An International Twist on 10 Traditional Thanksgiving Dishes

I don’t know about you, but the same dishes and seasonings year after year have me bored. That’s why I wanted to share something different this year. Traveling is somewhat getting back to normal, but why not bring the travel to your own kitchen this holiday season? If I hadn’t already prepped and gotten ingredients for Thanksgiving I would be making so many of these.

Whether you use these as inspiration for your cooking this year or just enjoy the mouth-watering that comes with looking at these recipes, I hope you enjoy this foodie post. I love bringing an international twist to my cooking whenever possible and wanted to share a holiday version with you!

A Twist on Turkey

Photo from RachelRayMag.com

There’s no doubt that turkey is the main attraction for Thanksgiving meals, so why not spice it up? Literally. Many people complain that turkey isn’t super flavorful and that’s such an easy fix.

South Korea is home to some of the best and most unique flavors on the planet. Think kimchi, bulgogi, and gochujang. Almost all of their spices and marinades pack more than a mouthful of explosive and delicious flavors into any dish. Try this recipe for Sweet & Spicy Korean Braised Turkey if you like somewhat spicy foods with a subtly sweet flavor in there as well.

Tandoori Turkey is another way to shake up your turkey gobbling. I adore Indian food, but my body can’t handle super spicy foods. Trust me, no one wants to see me sweat profusely and turn awkward shades of red. However, tandoori turkey is a blast of flavor without the spiciness and oh my goodness I can’t wait to try this. With blends of garam masala, paprika, and garlic you just really can’t go wrong.

A Twist on Side Dishes

Photo from GlobalTravelAdventure.com

It’s impossible to not be bombarded by squash during the Fall in the United States and it just gets worse around Thanksgiving. I love squash and eat it almost every day, so I’m constantly looking for ways to change up my recipes. Then I discovered the recipe for Zimbabwean Corn and Cheddar Stuffed Squash and my life changed. Two of my favorite veggies AND cheese in one dish? This is a need.

If you’re not familiar with Za’atar it’s a blend of many spices commonly used in the Middle East. It typically contains oregano, thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and basil. Instead of your typical dinner rolls, why not try Za’atar Flatbread for a cultural infusion of delicious into your meal?

Photo by Christina Holmes on foodandwine.com

In my opinion, meals are always better when you add Central and South American spices and flavors. Chipotle Roasted Carrots are the perfect example of this. Whip up some mole poblano which contains chiles, raisins, and even chocolate or roast carrots in a smoky chipotle adobo style for a veggie dish you won’t forget.

Chinese spicy mashed potatoes? Oh la la count me in. Lao Nai Yang Yu Potatoes recipe is such a fun twist on plain potatoes. With garlic, chiles, green onions, and Chile paste, this not only adds a pop of color to the dish but creates a massively flavorful side dish everyone will love. If spicy isn’t your thing, you can always substitute the chiles for a pepper that’s less hot.

A Twist on Stuffing

Photo from chowhound.com

Stuffing has never been my favorite, but if I had Israeli Couscous Pilaf with Dates, Almonds, Cinnamon, and Parsley on the menu I’d inhale it and go back for several more servings. Instead of stuffing your turkey with plain bread why not try couscous that adds even more flavor with cinnamon, fruit, and parsley as an alternative to stuffing.

At some point you’ve probably thought that making a turducken is way too complicated but it would be amazing. Maybe that’s just me. Then I discovered people add sausage to their turkeys as stuffing and my mind was blown. THEN I found this recipe for Smoky Chorizo Stuffing that nixes the sausage and uses chorizo and I basically died and went to culinary heaven.

A Twist on Dessert

Photo from bhg.com

Dessert is one of my all-time favorite things. If I have the opportunity to bake or taste a new dessert, I won’t say no. Thanksgiving desserts are typically pies and an overload of pumpkin. I wanted to find something a bit different to keep the international twist going.

Maple Pecan Baklava seems like the best alternative to a traditional pie. You get lots of flaky layers as well as the traditional maple and pecan flavors. Baklava can be customized with so many fun flavors that the options are pretty much endless in what you can create.

Is it Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? Probably, but something would feel off. Pumpkin pie can be quite boring without ice cream or something to drizzle on top. This Dulce de Leche Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie takes the boring and completely blows your tastebuds out of this world. You get the pumpkin with fantastic dulche de Leche. Then you add a crunch to break up the creaminess and then you can drizzle chocolate or any other drizzle on top to make it even more special.

Which Recipe Is Your Favorite?

I feel like I need to make all of these basically any time I have people over for dinner. I’m cooking tomorrow and you can bet that I’m going to add an international twist to my dishes this year!

Published by Emma Browning

Hey everyone, my name is Emma Browning. Thanks for stopping by. I like to think of myself as a modern day renaissance woman since I basically do a little bit of everything. Here's a few of my jobs/hobbies in case you're curious: Group Fitness Instructor (Zumba, BodyStep and BodyPump), small business owner (string art& travel photography), archaeologist/anthropologist, actress, SCUBA dive master, reading addict, dog mom, cellist, and of course travel enthusiast. I've traveled to over 21 countries and speak French fluently and am learning Spanish. Traveling is one of my all time favorite things to do whether it be a day trip with my dog or a massive international adventure. I created this blog to help others see the world vicariously through my wanderings and also to give useful tips and essential information that will hopefully inspire more people to travel. Hopefully you have as much fun reading these posts and get a lot of useful information from them!

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