Damn Good Food

5 Thanksgiving Sides to Help Switch Up This Year's Menu!

The side dishes that you will want to star in your Thanksgiving meal!

10 minute read

It's Thanksgiving 2020 edition, you aren't supposed to congregate with loved ones.

Usually you are worried if the grocery store will be out of canned pumpkin, but this year you are worried about T.P..

You don't know if you should still make a large meal that forces you to opt for stretchy pants?  Who are we kidding, it may be 2020 but you are still committed to feasting and stretchy pants. But since Thanksgiving may look a bit different this year due to changes in travel plans, why not use it as an opportunity to try a new side dish or two? 

We decided to share some alternatives to the traditional sides.  These may seem wild and we aren't asking you to swap out all your favorite traditional sides, but sometimes it's fun to try something new. For Andy, Luka, and I we chose not to travel to WI or FL this year. Since I work with high risk patients in clinic, I will be doing an intimate Thanksgiving with my boys. We received a giant box of crisp apples from one of Andy's vendors so our new tradition will be an apple pie off. Although I told Andy, I prefer apple crisp to apple pie so I may cheat and do that instead.

Our cozy Thanksgiving menu: 

A whole-roasted chicken with garlic, preserved lemons, butter, and dates --I can share my recipe if you'd like!

Brussels sprouts cacio e pepe (see below)

Scalloped sweet potatoes (see below) --I may try to make this with coconut cream and will report back!

Pomegranate avocado salad with candied walnuts (see below)

Cranberry sauce a la Andy (you guys I am not kidding you my husband prefers canned cranberry sauce in the shape of it's can --some HALP this man)

...and supporting local with Macrina Bakery rolls! 

Yes, that's still a lot of food for 2 adults, but we do love us some leftovers so treating this like a meal prep ;). Andy says I am queen of justifying, so this is me justifying all this food. I recognize our privilege to have a warm, loving home with hearty food and our health. We may not be with our extended family this year, but we are grateful for SO much. Especially sweet Luka.

Oh and Christy and I will be hosting an Instagram Live Total Body Turkey Burn on Thursday morning, which will be perfectly timed with this feast.

Sweet Potatoes instead of Mashed Potatoes

Smoked Chili Scalloped Sweet Potatoes by Bobby Flay

I have made this dish for the last 3 years, since my cousin introduced me to it. Move over traditional mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes loaded with sugar. If you like a little kick to your food, you will also wonder why you hadn't tried this recipe before.

Brussels Sprouts instead of Green Beans

Cacio e Pepe Brussels Sprouts by Skinny Taste (adapted from Half Baked Harvest)

I learned about this recipe through one of my running girlfriends. Cacio e pepe means cheese and pepper and honestly that translates to LOVE for me. Also a great option, since it's made on the stovetop and saves your oven for the bird and potatoes! 

Cornbread Stuffing instead of Turkey Stuffing

The Best Cornbread Stuffing Ever (gluten free) by Ambitious Kitchen

Okay, so I have not made this one yet but every recipe I have made from Ambitious Kitchen is wow wow wow. I also love that you can make the cornbread in advance and assemble later. Oh and it's vegetarian and GF, which is so great to have on hand for anyone with food allergies & intolerances.

A Mushroom Gravy instead of Turkey Gravy

Mushroom Gravy by Love & Lemons

My mother-in-law made this gravy for my first Thanksgiving in Anchorage. My sister-in-law is vegetarian and we always make plenty of veg-friendly sides. This gravy is so rich, you won't be missing the meat at all.

A Fall Salad instead of Corn

Pomegranate Avocado Salad with Candied Walnuts by Half Baked Harvest

This is a new one for me. Christy found and shared the recipe, but it has so many ingredients I love. A refreshing salad is a staple to balance the rich Thanksgiving dishes and I think this will be a new fam fave.

Sending you all so much love, health, and happiness for this holiday.