12 Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Sides You Have to Try This Year - Backyard Boss
We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.

12 Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Sides You Have to Try This Year

In my family, one of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions has become making a side dish from other cultures. Some years, those dishes have been the desserts (Australian pavlova is amazing and so easy!), but the ones I think we’ve enjoyed most have been side dishes using standard ingredients we wouldn’t have thought of using in each way.

As you create your own Thanksgiving meal plan this holiday season, you might enjoy trying some nontraditional dishes, such as winter salads. You can also put a twist on those sweet potatoes, whether they’re from American heritage, your national heritage, or something entirely new to you. Here are some of the best choices I could suggest as you explore this year.

Roasted Mushrooms in Browned Butter, Garlic, and Thyme Sauce

mushrooms with herbs on a cutting board
Image credits: Congerdesign via Pixabay

I absolutely adore mushrooms, on pizza, in salads, in soups, as appetizers, or on a buffet. I can’t believe I have never thought of serving mushrooms as a side for Thanksgiving before! Roasted mushrooms are simple and look delicious using browned butter, fresh herbs, and a little lemon juice. Yum!

Maple Roasted Carrots with Pistachio Dukkah

organic carrots
Image credits: Gabriel Gurrola via Unsplash

I’m not fond of carrots, but these maple-roasted carrots look amazing, and I’m strongly considering adding them to our feast this year! The fresh carrots are roasted with maple syrup and seasoning, then topped with delectable yogurt tahini and pistachio dukkah.

Stuffed Butternut Squash with Tempeh

Raw butternut squash split open
Image credits: Viviana Rishe via Unsplash

I often go with more simplistic sides for the holidays, but this stuffed butternut squash recipe has me intrigued. It combines wild rice, basmati rice, herbs, and pomegranate seeds with the butternut squash for a beautiful and amazing-looking dish. I’d be proud to serve this up, that’s for sure!

Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

Roasted sweet potato wedges
Image credits: Rajesh Kavasseri via Unsplash

Instead of the usual gooey marshmallow-y sweet potato casserole, you could consider this healthier choice of oven-roasted sweet potato wedges. They’re delicious, easy, fast, and, as noted on the website, go perfectly with things like cranberry dip if you do want some sweetness.

Roasted Vegetable Galette

Veggie galette
Image credits: Leigh Skomal via Unsplash

This roasted vegetable galette looks so amazing! And so pretty. I’m thinking of making up a batch with gluten-free 1-to-1 flour and serving it up for guests at our family gathering. You’ll use carrots, parsnips, butternut squash, onions, fresh herbs, and base ingredients to make this delicious side. And bonus: the instructions show you how to low-temp roast veggies for the perfect texture!

Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin

potatoes au gratin
Image credits: Gert Olesen via Pixabay

For those looking for potatoes but wanting something different than just mashed potatoes, try these creamy potatoes au gratin. In our house, these have become a staple replacement, thanks to that cheesy goodness that hits the right spot each feast day. (We do add a little extra cheese, though.)

Sweet Potato Rounds with Herbed Ricotta and Walnuts

Sweet potato chips
Image credits: Bernadette Wurzinger via Pixabay

Okay, so these look and sound utterly amazing. Basically, for sweet potato rounds, you’re slicing up sweet potatoes in thick “chips” or discs, then roasting/broiling them along with walnuts, ricotta cheese, cranberries, honey, and seasonings. I want to eat these right now!

Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

Kale salad with chickpeas
Image credits: Deryn Macey via Unsplash

I have often wondered why we don’t do more salads around Thanksgiving. If you go the simple chef salad, they’re so simple and fast, providing you with those much-needed greens. If you want something fancier, there are tops of options out there, like this garlicky kale salad with crispy chickpeas. The title kind of tells all, but additionally, the recipe calls for tahini sauce and tandoori masala spice for a real flavor punch on those chickpeas.

Crispy Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato fries
Image credits: Louis Hansel via Unsplash

Another savory take on sweet potatoes as your side is this delicious recipe for roasted sweet potatoes with rosemary. You just need butter, olive oil, rosemary, sweet potatoes, a shallot, and salt and pepper for this yummy recipe.

Creamy Brussels Sprouts

Creamy brussels sprouts baked
Image credits: photosforyou via Pixabay

For an alternative to green bean casserole, try this creamy, gooey brussels sprouts recipe instead. You’ll just need about 40 minutes (including cooking time), Masala wine, brussels sprouts, milk and cream, fresh herbs, and flour for the main ingredients. It’ll be ready in no time, and everybody will love it!

Herbed Wild Rice Quinoa Stuffing

Rice stuffing with veggies
Image credits: Mario Raj via Unsplash

Since I’m gluten-free but love stuffing, I always look for a tasty alternative to traditional bread stuffing. This wild rice and quinoa stuffing look like the perfect replacement – and good enough that anyone will love it, even if they’re not gluten-free.

One-Pot Kimchi and Squash Mac ‘N Cheese

Macaroni and cheese in a clear bowl
Image credits: Hermes Rivera via Unsplash

All right. So, this one’s a bit further from the stretch than the rest, but it simply utterly sounds amazing and I’m pretty sure anyone in your family is going to love this One-Pot Kimchi and Squash Mac ‘N Cheese. A trifecta of deliciousness in one pot. So, it’s easy, too!

Thanksgiving Feast for All

There are so many ways to use winter squash recipes, seasonal salads, fruits, veggies, and other wonderful ingredients and food types to dress up your Thanksgiving feast. And all those traditional sides are great, but changing it up with some unusual, unfamiliar, or less “traditional” dishes is a great way to keep things fresh and delicious. Enjoy!