There are few among us who don’t enjoy loading up our plates with side dishes each Thanksgiving — but even the best of those traditional sides can get a little boring year after year. Why not try spicing up your holiday by giving those creations a kick? Chipotle powder, chili peppers, and other spices can lend incredible depth to otherwise dull dishes, making for an unforgettable Thanksgiving celebration.
Add some heat to your Thanksgiving with these seven spicy sides that you and your family will love.
1. Spicy Chicken Chorizo Dressing
“When I’m able to create something as simple as this delicious gluten-free one pot spicy chicken sausage dressing … all I can do is smile,” writes Around My Family Table. Life is all about small and satisfying pleasures, and this zesty Thanksgiving dressing — essentially another moniker for stuffing — is a perfect example. Hearty chunks of spicy chicken sausage are baked in with butter, onion, and sage for a flavorful side dish. The outside-the-bird preparation of this dish ensures that it won’t be soggy — rather, it will be a delightful combination of crisped top edges and a soft, creamy interior. Spicy Chicken Chorizo Dressing is certain to be a hit this holiday season!
2. Spicy Burnt Maple Brussels Sprouts
Healthy Recipe Ecstasy compares these crispy, sweet-and-salty, caramelized Brussels sprouts to that extra bit of burnt cheese on a grilled cheese sandwich that always manages to taste better than the rest. “Now, imagine dipping the sprout version of that burnt cheese into some perfectly sweet maple syrup,” she says, adding that “the two are like long lost lovers.” The final sprinkling of sea salt is what brings this powerful combination of spicy and complex flavors to life. These Spicy Burnt Maple Brussels Sprouts take less than 15 minutes to make and yield 4 servings.
3. Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes
Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes are not your average Thanksgiving side. “The starting point on my end for this recipe, was regular old Crash Hot Potatoes, which are boiled small potatoes that are smashed flat with the bottom of a glass, and then roasted with butter and oil to achieve a crispy exterior texture,” explains the Creekside Cook. That crispy texture translates beautifully to a sweet potato variation of the dish, and these sweet potatoes are taken one step further with the addition of cumin, paprika, and two types of chili powder. Feel free to make your own variations on this side dish — the Creekside Cook calls it “infinitely adaptable.”
4. Roasted Apples and Fall Vegetables
“I love roasting veggies and last week I added a few apples into the mix to add a level of sweetness to the mixture,” explains Knead To Cook. This simple addition lends greater dimension to the otherwise basic roasted veggie dish. Filled with autumnal vegetables such as squash and sweet potatoes, it’s an ideal — and simplistic — choice for the holiday season. Even the leftovers will be a hit, making for a versatile next-day meal. Try cooking these Roasted Apples and Fall Vegetables up alongside eggs in the morning!
5. Smoky Spicy Corn Pudding
There are many ways to craft the perfect corn pudding. Chef Aliya Lee Kong shares her own Southern-inspired variation with Food52, noting that she loves this baked version, which results in a caramelized top and is easily cut — without being too bread-like. She expresses enthusiasm over the dish’s flavors, noting that “The combo of mustard seeds and curry leaves marries incredibly well with the spiciness from the peppers, the sweet tang of the sundried tomatoes, and the deep, lovely smokiness from the mozzarella.” Smoky Spicy Corn Pudding is a wonderful and vegetarian-friendly dish with sensationally smoky flavor. It yields a 1- to 2-quart baking dish full of corn pudding.
6. Poblano Cornbread Stuffing
Love and Lemons explains that in order to achieve a delicate balance of traditional and spiced flavors for her Thanksgiving dish, “I mixed in some traditional stuffing ingredients — onions, celery, carrots, and sage — as well as some southwestern accents — scallions, cilantro and mexican oregano.” She even throws in a bit of kale for its nutritional benefits. She makes her variation with a gluten-free cornbread base (recipe on website), which can be baked one to two days in advance to save time on the big day. This Poblano Cornbread Stuffing is vegan and gluten-free — oh, and delicious!
7. Chipotle Potato Casserole With Jalapeño and Gouda
Devour Blog calls this jalapeño-tinged casserole “delightfully spicy,” noting that home cooks “can vary the type and quantity of cheese — it never hurts to add more cheese — and the spice combinations.” Baking the dish culminates it an incredibly textured dish, crisped on top with a creamy, cheesy base. Notes of Chipotle chili powder offer this element of your Thanksgiving spread an unforgettable kick. This Chipotle Potato Casserole with Jalapeño and Gouda takes 55 minutes to make and yields 4 servings.