15 Thanksgiving Recipes with Secret Ingredients
Give one of the classics on your menu a little, delicious tweak, and your guests will be raving all dinner long.
Secret ingredient for turkey: honey
A honey glaze, flavored with rosemary and sage, creates a crispy, savory turkey skin while keeping the inside meat succulent and moist.
Secret ingredient for sweet potatoes: pears
Instead of topping your sweet potatoes with familiar marshmallows, blend a mix of brown sugar, cinnamon, and cooked or canned pears straight in for a light, sweet taste. Here’s the rest of the menu you should follow for the best Thanksgiving ever.
Secret ingredient for mashed potatoes: apples
Mash potatoes with tart, cooked apples and top with crisp bacon for a sweet-savory take on the classic. These foods were actually present at the first Thanksgiving.
Secret ingredient for apple pie: oatmeal
This from-scratch apple pie uses oatmeal to make a simple, no-rolling pin-required crust. Don’t miss these 15 Thanksgiving “facts” that aren’t actually true.
Secret ingredient for pumpkin pie: fat-free evaporated milk
Lighten up traditional pumpkin pie (without sacrificing flavor) by using fat-free evaporated milk.
Secret Ingredient for tarts: cranberries
Bring sweet-tart cranberries to the table in an unexpected way with this seasonal dessert. It bakes up beautifully in a springform pan and is glazed with a cranberry-orange topping. Food didn’t turn out as well as you thought it would? Check out these handy fixes for Thanksgiving cooking goofs.
Secret ingredient for soup: apples
Start your meal with a bowl of creamy, seasonal squash soup that gets a dash of zing from unexpected apples.
Secret ingredient for Brussels sprouts: water chestnuts
Fancy up Brussels sprouts by adding fresh parsley for brightness—and unexpected diced water chestnuts for crunch. Bonus: This stovetop recipe means you can save space in the oven.
Secret ingredient for beets: orange juice
This bright, citrusy recipe pairs ruby-red beets with orange slices, juice, and zest. And while you can certainly use fresh beets, canned beets make this dish extra easy.
Secret ingredient for green beans: cornflakes
This green bean recipe will convince kiddos and adults alike to eat more greens on Thanksgiving. The recipe combines cheese, cornflakes, and green beans for the perfect holiday side dish. Here are our tips for keeping your sanity intact while hosting Thanksgiving.
Secret ingredient for stuffing: pecans
Pecans add a crunchy and nutty element to this stuffing dish. The recipe combines some of the best Thanksgiving and fall flavors including cranberries, onion, celery, in addition to the pecans.
Secret ingredient for gravy: maple syrup
For a sweeter spin on classic gravy, try adding in two tablespoons of maple syrup. This make-ahead recipe also features fresh sage. Here are 10 surprising Thanksgiving cooking hacks using everyday objects.
Secret ingredient for macaroni and cheese: beer
Cheese and beer mold together for this delicious mac and cheese bake. The added beer elevates the cheesy taste instead of being overpowering. Plus, there are three types of cheese and bacon in this recipe.
Secret ingredient for cornbread: yogurt
This cornbread is quick and easy to prepare. The yogurt helps make this bread light and fluffy while providing a slightly tangy flavor, too.
Secret ingredient for pecan pie: bourbon
Chocolate pecan pie with a touch of bourbon is the pie recipe you never knew you needed. The creamy chocolate, crunchy nuts, and gooey filling make this favorite-Thanksgiving-pie contender. Next, check out the 20 most-asked Thanksgiving questions answered in 20 words or less.