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When prompted, “What’s your favorite food?” What comes to mind? The usual suspects include french fries, pizza, donuts, fried chicken, steak, chocolate. No matter your choice, these foods have gumption. They are bold, crunchy, salty, spicy — you name it! They are forces to be reckoned with.
On the flip side, you have the Thanksgiving classics. A sea of beige, devoid of any texture and flavor. Each dish is indistinguishable from the next. If you have to cover all your food in gravy, was it even good to begin with?
To some, this means comfort. It’s tradition, they say. OK, well, tradition is fine — until it hinders progress. Reminder: We only walked until we found horses, rode horses until we had cars, and now we can fly across oceans.
Why, on what is arguably the biggest food holiday in America, are we ignoring all the culinary progress we’ve made in favor of monotony? We can do better, people! It’s time to embrace new flavors, textures, ingredients and dishes. We’re here for the uprising and have the recipes to back it up.
Below is your antidote to a boring Thanksgiving meal, one course at a time. No holiday fatigue at this table.
First, why do we need appetizers on the one day where our main meal is guaranteed to be a calorie overload? That’s a topic for another day. But if you’re set on noshing before the feast, we suggest these veggie-forward options:
Traditional Thanksgiving turkeys require thawing, brining and cooking (endlessly!), and more often than not they still turn out dry and rubbery. If you’re set on poultry, swap your time-consuming standby for these versions that deliver a bird bursting with flavor and moisture:
We all know sides are the real star of Thanksgiving. But the traditional options leave a lot to be desired.
The easiest way to ruin this perfect spudis to mash it — IMHO. Step away from the hand mixer and give these versions a try instead. Or skip the potatoes altogether and opt for a less common corn pudding substitute.
Green Bean Casserole
Vegetables drenched in canned mystery cream? Not in this house. We have the antidote, though.
What is this strange food, anyway? Is it bread, a casserole, something inside a bird? No one really knows. But these recipes made our mouths water.
Give this tangy condiment the attention it deserves with a boost, zest, kick and twist of new flavors.
Because what’s a holiday without a carb overload?
The reason we try to save room.
Did you know sweet potatoes are shockingly similar to pumpkin when you add the right spices? Try this twist: Sweet Potato-Miso Pie with Chocolate-Sesame Crust. Say no more. We’re making it.
OK this is one we’re still in love with. Even still, let’s try something new. This Caramel Pear Pie hits all the right notes.
If you’re still dying for something sticky sweet, remember that chocolate is perfect for every holiday — and every day, period. Plus, this no-bake version saves some coveted oven space that day.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of all the amazing recipes waiting out there for you to try. People say you shouldn’t try a new recipe on company. We disagree. Holidays and guests are the perfect occasion to try something new you’ve been eyeing for a while.
If you don’t like our list, there are tons of tools out there to help build your own unique Thanksgiving menu. Try a break from the classics and let us know what you’re serving.