15 People Reveal Their Favorite Unusual Thanksgiving Side Dish Idea

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For many of us, Thanksgiving is when we gorge ourselves on turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (*breathing heavily*), and gravy — which I personally drink through a straw. However, not all of us are so traditional, and that's stupendous. If you're looking for more uncommon Thanksgiving dishes to celebrate the holiday with a delicious twist, I've rounded up 16 food items that are sure to throw your dinner guests for a major loop this year. Better yet, they all came from Reddit, so you know things are about to get strange.

Turkey and all the typical fixings are great and all, but tradition is about what's special and meaningful to you. The only "rule" is that you should spend the day with people you love, laughing and hopefully eating really good food that you can post about on social media, because pics or it didn't happen.

For some people, that means roasting a giant bird and trying not to set the house on fire. For me and my family this year, that means koosa, grape leaves, za'atar bread, and ma'amoul and baklava for dessert (and trying not to set the house on fire). And for others, it might be one of these 16 dishes.

Whether you cook it from scratch or defrost it 30 minutes before mealtime, whether it's homemade or delivery, eat whatever makes your heart do cartwheels. Happy Turkey Day!


Frozen Pizza

Would it be a real Thanksgiving if you didn't have frozen pizza? No cooking is required! I think this person is on to something.


Matzah Ball Soup

Is there any better comfort food? What could be more delicious than sinking your teeth into a squishy matzah ball on a chilly Thanksgiving evening?



Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without a little raw fish. Have a side of spicy yellowtail roll with your mashed potatoes and gravy. Don't listen to what people say — they really do taste good together.



You haven't lived until you've had lumpia, a type of spring roll more commonly served in Indonesia and the Philippines. It's so delicious that you won't care it's not a traditional Thanksgiving dish. That's because lumpia is good 365 days a year, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and maybe a midnight snack.


Rib Roast

There was never a more beautiful piece of meat than rib roast — not even the turkey. Yeah, I said it. Fight me.


Deep-Fried Parsnips

You don't even need to know what parsnips are to know your taste buds will love this. Everything is amazing when it's deep-friend. This is science. Just like gravity.


Clam Dip

Ah, yes. The dip of the clam. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. And if you're not convinced yet, know that you can add bacon to it, so it can't be all that bad.


"Green Salad"

It's not your typical grilled chicken salad with croutons and balsamic vinaigrette, but... it's close, I guess?


Sweet Potato Fries

Hell. To the. Yes. We eat sweet potato casserole on Thanksgiving. Why not sweet potato fries?


Sweet Potato Macaroons

These aren't your everyday macaroons, but if there's ever a time for experimenting, a day devoted to eating is it.



Beef. It's what's for dinner. Not too shabby of a Thanksgiving alternative, if you're not all that into turkey.



Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to highlight your family's own traditions, instead of just sticking to the cliché Thanksgiving staples.


Lasagna And Ricotta Pie

Why have lasagna or pie when you can have them both at the same time?



Seven-layer jello? Sure, why not? It's colorful and squishy and... even if it doesn't taste good, it'll at least photograph well for the Instagrams.



Mmmm, fermented cabbage. It's the unique Thanksgiving dish you never knew you needed.