A festive dinner devoted to the Thanksgiving Day is something very special and expected. The dinner usually consists of a number of traditional dishes that may be found on the table of almost every family. But there are so many non-traditional and incredibly delicious side dishes, which are either a variety of the traditional ones or completely new and unknown ones. Take a look at 7 non-traditional Thanksgiving side dishes you should definitely try. I hope these recipes will help you prepare an unforgettable Thanksgiving dinner.
1. Stuffed squash
My family loves stuffed bell peppers so when I found this recipe of stuffed squash, I thought it looked tasty! It’s stuffed with rice, spinach, pine nuts, and ground pork. The meat, veggie and nuts combo make it a wonderful side dish that delicious and healthy.
- 4 small acorn squashes, about 1 pound each
- ½ pound of ground pork
- ¼ cup of chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- ½ cup of chopped celery
- ½ cup of white wine
- 1 ½ cups of cooked rice
- ¼ cup of chopped carrot
- 10 ounce of frozen spinach, drained, chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons of dried oregano
- ½ cup of toasted pine nuts
- ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take the squashes and cut their tops, about 1 inch, and scrape the seeds out. If a squash won`t stand upright cut the bottom a little bit also. Put one piece of butter into each squash and place them all on the sheet covered with parchment paper. Now let`s get down to the stuffing. Brown the pork over a medium heat then remove. Fry the carrot, celery and onion in olive oil until soft for about 7 minutes and then sprinkle it with the white wine. Return the pork to the pan and add the spinach, cooked rice, salt, pepper, oregano, pine nuts. Put the pan with it onto the medium heat and heat stirring continuously for 2 minutes. After that stuff the squashes with equal amount of the mixture and cover each with its lid. Bake for an hour until the squash gets soft. The dish is ready to serve.
2. Sweet potato casserole
This dish you just can`t miss or leave unprepared especially if you belong to the group of people who are fond of sweet potatoes. This will make a great side dish to your festive dinner and will make all your guests get astonished.
For the casserole:
- 3 pounds of sweet potatoes
- ¾ cup of milk
- ¾ cup of sugar
- 2 beaten eggs
- 4 tablespoons of melted butter
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
For the topping:
- 3 tablespoons of flour
- 3tablespoons of butter
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- ½ cup of chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and we start with the filling. Roast the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet until it gets soft. It will take about an hour. Cut the potatoes in half and let it cool a little. Then peel them and mash with a masher or simply with a fork. In a large bowl mix the mashed potatoes with all the other ingredients: milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Beat it well until smooth. Grease the casserole dish and pour the potatoes into it.
Now let`s turn to the topping. Combine the flour with brown sugar in a blender or with a spoon. Then cut the butter into it and stir to receive coarse crumbs. Add the walnuts and spread the mixture over the potatoes. Bake it for 40 minutes until it gets golden brown.
3. Chipotle smashed sweet potatoes
Are you bored with traditional mashed potatoes? Well, this recipe is for you. This is a very aromatic and delicious meal for you to diversify your Thanksgiving menu.
- 2 large potatoes
- 1 can of chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce from the can
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Prepare the potatoes, peel and cut into cubes and put into steamer basket and steam for 20 minutes. The potatoes are to be soft to prick. Then add the butter and mash the potatoes. Add all the ingredients that are left – salt, peppers and sauce and mash it well. It is ready to serve.
4. Garlic and sun dried tomato corn muffin
This unusual recipe of muffins will make a perfect side-dish for your festive dinner. There`s no need to buy pre-made muffins or rolls when you can cook these delightful muffins at home. Nothing can be compared to it, believe me!
- 2 large eggs
- 8 ½ ounce of corn muffin mix
- 2/3 cup of diced sundried tomatoes
- 2/3 cup of frozen whole kernel corn
- 2/3 cup of sour cream
- 2/3 cup of buttermilk
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease 2 muffin tins. In a large bowl mix together the corn, garlic, muffin mix, tomatoes. In a separate bowl blend together the sour cream, buttermilk and eggs. Combine the buttermilk mixture with the second one and stir well. Fill the muffin tins only for a half and bake for 15 minutes. When the tops get golden, muffins are ready.
5. Fresh corn spoon bread puff
Try a fantastic variation of an average cornbread that will be a perfect addition to your festive table. It is so light and fluffy that there will be not a bit left in a blink of an eye!
- 2 cups of milk
- 3 ears of shucked fresh corn
- 7 tablespoons of butter
- ½ cup of heavy cream
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of cornmeal
- ¼ teaspoon of ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- butter for greasing
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the 2-quard baking dish or eight 6-ounce baking cups, grease them with butter and place on the rimmed baking sheet. Now separate the corn kernels from the cobs into a large bowl. Scrape the cobs with the other side of the knife to squeeze the milk into the bowl. Pour into the corn 4 tablespoons of melted butter, add 1 teaspoon of salt and cook it in a Dutch oven or in a pot until the corn is soft. It will take about 4 minutes. Add the heavy cream and the milk and heat it over a medium heat for it to almost simmer.
Take another large bowl and combine sugar, cornmeal, pepper, baking powder, 1 ½ teaspoons of salt. Then pour into it the corn mixture and stir it well. Beat the egg yolks and ladle 1 ½ cups of hot corn mixture into the yolks but only ½ cup at a time and keep beating. Then return the egg mixture into the corn. Beat the egg whites with a bit of salt well until they get thick and then pour them into the corn in three additions. Now you can pour the mixture into the backing dish or cups and put into the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top gets puffed and golden brown. The dish is ready for serving.
6. Roasted acorn squash
This recipe is ideal for those who want a sweet vegetable meal to stand on their table. Moreover, it will go as a nice dessert. It is definitely worth trying!
- 2 acorn or dumpling squash for about 1 pound each
- ground black pepper
- 8 fresh sage leaves
- 3 tablespoons of amaretto
- ½ cup of unsalted softened butter
- ½ pound of crushed pignoli cookies or almond biscotti
- extra-virgin olive oil if desired
- ½ cup of brown sugar
To begin with, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the squash. Cut it in half and scrape out all the seeds. Place the halves onto a baking sheet with the cuts up, sugar and pepper it. You can also sprinkle them with the olive oil if you want to. If necessary, you can also cut the squash lengthwise into quarters. In a separate bowl beat the sugar with butter and almond liqueur until creamy. Then cover the pumpkin halves with the butter mixture on the cut sides and crown them with 2 sage leaves. Coat them with crushed cookies and put into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes until they get soft and grease the squash with any remaining butter after 15 minutes pass.
7. Brussels sprouts, kale, and celery root gratin
This dish will be a real treat on your festive table. It has some appeal in it that`s why I advise you to try it. A vegetarian dish with browned crust and fantastic flavor is both very delicious and healthy.
- 1 medium celery root
- 1 bunch of kale, stemmed and sliced
- 1 pound of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
- 2 medium shallots, sliced
- 7 ounce ham steak if desired
- ¾ cup of chicken or vegetable stock
- ¾ cup of heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil and some for drizzling
- ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter and some for greasing
- ¼ cup of fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons of whole-grain mustard
- 1 2/2 cups of coarse breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons of sliced fresh chives
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-13 inch baking dish with butter. In a bowl combine butter, mustard, parsley, chives, breadcrumbs, pepper and ¼ teaspoon of salt, then toss to coat and put aside.
Heat the cream and stock in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the celery root and let it simmer until it gets soft for about 8 minutes. While the celery is preparing, heat the olive oil in a pot, add the ham if you want. Cook it for 5 minutes over a medium heat until it gets golden brown. Then add the shallots, stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts, salt, pepper and cook for 5 minutes until lightly grown. Add the kale and cook for 3 minutes, stir continuously until starts wilting. Then pour the apple vinegar and keep on the heat until absorbed, then remove. On the bottom of the dish place the celery root slices, then Brussels sprout mixture and pour it all with the liquid from the celery. Bake it for 20 minutes until the top brows. After that cover it with the breadcrumbs and keep baking for 15 minutes until it starts bubble around the edges.
All these recipes must be tried. Isn`t your mouth watering when just think about them? Well, it will be very hard to choose only a few of them to make this season but we can leave the rest for the next year. What do you usually cook for Thanksgiving?