24 Thanksgiving Sides that Put an Unexpected Spin on the Classics

Try something new this year.

Sweet Potato Cauliflower Fritters
Photo: Andy Lyons

Spice up Thanksgiving traditions by adding new twists to classic Thanksgiving side dishes. The indispensable Thanksgiving recipes are all here—including mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and stuffing—but each dish features an unexpected and delicious spin.

01 of 24

Spicy Green Bean Casserole

Spicy Green Bean Casserole
Andy Lyons

Fresh string beans meet jalapeno peppers, minced garlic, and onion in this flavorful green bean casserole recipe. Chicken broth and cream balance out the spice, while a thick layer of bread crumbs adds a light crunch.

02 of 24

Gluten-Free Harvest Rice Stuffing

Gluten-Free Harvest Rice Stuffing
Andy Lyons

The walnut and cranberry pork is the uncontested highlight of this easy Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. Butternut squash, green apples, and cranberries are simmered together for a light sweetness that offsets the meat, while parsley and sage tie the mouthwatering flavors together.

03 of 24

Sweet Potato Casserole

Cranberry-Marshmallow Sweet Potato Casserole
Con Poulos

With its rich, sweet taste and crunchy crumb topping, this casserole combines six pounds of sweet potatoes for your new favorite side dish. Fresh cranberries sprinkled atop the lightly golden casserole gives creamy potatoes an extra sweetness.

04 of 24

Pomegranate-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Bowl of spiralized sweet potatoes and pomegranates for Pomegranate-Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Blaine Moats

This vibrant Thanksgiving side recipe adds fresh flavors to your holiday spread. Dress up spiralized sweet potato ribbons with cardamom, mint, and pomegranate.

Test Kitchen Tip: If you do not have a spiralizer, thinly slice potatoes, then cut into narrow matchsticks.

05 of 24

Salt-Roasted Beets with Tehina Sauce

Salt-Roasted Beets with Tehina
Andy Lyons

For a twist on your classic beet dish, this tahini sauce provides a delicious, nutty infusion. Top the roasted beets with mint leaves to balance the beet's earthiness while adding an extra hint of freshness.

06 of 24

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Gouda and Crispy Pancetta

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Gouda and Crispy Pancetta
Andy Lyons

Pancetta adds a bacon-like twist to our extra-creamy mashed potato recipe. Add Gouda or mozzarella cheese for smooth, melty flavor.

07 of 24

Twice-Baked Pesto Mashed Potatoes

Twice-Baked Pesto Mashed Potatoes
Andy Lyons

Cheesy twice-baked potatoes are back and better than ever! We've added savory pesto—mix it in or drizzle it on top for garlicky basil flavor.

08 of 24

Savory Collard Greens

Savory Collard Greens
Andy Lyons

This easy Thanksgiving side dish recipe will teach you how to love collard greens (really!). Instead of bacon, we're using pancetta as a crispy topping—no mushy forkfuls here.

09 of 24

Brined Skillet-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brined Skillet-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Brie Passano

Soaking your Brussels spouts in a salt brine infuses them with flavor before cooking. Finish this easy holiday side dish with grainy mustard and a drizzle of olive oil.

10 of 24

Roasted Vegetables with Sorghum

roasted vegetables with sorghum

Kelsey Hansen

Give your roasted vegetables a modern makeover with cooked sorghum and smoky paprika. We made this vegetarian Thanksgiving side dish with beets, fennel, onion, green beans, and arugula but you can customize it with your favorite seasonal vegetables.

11 of 24

Lemon-Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Lemon Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Andy Lyons

Turn your top-notch Thanksgiving mashed potatoes into a showstopping side dish with just a sprinkle of bold flavors, such as capers, lemon peel, and fresh parsley. The potatoes are cooked with garlic before mashing for an even more intense layer of flavor.

12 of 24

Medley of Roasted Root Vegetables

Medley of Roasted Root Vegetables
Andy Lyons

Roasting is one of the easiest ways to draw out the natural sweetness of root vegetables. Make the most of your faves (we love beets, carrots, potatoes, and turnips) with a simple herbed olive oil dressing.

13 of 24

Chardonnay-Glazed Carrots

Chardonnay Glazed Carrots
Reed Davis

Verjuice, an acidic juice made from unripe grapes, adds a fresh twist to this classic Thanksgiving side dish. It gives a sweet-tart flavor similar to but less sharp than vinegar.

Thanksgiving Side Dish Tip: Look for verjuice at your local specialty grocery store or from an online seller.

14 of 24

Broccoli & Cheese Air-Fried Baked Potatoes

Broccoli and Cheese Air-Fried Baked Potatoes
Caitlin Bensel

Cheesy potatoes, a bit of heat, and chives upgrade ho-hum broccoli. Turn to your air fryer to make this crispy Thanksgiving side dish.

15 of 24

Roasted Green Beans with Beets, Feta, and Walnuts

Roasted Green Beans with Beets, Feta, and Walnuts
Andy Lyons

Your guests will love beets when they're featured alongside our crispy green bean and crumbly feta pairing. The earthy combination is an excellent alternative to traditional Thanksgiving side dishes, such as green bean casserole.

16 of 24

Honey-Roasted Air-Fryer Butternut Squash

bowl of butternut squash cubes with dried cranberries, Gorgonzola cheese, and walnuts
Jacob Fox

Butternut squash is one of our favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. Roasted, baked, mashed—it has a subtle sweetness that pairs perfectly with roasted turkey. Here the crispy squash is topped with blue cheese, cranberries, and toasted walnuts.

17 of 24

Brown Butter and Sausage Quick Bread

Brown Butter and Sausage Quick Bread
Andy Lyons

Bites of Italian sausage and sage-infused browned butter make this savory quick bread a unique and hearty Thanksgiving side. A hint of lemon zest and a handful of golden raisins keep the flavor fresh and light.

18 of 24

Candied Orange Sweet Potatoes

Candied Orange Sweet Potatoes
Kritsada Panichgul

Thinly sliced oranges are the key to freshening up this classic Thanksgiving side. The bright citrus flavor keeps the combination of sweet potatoes, sugar, and vanilla from tasting too sweet.

19 of 24

Wine-Poached Beets

Wine-Poached Beets
Andy Lyons

Deepen the already sweet quality of beets with a touch of brown sugar. Poach the beets in dry red wine to balance the caramelized flavor.

20 of 24

Hasselback Potatoes with Seasoned Breadcrumbs

hasselback potatoes with seasoned bread crumbs
Jason Donnelly

These wow-worthy spuds can be partially prepared before the big day. Cut potatoes as directed, then store in water up to 24 hours.

21 of 24

Spicy Green Beans with Herb Salad

Spicy Green Beans with Herb Salad
Blaine Moats

A salad made with fresh parsley, dill, mint, and cilantro cools down this spicy Thanksgiving green bean side dish. Toss the beans with anchovies, crushed red pepper, and garlic for big, bold flavors.

22 of 24

Tart Cherry Cranberry Relish

Tart Cherry Cranberry Relish
Andy Lyons

The perfect recipe for those who want to mix up their relish game. We've added fresh rosemary, white wine, and tart cherries for the win.

23 of 24

Herbed Leek Gratin

herbed leek gratin

Kelsey Hansen

Chances are you've had a potato gratin during Thanksgiving but how about a leek gratin? Layers of sliced leeks add subtle onion flavor to the filling while the cream sauce is spiced with thyme and marjoram. This Thanksgiving side dish is best served warm from the oven.

24 of 24

Curried Coconut Creamed Corn

Curried Corn in the Pressure Canner

Use our easy canning recipe to create a new twist on creamed corn. Add green curry paste and lime juice when canning to amp up the flavors. To make the creamed corn, cook one jar with coconut milk and serve warm.

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