Of all the many holidays there are in the United States, Thanksgiving is generally the one with the most delicious food. No matter who you are or where you come from, when Thanksgiving hits, the entire family is gathered together with all the best food they’ve got. Although you can always count on some of the familiar staples like turkey and mashed potatoes to show up, there are also a ton of delicious side dishes that are sure to yield plenty of leftovers. If you look a little harder, though, there are some underrated dishes that will take your Turkey Day dinner to the next level. With no further ado, here are 10 of the best Thanksgiving casseroles we’ve ever tried.
1. Sweet Carrot Casserole
A lot of the dishes we make on Thanksgiving end up mixing sweet and savory elements, but this one is something special. Although it’s reminiscent of a sweet potato casserole, this sweet carrot recipe is somehow even sweeter and more delicious. Even people who don’t like carrots are sure to love this dish. Here’s how you make it:
1 1/2 pounds of sliced carrots
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of grated onion
1 tablespoon of prepared horseradish
1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons of Ritz crackers, crashed
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put your chopped carrots in a pan and add enough water to cover them. Bring it to a boil before reducing the heat, covering and simmering for seven to nine minutes.
3. Drain the water out and keep 1/4 cup of it aside before putting the carrots in a baking dish.
4. In another bowl, mix your mayonnaise, onion, horseradish and leftover liquid. Spread that evenly over the carrots.
5. Sprinkle cheese and cracker crumbs on top and bake, uncovered for 30 minutes.
2. Dijon Scalloped Potatoes
Potatoes are sure to be found in all forms on the dinner table during Thanksgiving, but this recipe is something special. Be sure to make the big bowl of mashed potatoes or the baked potatoes as you wish, but if you’re going to make an au gratin-style potato dish, it ought to be this one. Here’s what you do:
2/3 cup of chopped onion
2 teaspoons of canola oil
1 can of chicken broth
6 ounces of cubed cream cheese
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
3 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups of butter crackers, crushed
3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons of melted butter
2 teaspoons of minced fresh parsley
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Sauté your onion in oil inside a Dutch oven until it turns tender.
3. Turn the heat down to medium and add your cream cheese, broth and mustard until it’s all blended.
4. Take it off the heat and add your potatoes.
5. Transfer everything to a greased baking dish before mixing your crackers, Parmesan and butter in a side bowl. Sprinkle that over the top of everything else.
6. Bake the whole dish uncovered for 50-60 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley when it’s done and serve!
3. Wild Rice and Mushroom Casserole
This dish is perfectly creamy and savory and is sure to be a surprise on the dinner table. As with all the others, this one couldn’t be easier to make and it results in a rich and tasty dish that everyone will want seconds of. Here’s how you do it:
2 1/2 cups of broth
1 1/4 cups of wild rice, rinsed
10 tablespoons of olive oil
1 pound of sliced mushrooms (mixed is ideal)
3 leeks, sliced
2 fennel bulbs, chopped
5 ounces of baby spinach
7 garlic cloves
1/2 tablespoon of tomato paste
4 cans of white beans
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup of fresh cilantro or basil
1/3 cup of fresh parsley
2 1/2 cups of bread crumbs
1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1/3 cup of grated Parmesan
red pepper flakes
1. Boil your broth over high heat before stirring in your rice. Lower the heat, cover it and simmer it for 40 minutes. When the rice is done, fluff it and let it sit for 10 minutes.
2. Get out a heavy skillet with three tablespoons of oil and sauté your vegetables. Add half your mushrooms and cook for eight minutes until they’re brown and crispy. Transfer them to a plate before cooking the rest of the mushrooms the same way.
3. Add more oil and cook your leeks and fennel with a teaspoon of salt. Cook for eight minutes until it softens but not until it browns.
4. Add your spinach, garlic, tomato paste and some red pepper flakes. Cook for two more minutes until the garlic turns golden.
5. Heat your oven to 400 degrees and grease up a casserole dish.
6. Blend two cans of beans with their liquid along with lemon juice and a garlic clove. Add salt as necessary.
7. Combine your bean mix with the rest of the whole beans, mushrooms, cilantro, parsley and wild rice into your skillet with the veggies. Adjust as needed before pouring it all into the baking dish.
8. Combine your bread crumbs, rosemary, lemon zest, two grated garlic cloves and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and Parmesan as well.
9. Add everything on top of the casserole and bake it for 20 to 30 minutes. Let it cool, top with salt and serve!
4. Harvest Veggie Casserole
When you’re eating so much dairy and meat, you want to have at least one dish around that has some vegetables in it. Although you can always do a side salad, this veggie casserole dish is a cut above and is sure to become a new family favorite. Here’s how you make it:
4 potatoes, sliced
1/4 cup of butter
1 tablespoon of chopped sage
1 tablespoon of chopped tarragon
3 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
1 sliced onion
1/2 cup of uncooked rice
3 zucchini, sliced
4 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup of shredded Swiss cheese
1. Grease up a 2 1/2 quart baking dish and fill it with potato slices in two rows, overlapping.
2. Dot the dish with half of your butter before sprinkling with sage, tarragon, peppers, onion, rice and zucchini. Dot the next layer with the rest of the butter and layer veggies on top again.
3. Cover the dish and bake it for 1 1/2 hours.
4. After that, take the cover off, top it with tomato slices and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, let it stand and then serve.
5. Creamed Spinach with Jalapeño Peppers
If you’re looking for more recipes that are a little bit out of the box, this one is definitely at the top of our list. The creamed spinach tastes delicious on its own but the addition of the peppers adds some spice that takes it to the next level. Here’s what you do:
2 packages of whole leaf frozen spinach
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of chopped onion
1 clove of minced garlic
1/2 cup of evaporated milk
3/4 teaspoon of celery salt
6 ounces of Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
1 jalapeño pepper, fresh or pickled
1/2 cup of soft, buttered bread crumbs
1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and coo your spinach according to the package. Drain the water, saving a cup of it.
2. Butter your casserole dish. Next, melt four tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and add flour.
3. Stir it up, cooking for two to three minutes without browning it. Add your onion and garlic.
4. Add your spinach in gradually before adding evaporated milk, black pepper, celery salt and cheese.
5. Mix everything and add jalapeño and spinach, cooking until it all combines.
6. Put everything a casserole dish and top it off with buttered bread crumbs. Bake for 45 minutes and enjoy!
6. New Orleans Scalloped Corn
Although corn is a staple of any Thanksgiving, we usually only have it on the cob or crumbled into a bowl. Still, the way we prepare it usually just plain with butter and salt—why not reinvent it? If you’re interested, this dish is a perfect way to do that and it tastes amazing. Here’s how you make it:
4 teaspoons of butter
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
4 cups of frozen corn
1 cup of fat-free milk
1 tablespoon of sugar
1-2 teaspoons of hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1 1/4 cups of crushed butter crackers
5 green onions, sliced
1. Preheat your oven to 350.
2. Heat your butter in a skillet on medium-high heat before adding onion and pepper. Cook and stir until the onions soften.
3. Add corn and heat it through before taking everything off the heat.
4. Whisk together your eggs, milk, sugar, thyme, pepper sauce, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
5. Pour the bowl in the corn mix and stir in your crackers and green onions.
6. Pour everything into a greased baking dish and bake it for 35-40 minutes, uncovered.
7. Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole
Although we’ve tried to bring you some slightly unusual recipes to add to your Thanksgiving table, this one uses all the ingredients you’re familiar with. Still, the end result is a near-perfect meal which tastes like restaurant-quality food. Here’s how you make it:
20 ounces of shredded potatoes
1 can of cream of celery soup
2 1/4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup of sour cream
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup of salted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1. Mix together your potatoes, soup, cheese, sour cream, onion and butter in a bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup of cheese.
2. Spread the mixture into a baking dish before sprinkling the top with the rest of the cheese and paprika.
3. Bake the dish at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and serve.
8. Sweet Potato Casserole
While many families have their own recipes for this, we had to include this one because it just tastes so good. All of your favorite elements are in this one and every bite is sweet, gooey and delicious. Here’s how you make it:
3 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of mini marshmallows
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, put your sweet potatoes in a stock pot and add water to cover them.
2. Bring the pot to a boil and turn the heat down. Cook it uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes.
3. In the meantime, mix your flour, oats, brown sugar and salt together to make the topping. Cut in your butter as well.
4. When the potatoes are done, drain the water and put them back in the pan. Beat them until they’re mashed.
5. Add in your sugar, milk, eggs, butter and vanilla and mash it all up again.
6. When the mix is ready, transfer it to an oven-safe baking dish and sprinkle your topping on it.
7. Bake the dish uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes, letting it stand for 10.
8. Sprinkle it with marshmallows and broil for for 30 to 35 seconds until the marshmallows puff up and turn brown.
9. Corn Bread Stuffing
While boxed stuffing has its own delicious taste, experimenting with your own versions of stuffing can make things taste even better. For some added twist, try this corn bread version which has all kinds of delicious flavor. Here’s how you make it:
1 cup of flour
1 cup of cornmeal
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of buttermilk
1/4 cup of canola oil
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cans of condensed cream of chicken soup
3 teaspoons of poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of chicken broth
1.Preheat your oven to 400.
2. Get out a large bowl and whisk together your eggs and buttermilk.
3. Pour your oil into an ovenproof skillet and put it in the oven for four minutes.
4. Add your buttermilk mix to the flour mix and stir until it moistens together.
5. Tilt your skillet around to coat the bottom with oil before adding the batter to it. When it looks good, bake it for 20 to 25 minutes and cool it on a wire rack.
6. Turn your oven down to 350 and make your dressing. Start by putting oil over medium-high heat in a skillet and adding onion and celery, cooking for four to six minutes while stirring.
7. Take the pan off the heat and crumble in corn bread, tossing to combine.
8. In another bowl, whisk your eggs, condensed soup and seasoning together before tossing that with the bread mix. Stir in the broth as well.
9. Transfer everything to a baking dish and bake it for 45 to 55 minutes.
10. Leftover Shepherd’s Pie
Let’s face it: the days after Thanksgiving are almost just as important food-wise as the day itself. When you have all those leftovers, why not do something great with them? If this sounds good to you, then you owe it to yourself to try this tasty twist on a shepherd’s pie. Here’s how you do it:
2 tablespoons of butter
3/4 cup of chopped onion
1/3 cup of chopped celery
1/3 cup of chopped carrots
1 clove of minced garlic
1 1/2 cups of leftover turkey
1/4 cup of peas or green beans
1/4 cup of corn
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of thyme
1/2 teaspoon of basil
1 cup of gravy
2 cups of mashed potatoes
4 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese
1.Preheat your oven to 350.
2. Get out a skillet over medium heat and melt butter in it. Add in onion, celery and carrots, cooking until they’re translucent.
3. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute before adding turkey, corn, seasonings, gravy and peas or green beans.
4. Mix it and heat it through before transferring it into a baking dish and pressing it down evenly.
5. Heat your mashed potatoes and stir them, adding half of the shredded cheese to them.
6. Spread the mashed potatoes over the turkey filling and add the rest of the cheese on top.
7. When you’re ready, bake everything for 30 minutes. Broil at the end for some char on the cheese if you wish and enjoy!
While we’re not trying to replace any of the dishes you were already thinking about making, these 10 casseroles are sure to add a little bit of flavor and spice to your dinner. If these recipes look good to you but you want to make your twists, feel free to do that as well! All we know is if you try any of these, your family will be sure to thank you. Are you planning on making one? Let us know in the comments below.
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