Five Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Sides and Desserts

Happy almost Thanksgiving, all! I am so excited for the upcoming week – only 2.5 days of work, followed by some major R&R and eating to my heart’s content with all sorts of amazing comfort food. Thanksgiving. is. the. best. We’ll be celebrating with my husband’s family this year and have been trying to brainstorm a unique, non-traditional side dish that we can bring. After doing some research, and taste testing (in the form of my office’s “Worksgiving” last week), I thought it would be fun to put together a quick list of the five non-traditional Thanksgiving sides and desserts you can bring to your Friendsgiving, Worksgiving, or family Thanksgiving. These are all very Thanksgiving appropriate, just a little different from your standard mashed potatoes and green bean casseroles. Enjoy, and let me know if there’s anything else you would want to add to this list!

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  1. Bacon Parmesan Stuffed MushroomsSource: Center Cut Cook. I’ve made these ridiculously easy but decadent stuffed mushrooms a few times now, and they’re always such a hit. I brought them in for my company’s Worksgiving last week, and everyone was raving about them and asking me for the recipe. I love these mushrooms because they can be made in less than an hour and satisfies even the pickiest eater. I mean, how can you go wrong with cream cheese, parmesan, and bacon? You really can’t! I like to get a little heavy handed with the red chilli pepper flakes for an extra kick that people just can’t get enough of. Foolproof for any Thanksgiving potluck.
  2. Butternut Squash, Kale, Gruyere Bread Pudding. Source: The Gourmet Monster. My coworker made this kick ass bread pudding with butternut squash, kale, and gruyere last week and I can’t stop thinking about it! The ingredients are perfect for fall, but the dish is unique enough to make sure that no one else will be bringing the same thing to your Thanksgiving potluck. Every bite was so delicious, creamy and packed with wholesome flavors–we’re strongly considering making this for our family Thanksgiving!
  3. Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese and Apple Cider Glaze. Source: Whitney Bond. This was another dish that a coworker brought in for Worksgiving, and I’m completely obsessed. Whitney Bond’s recipe calls for blue cheese, but you can easily replace it with goat cheese (because why would you ever pick blue cheese over goat cheese?!). The apple cider glaze perfectly enhances the already pretty-perfect salty and sweet mixture of bacon and dates. So yum, and great for appetizers before digging into all that turkey!
  4. Pear Butterscotch Pie. Source: Epicurious. Instead of your standard pecan or pumpkin pie, why not surprise your guests with a pear butterscotch pie? My girlfriends and I tried this recipe yesterday while we were snowed in, and it was absolutely delicious. I’m not much of a baker (I hate having to be precise with my ingredients), but this recipe was really easy and we loved the way the flavors turned out. Not too sweet, but the combination of pears and brown sugar was just delightful.
  5. Molten Chocolate Cake with Caramel Filling. Source: Food & Wine. I always was convinced that there should be more chocolate desserts incorporated into Thanksgiving meals. I mean, chocolate is NOT just for Valentine’s Day, am I right?! This is hands down my favorite dessert recipe for entertaining guests. People are obsessed with the gooey warm, melt in your mouth deliciousness of this molten chocolate cake, and the sea salt + caramel mixture elevates this dish into something more elegant than your standard chocolate cake. Perfect for pleasing those who are sick of pumpkin pie. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

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