October 27

Fresh and New Thanksgiving Ideas


Although many people stick to holiday traditions, you might be looking for a way to blaze a trail this Thanksgiving. Even though there is plenty to love about many of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes, this is the year to spice up your standard menu. No matter how many guests will gather around your table, impress them by putting a delicious, creative spin on your holiday dinner. Here are a few modern Thanksgiving dishes to toss into the mix this year.

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Perhaps you have vegetarian guests or want to serve a more unique side dish. In that case, this option is savory and classic while still being fresh and interesting. By excluding the meat from a shepherd’s pie you’ll provide a hearty dish for those who prefer a meatless diet. As an added benefit, it makes the meal a bit less filling without the added protein. Instead of pumping up your pie with meat, you can use mushrooms which provide that rich, beefy flavor. A bit of red wine mixed with vegetable broth creates a lovely sauce too.

Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts

Image by Sebastian Coman Photography is licensed with Unsplash

Brussels sprouts can be a hard sell unless you know how to make them irresistible. Your family may be surprised how much they enjoy these healthy vegetables when you fry them in olive oil with walnuts, salt, and pepper. A dash of lemon and sesame oil adds flavor while keeping the outside leaves crisp but tender. This is an excellent option if you don’t want to serve a salad or prefer a unique veggie rather than the typical green beans, carrots, or corn.

Dirty Rice

If you’re searching for a gluten-free side so you can eliminate another carb, check out this New Orleans classic. Dirty rice is super flavorful and perfectly complements turkey or any roasted meat. It can really jazz up your meal if you usually find turkey bland. As a bonus, it contains plenty of vegetables, so it’s deceptively healthy. Try pairing your dirty rice with red beans and sausage for true Southern flair.

Roasted Vegetables

Thanksgiving dinner is already hectic. If you’re cooking several dishes at once, you probably want at least one that is easy to make. That’s where roasted vegetables come in. You can roast Brussels sprouts, turnips, cauliflower, radishes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, squash, carrots, and onions. Toss your vegetables in rosemary, sage, and a bit of apple cider vinaigrette, and you’ll end up with a veggie dish that looks and smells just like autumn.

Vegan Pot Pies

Vegan pot pies are not only a great way to accommodate those with special diets, but they’re also a great side dish. Meatless pot pies can satisfy meat-eaters and meat-free eaters alike. Warm, flaky biscuits sit atop a bed of creamy veggies. You can even use a frozen mixed-vegetable blend — such as corn, green beans, and carrots — to make your Thanksgiving super simple. Pre-made biscuit dough will help you assemble these pies in a jiffy. If you’re not in the mood for turkey or a turkey substitute, these savory pot pies can serve as the main course.

Roast Pork Shoulder

Thanksgiving turkey isn’t for everybody. In fact, many people find that turkey simply isn’t as flavorful as some other meats. But, even if you’ve got a big family to serve on Thanksgiving, you can take care of all your guests with a juicy roast pork shoulder. Pork shoulder has enough fat to create a rich, tender dish. The secret to making a flavorsome roast is to ensure that you use a spicy seasoning rub that is full of flavor. You can also score the outside of the pork to allow more fat to render.

Sweet Potato Meringue Casserole

As tasty as they can be, even Thanksgiving desserts can start to feel a bit boring. If you want to try something new, a sweet potato bake with a meringue topping could be precisely what you need to switch things up. The airy meringue makes this dish a little fancier than your typical sweet potato pie. Add maple syrup, brown sugar, brandy, or rum to the filling before baking for even more flavor.

Mushroom Gravy

Most families will serve turkey gravy with their Thanksgiving bird or over their mashed potatoes. Change things up this year by making rich, delicious mushroom gravy that is just as tasty as the meat version. It pairs perfectly with stuffing, mashed potatoes, pot pies, veggies, and other Thanksgiving dishes.

Pull-Apart Garlic Bread

Carbs are the ideal side dish for Thanksgiving. Instead of serving traditional garlic bread, pull-apart bread is a unique (and cheesy) choice. You can make this quick dish right before dinner while the turkey is resting. Your guests won’t be able to resist the aroma, and it will be gone before you know it. It’s precisely what you need for a deceptively simple but delicious side dish.

Roasted Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is quintessentially autumn-themed. Even the smell of this squash is reminiscent of fall. Still, many people never think to serve butternut squash as part of their Thanksgiving dinner. Simply cut up the squash, toss it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs, and spread it on a sheet pan. After roasting the squash in the oven, you’ve got an easy side dish that embodies the season and tastes fantastic.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

You don’t have to cook an entire turkey for Thanksgiving, and you don’t even need to cook it in the oven. This year, try making a turkey breast instead. Just place the whole thing in the slow cooker with some garlic and herbs. Not only does this save time, but it’s also minimal effort. You’ll free up your oven to cook other tasty dishes, and the turkey will be moist and flavorful. It’s a clever way to keep Thanksgiving traditional while saving yourself some work.

Are you visiting family for Thanksgiving this year? Now is a great time to ensure you’ve got a great way to transport all your side dishes to your gathering. Huffines Kia Mckinney can help you find the right car to take you to your Thanksgiving dinner event. Check out our new and used cars to find your perfect vehicle so you can arrive in style.


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