Traditional recipes like roasted turkey and pecan pie conjure up images of a plentiful Thanksgiving feast for some, but there are several alternatives you can mix into your recipe rotation to keep things interesting. Continue reading for a variety of traditional and unconventional dishes to add to your holiday table this season.
4 Thanksgiving Appetizers
Choose one of these delectable Thanksgiving appetizers to kick off your holiday meal:
1. Brioche bread: Sourdough rolls, buttermilk biscuits, or buttery dinner rolls, for example, can help guests satisfy their hunger before the main courses arrive. Make your recipe more savory or sweet by coating the tops of the rolls with butter and Parmesan or brown sugar. For a soft loaf, try Apollonia Poilâne's French brioche recipe.
2. Cauliflower soup: Thanksgiving is the ideal time of year to prepare some hearty fall soups to combat the autumn chill. Serve butternut squash soup to your guests, or try Gordon Ramsay's cauliflower soup recipe for a unique addition to your soup and stew rotation.
3. Cornbread: A hearty, cake-like treat that goes well with chili or soup. Cornbread stuffing is also a great alternative to breadcrumb-based stovetop stuffing recipes. To keep this appetizer moist and delicious, serve with cranberry sauce or Mashama Bailey's cornbread dressing recipe.
4. Salad with Kogi vinaigrette: Begin your Thanksgiving menu with a light mix of greens, fall vegetables, and Roy Choi's Kogi vinaigrette recipe for a sweet and tangy kick.
4 Side Dishes for Thanksgiving
On Thanksgiving Day, side dishes will round out your holiday meal. Discover these tried-and-true Thanksgiving recipes from some of the world's best chefs:
1. Creamy mashed potatoes: One of the most popular side dishes at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is mashed potatoes. Some home cooks even substitute sweet potato pie for the more traditional pumpkin pie. Scalloped potatoes, sweet potato gratin, candied sweet potato casserole with brown butter, and mashed potatoes with a turkey gravy recipe or a topping of chives and sour cream are all popular potato dish variations. To spice up your traditional mashed potatoes, try Dominique Crenn's pommes purée recipe.
2. Macaroni and cheese: This creamy, cheesy crowd-pleaser is perfect for a last-minute addition to the Thanksgiving table. For a culinary twist on this classic side, try Wolfgang Puck's homemade mac and cheese recipe.
3. Mixed vegetables: Brighten up your plate with buttery slow cooker yams, pan-fried Brussel sprouts, or grilled veggies like green beans, onions, shallots, beets, carrots, and corn on the cob. To provide a healthy, crispy side to your Thanksgiving dinner, try Roy Choi's BBQ mixed vegetables recipe.
4. Potato salad: This dish is popular at backyard barbecues in the summer, but it also makes an excellent holiday side dish. A mayonnaise sauce, onions, fresh herbs, and hard-boiled eggs are common ingredients in potato salad recipes; however, if you prefer a lighter take on this popular side, try Thomas Keller's German potato salad recipe.
4 Thanksgiving Entrées
Consider one of these main course alternatives for your Thanksgiving meal:
1. Brisket: A thick, muscle-rich cut of beef that can be slow-cooked or smoked for hours for a tender texture and juicy flavor profile. Aaron Franklin's BBQ brisket recipe teaches you how to smoke a brisket.
2. Cauliflower steak: This vegetarian entrée could be a great substitute for meat dishes at your holiday dinner. The thin cauliflower slices char and crisp around the edges, but the meaty interior retains a good chew. Using Gordon Ramsay's cauliflower steak recipe, learn how to make this dish.
3. Lamb kebabs: This pan-fried lamb dish can be served as an appetizer, but it also makes a delicious light entrée. The soft and spicy lamb meat patties pair well with vegetables, salads, and bread. For a succulent meat entrée, try Madhur Jaffrey's lamb kebab recipe.
4. Roasted quail: Instead of the traditional Thanksgiving turkey, try roasted quail or duck. These white meat bird options can be prepared in significantly less time and with comparable flavor and texture. To spice up your Thanksgiving entrées, try Mashama Bailey's quail with watermelon molasses recipe.