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9 Exciting Twists on Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes

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Mmm Thanksgiving. It’s not too early to think about that delicious meal that will be gracing our tables in a few weeks, right? I sure hope not, considering there have been Christmas decorations lining the shelves since practically Labor Day.

I love Thanksgiving. I love the traditions: family gathering together for a meal; the familiarity of the turkey, sage stuffing, and mashed potatoes; the leftover pumpkin and apple pies for days. Though I love the traditional side of things, it can also get boring year after year after year, especially if you celebrate with more than one Thanksgiving meal. So this year, how about thinking outside of the table… err, box? Whether it’s just one dish you decide to put a twist on or the whole Thanksgiving feast, here are some nontraditional twists on Thanksgiving recipes.

  • Thanksgiving Twists 1 of 10

    Toss aside your weathered and stained recipe cards with scribbled tried and true Thanksgiving recipes and give one of these fun nontraditional twists a try this year. From White Castle stuffing, to avocado pie, to tequila gravy, there's a little something for everyone.

  • White Castle Stuffing 2 of 10

    Yes, that very same White Castle, home of the mini fast food burgers, determined destination of Harold and Kumar. Who knew you could turn these tiny burgers into something as festive and tasty as Thanksgiving stuffing? This cook-off winning recipe for stuffing can be found on White Castle's website.


    Photo credit: White Castle

  • Avocado Pie 3 of 10

    Pecan, apple, pumpkin. Been there, done that. Pie, that is. This year, try something surprising and unordinary, yet still sure to please the palate. It may look like key lime pie, but this delectable dessert is made from avocados. So while you're still indulging in dessert, you can also claim you're still eating healthy! Get the recipe.


    Photo credit: Food Network

  • Winter Slaw 4 of 10

    It's no secret that a traditional Thanksgiving dinner can be pretty heavy. From mashed potatoes to whipped cream-laden fruit salad, it's hard to make room for anything even slightly healthy. This winter coleslaw fits the bill perfectly: packed with veggies yet light enough to squeeze in between all the other dishes you've been waiting for all year. Here's the recipe.


    Photo credit:

  • Pumpkin Mousse 5 of 10

    There's no denying how delicious pumpkin pie is, but between Thanksgiving and Christmas I most certainly get my fill. I love this simply twist on a standard Thanksgiving dessert. Skip the crust and whip up this light and airy pumpkin mousse instead.


    Photo credit: Flat Art

  • Adobo Turkey 6 of 10

    Unless you're vegetarian, it's hard to justify skipping the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner. But you can still jazz it up and keep things interesting by switching up the way you prep your turkey. Deep frying turkey has gotten so popular over the past few years that it can hardly be called nontraditional anymore. Instead, try a twist on flavor, like with this adobo chile seasoned turkey.


    Photo credit:

  • Quinoa & Squash 7 of 10

    Thanksgiving meals can get a little carb crazy. While there's nothing wrong with carbs, this quinoa and butternut squash dish is a great way to pack in some whole grains and extra protein to the mix. The dried cranberries bring it full circle in terms of fall flavors. Use it as stuffing or instead of a sweet potato side dish. It's sure to please your hungry crowd! Here's the recipe.


    Photo credit: With Style and Grace

  • Plantain Stuffing 8 of 10

    This one's really thinking outside the box. The box of stuffing, that is. This side dish brings in the South American flavors of sweet plantain and spicy jalapeno - a surefire way to give your Thanksgiving meal a kick. Get the recipe here.


    Photo credit: iStockPhoto

  • Sangria Sauce 9 of 10

    I've never understood the appeal of the gelatinous can-shaped "cranberries", but some people can't call it a Thanksgiving dinner without it. For those that are open to trying something new, this sangria-inspired fresh cranberry sauce will definitely win you over. If you're still not sure, take a note from my family: serve both, fresh and canned. Get this sangria cranberry sauce recipe here.

    Photo credit: iStockPhoto

  • Tequila Gravy 10 of 10

    Let's be honest, after preparing a huge Thanksgiving meal, you could probably use a drink or two. Instead of taking one right from the glass, use it to flavor your turkey gravy instead. This tequila-spiked gravy adds just enough of a twist to be new and exciting, without straying too far from that traditional gravy flavor we all know and love. Find the recipe here.


    Photo credit: iStockPhoto

Click through for some fun ideas!


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