7 Twists on Classic Thanksgiving Recipes
By: Cecelia Bocker
Thanksgiving is a day full of family, friends, and delicious food. We all expect to see a golden-brown turkey, fluffy mashed potatoes and decadent gravy on the dinner table, but why not surprise your loved ones this year by putting a spin on the classic recipes?
We’ve made a list of 7 twists for each of the essential Thanksgiving dinner elements for you to try this year! Check them out:
- Apple Cider Glazed Turkey - To give your turkey sweet, crispy skin and extra juicy meat, we recommend adding apple cider. Combine 2 cups of apple cider with ¼ cup of brown sugar in a small pot. Let this mixture simmer until the glaze reduces to about ½ cup. 30 minutes before removing your turkey from the oven, brush your glaze over the top of it. Do this every 10 minutes until your turkey is cooked through. Want the full recipe? Click here!
- Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes - Thanksgiving morning is a busy time. You’re trying to cook the turkey, prepare side dishes and desserts, watch the Macy’s Day Parade, March of the Wooden Soldiers and/or football, all on top of coordinating with your family to make it out of the house on time. Wouldn't it be nice to just throw something in a pot and not worry about it until you’re ready to leave? Slow cooker creamy mashed potatoes are perfect for this busy morning! Throw 5 pounds of diced potatoes, 6 cloves of peeled garlic and 1 ¼ cups of chicken broth into your crockpot. After 3-4 hours, add ⅓ cup of butter, ½ cup of sour cream and 2 cups of milk. Use a potato masher to mix and mash it all together for the easiest, creamy Thanksgiving potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste and you're done! Click here for the whole recipe.
- Skillet Stuffing - This year, instead of doing a traditional boxed stuffing, why not try it with cornbread and bake it in a cast iron skillet? Adding cornbread in addition to breadcrumbs gives your stuffing a sweet taste to compliment all of the savory sides that are already on your dinner table. Cooking in a cast iron skillet will not only allow your stuffing to get a nice crunch on the outside while maintaining a fluffy moist inside, it also makes for a great presentation. Check out the recipe here!
- Smashed Sweet Potatoes - For a new twist on the classic sweet potatoes, cut your potatoes into slices. Combine ¼ cup of butter, 3 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 tsp of thyme, salt and nutmeg in a small bowl. Drizzle your garlic/butter mixture over your sweet potato rounds and bake them at 425° for 30 minutes. Use the bottom of a glass or fork to “smash” your sweet potatoes, then place them under the broiler for 3-5 minutes. Looking for the whole recipe? Click here!
- Bacon Green Bean Casserole - What could be better than a warm, delicious casserole? A warm, delicious casserole with bacon and cheese! Adding crumbled bacon and cheddar cheese to the classic green bean and mushroom soup mixture if guaranteed to please this year. Before you place your casserole dish into the oven, mix 5 tbsp of crumbled, cooked bacon (about 5-6 strips) and ¼ cup of cheddar cheese with the milk, green beans and mushroom soup. Bake this mixture at 350° for 25 minutes. Remove your dish, sprinkle 1 tbsp of bacon, ¼ cup of cheddar cheese and fried onions on top before cooking for 5 more minutes. Want the full recipe? Click here!
- Sherry Mushroom Gravy - Gravy is responsible for tying together everything on your Thanksgiving dinner plate. The typical turkey gravy is made up of broth, turkey drippings, salt/pepper and flour, but this recipe adds bacon, mushrooms and sherry for a burst of delicious flavors. Depending on how much gravy you need, you might want to double the recipe because we know this gravy is going to go fast! First, cook 2 strips of bacon, 6 oz. of mushrooms, ½ cup of minced onion, salt and pepper in a pan. After about 5-8 minutes, stir in 3 tbsp. of sherry to release this mix from the bottom of the pan. Combine with ½ cup of broth and ½ cup of hot water along with flour until the gravy is brown and dry. Add another ½ cup of broth and ½ cup of hot water. Let this simmer for 10 minutes to finish cooking. Reheat the gravy right before serving! Click here for the whole recipe!
- Cabernet Cranberry Sauce - Cranberry sauce is one of the staple dishes at Thanksgiving dinner. This easy recipe adds richness and a hint of spice to give an unexpected flavor to the usually sweet dish. Combine 1 cup of sugar, ½ cup of Cabernet, ½ cup of fresh orange juice, 2 tbsp of orange zest, 1 cinnamon stick, a pinch of salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a pot. Allow this mixture to simmer over medium heat while you add 12 oz. of fresh cranberries. The cranberries will break down after 10-12 minutes and the sauce will appear thick. Stir in ¼ cup of cold water, remove the cinnamon stick, then transfer the sauce to a bowl. Cover your bowl and place it in the refrigerator until dinner is being served! Check out the whole recipe here!
Let us know which of these twists you can’t wait to try! Do you have your own way of spicing up the traditional Thanksgiving recipes? Tell us about them!
From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
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