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5 Traditional Thanksgiving Sides with a Twist


It’s time to surprise your family and give those traditional old Thanksgiving staples a modern twist!

Thanksgiving is around the corner! You’ve probably already started to think about this year’s Thanksgiving menu...and it probably looks a lot like every other year. We say, it’s time to surprise your family and give those traditional ol’ Thanksgiving staples a modern twist! We know that no Thanksgiving table is complete without Turkey’s trusty sidekicks; stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, and sweet potato casserole. So, we’ve taken 5 Thanksgiving favorites and given them a new, modern spin. We promise, even Grandma will love them. 

Ready to give your Turkey Day menu a makeover?

1. Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing

What happens when Spanish chorizo makes a guest appearance at the Thanksgiving table? This incredible chorizo cornbread stuffing! Inspired by Spanish “migas”, the savory chorizo gives an incredible smoky kick to the cornbread that will leave everyone at the table saying one word: WOW. Just when you thought Thanksgiving stuffing couldn’t get any better…

½ cup fresh chorizo, casings removed, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups cornbread, crumbled
½ cup fresh cilantro
½ cup  chicken stock
1 tablespoon La Española Classic Olive Oil

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Cook chorizo in a large skillet over medium heat until browned. Then add vegetables. Once vegetables are browned add in cornbread and chicken stock. Stir to combine.
3) Use olive oil to grease a casserole dish. Put stuffing mixture even in the dish and bake for about 20 minutes, until the top is browned.

Original recipes inspired by Country Clever.

2. Baked Sweet potato casserole topped with walnuts 

It’s the dish all the kids have been waiting for...and we promise they won’t miss the marshmallows. Switch out the traditional marshmallows for a crispy, nutty, buttery topping chocked full of walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Nothing says Thanksgiving decadence like this dish...even if we still managed to sneak in a touch of healthy olive oil. ;)

3 cups peeled, cooked & mashed sweet potatoes
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon La Española Mild & Light Olive Oil
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup whole milk

3/4 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts
1.3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoon melted butter

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all base ingredients together with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. (add milk in at the end). Pour into greased casserole dish.
2) Mix topping ingredients together. Sprinkle on top of sweet potato casserole evenly.
3) Bake 30- 40 min until the topping is golden brown.

Original recipe inspired by Louisiana Kitchen & Culture.

3. Roasted brussel sprouts with chopped caramelized onions and bacon

Whoever in your family said vegetables are boring haven’t tried this dish yet. Roasted, crispy brussel sprouts with smokey bacon and caramelized onions? Even the pickiest of veggie eaters will be going for seconds. Just chop, toss in olive oil, throw in the oven and enjoy!

2 lbs brussel sprouts, halved
1 red onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
8 slices of uncooked bacon, cut in ½ inch strips
2 tablespoons La Española Extra Virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

1.    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
2.    Spread all cut ingredients on a baking pen and toss in olive oil and seasoning
3.    Throw in the oven for 20-25 min (until sprouts are browned and tender). Enjoy!!

Original recipe inspired by Spend with Pennies.

4. Merlot Cranberry Sauce

The only thing better than tart cranberry sauce to balance the rest of those savory and sweet T-Day dishes? Tart cranberry sauce with wine. This twist on traditional cranberry sauce gives the compote an extra depth of flavor and richness. And don’t worry, the alcohol cooks out so everyone in the family can enjoy it

1 cup Merlot red wine 
1 cup brown sugar (or ½ cup for a healthier, less sweet version)
12 oz fresh cranberries
½ cup dried cherries
Zest of 1 tangerine
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon La Española Mild & Light Olive Oil

1) Combine wine and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
2) Add the rest of the ingredients and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook about 10-15 minutes until the cranberries pop and the sauce thickens.

Original recipe inspired by Community Table.

5. Almond Mushroom Green Beans

Okay, we know it’s Thanksgiving, but we had to throw one healthy green dish in there! Take a break from the traditional heavy green bean casserole for this super easy, fresh and nutrient-packed dish. It’s the perfect light and heart-healthy side to balance out all those other decadent dishes!

1 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
20 cremini mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons La Española Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea salt & black pepper

1.)    Boil water and blanch green beans for 2 minutes. The transfer to bowl of ice water.
2.)    Heat olive oil in medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms and saute for about 2 minutes. Then add almonds, saute for 1 minute and finally the green beans (dry them before putting in). Cook all together about 10-15 minutes. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Original recipe inspired by Elizabeth Rider .

And there you have it! Which of these will make it to your Thanksgiving table this year? Share your favorite recipe with us!