My favorite part about a Thanksgiving feast are the side dishes. Although biting into a juicy, succulent piece of pastured turkey is divine, I most enjoy discovering new flavors in the spread of the smaller dishes that deserve their place of attention as well.
When I’m able to host Thanksgiving at my home, I like to make untraditional side dishes that branch away from the typical recipes we’re used to. You know the ones… green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, etc…
Don’t get me wrong those recipes are heart warming and scrumptious, but I enjoy to mix things up a bit to offer a variety of flavors that can open one’s palate and leave them with a part of the meal worthy to remember.
Below are 10 untraditional side recipes that I’ve made for my family over the holidays. I encourage you to swap out one traditional recipe this Thanksgiving for something new. See how your family enjoys a little variety and maybe next year you’ll swap out for two.
10 Untraditional Thanksgiving Side Recipes
Sauteed onions and sliced Lakota squash braised in homemade chicken stock and balsamic vinaigrette. Dark leafy greens pack a nutritional punch and lend a delightful texture while complementing and enhancing the flavors. I used turnip tops, however, any dark leafy green will do.
The secret to a beautiful dish of brussels sprouts is to first roast them in olive oil. This version is roasted and pan tossed with sauteed red onions and pancetta cured ham. The right amount of salt and sweetness of the onions brings this dish to another level.
These maple cranberry sweet potatoes make a beautifully sweet and Earthy side dish perfect for any Holiday meal.
An untraditional approach to a classic potato gratin.
The escabeche technique is one of the most traditional in Spanish gastronomy. Usually made up of olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, bay leaf and pepper, with the possible addition of herbs such as oregano and thyme, or spices such as pimentón.
Carrots in their natural sweetness are taken to another level by caramelizing with honey. A simple recipe.
Pimientos Asados are incredibly easy to make and yet so simply satisfying. The peppers are blackened by either roasting or charring on a skillet or grill. The skins are then removed leaving a smooth delicate taste that is enhanced with a bite of raw onions, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a few drops of apple cider vinegar.
These Brussels sprouts are baked in the oven with a mix of bacon, parmesan cheese, cream, and milk.
This coleslaw doesn’t have a sweetener added, instead it’s spiced up with green onions, cilantro, and freshly chopped jalapeno.
These beets are boiled until sweet and tender and then filled with a salad blend of onions, cilantro, eggs, oil and red-wine vinegar. A delicious side dish, indeed.
So, what do you think of my untraditional approach to Thanksgiving? Are you a traditionalist or do you like to break the mold as well?