When invited to someone’s home for Thanksgiving dinner, it’s common courtesy to bring a side dish to share with everyone.
Sounds easy. That is until you’ve waited until the last minute and you scramble, trying to figure out what to bring.
Aunt Betty always brings sweet potatoes. Grandma Doris is sure to bring her famous green bean casserole. And your good friends from down the street already volunteered to bring dinner rolls.
It doesn’t seem like there’s much left to choose from.
Until now…because we are going to recommend 3 unique and delicious Thanksgiving side dishes that are sure to wow everyone at the dinner table. Check out the recipes below…
Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
Soup might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, but this gourd-based menu item certainly deserves a spot on the menu. Not only does it make a great side dish, it’s also a wonderful main dish option in case you have any vegetarian friends attending the celebration.
Here’s the recipe…
- 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), halved vertically and seeded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- ½ cup chopped shallot (about 1 large shallot bulb)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Up to 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
- 1 to 2 tablespoons butter, to taste (substitute olive oil for dairy-free/vegan soup)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash on the pan and drizzle each half with just enough olive oil to lightly coat the squash on the inside (about 1 teaspoon each). Rub the oil over the inside of the squash and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
- Turn the squash face down and roast until it is tender and completely cooked through, about 45 to 50 minutes. Set the squash aside until it’s cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Then use a large spoon to scoop the butternut squash flesh into a bowl and discard the tough skin.
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet (or large soup pot, if you’ll be serving soup from that pot), warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped shallot and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often until the shallot has softened and is starting to turn golden on the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
- If you have a high-performance blender like a Vitamix, transfer the cooked shallot and garlic to your blender. Add the reserved butternut, maple syrup, nutmeg and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Pour in 3 cups vegetable broth, being careful not to fill the container past the maximum fill line (you can stir in any remaining broth later). Secure the lid and select the soup preset. The blender will stop running once the soup is super creamy and hot.
- If you would like to thin out your soup a bit more, add the remaining cup of broth (I used the full 4 cups, but if you used a small squash, you might want to leave it as is). Add 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, to taste, and blend well. Taste and blend in more salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Serve immediately (I like to top each bowl with a little more black pepper). Let leftover soup cool completely before transferring it to a proper storage container and refrigerating it for up to 4 days (leftovers taste even better the next day!). Or, freeze this soup for up to 3 months.
Baked Apples with Sausage Stuffing Recipe
Stuffing is a food that’s typically only made during the holiday season. For that reason, it’s no surprise that this treat is often one of the first food items to disappear during a Thanksgiving feast. This year, bring some backup stuffing baked inside sweet, delicious apples.
Check out the recipe…
- 1 tablespoon oil or butter
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- ¼ cup finely diced onion
- ½ package sausage
- 1 box stuffing mix
- 1 ¼ cup chicken broth (or the same amount of water called for in the instructions for the stuffing)
- 6-12 apples such as Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Red Delicious
- Heat the oil in a medium or large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and the celery and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sausage to the skillet and cook thoroughly making sure to break it up into crumbles. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, stir together stuffing mix and sausage mixture. Add chicken broth in the same amount as water is called for in the stuffing mix instructions. Mine called for 1 1/4 cups of water so I used 1 1/4 cups of chicken broth.
- Stir the mixture together so that the stuffing is soft and moist. Feel free to add a little more broth if needed. Set the mix aside.
- Slice the very top of the apples off.
- Use a spoon or a melon baller to carefully scoop out the entire core of the apple.
- Repeat this for every apple.
- Spoon stuffing into the apples and place in a high-sided baking dish.
- Once all the apples are stuffed and in the dish, carefully pour an additional 1/4-1/2 cup of broth over the apples. Add another 1/4 cup to the bottom of the dish.
- Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the apples are softened but not falling apart. If you don’t want the stuffing to brown, cover the dish while baking.
Apple Pie Salsa with Cinnamon Chips Recipe
There’s no rule that says Thanksgiving side dishes have to be nutritious or healthy. If you really want to surprise your guests, while also appeasing everyone’s sweet tooth, we suggest you bring this one-of-a-kind dish–Apple Pie Salsa with Cinnamon Chips.
Here’s how it’s made…
- 4 medium Granny Smith apples, diced
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup whipped cream (optional)
Cinnamon Sugar Chips Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 5 flour tortillas
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
Directions for Salsa:
- In large sauté pan, combine apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cornstarch. Cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Serve warm. Top with whipped cream just before serving.
Directions for the Cinnamon Sugar Chips:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.
- Brush both sides of each tortilla with melted butter. Rub cinnamon-sugar mixture onto both sides of each tortilla. Cut tortillas into wedges. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes until brown and crisp. Cool on wire rack.
Recipe Source: http://frostingandasmile.com/archives/1568
What is your favorite unique Thanksgiving side dish? Let us know in the comments below!