4 Must-Try Nontraditional Thanksgiving Dishes

5196933417_c75894cdae_zTurkey has been a staple of Thanksgiving dinner for hundreds of years, but the meals have come a long way since the 1600s when wildfowl, porridge and venison were served. Today, dishes such as cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie have become traditional staples.

But America is a melting pot of ethnicities, and families who celebrate Thanksgiving often infuse bits of their own culture into the meal. With Mexican and Polish roots in my heritage, both tamales and galumpkis (stuffed cabbage) are likely to make an appearance at our family’s dinner table this holiday season.

If you’re looking to mix things up this Turkey Day, here are four fun ideas of ethnic-inspired dishes to try:

Spinach Dip with Corn and Cotija:  Inspired by the grilled corn on the cob often sold from food carts on the streets of Mexico, this alternative to a traditional spinach dip features white corn, Mexican Cotija cheese and lime juice topping.

Sesame Green Beans and Potatoes: Green beans are a dinnertime staple, but with a little flare this dish can deliver a whole new flavor. For this Korean-inspired side you’ll need a little oil, garlic, salt, pepper and the signature toasted sesame seeds.

Cucumbers in Sour Cream: Cucumbers can be the star of their own show at the holiday dinner table with a little special sauce. In this popular Polish dish, cucumbers are sliced thin and coated with sour cream, vinegar and fresh dill.

Curry Fried Rice: The smell of oven-baked turkey has nothing on this fragrant stir-fried rice featuring curry and soy sauce. With the addition of ham, onions, scallions and carrots, this side dish could be a meal on its own.

Do you serve any ethnic-inspired dishes on Thanksgiving? How else do you celebrate your family’s heritage during the holidays?

Photo credit: Striving Bean


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