Thanksgiving tradition calls for turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, dinner rolls, and pumpkin pie. That sounds great and all, but this year, it’s time to step up your game. Surprise your family and friends with delicious (and unconventional) new side dishes. Here are 29 Thanksgiving side dishes to spice up tradition and give your taste buds truly something to be grateful for.  

1. Turkey Roulade

Give your turkey a makeover by wrapping up the entire Thanksgiving dinner inside and calling it a day. This turkey recipe rolls all the classic Thanksgiving side dishes inside, so top with gravy and you are good to go.

2. Turkey Spring Rolls

These turkey spring rolls come together in just 10 minutes, leaving you with a unique side dish that still offers your November dose of tryptophan. If these turkey rolls have you hooked, don't worry, there are spring roll variations for all seasons! 

3. Mashed Potato Pie

Pie screams Thanksgiving. Therefore, putting your mashed potatoes in pie form is a pretty festive move. Instead of topping with ice cream, try a small scoop of sour cream, bacon and chives. 

4. Sweet Acorn Squash and Apple Soup

garlic, bread, vegetable, parsley, cream, soup, butternut squash soup, butternut squash, bisque
Julia Gilman

What could be better on a cold November day than a bowl of soup? Nothing. Ready in 45 minutes with just a little more effort than a can, this soup is warm, creamy, delicious, and the perfect complement to turkey. 

5. Pumpkin Spice Brussel Sprouts with Maple Dijon Glaze  

Florence Ma

Brussel sprouts are an easy addition to the Thanksgiving dinner. Loaded with fiber, they can help regulate blood sugar and aid in digestion, which can help prevent overeating at the biggest meal of the year. 

6. Cranberry Pecan Salad with Feta Cheese


If you're looking for the perfect Thanksgiving salad, look no further. Keep greens on the table with this speedy 5-ingredient salad that makes it look like you worked a lot harder than you did. 

7. Butternut Squash, Apple, and Onion Galette 

Once again, I repeat, pie is not just for dessert. This savory galette is both a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving table as well as a beautiful one. 

8. Turkey, Cranberry, and Fontina Panini 

If these are served instead of the basic grilled cheese at the kids table this year, sign me up. This classy sandwich isn't only great for Thanksgiving day—whip it up the next day with all your turkey leftovers.

9. Garlic and Onion Mashed Cauliflower 

Alison Weissbrot

Mashed potatoes are everyone's favorite side dish, so you might be thinking it's pretty bold to suggest an alternative to the beloved classic. But, top this smashed cauliflower with garlic, onion, and some cheese, and these delicious flavors just might distract you from the missing starch on your plate... I said might.  

10. Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

Back away from the cream of mushroom soup. Why eat green beans drowning in soup when you can eat them wrapped in bacon? Though it may be hard to imagine this holiday missing the beloved Thanksgiving side dish of green bean casserole, it may be time to try something new, and you can't go wrong with bacon. 

11. Thanksgiving Pizza 

Thanksgiving dinner in pizza form sounds like a great idea to me. If you really want to stretch the limits of the traditional meal, put your gravy, stuffing, and turkey on a pizza dough and top it with mashed potatoes, cheese, and cranberry sauce. 

12. Spinach and Artichoke Dip Stuffed Mushrooms

Julia Benson

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to stuff a turkey, stuff your face, and now stuff mushrooms, too! These cute little mushrooms are sure to make the perfect appetizer or Thanksgiving side dish this November. 

13. Spicy Quinoa with Sweet Potatoes

If you're thinking about ditching the stuffing this year, or just adding a new and healthier side dish, this quinoa sweet potato salad will offer a great fall flavor and color to your Thanksgiving plate. 

14. Rosemary Roasted Cashews

This one is for when they tell you to "come hungry", but you still end up waiting two hours for dinner. Instead of a bowl of plain old nuts, these simple rosemary roasted cashews will have every starving person waiting for dinner very thankful for you. 

15. Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus

Butternut squash is good. Hummus is good. Therefore, butternut squash hummus must be great. This hummus is easy to whip up, can be served with veggies, chips, or crackers, and is a sure way to keep hungry people happy before the turkey is out of the oven.

16. Maple Glazed Stuffed Acorn Squash

Kendra Valkema

If you haven't stuffed an acorn squash yet this fall, it's not too late. Acorn squash are easy to bake, and the opportunities for filling them are endless. Try this vegan maple glaze filling, or anything else, and stuff to your hearts desire.

17. Pumpkin Compound Butter  

Don't think you're getting your fall fill of pumpkin from pies and lattes? With just three simple ingredients, you can spread it on your dinner rolls on Thanksgiving too! 

18. Squash Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

bread, vegetable, pastry, potato, bread rolls, meat
Amber Chen

Speaking of dinner rolls, check out these squash pull apart rolls. In reality, plain old wheat rolls are nothing special. Impress your family and friends this year with this fun fall recipe. 

19. Cranberry Crescent Rolls

Maddie Cole

Just roll some cranberry sauce and stuffing up in a crescent roll, bake for 15 minutes, and serve. These stuffed rolls are sure to be an exciting surprise for hungry guests to rip into.  

20. Stuffing Muffins

Calling all stuffing fans! If you didn't think stuffing could get any better, think again. Stuffing muffins contain all the savory, carb-heavy ingredients we know and love, just easier to serve and with crispy edges. (I'll take five.) 

21. Sweet Potato Carbonara

Lauren Arendt

Pasta on Thanksgiving?! May seem wrong, but if it is, I don't want to be right. After years of turkey, I don't think many people would deny this delightful twist on tradition. Top it with goat cheese and I doubt there will be any objections when you start scooping this sweet potato carbonara onto plates this year. 

22. Green Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette 

This vinaigrette is the perfect way to get your cranberry fix in this Thanksgiving. And less sugar than the canned sauce just means more dessert! 

23. Flat Apple Pie

An apple pie that is a piece of cake to make! A cross between a cobbler, a pie, and a cookie, this sweet treat is absolutely irresistible. The flat top not only allows prime viewing of those cinnamon baked apples, but also makes for the perfect place to drop a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

24. Pear Ginger Crumble 

Pumpkin pie is good, don't get me wrong, but when every single aunt brings her take on the classic dessert, it can get a little old. Try switching it up this year with a ginger pear crumble and add a little variation to the dessert table. 

25. Caramel Apple Sundae 

Is it even fall with out a caramel apple? Probably not, but I think a caramel apple sundae will meet the qualifications. Plus, as an added bonus, this tradition breaking treat comes without the fear of loosing a tooth.

26. Sweet Potato Brownies 

chocolate, cookie, brownie, cake
Reed Erickson

A petition for more chocolate at the Thanksgiving dessert table. With all the glory usually going to apple and pumpkin spice this time of year, these brownies welcome back the true dessert hero, aka chocolate. Plus, with sweet potatoes mixed in, you are still celebrating the season and even adding a health kick before the holidays. 

27. Fresh Apple Salsa 

Carl Parker Luthman

Everyone loves salsa. This fresh apple salsa could be served as an appetizer, a side dish, or a dessert. The possibilities are limitless—get to chopping! 

28. Pumpkin Empanadas 

Lissane Kafie

If you simply can't imagine Thanksgiving without pumpkin something, these pumpkin empanadas can get the job done. The traditional treat won't be missed when you make these adorable Latin American pastries. 

29. Chai Spiced Almond Cookies 

Ellen Gibbs

Chai isn’t just for tea! Incorporate the spicy flavor into your dessert spread this year with these soft and spicy cookies. 

Thanksgiving dinner is a great opportunity to gather with friends and family, and give thanks over great food. While traditions are valuable, and a classic Thanksgiving dinner isn't a cause for complaint, breaking tradition can sometimes be fun. These twists on traditional Thanksgiving side dishes can offer an upgrade to turkey dinner while keeping the classic flavors on your plate. I hope you give at least one of these 29 dishes a try this year, you won't be sorry.