Serve these Thanksgiving side dishes on the big day

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This Thanksgiving, spice up your table with some fun and different sides. 

Below, five awesome ideas to get the wheels turning. We’re talking mouth-watering cranberry apple rice pilaf, grilled sweet potatoes, and more. 

Read on, and get excited for Turkey Day.

Cranberry Apple Rice Pilaf by Melanie Cagle of The Cagle Diaries

Cranberry Apple Rice Pilaf by Melanie Cagle of The Cagle Diaries
(Melanie Cagle – The Cagle Diaries)

“This cranberry apple rice pilaf is a delicious side dish for Thanksgiving — it has a fabulous array of textures as well as a sweet and salty taste,” says Melanie Cagle of The Cagle Diaries. “This dish can be served hot or cold, so after dinner has been served, you can store it in the refrigerator and bring it out for seconds later.”

Makes 8 servings

Prep time: 10 Minutes 

Cook time: 45 Minutes 

Ingredients:  

2 cups brown and wild rice mix

4 cups chicken broth

1 stick butter, salted

3 large shallots chopped

2 Granny Smith apples, diced

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup pecans, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Get the full recipe here.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes by Nicole Johnson of Or Whatever You Do

Grilled Sweet Potatoes by Nicole Johnson of Or Whatever You Do
(Nicole Johnson)

“You won’t find any marshmallows in this recipe, but there’s no shortage of sweetness in these grilled sweet potatoes,” Nicole Johnson of Or Whatever You Do tells Fox News. “Thinly sliced sweet potatoes and yams get layered and then covered in a delicious sweet brown sugar sauce before being grilled (or baked) until they are fork tender. You can even cook this the day before, and then reheat right before serving,” she continues, adding that this dish can also be cooked or warmed in a casserole-style. It would be perfect cooked or warmed in a slow-cooker, too.

Makes 8 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients: 

2 large yams

2 large sweet potatoes

½  cup butter

½  cup maple syrup

½  cup orange juice

¼  cup Heritage Distlling Brown Sugar Bourbon or bourbon of choice

1 teaspoon salt

½  teaspoon cinnamon

Get the full recipe here.

Oven-Roasted Delicata Squash Recipe by Jessica Randhawa of The Forked Spoon

Oven-Roasted Delicata Squash Recipe by Jessica Randhawa of The Forked Spoon
(The Forked Spoon)

“This gluten-free and vegetarian oven-roasted Delicata squash recipe is roasted with sweet maple syrup, butter and sprinkled with ground cinnamon for a uniquely flavorful autumn side dish at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner,” says Jessica Randhawa, head chef of The Forked Spoon. “This is my absolute favorite way to cook this sweet, creamy, and velvety winter squash, as it’s fast, easy, and cozy.” 

Note: you can easily scale up this recipe (use the recipe card on the website link below).

Makes 3 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

1 Delicata squash (approx. 2-3 pounds)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

½  teaspoon salt

½  teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter melted (optional)

2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Get the full recipe here.

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Apple-Cranberry Salad by Melanie Cagle of The Cagle Diaries

Apple-Cranberry Salad by Melanie Cagle of The Cagle Diaries
(Melanie Cagle – The Cagle Diaries)

“This is a delicious salad full of taste and textures,” says Cagle. “Sweet from the cranberries, salty from the feta cheese and bacon, plus the crunchy pecans. It’s the perfect accompaniment to your Thanksgiving table.”

Makes 6 servings

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

5 cups spring mix lettuce

5 slices bacon, cooked

¼ cup Feta cheese

1 apple, sliced

¼ cup pecans, toasted

¼ red onion, sliced

½ cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds

Salt and pepper, to taste

Get the full recipe here.

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Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts with Banana and Lime by Chef Devan Cameron of Braised and Deglazed

Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts with Banana and Lime by Chef Devan Cameron of Braised and Deglazed
(Chef Devan Cameron of Braised and Deglazed)

“You’re probably thinking that Brussels sprouts with banana sound crazy, but wait ‘til you try it,” says Chef Devan Cameron of Braised and Deglazed, a food-focused website with recipes, tips and inspiration for the home cook. “The sweetness from the banana and the sharp, bright flavor of the lime make these extraordinary and extra tasty sprouts.”

Makes 2-3 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

About three tablespoons of peanut oil or high smoke-point oil such as canola oil

About a pound of Brussels sprouts

1 whole banana

½ lime, zested and juiced

salt and pepper to taste

Get the full recipe here.

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