7 Traditional Thanksgiving Dishes to Swap Out

7 Traditional Thanksgiving Dishes to Swap Out

Published | Written by Liz Kaye

November 17, 2021

If you are tired of the same Thanksgiving meal every year and are looking to spice things up, check out these 7 non-traditional Thanksgiving side dishes and desserts that are different yet familiar enough for the picky eaters in your family to enjoy. Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner with a twist!

1. Corn: Corn Casserole

While some might count this as a traditional dish, I have been surprised many times by how many people didn't know about my favorite dish! After trying it, they swore they'd never forget it. In the south, it's called corn pudding, but here in the Midwest, we like to call it corn casserole since it's more solid than a pudding, yet still soft and mushy. Imagine a sweet, custardy-cornbread that melts in your mouth- I promise this one won't disappoint! It's also SUPER easy to make with only five ingredients. (Don't skimp out on the Jiffy! It adds the right amount of sweetness!)

  • Butter
  • Creamed corn
  • Whole canned corn
  • Sour cream
  • Jiffy Cornbread Mix

Click the picture for the recipe!

2. Stuffing: Shrimp and Grits Dressing

Shrimp + Parmesan = ? Seafood is MY FAVORITE. I've never had it on Thanksgiving, so why not try it out this year? This recipe looks absolutely delicious and sounds amazing! Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 pound peeled, medium-size raw shrimp
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked regular grits
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Click the picture for the recipe!

3. Pecan Pie: Pecan Pie Cinnamon Rolls

Two delicious desserts made into one! Could be served as dessert or breakfast!


  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped

Cinnamon Roll Dough:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 packets instant rapid rise yeast
  • 2 large eggs

Cinnamon Roll Filling:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature

Click the picture for the recipe!

4. Cranberries: Cranberry Baked Brie

While cranberries are a staple item on Thanksgiving, Brie has become increasingly popular this year with Charcuterie boards as a recent trend. Infuse a new twist on your regular cranberry dish by replacing it with this one.

  • 8 oz round brie cheese
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • 25 crackers (for dipping)
  • 1 cup pecans

Click the picture for the recipe!

5. Carrots: Honey Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots

While brown sugar carrots are always a great option, there's probably already a lot of brown sugar dishes at your Thanksgiving dinner. Try these honey garlic carrots for a change!


  • Tri-color carrots
  • Honey
  • Butter
  • Minced Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Avocado Oil 
  • Sea Salt/Pepper

Click the picture for the recipe!

6. Pumpkin Pie: Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

Pumpkin and cheesecake marry together so well with the sweetness of the pumpkin and the bitterness of the cream cheese. Check out this easy dip that will bring the flavors of both pumpkin and cheesecake without having to use the oven!


  • Cream cheese
  • Pumpkin purée
  • Brown sugar
  • Vanilla pudding mix
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Salt
  • Cool whip

Click the picture for the recipe!

7. Salad: Pomegranate Pear Balsalmic Salad

With all of the carbs you'll probably be eating on Thanksgiving, try this fresh and colorful salad for a change. Incorporate the classic tastes of pomegranate, pecans, brie, and pears all into one delicious salad topped with a balsamic vinaigrette. 



  • 3 medium D'Anjou pears
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 16 ounces salad greens
  • 8 ounces Brie, thinly sliced
  • Seeds from 1 large pomegranate
  • 1 ½ cups pecan halves, toasted


  • ? cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Click the picture for the recipe!

Trying any of these recipes this year for Thanksgiving?! Let us know how they turn out!

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