America's Best Regional Side Dishes for Thanksgiving
Yes, every Thanksgiving, Americans eat turkey and taters and pumpkin pie from sea to shining sea. But you'll also find some interesting regional preferences in the mix, specifically surrounding side dishes. Mac and cheese, for example, is big in the Southeastern part of the United States. Cornbread in other parts of the South, including Louisiana and Texas. Squash is common in the Northeast. Salads are popular in the West. Our collection of Thanksgiving side dish recipes includes them all. But we've taken a look at the outliers; these are some of the best regional Thanksgiving recipes. No matter where you live, you'll love them!
Wild Mushroom Stuffing
Here's one from wild mushroom country, the Pacific Northwest. It's made with egg bread, hazelnuts, fresh herbs, and shiitake, crimini, and dried porcini mushrooms. "The stuffing of the Pacific Northwest," says Christine. "You can fill your turkey with this stuffing, or bake it separately."
Smoky Poblano Corn Pudding
Here's a Southwest-style corn pudding with smoky poblano peppers. "This dish transforms frozen corn into a decadent and richly flavored dish with just a bit more work than setting a pot of water to boil," says Ashley Baron Rodriguez. "In our family, a warm bowl of corn is always on our Thanksgiving table. A Thanksgiving table without corn is not complete in my mind."
Minnesota Wild Rice Dressing
Minnesota is wild-rice country. Here, wild rice mix combines with ground sausage, water chestnuts, and sliced mushrooms. "This recipe was given to me by a friend, and it has been a family tradition ever since," says MARJK. "No need to stuff the turkey. This dressing can be made the day before Thanksgiving and heated in the microwave 10 minutes before serving!"
Mashed Jalapeno-Cilantro Sweet Potatoes
Southern Style Thanksgiving Green Beans
Maple Syrup Cranberry Sauce
Cranberries and maple syrup are about as New England as it gets. Here they join together with brandy, a little brown sugar, and a dash of lemon juice. "This was delicious," says FrackFamily5CAtoCT. "Tart and sweet."
Martha's Cornbread Dressing
Cornbread, biscuits, aromatic veggies, cream of chicken soup, and seasonings are mixed with cooked chicken or turkey meat. "A truly 'Deep South' cornbread dressing," says Kim Benton. "My mom's, of course!"
Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are topped with a sugar-and-spice mixture and butter, then slowly simmer on low until tender, syrupy, and delicious. "Excellent," says NEEDGREATRECIPES. "This is how sweet potatoes are supposed to be. Y'all, with 'Southern' sweet potatoes, they are supposed to be saucy, juicy, or runny. So, don't try to boil or get rid of the brown sauce. If you want, just pour some or all of the sauce off. I have eaten sweet potatoes for years and they are supposed to be sweet, saucy, and mushy or mashed."
Pecan and Apricot Sourdough Bread Stuffing
Sourdough bread gives a Bay Area sensibility to this stuffing, along with rubbed sage, herbs de provence, dried apricots, and pecans. "This savory stuffing is a little tangy and a little sweet," says Chef John. "And it's so easy to make that you won't have to wait for a holiday to enjoy this dish with your family."
Easiest Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese
Bottled Alfredo pasta sauce is the secret ingredient in this creamy, flavorful mac and cheese with a crunchy crumb topping. "DELICIOUS!" raves pologirl287. "I've served it twice since making it for Thanksgiving, and I always get asked for the recipe. I use stuffing for the crunchy topping."
Absolutely Delicious Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
Green bean casserole is big in the Midwest. "No cans here!" says Auriel. "Fresh mushrooms, onion, and herbs with frozen green beans, sour cream, and cheddar cheese make this a delightfully tasty twist on the traditional casserole. I developed this recipe, longing for a 'no cans' version of the classic dish. I made this one year for my husband's family at Christmas time, and now they ask for it every year! My husband asks me to make it for dinner throughout the year."