Side Hustle! Unique Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

Posted November 08, 2021

This Thanksgiving, take a break from your traditional recipes and change it up with some new and interesting side dishes to serve with the big bird. Yes, it’s nice to enjoy favorite dishes that have been handed down through the generations for this special day, but it’s nice to shake things up sometimes. Add a new side dish or update an old one - maybe it will be so popular with your guests that it will become a new tradition to be passed down!

At your local farmers' market, you'll find sweet potatoes, winter squash, apples, grapes, Brussels sprouts, persimmons, pomegranates, onions, greens, and even fall flowers for your table. Try these scrumptious recipes for a bit of a twist on your traditional Thanksgiving side dishes.

  1. Twice-Baked Winter Squash: Transform your acorn or butternut squash by twice-baking them, just as you would a potato. Bake, scoop out and mash with a little butter and maple syrup, spoon back into squash shells, reheat, and top with pecans. Or stuff them with your turkey stuffing.
  2. Market Mash: Add some market-fresh herbs and goat cheese to your mashed potatoes. It will add an unexpected and delicious flavor to your spuds. Or mash up carrots to add to it. You can also add caramelized onions or bacon on top.
  3. Balsamic Bacon Brussels: Roast some Brussels sprouts and button mushrooms with bacon and balsamic vinegar. Cut sprouts in half, toss with olive oil and balsamic, and roast until browned and crispy. Or roast fresh green beans the same way. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Sweet Potato Fries: Make it casual with baked fries instead of a sweet potato casserole.
  5. Apple Pear Salad: Toss fresh greens, chopped apples, pears, red onion, and walnuts. Add a sprinkle of goat cheese or blue cheese, toss with your favorite vinaigrette. This is a refreshing starter for a heavy meal.
  6. Kabocha Squash Pie: Instead of pumpkin, try a Kabocha Squash Pie! Sweet and savory, your guests will surely like this change-up.
  7. Quick Add-Ins: Add fresh rosemary and grated Parmesan cheese to your crescent rolls, jalapeño to your cornbread squares, pomegranate seeds, or almonds to salads, chopped apples to cabbage salad or slaw, or mashed sweet potato or pumpkin purée to your biscuits.