Modern Thanksgiving Menu: 15 Refreshing Recipes

If soggy green bean casserole and jiggly canned cranberry sauce has got you down, consider shaking things up a bit with a Thanksgiving menu that uses fresh, seasonal ingredients and unexpected touches for delicious and decidedly modern results. This list of vegetarian recipes includes appetizers, side dishes, soups, desserts and ideas for the main event. They might just start a few new holiday traditions.

Curried Pumpkin-Coconut Soup

(image via: a beautiful mess)

Take pumpkin in a slightly more exotic direction than is usual for Thanksgiving with this recipe for vegan curried pumpkin soup from A Beautiful Mess. A little sriracha adds spice, while coconut milk makes it creamy.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing

(image via: chow)

Acorn squash is drizzled with maple syrup, roasted and then filled with a satisfying mixture of wild rice, cranberries and vegetables in this tasty side dish recipe from Chow.

Cranberry Sauce with Port and Figs

(image via: epicurious)

This homemade cranberry sauce, deepened by the addition of sweet port wine and chewy figs, is leagues ahead of the jiggly canned stuff.

Brussels Sprouts with White Beans and Pecorino

(image via: not without salt)

Anyone who still thinks brussels sprouts are a form of sadomasochism hasn’t tried bringing out their sweetness in the oven. These little vegetables have a bad reputation because the traditional cooking method of boiling them turns them into flavorless mush.

Sweet & Spicy Fall Fruit Salad

(images via: piece of cake)

The holiday season doesn’t have to mean giving in to rich, heavy desserts loaded with calories. This light fruit salad is an ideal addition to a healthy Thanksgiving menu, and honors the season with pomegranate, cloves and nutmeg.

Butternut Squash Gratin

(images via: the etsy blog)

Fall flavors abound in this butternut squash gratin, accented by crunchy toasted hazelnuts, nutty gruyere cheese, apple cider vinegar, fresh sage and caramelized onions.

Broccolini and Feta Galette

(images via: martha stewart)

Who needs meat when your veggie-centric dishes are this interesting? It may be simple and rustic, but Martha Stewart’s Broccolini and Feta Galette is impressive and unexpected.

Sage, Squash and Ricotta Cannelloni

(image via: martha stewart)

Perfect as an alternative to turkey for your main Thanksgiving dish, this squash and ricotta cannelloni recipe by Martha Stewart is garnished with fried sage and spiced with a little nutmeg.

Roasted Vegetable Stock

(image via: bunkycooks)

Many of these recipes call for vegetable stock. Unless you’re pressed for time, consider making your own stock to make the flavors of each dish really shine. This recipe from Bunky Cooks uses lots of roasted veggies and herbs to create a rich, deep stock that can be made ahead and frozen in cup-sized portions for easy usage.

Kale and Spinach Gratin

(image via: noshtopia)

Vegans wishing for something creamy and comforting this Thanksgiving should definitely check out Noshtopia’s recipe for kale and spinach gratin with dairy-free jalapeno garlic havarti.

Swiss Chard Pie

(image via: martha stewart)

Light, nutrient-packed swiss chard is made a bit more substantial by a hand-rolled casing of olive oil dough in Martha Stewart’s pie.

Fig, Gorgonzola and Honey Tartines

(image via: tartelette blog)

Serve these fig, gorgonzola and honey tartines, garnished with fresh thyme, as a sweet and savory appetizer before the big meal.

Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms, Balsamic and Parmesan

(image via: kalyns kitchen)

Traditional green bean casserole is heavy and overplayed. Lighten up this vegetable staple by roasting them with cremini mushrooms, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese.

Artichoke Bread Pudding

(image via: circle b kitchen)

Melted fontina and asiago cheese are mixed with artichokes, milk, eggs, herbs and thick slices of chewy bread to create this bread pudding, tastiest fresh out of the oven.

Gingersnap-Pear Cheesecake

(image via: realsimple)

Not into pumpkin? This gingersnap-pear cheesecake by Real Simple might be right up your alley.

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