that tastes like autumn. It’s a rich and hearty dish with a touch of sweetness from the caramelized onions that truly makes this side dish a fan-favorite at your dinner table. 

3. Rosemary-Maple Cornbread Muffins

Some of the best flavors and aromas of fall come from rosemary and maple--so why not mesh those flavors into your Thanksgiving cuisine? Every Turkey Day feast has some sort of bread product to sop up all the extra gravy and cranberry sauce, but don’t settle for boring dinner rolls or biscuits. Instead, get creative with these sweet and earthy rosemary-maple cornbread muffins. They boast a slight touch of sweetness without overpowering the savory notes. The texture of the cornbread is perfect for dipping in all those extra juices and tastes great before the meal, during the meal, and for leftovers. 

4. Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

Now that you’ve got a few side dishes ready to round out your plate, you need some accoutrements to complete the meal. No Thanksgiving meal is complete without cranberry sauce and the goop from a can just won’t cut it these days. If you want to change the stigma of cranberry sauce, then you need to kick yours up a notch. Vanilla bourbon cranberry sauce is sure to knock the socks off all your holiday guests. You’ll taste the sweetness of vanilla and the smoky flavor from the bourbon which creates a tasty fusion with the natural tanginess of the cranberry. When mixed together and scooped atop a big pile of turkey--you’ll take back everything you said about cranberry sauce. 

5. Apple-Pecan Rice Pilaf

During the harvest season, there are some flavors you come to expect every year. Fall-time produce brings a whirlwind of sweet flavors that complement a savory dish. This apple-pecan rice pilaf is a hearty side dish that is full of autumn flavor. Crisp apples, toasted pecans, tart cranberries, and wild rice sing loudly with each bite for an unexpected twist on a traditional recipe. Garnish with your favorite fall herbs, and this bright and vibrant dish is ready to be devoured. 

6. Collard Green Gratin

Tell your grandma’s green bean casserole to take a back seat, there’s a new side dish gracing your Thanksgiving table this year. This recipe for creamy collard green gratin brings greens, decadence, and a whole lot of southern hospitality to your dinner table. This is a side dish that was made to be eaten wearing sweatpants only! It’s rich, thick, and full of creamy flavor. Sprinkle with some bread crumbs and bake in the oven for an added crispy crunch with each bite. 

7. Pesto Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes go with turkey--that’s an unbreakable bond, but you can have regular mashed potatoes any time of year. On Thanksgiving Day, serve something unique like this recipe for pesto mashed potatoes. They’re just as fluffy and smooth, but a scoop of these potatoes add an extra punch of flavor. You can taste the earthiness of the basil and the crunch of pine nuts sprinkled on top. A splash of extra olive oil keeps the pesto moist to give the taters that creamy, oily texture you love. Your gravy ladle might be jealous--it’s no longer needed for this side dish.  

If you’re trying to prepare the perfect side dish for your Turkey Day feast or you’re hoping to invest in new kitchen appliances to simplify your holiday meal prep, stop by our store today and we’ll help you with all your appliance needs. We’re here to answer any questions you may have to make your Thanksgiving meal a success!