It’s no secret that Thanksgiving is just one week away. The food-centric holiday that has nearly 47 million people traveling each year is one that brings families, friends, and loved ones together for a traditional meal. The typical Thanksgiving dinner features a turkey at the center with a myriad of side dishes, including (but most certainly not limited to) stuffing, mashed and sweet potatoes, corn, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce, with belly-busting amount of pie for dessert. People all across the country will be serving up the same dishes around the same time as we give thanks for all we have in our lives. However, just because something is a tradition doesn’t mean it can’t get boring. Since we eat the same meal each year on this holiday, some people are shaking up their dinner menus by adding new and unusual side dishes to their Thanksgiving table. Try something new and thrill your holiday guests with these unconventional side dishes for your Turkey Day celebration.
1. Butternut Squash & Cider Soup
So much emphasis and preparation is poured into the dinner itself that often times, on many tables, there is no room — either on the table or in the stomach — to have appetizers before the meal. One great appetizer to serve before such a heavy dinner is soup — light and savory, it’s perfect to whet the appetite without ruining it. Try this recipe for delicious butternut squash and cider soup that’s sure to give your guests an unexpected thrill.
2. Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Walnuts & Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette
Another fabulous pre-meal course to serve prior to dinner is salad. Foregoing the heavy carbs and proteins found in most holiday dishes, salads are the perfect snack to get some ruffiage into your guests’ stomachs before the dense meal to come. Since this is a festive occasion, put away your Caesar and Chef salads in favor of a more flavorful, creative alternative; try this roasted beet salad, or find another recipe that incorporates all of your seasonal favorites.
3. Sweet Potato Lasagna
Casseroles are another common culinary occurrence at the Thanksgiving table. From green bean casseroles to sweet potato casseroles, this style of dish has been pigeon-holed on the holidays. However, there’s no reason not to mix things up and try something new with some old favorites. This recipe combines the heartiness of lasagna with the healthiness of sweet potatoes, cutting out some of the cheese and making for an excellent dish for your table. If this one isn’t your style, look into making a different casserole that will better please the palates of your guests.
4. Corn Pudding
Corn is usually served in some form or another at the Thanksgiving table, whether it’s creamed, on the cob, or cornbread. Why not try an old yet new-to-you classic like corn pudding? This Southern favorite is perfectly sweet and savory, making it a great addition to a primarily savory meal.