Creative Thanksgiving Recipes
While families across America sit down to a buffet of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes each Thanksgiving, millions of adventurous cooks are putting their own ethnic spins on traditional Thanksgiving recipes. Try one of these "fusion" dishes to add new flavors to your family's meal – they might even become new favorite traditions that last for years.
Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes
A dry rub adds flavor and keeps the turkey moist as it roasts. Up to 12 hours before cooking, pat these rubs all over and under the skin, as well as inside the turkey cavity.
Mexican Blend: 1/4 cup kosher salt, 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
French Provençal Blend: 1/4 cup kosher salt, the zest of 1 large lemon, 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, 1 tablespoon dried sage, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
For extra international flair, stuff your turkey with whole ingredients that infuse the bird with flavor from the inside out:
Moroccan Mix: 1/2 cup oil-cured green olives, 2 quartered lemons, 1 peeled and quartered small red onion, 4 peeled garlic cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, and 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Cuban Mojo: 1 peeled and quartered small red onion, 2 quartered limes, 1 quartered orange, 4 peeled garlic cloves, 1 handful fresh oregano leaves, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Turkey Stuffing Recipes
Spice up your stuffing by substituting Spanish chorizo for plain browned sausage. The paprika-laced links add a hint of spice and gorgeous color. Remove the meat from the linked casing, brown well, and toss with your stuffing.
Bring veggie power to your traditional stuffing with a few Latin-inspired add-ins. Grill fresh corn sliced off the cob and combine it with roasted poblano or jalapeño peppers to add sweetness and heat. Don't have a grill? Roast the peppers over a gas burner or under the broiler, then chop. Sauté fresh corn kernels in a hot, dry skillet.
Garlic and sage bring Mediterranean flair to traditional scalloped potatoes. To amp up the herb factor in this rich, bubbly casserole, add fresh rosemary and thyme.
What's better than creamy mashed potatoes? Cheesy, spicy mashed potatoes with Mexican green chiles. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Chihuahua cheese and one 4-ounce can of diced green chiles for every 2 pounds of potatoes you mash.
Turn this traditional side into an Indian chutney-style relish with a hint of tangy vinegar. Balanced by sweet raisins and spices, this cranberry relish pairs well with a host of Thanksgiving foods, from turkey to corn bread to sweet potatoes.
Chop up slices of grilled pineapple and mango for a sweet and breezy Jamaican addition to traditional cranberry sauce. Don't have a grill? Brush the fruit slices with vegetable oil, and quickly brown the fruit in a hot cast iron skillet or under the broiler.
Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Recipes
Stir a handful of exotic chai spices into a no-bake pumpkin chiffon pie (add 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom) or a classic sweet potato pie. Whichever you choose, you spice things up by bringing the warming flavors of India to your table.
Take your pumpkin pie on a trip to the Caribbean by substituting whole (not light) coconut milk for evaporated milk in your favorite family recipe. (Or try this simple version.) The coconut milk adds a subtle hint of flavor—amp it up by sprinkling the pie with toasted coconut garnish.