Thanksgiving Sides: 5 Alternatives to Sweet Potato Casserole

Are you planning your Thanksgiving menu yet? Sticking to the tried-and-true dishes or are you trying to branch out? We know everyone has different traditions (sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top isn't a given) but over the next couple of days, we'd like to give you some alternatives to the straight-from-central-casting side dishes you usually see. First up, sweet potatoes.

We tackled the hardest one, for us, anyway, first. We do really love whipped sweet potatoes with a crumbly, brown sugar topping or toasted marshmallows. When we've tried to skip them in favor of something more modern, we've had complaints.

That said, these recipes look great—even if we have to save them for a non-Thanksgiving night.

• 1. Creamy Mushroom Ragout over Sweet Potato Cakes, from the Los Angeles Times. So rich and beautiful; this could be a main course in a vegetarian meal.

• 2. Sweet Potato and Sage Gratin, from the Kitchn. One of our favorite sweet potato recipes. Not too sweet but full of sweet potato flavor.

• 3. Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad, from Smitten Kitchen (via Orangette). A slight departure from sweet potatoes, but in the same vein. Friends made this for us on Saturday night- different and delicious.

• 4. Baked Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Pecans, from Bon Appétit. This has the traditional flavors, but comes in a different form, and we love the addition of pears.

• 5. Sauteed Sweet Potatoes and Spinach, from Everyday Food. We love sweet potatoes with greens.

Tomorrow: Alternatives to green beans/green bean casserole.

Related: Ready for Pie? Pumpkin Pie Five Ways

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