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Thanksgiving 2018 – Get Creative with side dishes

The typical Thanksgiving feast in most American homes will include turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, corn, and cranberry sauce. Of course, there are variations of these dishes, but you get the idea. This year, why not shake things up a bit with a unique side dish?

If your guests are adventurous, there are a host of options you can consider. Better yet, if you have been tasked with supplying a side dish for someone else’s feast, ask the host how creative you may be. Most guests love the chance to try unique variations on the expected or something completely unexpected.

When you are asked to bring…

A vegetable side:

  • Choose any winter squash and roast it. Serve as is, or add mushrooms and greens for a salad dish.

  • Consider artichokes prepared in a cheesy casserole or spiced up.

  • Collard greens or spinach sautéed in a skillet with bacon, crushed red pepper and broth pair perfectly with turkey.

  • Brussels sprouts sautéed, roasted, or steamed are becoming a holiday delicacy. Prepare with bacon, garlic, shallots or melted butter—your choice.

  • Cold weather means root vegetables. Consider cooking with parsnips, turnips, beets and rutabagas.

  • If corn or green beans are a must, consider a corn pudding or adding crushed red pepper or chopped chilis to your traditional green beans and mushrooms or green bean casserole for an added kick.

A salad of greens:

  • Skip the iceberg lettuce in favor of mixed greens and add some crunchy nuts and pumpkin seeds to your selection of chopped veggies.

  • Choose less greens and fill in with chopped apples or pears for some crunch and pomegranate or cranberries for color and a touch of the exotic.

  • For a small group, arrange plates of greens topped with roasted squash and citrus slices

  • Saute a variety of course greens for a warm salad option.


  • Choose a fresh crusty bread from the local bakery for a nice change from standard rolls.

  • Prepare home baked corn bread with some southern spices, or add rosemary or sage for a new flavor.

Many suggestions for new food ideas and recipes are readily available through search engines and social media. Or check with your local caterer if you are looking for ways to shake up your traditional Thanksgiving dinner.