Everyone loves Thanksgiving. With good friends, great family and a whole lot of laughter, what is there not to love? But with Thanksgiving comes the same old Thanksgiving dishes: turkey, potatoes and pumpkin pie.
While I love my mom's cooking, 18 years of the same green bean casserole is starting to get old. So in hopes that my mom sees this article (and actually uses them), here are 10 recipe ideas to shake up your Thanksgiving menu.
1. Roasted Garlic Parmesan Green Beans
You could put garlic and parmesan on just about anything to make it delicious, and these green beans are no exception. This Thanksgiving dish makes a perfect replacement for boring steamed veggies and would pair great with baked mac and cheese.
2. Sweet Potato Casserole
Okay, maybe this one seems like more of a dessert, but it is definitely a twist to your classic sweet potato side. Whether you choose to serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or not (I'd say go for it), everyone will be glad you replaced the standard baked potato with a sweet potato dish.
3. Turkey Cranberry Panini
Make sure to save some turkey from your Thanksgiving feast for this turkey cranberry panini. This sandwich is a great way to get rid of your leftovers. You could even make these bad boys while your guests are eating dessert so that they can take them home with them.
4. Fall Harvest Salad
This harvest salad is a great spin to replace the traditional greens salad that is forgotten to the vast amount of stuffing on the table. With both veggies and fruits, this salad offers the perfect crunch while providing tons of nutrients.
Serve with a green goddess dressing for a two thumbs up from all. Also, this is a great Thanksgiving dish for your dietary restricted guests.
5. Cranberry Crescent Rolls
These crescents take rolls to a new level. Filled with gooey cranberry sauce, they make for a great tangy side or as a dessert to be served with coffee. The beautiful color adds a nice touch to any cornucopia too.
6. Maple Acorn Squash
Squash is my favorite Fall food, especially when it has a sweet kick to it. So this maple acorn squash recipe is a must-bake for sure this Thanksgiving.
Baked with brown sugar, this maple squash tastes like dessert with every bite. Not to mention the beautiful colors it brings to the table will make everyone want to take a bite.
7. Mac and Cheese Bake
Baked to perfection, this gooey goodness brings out the kid in all of us. With a bread crumble served on top, this baked mac beats all other cheesy sides. Also, when served in a cute individual dish, it is easy to prepare and helps control portion size.
8. Stuffing Casserole
Stuffing may just be the headline of all Thanksgiving meals (other than the turkey, of course). But because of that, there isn't much spunk to be added to the traditional stuffing recipe. A baked stuffing casserole with cranberries is the way to go for a unique stuffing experience, while keeping taste and tradition alive.
9. Rotini Pasta Salad
Pasta salad can get boring, especially when paired with other typical Thanksgiving dishes. Thankfully Fall allows for some creative ways to mix up your favorite pasta salad recipes. By simply adding ingredients such as pumpkin seeds and butternut squash, the entire salad is transformed. These salads are best served cold and make for great leftovers.
10. Baked Zucchini
This dish will be sure to get even the pickiest of eaters muchin' on their veggies. Baked in olive oil and topped with crumbled bread crumbs, this zucchini dish will make a great side dish for your Thanksgiving feast (and will look a lot prettier, too).
While what you choose to serve to your Thanksgiving guests may seem like the number one priority all November, the truth is that it all comes down to good food and great family. Enjoy these dishes mixed in with your favorite family traditions and be sure to send everyone home with leftovers.