Though most holidays have a particular food item associated with them, Thanksgiving dinner is the rare meal that doesn’t vary much from household to household. No matter where you’re spending your Thanksgiving, it’s a pretty safe bet you’ll see turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, rolls, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. However, just because a Thanksgiving menu is practically planned for you doesn’t mean you can’t mix things up a little — or a lot. Today, we’re going to offer a few new spins on the old classics, so you can craft a Thanksgiving menu that may quickly become a new tradition.
Spice up your cranberries
Everyone has an ingredient or two that catches your interest, no matter what kind of dish it’s in — for me, that ingredient is jalapenos. And though many may think it’s not a Thanksgiving dinner without cranberry sauce from the grocery store, I try to avoid food that stays shaped like a can myself. Swap out the standard canned cranberry sauce for this easy cranberry salsa from Boulder Locavore (I personally swap out the shallots for red onions).
Who needs Pumpkin Pie?
…When you can have Pumpkin Bread Pudding? Bread Puddings may just be catching on as the dessert of choice for farm-to-table restaurants everywhere, but it’s long been a favorite dessert across the pond in England — and for good reason. Thanksgiving may be a decidedly North American holiday — don’t let that stop you from taking the chance to introduce to your family to bread pudding. Keep the traditional Thanksgiving flavor profile going with this pumpkin bread pudding from Smitten Kitchen — from pumpkin spice lattes to marshmallows, it’s pretty obvious the change from pie to bread pudding isn’t going to keep anyone from digging into a pumpkin flavored dessert.
Show your stuff
I’m not here to argue that Stove Top stuffing isn’t delicious — but if you’re looking to add a twist of the unexpected to your Thanksgiving meal (or maybe your grocery store has been cleaned out of the boxed stuff), then there are plenty of options to spice up your stuffing game this season. Whether you add some unexpected ingredients (such as this recipe from Fake Food Free, which features toasted walnuts, pears, and blue cheese), or present the stuffing in a unique way (stuffin’ muffins, anyone?), there are plenty of options to think outside the box when it comes to stuffing this Thanksgiving.
Green with Envy
There’s no reason you have to serve your mom’s green bean casserole recipe — ditch the cream of mushroom, and look to fresh ingredients you wouldn’t expect to see in something that you’d label as a casserole. The Pioneer Woman’s Green Bean Casserole is particularly phenomenal — then again, few things that include bacon, a cream sauce, and pimentos wouldn’t be.
Does your family have a Thanksgiving dish that’s outside the norm? Share the dish — and the recipe, if it’s not top secret — in the comments below.