5 Must-Try Thanksgiving Side Dish Alternatives


It’s a little unbelievable Thanksgiving is around the corner. Ready or not…it is time for turkey and dressing and all the fixings! Though it sounds delicious, the idea of having the same turkey, dressing, and sides at the multiple Thanksgiving meals I will attend will get old, as usual. So, I did a round up of 5 Thanksgiving meal alternatives I can take to a Thanksgiving gathering to change it up a bit. Image shows a Thanksgiving turkey, corn on the cob, cranberry sauce, and mashed sweet potatoes, all sitting on a brown wooden table. Text reads: Thanksgiving Meal Alternatives

  1. Crispy Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes: Shoppers purchase nearly 214 million pounds of potatoes and only 50 million pounds of sweet potatoes in the US during Thanksgiving season, according to the National Grocers Association. That is a lot of potatoes! Sweet potatoes don’t have to be the ugly step sibling, they can be the highlight of the meal with this recipe. These crispy sweet potatoes add some variety in texture and taste, and the rosemary addition is definitely a win!
  2. Cranberry- Jalapeno Relish– Americans consume roughly 80 million pounds of cranberries during Thanksgiving. And I suspect that is mostly the only time of year we even touch this tasty berry. Regardless, that is a lot of cranberries. I could never get behind the jellied cranberry stuff plopped on a plate and served with turkey. I have made some homemade cranberry sauces before, but THIS is the stuff right here. Spice up the cranberry dish this year (quite literally) with this yummy Cranberry-Jalapeno Relish recipe. It is super easy to make and is sure to be a crowd pleaser as an alternative to traditional Thanksgiving dishes.
  3. Hominy Casserole– Ok, hear me out. I know you read the word “hominy” and probably quit reading, but TRUST ME. I have made this before and it is a winner. I don’t really like hominy, but gave it a try because…bacon. Lots of bacon. I added jalapeños to mine also, which was excellent in my opinion. It was a crowd pleaser! Even though someone else brought a traditional corn casserole, my hominy casserole was eaten as well! People who didn’t prefer hominy later said, “Wow, I am surprised this was so good. I usually hate hominy!” So trust me: give this Hominy Casserole a try! This Thanksgiving meal alternative may seem like a risk, but it is a risk worth taking.
  4. Pumpkin Cake- Of course pumpkin pie is the traditional go to dessert, but why not change it up a bit with this tasty pumpkin cake recipe. You are still holding true to the tradition of pumpkin, but tradition with some much needed flair! That cream cheese icing on top, is the perfect pairing.  I prefer cake over pie any day, so resisting pie is easy for me…but this? Nope, I have to have a piece. 
  5. Buttermilk Mac & Cheese- Mac & cheese is a fan favorite any day of the week, why not put it on the Thanksgiving menu too? Check out the recipe here. This fun take adds some variety to the recipe as well, so it won’t be too typical or boring. This rich and creamy version may just show up on your dinner table throughout the year! It calls for kale, and I like it that way, but it’s easy to leave out so the kiddos at the dinner table won’t protest. 

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy traditional Thanksgiving meals, but after attending one for work, my family’s gathering, my husband’s, and maybe a “friends giving,” it all just gets old real fast. These Thanksgiving meal alternatives are a great way to keep it fresh this year!