16 Thanksgiving Sides Your Family Might Actually Want to Eat
There are only a handful of Thanksgiving dishes anyone actually enjoys, and they're listed as follows: turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and absolutely nothing else.
We might take a few spoonfuls of green bean casserole or cranberry sauce too, but that's only because we feel guilty, or because it looks pretty next to the foods we want to eat. Besides, if green beans or cranberry sauce were so good, we'd prepare them more than once per year — but they aren't, so we don't. Yet there they are, sitting on the edge of every Thanksgiving table in America, just waiting to disappoint.
READ: 10 Fun Twists on Traditional Thanksgiving Dishes
This year, skip the second-rate sides and serve a your family a slew of dishes they might genuinely enjoy, like …
(She Wears Many Hats; Damn Delicious, Culinary Hill, Rasa Malaysia)
Mushroom and Herb Spoonbread
It not quite cornbread and it's not quite a soufflé, but it is definitely delicious: It's spoonbread, and Tanya Holland of Oakland's Brown Sugar Kitchen has a killer recipe for this cornmeal-based dish featuring mushrooms, thyme and cheddar. Here's the recipe.
Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Rice
Cauliflower on its own? A little boring. Rice on its own? Also a little boring. But smash them both together with a little garlic and cheese like Amy at Pinch of Yum, and you've got a Thanksgiving-worthy side. Click here for her recipe.
(Pinch of Yum)
Cheddar and Jalapeno Skillet Cornbread
A big skillet of this spicy cheddar cornbread from Heidi at FoodieCrush is sure to be the cheesiest, corniest thing at the table aside from your Uncle Devon's terrible knock-knock jokes. (Knock knock, Uncle Devon. "Who's there?" Shut up and try this cornbread recipe.)
Roasted Corn Salad With Spicy Cajun Seasoning
If you'd rather feel a few kernels between your teeth, try this recipe for roasted corn salad from Rika at Posh Journal. Just keep a mug of warm gravy nearby in case the heat from the cayenne is too much to handle. Here's Rika's recipe.
PHOTOS: 10 Salad Ideas for People Who Hate Lettuce
Cheesy Garlic Bread
We took an informal poll of Earth's citizens, and not a single soul on the face of the planet would complain if they saw some garlic bread on your Thanksgiving menu. Our friend Holly at Life in the Lofthouse has a super easy and cheesy recipe too, so you have no excuse not to make some this Thursday.
(Life in the Lofthouse)
Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing
Your guests are going to gorge themselves on stuffing no matter how it's made, but that's no reason to phone it in. For a truly special stuffing that will leave people stuffed and satisfied, take a cue from Amy at She Wears Many Hats and try out her sausage and mushroom stuffing recipe right here.
(She Wears Many Hats)
Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
This curry-spiced soup from Ciara at My Fussy Eater and makes a phenomenal precursor to a Thanksgiving meal. Better yet, try a few spoonfuls over your mashed potatoes and turkey — you won't be displeased. Here's the recipe.
(My Fussy Eater)
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
Nicki Pendleton Wood calls this Southern-inspired dish a "side," but let's not kid ourselves: It's basically a sweet-potato cheesecake masquerading as a side. We promise not to tell anyone if you don't. Get a look at the sinful recipe here.
You'll still need something red on your plate in the absence of cranberry sauce, so how about a neon red helping of beet slaw? It's sweet, it's simple, and Lexi's Clean Kitchen has a great recipe loaded with almonds and raisins. Here's how it's made.
(Lexi's Clean Kitchen)
Cheddar and Bacon Biscuits
Nicki Pendleton Wood, the author of "Southern Cooking for Company," makes one hell of a biscuit. In fact, her bacon-cheddar biscuits were once described as "the best biscuits you'll ever eat," and we're inclined to believe it, especially because we're the one's who said it. Check out the full recipe here.
Baked Green Bean Fries
First off, green bean fries sound so much better than a creamy green bean casserole. They're a lot healthier too, especially because Chungah at Damn Delicious bakes her fries instead of, y'know, frying them. Have a look at her recipe.
RECIPE: Chungah's 10-Minute BBQ Ranch Pork Chops
Garlic and Thyme Roasted Mushrooms
Don't let the recipe's simplicity fool you: These garlicky roasted mushrooms from Bee at Rasa Malaysia are anything but basic. "Every bite is bursting with the juiciness of the mushroom and the garlicky butter thyme flavors," writes Bee, who shares her recipe here.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash
We understand some people find brussels sprouts repulsive, but those people should suck it up and try Jen's recipe from Carlsbad Cravings. Unless all your guests are picky 12-year-olds, they're going to love the blend of butternut squash, balsamic dressing and bacon. Here'show to make it.
Sweet Potato Galette With Caramelized Shallots
Who isn't going to want a slice of this?! It might be more work than roasting a few sweet potatoes or candy-ing some yams, but this savory, flaky tart from Jessica at How Sweet It Is will be the talk of the table. Click here to learn how it's made.
(How Sweet It Is)
Maple-Glazed Bacon-Wrapped Roasted Carrots
Turkey goes great with bacon, but if you don't have the wherewithal to cross-hatch your entire bird in pork bellies, you can steal this idea from Kevin at Closet Cooking and wrap your veggies in the stuff. Find his sweet and salty recipe here.
Baked Mac & Cheese With Garlic Butter Crumbs
You just know the mac & cheese is going to be good when it's completely covered in a layer of garlicky, buttery breadcrumbs, and that's exactly how Meggan at Culinary Hill prepares it. Click here for her recipe, then make some extra breadcrumbs and cover the turkey in 'em, too. We guarantee nobody will mind.