20 Thanksgiving Recipes With a Modern Twist (2024)

It's a scientific fact that recipes must continuously keep moving or die. My mistake, that's sharks. But my point is, these modern Thanksgiving recipes are making a move, transforming the familiar into something new and deliciously different. Not that there's anything wrong with grandma's signature dishes, but it's perfectly OK for you to give the feast your own spin. Here are 20 ideas for a modern Thanksgiving menu. Have at 'em, America.

01of 20

Deep-Fried Stuffing

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Deep-fried stuffing, bumped up with poultry seasoning and Parmesan cheese, then breaded and dipped. Dip these perfect, crispy globes in gravy. Or cranberry sauce. Or peanut butter. It doesn't matter what.

02of 20

Olive-Brined Air-Fryer Turkey Breast

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20 Thanksgiving Recipes With a Modern Twist (2)

Here's an alternative to roasted turkey that isn't too far from tradition. "Using olive brine gives the breast flavor and also keeps it tender. I use spicy Tabasco Olive brine for extra kick," recipe creator Buckwheat Queen says.

  • Our Best Air Fryer Thanksgiving Recipes

03of 20

Quinoa Stuffing

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This recipe takes regular stuffing and just blows it up. It features quinoa, yes; plus an all-star supporting cast that includes butternut squash, zucchini, cranberries, and dried apricots. And did I mention it's vegetarian and gluten-free? Boom!

  • 15 Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Sides

04of 20

Fiesta Pear Dessert

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If you're an apple pie person, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised by this alternative, which would also work with apples. Fried tortilla shells hold cinnamony pears and ice cream coated with graham cracker crumbs and pecans. Need we say more?

05of 20

Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins

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"Sweet, salty, creamy. All the flavors and textures come together nicely. The sage sausage paired with the sweet potato was reminiscent of Thanksgiving flavors," says reviewer France C. "Very simple to put together."

  • 17 Ways to Make Sweet Potatoes for Thanksgiving
  • 15 No-Marshmallow Sweet Potato Dishes for Thanksgiving

06of 20

Garlicky Green Beans with Shallot

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Green bean casserole? What green bean casserole? Caramelized shallots, garlic, and Parmesan pack a punch of flavor — no cream of mushroom soup or fried onions needed.

  • Our 15 Best Veggie Side Dishes for Thanksgiving Dinner

07of 20

Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

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Creamy mascarpone cheese gives this make-ahead casserole a terrific buttery texture and helps develop the golden-brown crust.

  • Our 15 Best Thanksgiving Potato Recipes

08of 20

Dark Chocolate Buttermilk Pecan Pie

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Dark chocolate chips (or even chunks of your favorite dark chocolate bar) are just what pecan pie needs to get your guests excited about seeing this classic dessert at yet another Thanksgiving.

  • 22 Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Pies to Try This Year

09of 20

Roasted Honey Cinnamon Acorn Squash

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Coated with honey and cinnamon and topped with almonds and blue cheese, this caramelized acorn squash puts your standard squash dish to shame.

10of 20

Grilled Turkey Breast with Fresh Sage Leaves

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Lemon juice brightens up this tender turkey, but crispy fried sage is the real MVP here.

  • A Thanksgiving Menu for Two

11of 20

Spiced Apple Chutney

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Let fall's favorite fruit sidle up to your turkey and say hello. This spiced apple chutney — fragrant with ginger and star anise — is the perfect partner for roasted meats. After Turkey Day, try it with grilled or broiled pork chops. It's a winner all year long.

12of 20

Orzo with Mushrooms and Walnuts

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This twist on traditional mushroom stuffing replaces bread with orzo. Reviewers compare its texture to risotto (though it's a dairy-free dish) and love the crunch of the toasted walnuts.

  • 15 Dairy-Free Thanksgiving Sides

13of 20

Sweet Potato and Coconut Bread

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This is the sweet, spiced bread the pilgrims wanted to make with their leftover sweet potatoes. Did they have cinnamon and nutmeg? Questionable. Coconut? No. But you can certainly get your hands on these ingredients.

  • Favorite Fall Breads Made Without a Pumpkin in Sight

14of 20

Tender Breaded Turkey Cutlets

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"The sour cream seals in the moisture and no one would ever guess that it's in there. A great new way to try turkey," recipe creator Tanya Belt says.

15of 20

Chopped Brussels Sprout Salad

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Look no further than this raw Brussels sprout salad for a fresh side dish. "A perfect combo of sweet, tangy, and salty, with a nice crunchy texture," reviewer Kym Cox Surridge says.

  • 15 Best Brussels Sprout Dishes for Thanksgiving

16of 20

Carrot-Zucchini Cake

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Have your cake, and eat your veggies, too, along with a sensational cream cheese frosting. Nom nom nom.

17of 20

Potato and Pumpkin Gratin

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"A bit of a twist from your standard au gratin potatoes," recipe creator Kim's Cooking Now says. "Layers of thinly-sliced potatoes and pumpkin combined with Swiss Gruyere and a hint of thyme make for a tasty and elegant side dish."

18of 20

Tangy Cranberry Sauce

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Do the unexpected: Liven up cranberry sauce with horseradish. "Yes! Finally, a cranberry sauce that isn't sickly sweet," Clare Fisher says. "Love it."

  • 10 Quick and Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauces

19of 20

Grandma's Apple Pie 'Ala Mode' Moonshine

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Do not try this at home! I'm sorry, DO try it at home. This homemade 'shine is completely legal and safe (when consumed within reason). But flavored with cloves and cinnamon sticks, it tastes like apple pie, so watch out.

20of 20

Spiralized Brown Butter Sage Sweet Potato

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Spiralizing sweet potatoes may not change their taste — that's what brown butter and sage are for — but it sure makes them more interesting. "This is officially on our Thanksgiving menu! Too easy and delicious to pass up," reviewer Buckwheat Queen says.

  • 28 Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas
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  • See our entire collection of Thanksgiving Recipes.
20 Thanksgiving Recipes With a Modern Twist (2024)

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