14 Thanksgiving Side Dish Ideas That Are Actually Unique

by Michelle Gross

We all know that when it comes to Thanksgiving, the most unique Thanksgiving side dishes are really where it's at. Yeah, yeah — turkey's cool and often has the tendency to steal the show, but there's nothing like seeing a beautifully set table with all of the Thanksgiving accoutrements spread out across it to make things really special. Honestly, I would not be opposed to a turkey-free Thanksgiving as long as there were plenty of sides to go around.

For the most part, you know what you're getting when it comes to Thanksgiving sides. For me, my holiday isn't complete without a side of maple and bacon brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, and gravy. So with another Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought it'd be fun to mix things up a bit this year and maybe introduce a few new unique Thanksgiving side dishes into the mix.

If you're looking to spice things up this year like I am — which, let's face it, we could always use a little spice in our lives every now and then, amiright? — then you should check out these unique side dish ideas to really give your Thanksgiving spread the bit of zest it deserves.

Curry-Yogurt Acorn Squash With Cilantro Quinoa

I'm not going to lie, I'm not a huge fan of quinoa. Nine times out of 10, it just doesn't do it for me. And then I found this recipe courtesy of food blogger Naturally Ella, which is not only beautiful presentation-wise, but adds a little curry and yogurt to the quinoa mix for a combination of flavors that you really can;t go wrong with. Now if you're one of those cilantro-hating people, don't worry — its not a deal-breaker and this recipe will be just fine without it. You can find the recipe here.

Tahini Mashed Potatoes With Fried Sage Leaves

Nothing says turkey day sides like some mashed potatoes, and I'm absolutely loving this little mashed potato with tahini twist by my girl at What Jew Wanna Eat. You can find the complete recipe here — and oh, did I mention this recipe also happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan?

Slow Cooked Kielbasa And BBQ Beans

I'm a sucker for anything slow-cooked for one reason and one reason only: It's pretty easy to just throw everything together and let the Crock-Pot work it's magic. This slow-cooked kielbasa with bbq beans recipe from Mom in Timeout is no exception. You can find the recipe here.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes With Coconut Milk & Vanilla Bean

Sweet potatoes are a given on any Thanksgiving table, but this fun coconut and vanilla infused alternative will definitely sweeten the deal this year. You can find the whole recipe here courtesy of

Fig Cranberry Sauce With A Splash of Whiskey

Everyone's going to have cranberry sauce as a side, but what about mixing things up with some figs this time? Personally, I love figs, and I think this is a great alternative that isn't too over the top crazy. Add a splash of whisky and you're done! You can find this delish recipe at

Creamy Confetti Corn With Bacon

There are few things in life (other than my dog) that I love as much as corn. You thought I was going to say bacon didn't you? Well, that's just a bonus here — this sweet and creamy corn recipe is not only different but also an absolute crowd pleaser. I mean look at how beautiful that swirl of confetti colors is! You can find the complete recipe courtesy of Mel's Kitchen Cafe here.

Brussels Sprout Pizza With Goat Cheese

I'm a fan of anything brussel sprouts and goat cheese, it's just a winning combination any way you slice it. Which is exactly why this brussel sprout and goat cheese flatbread is quite possibly one of the best Thankgiving side alternatives ever. Plus it's beautiful and easy to serve. Enough said? You can find the recipe for this beauty right here courtesy of Naturally Ella.

Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing

Mmmm. Chorizo. I found this delicious Thanksgiving side dish recipe on the food and travel blog Table For Two and am seriously reconsidering everything I thought I knew about stuffing. Seriously, this cornbread and sausage stuffing sounds amazing, and is just the right amount of spice factor. You can find the recipe here.

Easy Mini Soft Pretzels With Cheese

Did somebody say pass the pretzels, please? This fun and self-described easy pretzel recipe is an excellent biscuit alternative this Thanksgiving. Courtesy of The Comfort Kitchen, these soft party pretzels with homemade cheese sauce are not only super cute, but — well, who doesn't love a good pretzel? You can find the complete recipe here.

Crispy Prosciutto Brie Bites

These beautiful little pear, pomegranate and prosciutto with brie tarts should basically be called Thanksgiving in a bite. This fun recipe comes to us from Half Baked Harvest and while it may fall more under the appetizer category, they should be making an appearance on your Thanksgiving table one way of another. You can find the recipe in its entirety right here.

Moroccan Style Vegetable Cous Cous

You can never go wrong with cous cous. It's quick and easy to make, and with this Tori Avey recipe that includes everything from sweet potatoes and zucchini to a little harissa and tomato paste you really can't go wrong. You can find the recipe here.

Sweet Potato Noodles With Garlic & Kale

OK, I'm officially obsessed with this recipe for sweet potato noodles with garlic and kale. This dish, courtesy of the ever creative geniuses behind Love & Lemons is not only such a fun and creative take on your traditional sweet potato side, it's healthy and beautiful to boot. Now the only caveat with this one is you might need to invest in the tool that actually cuts the sweet potato — L&L uses a spiralizer to make it. But if you're willing to go that extra mile, this pretty recipe yields a lot of noodles and is sure to be oodles of fun at the dinner table.

Sweet Potato & Pecan Puree With Caramelized Onion

If you're ever in the mood to check out some seriously beautiful #foodporn then look no further than Oregon based food blog Adventures in Cooking. I'm loving this sweet potato and pecan puree because it's adding that little bit of savory goodness to an otherwise overly sweet dish. It's also simple to make and really pretty when plated. You can find the recipe here.

Cheesy Mashed Potato Puffs

Mmmm. Cheese puffs. This recipe, courtesy of, is another playful take on traditional mashed potatoes and biscuits, and is not only easy to make but super cute to boot. You can find the recipe here. Oh, and did I mention they're also gluten-free? Score.