Nontraditional Thanksgiving Sides

The turkey typically steals the show at Thanksgiving. But what about those nontraditional sides that only show up from time to time? You know, the ones a guest brings, and you immediately fall in love with? Well, we’ve got some of them here. Keep reading for some of our favorite recipes for nontraditional Thanksgiving side dishes.

Garlic Butter Hasselback Potatoes

(image via rasa malaysia)

If you mix garlic and butter and apply it as a basting sauce to any dish, the contents inside will be absolutely scrumptious. Now, if you add garlic and butter to potatoes, that’s a chef’s kiss. This recipe from Rasa Malaysia will have your mouth watering for days.


  • 1 pound baby potatoes, yellow or red
  • 4 Tbsp salted butter, melted
  • 1 head garlic, separated, skin on
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 dashes ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Place baby potatoes one at a time and place on a wooden spoon; cut horizontal slits in the potatoes.
  3. In a small bowl, combine butter, garlic, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and parsley. Stir to combine.
  4. Toss potatoes with the garlic butter mixture and coat well, including inside the slits.
  5. Transfer the potatoes to a cast-iron or roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes.
  6. Turn the potatoes over and baste with the garlic butter mixture in the pan. Roast another 20 minutes and serve immediately.

Jalapeño-Cheddar Corn Pudding

(image via tasty)

If you’re a fan of spicy dishes, you need this jalapeño-cheddar corn pudding recipe, courtesy of Tasty, in your mouth stat. Yummy sweet corn with a crusted top and a little zing? Count us in!


  • ¼ cup jalapeños, diced
  • 2 large ears of corn or 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter, plus more for pan
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 30 oz cream-style corn
  • 6 large eggs
  • Kosher salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with butter.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk cornstarch and heavy cream until smooth. Add 1½ cups of cheddar, creamed corn, fresh corn, jalapeños, melted butter, eggs, and salt, and stir until mixed well.
  3. Pour pudding mix into baking pan and top with the remaining cheddar.
  4. Bake until set, 45-50 minutes. Then, broil until the top is brown, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Enjoy warm.

Melting Sweet Potatoes

(image via food network)

Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple, but what about sweet potatoes? We can’t forget this naturally delicious carb, plus it has more vitamins and minerals than a regular potato. This melting sweet potato recipe from Food Network will be addictive if you give it a chance!


  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, sliced 1-inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Honey for drizzling


  1. Preheat the oven to 475° F.
  2. Add butter, sage, and thyme to a large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals until butter is melted.
  3. Add sweet potatoes, 1½ tsp salt, and a generous amount of pepper. Toss together.
  4. Place potatoes in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish in a single layer. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  5. Flip the potatoes and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Pour chicken broth atop the potatoes and bake until they are soft and the liquid is reduced, about 15 more minutes.
  7. Transfer the potatoes to a serving platter and season with salt and honey.

Citrus-Pomegranate Relish

(image via bon appétit/bobbi lin)

The homemade cranberry sauce recipes from Bon Appétit always get some hype, but what if we threw a citrus-pomegranate relish in the mix? This out-of-this-world side definitely deserves a seat at the table!


  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup sherry vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 small oranges or tangelos
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds


  1. Cook sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until a ring around the edges is melted, about 5 minutes.
  2. Using a heatproof spatula, pull the melted sugar toward the center of saucepan. Reduce heat if the sugar starts to smoke. Before moving on to the next step, ensure the sugar is melted and is a deep caramel color.
  3. Remove sugar from the heat and carefully add vinegar – keep in mind that the vinegar will make the sugar spatter, and caramel will seize.
  4. Return the sauce to medium heat and continue stirring until the caramel dissolves.
  5. Season generously with salt and pepper. If the sauce is tart, add more salt to balance it out.
  6. While the mix is cooling, slice the ends off the oranges and remove skin and pith. Slice oranges crosswise into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Place in a large bowl.
  7. Add the sauce and pomegranate seeds and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature 2 hours before serving.

Sour Cream Noodles

(image via taste of home)

No one really thinks of noodles for Thanksgiving. But this sour cream noodles recipe from Taste of Home will blow you away. And you’ll probably want to make it more often than one holiday a year.


  • 10 oz fine egg noodles
  • 1¼ cups 4% cottage cheese
  • 1¼ cups sour cream
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ⅛ tsp garlic salt
  • 2 Tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Cook noodles according to package instructions and drain. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add cottage cheese, sour cream, onion, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic salt.
  4. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
  5. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned.

Do you have any favorite nontraditional Thanksgiving side dishes? Share them with us in the comments below!

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