54 Unique Thanksgiving Side Dishes That Will Stand Out On Any Table

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55 Unique Thanksgiving Side Dishes That Will Pair Perfectly With the Turkey

Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving are the ideal times to try out some fun, new recipes. While there are tons of traditional Thanksgiving classics that are never to be messed with, such as baked mac and cheese, turkey, or stuffing (and yes even Mom’s pumpkin pie), we also love the idea of pushing tradition aside and trying something unexpected, that will hopefully bring in new traditions – especially at a Friendsgiving celebration, when the “rules” are a little more loosey-goosey anyway. Unique Thanksgiving sides are an especially great way to experiment – not because mashed potatoes are boring, but because if something really flops, it won’t spoil the dinner the way a bad main dish could. Not that you have to worry about flops here: from exciting salads to creamy soups and so much more, these Thanksgiving dishes recipes will be so good, they might make you forget about the turkey altogether. So whether you’re in the mood to try something new or you just can’t stomach your aunt’s hefty green bean casserole another year, these unconventional recipes are sure to reinvigorate your Thanksgiving spread and appetite. From a refreshing take on cornbread to vegan friendly dishes like sourdough stuffing, there’s something for everybody.

– Additional reporting by Haley Lyndes and Naomi Parris

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Pumpkin and Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are a classic, and this recipe incorporates pumpkins, which makes it that much better. With every bite, you’ll get notes of sweet pumpkin puree, creamy cheddar cheese, and warm potatoes.

Get the recipe: pumpkin and cheddar scalloped potatoes

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Twice-Baked Acorn Squash With Maple Butter and Pecans

You’ve heard of twice-baked potatoes, but have you heard of twice-baked acorn squash? These cute little cups are filled with all the best flavors of the season along with creamy maple butter and crunchy pecans. Yum!

Get the recipe: twice-baked acorn squash with maple butter and pecans

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Oyster Kimchi Stuffing

Take stuffing to a place it has never been before with this red-hot recipe. Featuring oysters and kimchi, it’s exactly what your meal needs if you’re ready to break out of the traditional stuffing norm.

Get the recipe: oyster kimchi stuffing

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Slow-Cooker Corn Pudding

You can never have enough corn (especially on the Thanksgiving table!), and this recipe will prove why. With sweet corn, sour cream, cream cheese, cheddar, and more, it’s effortlessly rich, hearty, and wonderous.

Get the recipe: slow-cooker corn pudding

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Slow-Cooker Sweet Potatoes With Thyme and Blue Cheese

If you have a slow cooker, this will be your new favorite recipe in no time. Blue cheese lends a sharp, pungent tang to the naturally sweet potatoes, and the thyme gives a fresh, earthy flavor to this tasty recipe.

Get the recipe: slow-cooker sweet potatoes with thyme and blue cheese

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Ina Garten’s Make-Ahead Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes

If we didn’t have you at “goat cheese” and “mashed potatoes,” get this: these rich and velvety spuds are made with just a few staple ingredients and can be prepped up to three days ahead of time. Also, it’s an Ina Garten recipe. So, enough said.

Get the recipe: Ina Garten’s make-ahead goat cheese baked mashed potatoes

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Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole With Bacon and Pecans

Give the classic casserole a makeover with this buttery and bourbon-y recipe. Rich bacon pecans are layered on top of hearty potatoes, meaning your taste buds will get the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

Get the recipe: bourbon sweet potato casserole with bacon and pecans

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30-Minute Butternut Squash and Cider Soup

If you need soup, and you need soup quick, this is the recipe for you! It’s easy, tasty, and full of flavor.

Get the recipe: 30-minute butternut squash and cider soup

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Brussels Sprout Salad With Pomegranate, Walnuts, and Jalapeño

The concept of butternut squash is no stranger to playing its role of a pasta sauce and you’re sure to be addicted to the sauce in this lasagna. With rich ingredients like mushrooms, Swiss chard, and yummy cheeses like mozzarella and parmesan, this is the perfect spin on the holiday staple.

Get the recipe: butternut squash lasagna

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Buttery Herbed Mashed Potatoes

Cream, fresh herbs, garlic, and crème fraîche work together to make these the best mashed potatoes of all time. Feel free to add as much gravy as you please.

Get the recipe: buttery herbed mashed potatoes

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Brussels Sprout, Beluga Lentil, and Cranberry Holiday Salad

Fresh, light, and bright, this holiday salad will be a gift to your taste buds. Kale, brussels sprouts, and glossy black beluga lentils provide its wholesome base, while dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and clusters of clementine wedges are a festive nod to the season.

Get the recipe: brussels sprout, beluga lentil, and cranberry holiday salad

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Cheesy Squash Casserole

These crispy baked asparagus fries are such a great and fun way to incorporate greens into the Thanksgiving spread, especially for the kiddies. All you need are some breadcrumbs, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and other unique seasonings to give the healthy green a nice kick. aFeel free to freestyle on the lemon dijon dipping sauce to accompany the yummy snack.

Get the recipe: crispy baked asparagus fries

a bowl of soup

Curried Pumpkin Soup

Rich in flavor yet light on the butter and cream, curried pumpkin soup is an easy seasonal starter or side dish that can be stored in the fridge and reheated when you need it. This particular pumpkin soup has an Indian twist with the addition of ginger, curry powder, and coconut milk; however, it is not overwhelmingly spicy or palate burning.

Get the recipe: curried pumpkin soup

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Wild Rice Stuffing With Mushrooms

Wild rice might not be quite as popular a stuffing base as cubes of a crusty boule or tender cornbread, but don’t discount it quite yet. Made with wild rice, brown rice, mushrooms, and just enough butter and olive oil to make it crave-worthy, it’s a worthy contender for your holiday table this year.

Get the recipe: wild rice stuffing with mushrooms

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Cinnamon Butter Baked Carrots

This dish looks like something you’d see at a restaurant, but it will be the easiest thing you make all month. Carrots are left whole, drizzled with a fragrant and simple mixture of butter and cinnamon, and baked until perfectly tender. They’re sure to disappear – even at the kids’ table.

Get the recipe: cinnamon butter baked carrots

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Green Bean Casserole With Bacon and Fried Onions

Want a gussied-up version of green bean casserole with zero extra work? Try this creamy and crunchy version, which adds indulgent texture and flavor with bacon, half and half, cheddar cheese, and fried onions. It’s one-pan recipes like these that will save your Thanksgiving.

Get the recipe: green bean casserole with bacon and fried onions

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Pumpkin Cornbread Drop Biscuits

These wholesome, cinnamony cornbread biscuits satisfy a savory craving for pumpkin before dessert even makes it to the table. They’re also perfect for mini Thanksgiving sandwiches the next day (on the off chance that there are any leftovers!).

Get the recipe: pumpkin cornbread drop biscuits

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Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots

While corn on the cob may be a primarily summer treat, this holiday is all about experimenting so why not put a cheesy twist to make a tasty treat. The buttery taste combined with the Parmesan cheese and hint of basil makes for the perfect side dish. We suggest moving your main course over for these.

Get the recipe: grilled garlic parmesan corn

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Crispy Salt and Pepper Smashed Potatoes

Normal mashed potatoes are always good, but change things up with these smashed ‘taters. They are crispy and smooth at the same time, which is why they will be everyone’s favorite dish after just one bite.

Get the recipe: crispy salt and pepper smashed potatoes

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Slow-Cooker Sausage Stuffing

A few hours in the slow cooker brings out unbelievable depth of flavor from rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, and, of course, juicy sausage in this make-ahead stuffing. While it hangs out in the slow cooker and makes your kitchen smell dreamy, you can prepare the rest of your feast in bliss.

Get the recipe: slow-cooker sausage stuffing

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Steamed Carrots With Olive Oil and Lemon

Want a super-simple dish? Look no further than these steamed carrots. They’re tasty, delightful, and one of the easiest side dishes on the menu.

Get the recipe: steamed carrots with olive oil and lemon

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Sweet Potato Casserole With Butter Pecan Crumble Topping

You’ve seen – and may love – sweet potato casseroles with marshmallow topping. But give this deliciously easy, irresistibly crumbly, buttery and brown sugary pecan topping a chance, and your Thanksgiving just might change for the better. After all, it’s basically a primer for the pie course.

Get the recipe: sweet potato casserole with butter pecan crumble topping

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Slow-Cooker Creamed Corn

Nothing says dinner like warm, rich corn. This creamy corn is not only easy to make, but it will also make everyone’s mouth water.

Get the recipe: slow-cooker creamed corn

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Pull-Apart Garlic Butter Bread Wreath

Everyone loves garlic bread, and it’s even better when it’s festive and easy to eat! This pull-apart wreath is prefect for sharing and for avoiding a crumbly mess.

Get the recipe: pull-apart garlic butter bread wreath

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Butternut Tabbouleh

With fresh mint, parsley, dried cranberries, and feta, this butternut tabbouleh pairs flavors that have never been paired before. Open your tastebuds up to a whole new world thanks to this side dish.

Get the recipe: butternut tabbouleh

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Bacon Green Bean Bundles

Sneak in vegetables and bacon all-in-one by making these tasty bundles. The are rich in flavor and have nutrients, too!

Get the recipe: bacon green bean bundles

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Pimento Cheese Creamed Spinach

Full of cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream, this Pimento Cheese Creamed Spinach couldn’t get any richer. The flavors will balance any meaty entrée perfectly.

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Creamy Cheesy Cornbread

When is cornbread not the perfect side dish? This cheesy cornbread is great on its own or can be eaten with other pairings.

Get the recipe: creamy cheesy cornbread

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Cheesy Mashed Potatoes With Gruyère and Caramelized Onions

With nutty Gruyère cheese and sweet caramelized onions, these cheesy potatoes will change the way you see potatoes forever. Top it off with some fancy herbs and watch as this side dish steals the show.

Get the recipe: cheesy mashed potatoes with gruyère and caramelized onions

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Harvest Roasted Vegetables

For a side dish that will steal the show, these harvest vegetables are what you’re looking for. Flavorful and healthy make the perfect combination.

Get the recipe: harvest roasted vegetables

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French Onion Scalloped Potatoes

With a creamy homemade roux and a crunchy French onion topping, these scalloped potatoes are a rich (and easy) side dish to make with any meal.

Get the recipe: French onion scalloped potatoes

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Baked Asparagus Fries

What better way to disguise greens than with cheese? This broccoli with cheddar sauce is sure to be a hit. Get the recipe: broccoli with cheddar sauce.

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Loaded Corn Casserole

Take the casserole up a notch with all the extra fixings this recipe has.

Get the recipe: loaded corn casserole

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White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin

Swap out the potatoes for some healthy healthy cauliflower in this mouthwatering recipe. It will perfectly complement any meal thanks to its rich, cheesy flavor.

Get the recipe: white cheddar cauliflower gratin

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Stuffing Muffins

Savory, comforting, and craveably carb-heavy, stuffing (or dressing, if you’d prefer) is divine in its many permutations, but none are as flat-out adorable as these stuffing muffins. Not sold on the cute factor? No matter; stuffing muffins are also preportioned, are easier to serve, have more of those delectable crispy edges, and if – and that’s a big if – you have leftovers, they’re easy to pop in the freezer to keep fresh for days down the line.

Get the recipe: stuffing muffins

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Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetables

Just cut, season, and roast these veggies and your time is done in the kitchen! Add this healthy side dish to any hearty meal.

Get the recipe: rosemary roasted root vegetables

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Pomegranate-Glazed Carrots With Whipped Goat Cheese

This fancy carrot recipe is just as good as it sounds. Pair it with a meat-filled meal for great results.

Get the recipe: pomegranate-glazed carrots with whipped goat cheese

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Cranberry Baked Brie

Give your feast a touch of elegance with baked Brie recipe. It pairs well with hearty main dishes and breads of all kinds.

Get the recipe: cranberry baked Brie

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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Make the main dish a side dish in seconds by whipping up this mac and cheese recipe. It’ll have guests begging for more, trust us.

Get the recipe: butternut squash mac and cheese

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5-Ingredient Tahini-Thyme Brussels Sprouts

Give your brussels sprouts new life with this easy recipe. They’re a nice and light side dish that will spice up any dinner.

Get the recipe: 5-ingredient tahini-thyme brussels sprouts

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Baked Parmesan Creamed Corn

You’ll want to eat this ooey-gooey corn dish with every meal.

Get the recipe: baked parmesan creamed corn

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Rice Pilaf With Cranberries and Pears

Throw cranberries into your rice for a pop of tart sweetness.

Get the recipe: rice pilaf with cranberries and pears

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Cranberry Salad

Toss out your boring cranberry sauce and make a cranberry salad instead.

Get the recipe: cranberry salad

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Deep-Fried Stuffing

If your family is the type that loves fried food, this recipe is for you.

Get the recipe: deep-fried stuffing

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Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Pack your acorn squash full of this delicious quinoa mix.

Get the recipe: quinoa stuffed acorn squash

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Brussels Sprouts Mac and Cheese

What’s better than plain brussels sprouts? Brussels sprouts made into mac and cheese.

Get the recipe: brussels sprouts mac and cheese

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Garlic Bacon Sautéed Green Beans With Roasted Mushrooms

Did someone say garlic and bacon in the same sentence?! These sautéed green beans will definitely steal the side dish show.

Get the recipe: garlic bacon sautéed green beans with roasted mushrooms

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Corn Casserole With Cheese

Corn casserole is a holiday favorite (it can almost count as dessert because of the sweetness!), but when you add cheese? Forget about it.

Get the recipe: corn casserole with cheese

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Simple Garlicky Vegan Sourdough Stuffing

With ingredients like leeks, mushrooms, soy sauce, and sourdough bread, you really can’t go wrong with this stuffing.

Get the recipe: simple garlicky vegan sourdough stuffing

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Brussels Sprouts Gratin With Butternut Squash

Try this different spin on brussels sprouts at your holiday feast by pairing them with another holiday favorite: butternut squash.

Get the recipe: brussels sprouts gratin with butternut squash

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Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed with Italian sausage, apples, mushrooms, and spices, this acorn squash side dish will be the hit of dinner.

Get the recipe: sausage stuffed acorn squash

a bowl of salad

Chopped Autumn Salad With Apple Cider Dressing

This salad’s sweet and tangy apple cider dressing balances out the contrasting flavors of sweet apples, pears, and candied pecans with savory bacon and feta cheese. Just a few minutes of easy chopping yields a healthy side that anyone will love.

Get the recipe: chopped Autumn salad with apple cider dressing

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Blistered Green Beans With Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, a splash of sherry vinegar, and a toasted almond topping give unexpected flavor and texture to these simple blistered green beans. Make these for an easy, dairy-free green you can feel good about eating.

Get the recipe: blistered green beans with mushrooms and caramelized onions

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Balsamic Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Bacon

More bacon! This savory side adds bacon and parmesan to the dish for a rich combination.

Get the recipe: balsamic oven roasted brussels sprouts with bacon

a plate of food with broccoli

55 Unique Thanksgiving Side Dishes That Will Pair Perfectly With the Turkey

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