Unique Thanksgiving recipes to savor this holiday season


Graphic by Evelyn Shue

Sophia Fang, Arts Writer

The season of thanks has returned! For a holiday that has been celebrated for more than two centuries, it would be impossible not to recognize the iconic turkey and gravy that has come to represent Thanksgiving. But after eating the same old dishes for so long, why not try a new twist on some traditional recipes? 

  1. Sweet Potato Rolls

Dinner rolls are always present at the table but buried under the glamor of the other dishes. Give dinner rolls some more attention this year by using sweet potatoes not in pies, nor in casseroles, but in this recipe by Southern Living for dinner rolls instead. The classic sweet potatoes add both a light sweetness and festive orange color to the bread that is sure to be a hit at the table.

  1. Parsnip Purée

Tired of traditional mashed potatoes, year after year? Try this twist on the favorite side dish by substituting the potatoes for parsnip instead. Parsnip is a white carrot-like vegetable with a sweet, nutty flavor, and it’ll cause the dish to have a slightly softer texture. With only three ingredients and two steps, this recipe from Bon Appetit is beginner-friendly but its unique taste is still sure to impress.

  1. Chestnut Stuffing with Fennel

The classic bread, chicken stock, onion, and celery stuffing is good, but gets repetitive and boring after years of the same recipe. Revive your stuffing again with this new recipe by Food and Wine filled with the fall flavors of sweet chestnut and smoky pancetta. This dish maintains the classic core ingredients of stuffing but adds a unique, rustic spin to it.

  1. Sautéed Pears with Bacon and Mustard Dressing

Instead of plain potato fries or sweet potato fries, try some deliciously savory pear fries. The walnuts in the dish bring the sweet pear and the smoky, salty bacon together. With these three main ingredients, this dish by Bon Appetit is guaranteed to surprise you—and your guests—with its mix of sweet and savory flavors.

  1. Maple Glazed Spatchcock Turkey

Turkey is undeniably the most important dish on the table during Thanksgiving. Spice up the traditional turkey recipe this year with maple glaze and by spatchcocking it. The maple glaze includes all the traditional Thanksgiving herbs like rosemary and thyme, but adds another layer of flavor with sweet pure maple syrup.

Spatchcocking a turkey means that the backbone is taken out, allowing the turkey to lay flat when cooking. It lets the turkey cook faster and more evenly, also lowering the chances of it being overcooked. This delicious turkey from Plays Well With Butter takes only an hour and a half to cook, so it is definitely worth a try.

  1. Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

A combination of two popular Thanksgiving classics: pumpkin and cheesecake, what’s not to love? Not to mention, these are mini, so everyone can have a bite-sized dessert. These cheesecakes by Southern Living can easily be made ahead of time, lessening the cooking burden the day of, but surely doesn’t lessen its deliciousness. To make this dessert feel more like fall, try swapping out the graham cracker crust for a gingersnap cookie crust.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, bringing something new to the table is a fun way to celebrate a centuries old holiday. Contributing a unique dish not only provides delectable food to enjoy but also allows time to be spent together with family in the kitchen, both reasons to give thanks this season. Happy cooking!