Spicy Thanksgiving Menu

Heat up your Thanksgiving table this year with these spicy holiday dishes. From the first bite of the starter salad all the way to the last slice of pie, these Thanksgiving recipes bring the fire.

Be careful: These recipes are not for the faint of heart! This Spicy Thanksgiving menu adds fiery flavor to your favorite classic dishes.

To set your guests' taste buds aflame and make your holiday a meal to remember, experiment with spice by adding chile peppers to your green bean casserole and a pinch of chili powder to your pumpkin pie.

Before you get cooking, learn how to tame the heat a bit by seeding your peppers.

Salad: Roasted Beets and Greens with Spicy Orange Vinaigrette

Set the tone for a meal celebrating spice by starting with zesty roasted beets and greens. Toss together leaf lettuce, roasted baby beets, and blood oranges, then pour on a cayenne pepper-spiced orange juice vinaigrette to take this salad from bland to bold.

If some of your guests like spice more than others, toss the salad with some of the spicy vinaigrette, then save the rest for drizzling onto individual servings for your more adventurous guests.

How to Roast Beets: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Scrub beets clean, then cut into halves or wedges. Place chopped beats in a baking dish.
  3. Drizzle beets with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper, then toss lightly to coat.
  4. Cover dish with foil and bake 40 to 45 minutes or until tender. 

Get the recipe: Roasted Beets and Greens with Spicy Orange Vinaigrette

Green Bean Side Dish: Spicy Green Bean Casserole

We added fresh serrano peppers and a pinch of chipotle chile pepper to give this Thanksgiving classic a real burst of fire. To keep it close to the traditional side, this recipe still has the creamy filling and a crispy panko bread crumb topping.

Time-Saving Tip: If your oven is going to be crowded this Thanksgiving, use French string beans (haricots verts) instead of regular green beans in this casserole. French string beans are thin and cook quicker than the traditional variety, so you'll only have to bake this dish about 15 minutes.

Get the recipe: Spicy Green Bean Casserole

Fruit and Vegetable Side Dish: Chipotle Butternut Squash with Crunchy Topper

Alongside the turkey and green bean casserole, spoon tender butternut squash slow-cooked in a chipotle pepper sauce onto your plate. With cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and bacon mixed in, this spicy veggie side can almost replace traditional bread stuffing at your Thanksgiving feast.

Get the recipe: Chipotle Butternut Squash with Crunchy Topper

Discover the secret ingredients in—and recipes for—11 spice blends that taste way better when you DIY.

Potato Side Dish: Cumin-Rubbed Sweet Potatoes with Sage

Give sugary, marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes the year off. To make this crowd-pleasing side, rub sweet potato skins with a mixture of salt and cumin before baking them for an hour.

As the sweet potatoes cook, stir together some spiced butter to serve on top. Simply combine butter, maple syrup, and crushed red pepper flakes for an extra taste of sweet and spicy.

Get the recipe: Cumin-Rubbed Sweet Potatoes with Sage

Entree: Roast Stuffed Turkey with Mole Colorado

A super spicy mole sauce and a stuffing of fiery chorizo, tomatoes, and Anaheim chile pepper make this turkey recipe one that will change the way you think about poultry.

To make the mole, combine ancho and guajillo chile peppers with fire-roasted tomatoes for a flaming hot turkey topper. It will make you forget all about gravy!

Get the recipe: Roast Stuffed Turkey with Mole Colorado

Dessert: Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

That's right—even your pumpkin pie is getting a boost from spice this year! The combination of pumpkin and cinnamon-spiced Mexican chocolate is good, but a few pinches of chili powder and cayenne pepper take it to the next level by adding a hint of heat. If you want to make the spice stand out even more, sprinkle your chocolate ganache-topped slice with a little extra chili powder before digging in.

How to make Chocolate Ganache for the optional top layer: 

  1. Chop 3 ounces semisweet chocolate and add to a small bowl. 
  2. Simmer 1/4 cup whipping cream and pour over chopped chocolate.
  3. Allow to stand 5 minutes, then stir until smooth.
  4. Immediately spoon over center of cooled pie.

Get the recipe: Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

More Spicy Thanksgiving Menu Options

Don't stop with these six recipe! There are plenty of options out there for making this year's Thanksgiving dinner the spiciest ever!

Try sampling a taste of spice-filled Cajun fare, sipping on a spiced gin and tonic, or creating your own Thanksgiving menu with some of our other favorite fiery dishes.


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