Creative Thanksgiving Side Dishes To Shake Up a Boring Holiday Routine

Thanksgiving Sides triptych

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Thanksgiving Sides triptych
Cheapism / Alleko/Roxiller/Lauri Patterson/istockphoto

Dishing it Out

Heading to a Thanksgiving potluck? Friendsgiving? Family cook-off? If any of your Thanksgiving plans involve making festive side dishes, you might be sick of the same old thing. There's no need for the typical mac and cheese you've made 100 times, and you'd rather not whip up another bowl of mashed potatoes. We get it. That's why we've pulled together some of our favorite Thanksgiving side dishes to land you that potluck gold medal.

Related: Depression-Era Thanksgiving Recipes That Are Actually Delicious

Julia's homemade dinner rolls
Julia's homemade dinner rolls by Alpha (CC BY-NC)

Spicy Lamb Meatballs with Green Goddess Dip

Beef meatballs are a thing of the past. We all know lamb makes a heck of a meatball, and alongside this green goddess dip, they're gonna sing.

Recipe: Food & Wine

Related: Ways to Spice Up Thanksgiving Leftovers

Stuffing for mushrooms and other dishes
Stuffing for mushrooms and other dishes by Alexa (CC BY)
Potato fritters fried in a large frying pan
Nadiya Senko/istockphoto

Aloo Tikki with Hari Chutney

There isn't a lot in this world better than a hot, spicy, crunchy, salty snack. These potato fritters will be a hit, especially as they're dipped into that herbaceous Hari chutney. 

Recipe: Bon Appétit

sheet pan squash
Elena Rui / iStock

Honeynut Squash Galette with Goat Cheese & Fresno Chilies

Salt, fat, acid, heat. This recipe from Old Growth has it all, and the autumnal flavors of the honeynut squash will make this dish an easy winner.

Recipe: Old Growth

Squash Mac and Cheese

Kimchi & Squash Mac

Are you going to roll into this Thanksgiving party with a boring, classic mac and cheese? Or are you going to show up with the fermented beauty of kimchi? The choice is yours.

Recipe: Bon Appétit

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

This vegan pumpkin pie ice cream is a unique double-whammy: Satisfy the vegans, satisfy the sweet-toothed. Satisfy 'em all.

Recipe: Minimalist Baker

Stuffed Mushrooms

Crunchy Stuffed Mushrooms

Here's a nice step-by-step look at some crunchy stuffed mushrooms. You've got the sleeper hit of the potluck on your hands with this one.

Recipe: Old Growth

acorn squash

Twice-Baked Acorn Squash

Grab a seat near the fireplace and enjoy the deep, roasted flavors of twice-baked acorn squash with maple butter and pecans. Compliments will be flying your way.

Recipe: A Cozy Kitchen

Wild rice
spaxiax / iStock

Wild Rice Dressing

People correctly referring to this dish as dressing: You love to see it (it ain't stuffing unless it's stuffed inside the turkey). This one is full of bountiful wild rice and bright, acidic orange.

Recipe: Bon Appétit

karandaev / iStock

Sparkling Negronis

You gotta drink something, right? If the host is still struggling to get appetizers out on time, you'll feel like a hero delivering some sparkling treats to your fellow guests.

Recipe: Food52

Healthy Homemade Thanksgiving Green Bean and Beef Casserole in a White Dish Pan with a Spoon on a Natural Napkin

Red Hot Oyster Kimchi Dressing

The brininess of the sea! The fermentation of Korean cuisine! The heartiness of Thanksgiving! This looks like a stunner.

Recipe: Lady & Pups

spinach and artichoke dip

Stovetop Spinach & Artichoke Dip

The warming beauty of a chain restaurant appetizer can be alive at your T-Day party, and if you can manage to get a giant bread bowl involved ... well done.

Recipe: Bon Appétit

Roasted Delicata Squash With Turmeric

Delicata Squash Bake with Tahini Sauce

Yeah, yeah, a lot of squash-based recipes here. You're welcome — squash is a perfect fall food. Delicata, named for the fact that the skin is tender enough to eat, is a great vessel for tahini. 

Recipe: Minimalist Baker

Variety of full and halved citrus fruit

Citrus Pomegranate Relish

Oh, somebody else brought cranberry sauce? How embarrassing for them. You brought the citrus cranberry relish, full of the delicious acidity that your Thanksgiving turkey desperately needs.

Recipe: Bon Appétit