7 Unique Thanksgiving Recipes to Spice Up Your Turkey Day
Looking to add some variety to your Thanksgiving meal?
Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of foodies everywhere—the entire premise being to spend a day stuffing yourself full of the best, most savory dishes. It’s the highlight of so many American’s November, but that doesn’t mean the holiday doesn’t occasionally get tedious. For those who attend multiple Thanksgiving dinners a year (please don’t do that this year), you likely know just how bland a roasted turkey can become or how nauseating too many pieces of pumpkin pie can be—so we’re suggesting a change-up. We found alternatives to all of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes—from a pumpkin dessert you won’t tire of to a savory take on the sweet potato pie. But maybe don’t try them all at once.
Look, we don’t have to lie, baked turkeys can be more than a little bland. If not seasoned to the point you worry about your cholesterol, that baked bird will come out dry and flavorless. To switch things up and add a load more flavor, juice, and fat, while still causing worry about your cholesterol, might we suggest deep-frying it? The deep-fried turkey is a favorite in the South for good reason. After pulling the heavily seasoned turkey out of the hot vat of oil, the dish comes out both perfectly crispy and juicy. It’s got the flavor you’ve always wished your baked alternative had while adding a crisp component you didn’t know you needed—fair warning, after one deep-fried turkey there will be no going back.
Pumpkin pie is about as Thanksgiving as you can get, and because of that, it’s the dish every relative brings to the potluck. Some have never liked the pie and then there are those who just crave a little more variety. While we refuse to veer from the pumpkin that makes this holiday so distinct, there’s something a little more unique (and fluffy) that’s sure to please pie-haters and the pie-tired. Pilgrim Pies are a Thanksgiving take on the classic Whoopie Pie. Rather than chocolate cake on either side of you have pumpkin, and the middle is generously filled with cream cheese frosting. It’s the perfect alternative for those who diss the pumpkin pie texture or for those just wanting something slightly different.
Sweet Potato Hummus
OK, suggesting an alternative to everyone’s favorite dish might be controversial, but please don’t click away! Make your casserole, keep it in rotation, but also consider adding this appetizer that brings those beloved flavors to your pre-Thanksgiving spread. While this isn’t technically a hummus, it’s texture and use of tahini might have you mistaking it as such. This recipe is perfect for utilizing any leftover sweet potatoes your casserole didn’t need while introducing us to a new world of flavor with garlic cloves, tahini, and citrus. It’s the perfect pre-dinner snack—you’ll want to make sure the pants are extra stretchy.
Mashed Potato Croquets
It’s already a weird year, why not use it as an excuse to do things a little differently. Maybe rather than throwing this year’s traditional meal you throw an appetizer Thanksgiving—think of it as the Super Bowl but instead of chicken wings it’s turkey legs and instead of jalapeno poppers it’s this delicate and scrumptious mashed potato croquet. This allows you to give new life to your leftover mashed potatoes and turn them into something bite-sized, fried, and just as (if not more) delicious.
Stuffing is often the unsung hero of Thanksgiving, the dish we forget about until we’re going back for thirds—it’s what brings the whole meal together. Yet for many of our gluten-intolerant friends and relatives, it’s the dish they’ve got to pass up. Look, we get no one wants to give up their favorite stuffing, but why not meet in the middle? This cauliflower stuffing is the perfect dish for those looking for a bread-free alternative to this Thanksgiving staple. While not the same, cauliflower tends to be the perfect alternative to your favorite meats and gluten. This veggie is essentially a sponge of all things flavor, so do as the recipe recommends and go heavy on the seasoning.
Onion Ring Green Bean Casserole
Not all that different from a traditional green bean casserole, this twist is just a little more exciting. As opposed to topping the dish with pre-packaged fried onion pieces, this casserole takes it a step further, having you create your own onion rings for the top. The onion rings add a surprising twist that will delight fans of the diner-staple. With all this time on our hands, maybe a little extra cooking isn’t a bad thing, plus home-made onion rings reign superior to the store-bought any day.
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Cranberry Sauce Cocktail
And last but not least, you need cranberry sauce and you need a drink—and hell, why not put them together. This take on cranberry sauce might just be our all-time favorite, mixing both tart and sweet fruit with the distinct bourbon flavor. You then top off this Thanksgiving cocktail with club soda, making it a bit lighter and less dessert-y for those whose stomachs have reached max capacity.