10 Fun Ways to Switch Up Your Traditional Thanksgiving Menu
'Tis the season for turkey, stuffing, and all the other scrumptious fixings we all know and love. But while they're all delicious, the classics can become a bit repetitive year after year (after year).
If you'd like to avoid being too predictable this Thanksgiving, consider putting a surprising new spin on your savories, sides and even desserts.
READ: 10 Pumpkin Dessert Recipes (That Aren't Pie)
Need some inspiration? Try impressing your guests with these fun twists on your favorite holiday foods:
Baked Cheese Shrimp
Shrimp has always been a simple yet delicious appetizer when paired with some cocktail sauce. Lalaine of Kawaling Pinoy, however, has a great recipe she calls "simple yet elegant" — and it won't fail to please. Her cheesy baked shrimp is sure to tickle your guests' tastebuds, and have them forgetting all about the cocktail sauce.
Jalapeno Popper Dip
Another appetizer that's a must-have on everyone's Thanksgiving spread is some sort of dip. Some hosts prefer the classic spinach-artichoke dip, while others might like to try something a little more risky. Spice up your menu this year with Spend With Pennies' Jalapeno Popper Dip. This fiery recipe is the perfect twist on a holiday favorite.
(Spend With Pennies)
Bread. Its a blessing and a curse. Usually, the dinner rolls come out just minutes before the main course. But it's important to know that what happens next isn't your fault. You black out, hanger takes over, and next thing you know, you've filled up on warm, delicious bread. Don't let that happen this year. Instead, substitute this lighter flatbread recipe from Martha at A Family Feast.
(A Family Feast)
Fresh Cranberry Jam
Anyone can open up a can of cranberry sauce, stir it up, and serve it to their guests. But you're not just anyone: You're the host of your family's Thanksgiving. Try this delicious recipe from This Silly Girl's Kitchen and wow your family with some homemade fresh cranberry jam instead.
(This Silly Girl's Kitchen)
Easy Creamed Corn
When it comes to deciding what veggies will accompany your turkey, corn is almost always a top contender. But whether your favorite is canned, cobbed or frozen, prepare to have your world flipped upside down. Chungah, of Damn Delicious, says her easy creamed corn is "the creamiest, most amazing creamed corn you will ever have," and warns that if it's on the Thanksgiving table, "no one will pay attention to your turkey at all!" We think her recipe is worth the risk.
Mashed Potato Puffs
Your guests will wonder if they've wandered into an upscale restaurant when you serve them a fancy mashed potato puff in place of sloppy spoonful of mashed potatoes. Reeni, of Cinnamon-Spice and Everything Nice, says this recipe "puts classic mashed potatoes to shame." The best part? It's customizable. Mix in bacon, cheese, or whatever you might like.
(Cinnamon-Spice and Everything Nice)
Beer Battered Fried Green Beans
Looking for a good way to make sure the veggies make it to the kids table? Sheryl from Lady Behind The Curtain says her recipe for beans is "a sneaky way to get your kids to eat their green vegetables," and works with zuccini too! So replace the classic green bean casserole with something a bit more kid-friendly, and watch the youngsters gobble them up.
(Lady Behind The Curtain)
Baked Salmon With Parmesan Herb Crust
We wouldn't suggest serving salmon instead of turkey, but it might be nice to have an alternative for your pescatarian or turkey-hating guests. Robyn of Add A Pinch says her salmon recipe is "easy enough for the busiest of nights while being elegant enough for entertaining," which sounds to us like the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu.
(Add A Pinch)
Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins
Don't have time to make both pumpkin pie and cheesecake? Don't worry, Sally of Sally's Baking Addiction has you covered. Try her recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins and serve both desserts in one! (We suggest making a double batch, and hiding half for a sweet breakfast treat in the morning.)
(Sally's Baking Addiction)
Apple Pie Taquitos
There's almost nothing better than capping off Thanksgiving dinner with a warm slice of apple pie — almost. Joanna of Jo Cooks has a sweet recipe that transforms this American classic into a slightly less messy, equally delicious treat.