Spice Up Your Thanksgiving Menu With These Global Side Dishes

Add flavors from around the world to the table this year.

By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on November 18, 2022

Thanksgiving’s traditional side dishes—green bean casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes—are open to interpretation. We believe that sometimes more is more: more chiles, more spices, more flavor. Liven up the menu this year and give the turkey some competition with these 26 side dish recipes from around the world. Creamed collard greens with peanut butter and chiles lend bold flavor from Senegal, while lard bread stuffing incorporates salty Italian pork and herbs for an amped up stuffing. Whether you’re hosting or adding your own dish to the melee, these are the dishes that will stun and surprise this turkey day.

Spice things up this Thanksgiving witAdd some warm spice to traditional cranberry sauce with cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, plus a little sweet heat from sliced jalapeno. Get the recipe >

This satisfying cake combines tart fruit and buttermilk with a secret ingredient for the ideal accompaniment to afternoon coffee or tea. Get the recipe >

When Julia says use 30 cloves of garlic, do not question her. The result is a flavorful, creamy dish that uses a rich and garlicky bechamel for maximum flavor. Get the recipe >

Fresh mint, Aleppo pepper, and cumin flavor this carrot salad from chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav in Philadelphia. Get the recipe >

Opt for sweet Brussels sprouts for a simple, creamy side dish that’s an ideal choice alongside any main course. Get the recipe >

Earthy celery root (along with a bit of grated Grana Padano cheese) adds a deep backbone to this potato mash, amped up by white pepper. Get the recipe >

Make everyone a fan of brassicas by quick-frying your sprouts, then dressing them in a sweet-and-sour honey-balsamic sauce. Top with fried shallots, walnuts, and Parmigiano-Reggiano to seal the deal. Get the recipe >

Fluffy, buttery brioche buns get an upgrade with cilantro, cheese, and sweet corn. Swap in any cheese or seasonings to match your meal, and freeze ahead for maximum ease. Get the recipe >

Mix olive oil and creamy mashed potatoes into the dough for this fluffy focaccia that’s upgraded to a side dish with the addition of kale and red pepper flakes. Get the recipe >

Traditional stuffing gets even richer with the addition of lard bread that’s made with rendered pork fat and cubes of salty prosciutto. Sweet onions, herbs, and crunchy fennel even out the dish that will become a staple in your Thanksgiving rotation. Get the recipe >

Dried cherries or cranberries bring just the right amount of sweetness to this cornbread stuffing studded with pork sausage and mushrooms. Get the recipe >

The rustic stuffing from Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bistro is made with crusty Italian bread and laced with fresh herbs, aromatics, and sausage for a hearty side. Get the recipe >

Traditional New England-style stuffing is made with smoky cured pork and oysters for rich, coastal flavor. Get the recipe >

Danish chef Paul Cunningham seasons root vegetables with thyme and fresh bay leaves, before simmering in cream and baking them under a layer of bubbling Gruyère and bread crumbs. Get the recipe >

A long, slow bake is the secret to chef Michael Solomonov’s incredibly tender sweet potatoes that are rubbed with salt and dill seed, then topped with garlicky labneh. Get the recipe >

Pan-fried slices of polenta with cheesy roasted broccoli are topped with savory roasted mushrooms for a plant-based main course that even the most hardened carnivores will love. Get the recipe >

A whole cauliflower is quartered and roasted with paprika, turmeric, and jalapeño then drizzled with raw tahini in this dish from Miznon restaurant in Tel Aviv. Get the recipe >

In a classic Danish treatment, sweet red apples are roasted with onions, caramelized in bacon fat, and served under thick slices of smoked belly bacon for a side that can almost double as a main. Get the recipe >

There’s nothing more nostalgic than a classic sweet potato casserole with nutty pecans and gooey, melted marshmallows. Get the recipe >

This Finnish version of the classic dish is pureed with parsley and vermouth for a super silky side. It’s lovely on its own, or used as a sauce on the plate for meat and vegetables. Get the recipe >

Dry white vermouth and freshly grated horseradish give a lively kick to a classic cabbage preparation in which the outer leaves turn brown and crispy while the inside layers soften in the cream. Get the recipe >

This cozy side dish is a take on risotto, but substituting orzo for rice. Meyer lemons and wild mushrooms give it a meaty, bright texture that will fit in nicely on your fall table. Get the recipe >

Cavolo nero, also known as Tuscan kale, becomes the star of the sauce in this version of an Italian classic. Garlic and Parmigiano-Reggiano add depth and bite for a simple dressing for a pasta side. Get the recipe >

Greens are wilted in rendered pork fat then braised with pickled trotters for a deeply hammy dish with plenty of acidity. Get the recipe >

The flavors of Senegal are a natural fit for fall cooking, bringing together the umami of dried shrimp, creamy peanut butter, and spicy habanero peppers for a dish that packs a punch. Get the recipe >

Spicy dried chiles and salty fermented black beans are the perfect foil for sweet winter squash. The result is a rich, warming dish that’s both earthy and sweet. Get the recipe >

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