Shake up your family’s Thanksgiving traditions by introducing a new side dish to the table! Even if you are “the Master of mashed potatoes” or the “King of the green bean casserole,” you’ll only improve your culinary reputation by bringing something amazing and unexpected to Thanksgiving this year. You can even try these Thanksgiving recipes out ahead of time to refine the one you like the best and make it your own!
We’ve included our eight favorite unexpected Thanksgiving recipes below. They feature seasonal ingredients and are perfect for the holidays, but they may not be something that is regularly featured at your Thanksgiving feasts! We think it’s great to mix things up; what about you?
- Are brussel sprouts your favorite go-to vegetable? Try this shredded brussel sprouts with maple hickory nuts recipe to impress even the most discerning foodie at your table this Thanksgiving.
- Every great Thanksgiving feasts deserves to start with the perfect salad. This recipe is perfect because much of it is prepared in advance. Spinach salad with bosc pears, cranberries, red onion, and toasted hazelnuts.
- Caramel pumpkin pie with caramelized sugar in the filling makes this an unbelievably light and delicately spiced pie. And since it’s cooked in a deep quiche pan, a single pie will serve 12 guests.
- This year, forgo the canned jelly cranberry sauce and make your own. Cabernet cranberry sauce with figs tastes better the day after it’s made, so make the sauce in advance to give the flavors time to develop.
- Smoky scalloped potatoes get their unique flavor from smoked paprika. This recipe can be prepared in advance and then finished in the oven at the last minute. Any Thanksgiving recipe that can be made ahead frees up more of your time to spend with guests.
- Sweet potatoes are a part of many traditional holiday celebrations. With this Yummy sweet potato casserole on your table, they’ll be asking for this Thanksgiving recipe at Christmas too.
- Caramel apple cheesecake dip is a quick and easy appetizer that will keep everyone occupied and content while waiting for the meal to start. Who knew that dressing up a block of cream cheese could result in such a satisfying treat?
- Prepare this Wild rice and basmati dressing with sausage and sage as a replacement for your traditional Thanksgiving dressing or simply add it as a new and tempting side dish for your table. Two types of rice are cooked in a fragrant medley of mushrooms and onions sautéed in butter, bay leaf and fresh sage. Yum!
If you don’t want to take on the challenge of preparing Thanksgiving dinner this year, why not leave the cooking to the chefs? Cragun’s Resort features an incredible Thanksgiving buffet meal to guests staying over the holiday. Enjoy all of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes without having to cook any of them yourself at Cragun’s Resort!