New Twists on Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Cook, Holidays, Recipe Roundup, Thanksgiving

As a kid, I looked forward to Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s house every year. The table was crowded with all of the holiday’s staples: sugary sweet potatoes topped with mini marshmallows, canned cranberry sauce and a green bean casserole made with cans of cream of mushroom soup.


My tastes have changed since I was little, but recently I’ve loved seeing how contemporary chefs and cookbook authors are updating Thanksgiving classics with fresh ingredients and innovative techniques. If you’re ready to try an original spin on a few of your traditional side dishes this year, consider these recipes.


Sweet Potato Puree with Caramelized Marshmallow
Chef James Tracey takes traditional sweet potato casserole in a sophisticated direction in this recipe, substituting homemade meringue for the marshmallows. The meringue turns toasty brown on top, complementing the silky sweet potatoes. See more updated sweet potato recipes here! 



The All-New Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole often includes French-fried onions, canned soup and buttery crushed crackers. This Thanksgiving, try an updated recipe from our Comfort Food cookbook, composed of fresh ingredients and guaranteed to push that old formula aside.
Chestnut and Chanterelle Dressing with Chive Biscuits
This recipe comes from Chef Bryan Voltaggio, who uses biscuits because they’re A) quick and easy to make, and B) they dry out well, so they’ll soak up the savory flavors of this dressing. See the Voltaggios’ Thanksgiving menus and read their insights on cooking the holiday meal.
Crispy Smashed Potatoes
If mashed potatoes are getting a bit boring, try this two-step cooking method from our test kitchen cooks that yields delicious results. Simmered in salted water, then browned in a griddle pan, these potatoes are tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. Are mashed potatoes a must on your Thanksgiving table? Master them with these tips. 
Cranberry-Orange Mostarda
Classic Italian mostarda meets American cranberry sauce in this recipe from Chef Sarah Grueneberg. Flavors of orange zest, bay and mustard combine in a vibrant alternative to traditional cranberry sides. See our solutions for some of the most common cranberry sauce dilemmas. 



About the authorOlivia Terenzio grew up in Mississippi, where she cultivated a love of sweet potatoes, crawfish and cloth napkins at a young age. A passion for sharing food with friends and family led her into the kitchen and later to culinary school, where she learned how to roast a chicken and decorate a cake like a pro. As a Williams-Sonoma blog editor, she’s now lucky enough to be talking, writing and thinking about food all day.

One comment about “New Twists on Thanksgiving Side Dishes

  1. Cait

    Growing up in a big Irish family we were totally cliche but it really was all about the potatoes (and on Thanksgiving that meant mashed!!!) Recently with some new food sensitivities my husband and I have been exploring alternatives to certain traditional dishes. We recently discovered mashed cauliflower. Dont let my family hear this but I almost prefer it to mashed potatoes now! Soo creamy and delish!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *