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Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Food Ideas

It’s almost turkey time again, but this Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of last year’s meal. Think outside the (stuffing) box and serve up something different this time around. Be sure to prepare your guests in advance so they’re not disappointed that you decided not to offer the traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Hopefully they’ll realize that making new traditions is worth forgoing the usual fare.

shrimgrits

Source: Betty Crocker

Appetizers

Instead of…

Deviled Eggs
Crudité
Cheese Platter

Try…

Caprese Bites – Fresh and delicious, these bites are the perfect palate pleaser.
Bacon-Wrapped Scallops – Salty and savory, these will get your tummy rumbling.
Shrimp and Grits Bites – Put some south in your mouth with this lowcountry flavor combination.

Source: Taste of Home

Source: Taste of Home

Main Dish

Instead of…

Turkey
Ham
Roast Beef

Try…

Chicken Pot Pie – Nothing says comfort food like soul-warming chicken pot pie.
Lobster – Drawn butter and crustacean meat makes for an upscale Thanksgiving day.
Fondue – Whether you opt for meat, or cheese, fondue, it’s a fun and communal dish to share with your guests!

Source: Real Simple

Source: Real Simple

Sides

Instead of…

Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Cranberry Sauce

Try…

Cornbread with Apple Butter – Nothing’s finer than fresh-baked cornbread with a dollop of smooth apple butter on top.
Sweet Potato Fries – If you absolutely must have sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving day, why not make them finger food?
Broccoli Au Gratin – Warm and cheesy and healthy to boot.
Rice Pudding with Raisins – Skip the cranberry sauce and go for this sweet side dish instead.

Source: Creme de la Crumb

Source: Creme de la Crumb

Salad

Instead of…

Tossed Salad

Try…

Apple, Cranberry, Walnut Salad – This decadent salad puts its boring counterpart to shame.

Source: The Kitchn

Source: The Kitchn

Drink

Instead of…

Apple Cider
Mulled Wine
Egg Nog

Try…

Asian Pear Sparkler – Having many of the same spices of apple cider, Asian pear sparkler is a cool twist on a classic.
Hot Buttered Rum – The name alone is tantalizing!
Café Mocha – There’s always room for coffee, and adding chocolate makes it a special occasion beverage.

Source: The Pioneer Woman

Source: The Pioneer Woman

Dessert

Instead of…

Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie

Try…

Blackberry Cobbler – The perfect alternative ending to the perfect alternative meal.
Butternut Squash Cheesecake – Use this seasonal squash to make an old classic.

Be adventurous, and try something new this year. Skip wrestling with an overgrown bird, and go for more unique, and novel, dishes for the big day. Your guests will be thankful!

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