The holidays are all about fun, family, togetherness and traditions, but there’s always room for a new tradition at Thanksgiving.
It’s time to “embrace—or invent—new food traditions” this Thanksgiving,” said Bon Appetit. “For a holiday so rooted in rituals, rules, and traditions, it’s fascinating how Thanksgiving is celebrated differently by all of us. It’s almost as if—gasp!—there isn’t just one right way.
”There’s also not just one plate of food, if you do Thanksgiving right. So make sure you consider your menu carefully, and, most importantly, wear the right pants. We strongly recommend something in a nice elastic, because the best new Thanksgiving recipes below are bound to pop a few buttons and elicit a few new entries into your holiday recipe file.
“You can’t not make your mom’s famous cornbread stuffing or your aunt’s legendary candied yams,” said Bon Apetit. “But here’s the thing about this holiday: The table is so huge that you can add without having to subtract. And you’ll be happily surprised by what sticks.”
The magazine’s “25 Ways to Reinvent Your Thanksgiving” starts right at the heart of the holiday: with the bird. Brined roast turkey breast with confit legs takes the traditional preparation of the roasted turkey up a notch. The breast and legs are prepared “with distinct cooking techniques, resulting in unbelievable flavor and texture for each part: The breast is brined overnight before roasting, and the legs are cooked in duck fat and left to confit until fall-off-the-bone tender.”
Their tip: “Ask your butcher to remove the legs and thighs for you.”
Gourmet’s spiced butter-roast turkey with rosemary and bourbon spiked gravy might just be the way to take your Thanksgiving to a lively new level this year. “Spiced butter infuses the bird of the day while it’s roasting and then links up with rosemary and bourbon in the gravy to give this dish a one-two punch.”
Butternut squash is a fall staple, and this Martha Stewart dish with brown butter is an elegant, easy update to the typical Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole.
Or, keep the sweet potatoes but add a savory touch with these twice-baked sweet potatoes with a bacon-parmesan crust from Huffington Post.
Trying to find a way to replace mashed potatoes? Try this carrot mash with orange and mint (and a healthy hit of Tabasco) for a fresh new way to up the elegance—and taste—factor this year.
You could remove the cranberry sauce out of the can again this year, carefully opening the opposite end so it all slides out in one big chunk of cranberry can-shaped goodness (complete with ridges). Or, you could check out this decidedly adult version of cranberry sauce, jazzed up with apples and port. One of Delish’s 12 Best Thanksgiving Recipes, this cranberry dish makes the ideal complement to, well, anything. Plus, it’s got port. Which is wine.
It’s not Thanksgiving without stuffing, no matter if yours is made with sausage, oysters, laden with dried fruit, or is an all-veggie version. “Stuffing is the reigning heavyweight champion of the Thanksgiving world, said Huffington Post. “Stuffing IS Thanksgiving, no other competitors need apply.”
And then there’s this bacon and bourbon stuffing, which is decidedly un-vegan and also may lean toward the adult category depending on how generous your pour is.
A huge trend from last year, says Epicurious, that is still showing up this year, is chorizo. If you’re looking for a way to incorporate this smoky sausage into your Thanksgiving menu, you should really give chef Aaron Sanchez’s chorizo and cornbread stuffing a go. Because it’s Thanksgiving, and you should be able to eat anything you want for one day. Even chorizo in stuffing. Especially chorizo in stuffing.
Thanksgiving trends this year include sage and pumpkin, according to Epicurious. “Sage is more present than ever in Thanksgiving recipes…pumpkin is definitely a trendy Thanksgiving ingredient.”
You can combine the two with their pumpkin cake with sage ice cream and pumpkin cherry compote.
If you’ve just had enough of stuffing in its traditional form, make these Thanksgiving stuffing cookies instead and liven up your desert table. “Move over, pumpkin pie. There’s a new Thanksgiving dessert in town,” said Huffington Post.
Turn the decadence of Thanksgiving desert into more manageable—but no less decadent—serving sizes with these pecan pie truffles. These are an Oprah fave, and soon will be one of yours too.
Which recipes might you add to your holiday menu this year? Have more interesting recipes to add? We’d love to hear from you!