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40 New Thanksgiving Sides You Haven’t Made (Yet!)

Switch up your holiday spread with a few of these inventive side dishes. Your guests will ask you to make them again and again!

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Fig-Carrot Stuffed Kabocha SquashTaste of Home

Fig-Carrot Stuffed Kabocha Squash

While searching for a new winter squash variety, I stumbled upon kabocha squash—it really wowed me. The flavor and texture are both rich and beautiful, and this recipe, which I improvised, really suits the squash well. —Caitlin Stephens-North, Malden, Massachusetts

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Wild Rice with Dried BlueberriesTaste of Home

Wild Rice with Dried Blueberries

I love the combination of rice and fruit, so this is a go-to Thanksgiving side dish at my house. I toss in mushrooms and toasted almonds to enhance the flavor. You can also include dried cherries or cranberries if you like. —Janie Colle, Hutchinson, Kansas

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Best Curried Pumpkin SoupTaste of Home

Best Curried Pumpkin Soup

I whipped this up for my family on Thanksgiving, and everyone was crazy about it! Even my brother, who is one of the pickiest eaters I know, asked for seconds of this curry pumpkin soup. —Kimberly Knepper, Euless, Texas

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thanksgiving sides reimagined recipe contestssydney watson/taste of home

Thanksgiving Sides Reimagined Recipe Contest

Step aside, turkey—we’re all about the sides at this table. Tell us how you do the big day, whether it’s with tender pumpkin cornbread or your most-requested mashed potato waffles. Oh, and don’t forget your convenient crescent roll dressing, either. There’s always more room at the buffet, so if you’ve got a deliciously different side with 12 or less ingredients, dish! You just might see it here.

Enter the Contest

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Jalapeno Green BeansTaste of Home

Jalapeno Green Beans

This simple green bean dish gets a bit of a kick from jalapeno pepper. If you don't like things too spicy, reduce the amount of jalapeno by half—or eliminate it completely. —Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri

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Root Vegetable PaveTaste of Home

Root Vegetable Pave

This is a stunning side dish to serve company. The robust blend features earthy root vegetables in a lightly herbed cream sauce. It's a perfect make-ahead dish for special occasions. —Carla Mendres, Winnipeg, Manitoba

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Banana-Orange Sweet Potato BakeTaste of Home

Banana-Orange Sweet Potato Bake

Welcome fall with this simple side dish. It's a pleasant change of pace from the traditional casserole with marshmallows, and it's quite popular at potlucks. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

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Butternut Squash Panzanella SaladTaste of Home

Butternut Squash Panzanella Salad

This colorful salad is easy to make—and it's even easier if you use precut chunks of butternut squash. You can use pecans in place of the almonds or watercress instead of the arugula or spinach. —Nancy Buchanan, Costa Mesa, California

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Roasted Red Pepper Green BeansTaste of Home

Roasted Red Pepper Green Beans

This recipe showcases a creamy sauce with shallot-and-chive cheese. The toasted pine nuts add crunch. Just a few ingredients—so easy! —Becky Ellis, Roanoke, Virginia

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Greek Potato CasseroleTaste of Home

Greek Potato Casserole

The crunchy golden brown topping and tangy yogurt and feta make this recipe a winner. You can loosen the mixture with a few tablespoons of milk if necessary. —Cheryl Woodson, Liberty, Missouri

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Parsnip, Pear and Pecan SaladTaste of Home

Parsnip, Pear and Pecan Salad

I didn't try parsnips until I was well into my 40s, but now I can't get enough of them. This salad is so delicious, I defy your kids to turn their noses up at it. —Jodi Taffel, Altadena, California

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Butternut-Pineapple CrumbleTaste of Home

Butternut-Pineapple Crumble

I tried this sweet and crunchy casserole out on my 80-year-old parents and they loved it! Butternut squash now has a place at our holiday table year after year. —Barbara Busch, Henrico, Virginia

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Quinoa with Roasted VegetablesTaste of Home

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

Grab all of your garden-fresh produce for this quinoa with roasted vegetables. The tangy dressing and fresh herbs really make the flavors shine in this wholesome quinoa side dish. —Sonali Ruder, New York, New York

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Carrot Ginger SoupTaste of Home

Carrot Ginger Soup

This light, flavorful carrot ginger soup is vegan! It's made with pantry staples and comes together in a hurry, yet always seems to impress. Fresh ginger makes a big difference—and what isn't used can be wrapped tightly and tossed in the freezer to use later. —Jenna Olson, Manchester, Missouri

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French-Fry BakeTaste of Home

French-Fry Bake

When a friend brought this to a gathering at church, I simply had to ask for the recipe—what a fast and fun way to serve potatoes! It's always good to find a recipe that can sneak in a few extra veggies; the kids never find the carrots hidden inside this one. —Cheryl Newendorp, Pella, Iowa

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Roasted Asparagus RisottoTaste of Home

Roasted Asparagus Risotto

This recipe's wow factor makes it perfect for special occasions. To save time, the asparagus and prosciutto can be roasting while the rice cooks on the stovetop. They'll be ready to stir into the risotto by the time the rice is done. —Deonna Mazur, Buffalo, New York

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Rutabaga Carrot CasseroleTaste of Home

Rutabaga Carrot Casserole

This scoop-able side with its sweet, crunchy topping makes a delightful alternative to the traditional sweet potato casserole. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

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Fried Onions and ApplesTaste of Home

Fried Onions and Apples

Since a lot of delicious onions are grown in our state, they are always part of my menu. This tangy side dish is good with pork and beef. The inspiration for this unusual combination was a prolific apple tree!—Janice Mitchell, Aurora, Colorado

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Zucchini in Dill Cream SauceTaste of Home

Zucchini in Dill Cream Sauce

As retired dairy farmers, we always knew fresh dairy products made a difference in my recipes. This creamy sauce combines some of our favorite foods. Josephine Vanden Heuvel, Hart, Michigan

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Orange Buttermilk Gelatin Salad Mold

Orange Buttermilk Gelatin Salad Mold

A dear friend shared this recipe with me years ago. Now it's my favorite dish to take to a church meeting, shower or any potluck event—it's always a hit. Whenever I serve this salad, people ask for the recipe. They find it hard to believe it's really made with buttermilk! —Juanita Hutto, Mechanicsville, Virginia

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Scented Rice in Baked PumpkinTaste of Home

Scented Rice in Baked Pumpkin

This easy, delicious and healthy side is a showpiece that always delights. You can use grain, squash, fruits and nuts to suite your taste—it's impossible to go wrong! —Lynn Heisel, Jackson, Missouri

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Leeks in Mustard SauceTaste of Home

Leeks in Mustard Sauce

Leeks have a delicious oniony flavor and they are so wonderful in this side dish. The mustard sauce compliments the leeks flavor well and it goes well with many main dishes.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin

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Molded Cranberry-Orange SaladTaste of Home

Molded Cranberry-Orange Salad

When I take this dish to potlucks during the holidays, people always ooh and aah. Feel free to top with whipped cream for added appeal. —Carol Mead, Los Alamos, New Mexico

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Festive Corn 'n' BroccoliTaste of Home

Festive Corn 'n' Broccoli

This recipe is delicious and versatile. I often substitute a tablespoon of minced fresh basil for the dried, and two to three ears of sweet corn (about a cup cut fresh from the cob) for the Mexicorn. —Lucile Throgmorton, Clovis, New Mexico

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Spiced Sweet Potato FriesTaste of Home

Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

A spicy homemade seasoning blend shakes up everyone’s favorite finger food in this rendition of sweet potato fries. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Cheddar Bacon GritsTaste of Home

Cheddar Bacon Grits

In the South, grits are served plain with a little butter or loaded with extras, like my recipe with bacon, cheddar and green chiles. —Amanda Reed, Nashville, Tennessee

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Pressure-Cooker Cranberry Apple Red CabbageTaste of Home

Pressure-Cooker Cranberry Apple Red Cabbage

When I was looking for something new, I started playing with flavors and came up with this very tasty dish. My German grandmother would be impressed, I think! The colorful side dish is just right with pork. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts

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Pumpkin-Coconut SoupTaste of Home

Pumpkin-Coconut Soup

Thai food lovers will go crazy for this soup. It has a deep flavor from the combination of onion, coconut milk and spices. —Susan Hein, Burlington, Wisconsin

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Roasted Honey Sweet PotatoesTaste of Home

Roasted Honey Sweet Potatoes

Cinnamon and honey bring out the natural earthy sweetness of sweet potatoes in this simple, elegant side dish. —Laura Mifsud, Northville, Michigan

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Fresh Ginger Carrot SaladTaste of Home

Fresh Ginger Carrot Salad

I created this salad as an alternative to the mayonnaise, raisin and carrot salad my mom used to make. I had some leftover ginger and really liked the fresh taste. I have a sweet tooth, and this salad satisfies it! —Lauri Cherian, Scott Depot, West Virginia

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Candied Acorn Squash SlicesTaste of Home

Candied Acorn Squash Slices

This acorn squash recipe was passed down to me from my grandma, who always served it at Thanksgiving. Now I make it whenever I'm feeling nostalgic. —Rita Addicks, Weimar, Texas

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Slow-Cooked Wild RiceTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Wild Rice

This recipe has become such a family heirloom that I asked my mother's permission before passing it along. It has traveled to weddings, baptisms, landmark birthdays and wedding anniversaries—and it always makes people happy. —Janet Mahowald, Rice Lake, Wisconsin

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Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and OlivesTaste of Home

Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Olives

This squash is welcome as a side dish, but you can also top it with canned tuna to serve as a main dish. I use my own canned tomatoes for the best flavor. It's easy and so tasty! —Carol Chase, Sioux City, Iowa

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Nutty Barley BakeTaste of Home

Nutty Barley Bake

When I started bringing this distinctive dish to holiday dinners, a lot of people had never seen barley in anything but soup. They have since dubbed me "the barley lady", and now I wouldn't dare bring anything this dish. Even if I double the recipe, I come home with an empty pan. -Renate Crump, Los Angeles, California

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Sweet 'n' Tangy CarrotsTaste of Home

Sweet 'n' Tangy Carrots

I dress up carrots with a brown sugar and mustard sauce as a side dish for my New Year’s meal. Garnished with a little bright green parsley, the carrots add color to the dinner plate. —Paula Zsiray, Logan, Utah

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Herbed Baked Spinach

Herbed Baked Spinach

Parmesan cheese and garlic liven up this spinach dish, which goes well with met entrees and main-dish casseroles. Sometimes, I use broccoli as a spinach substitute. It's equally delicious.

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Roquefort Pear SaladTaste of Home

Roquefort Pear Salad

Guests at a barbecue we hosted one summer brought this cool, refreshing salad. Now it's a mainstay at many of our gatherings year-round. The mingling of zesty tastes and textures instantly wakes up the taste buds. —Sherry Duval, Baltimore, Maryland

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Slow-Cooker PolentaTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Polenta

This Italian classic is so simple to make, you can now make it any night of the week. —Elisabeth Matelski, Boston, Massachusetts

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Spiced Acorn SquashTaste of Home

Spiced Acorn Squash

Working full time, I found I didn't always have time to cook the meals my family loved, so I re-created many of those dishes in the slow cooker. This treatment for squash is one of our favorites. —Carol Greco, Centereach, New York

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Creamed Pearl OnionsTaste of Home

Creamed Pearl Onions

When our children were small, we always celebrated Christmas at our house. This was one of many recipes I relied on that could be prepared a day in advance, which gave me more time to spend with guests. Everyone expected to see this vegetable dish on the table every year. —Barbara Caserman, Lake Havasu City, Arizona

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Hearty Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon DressingTaste of Home

Hearty Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

This warm, hearty spinach and bacon salad offers comfort at any meal. The glossy dressing features a hint of celery seed for a special touch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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