Yes, Thanksgiving dinner is a time to count our blessings, but everyone knows the best part about this holiday is the food. Thanksgiving memories start early -- the smell of sage alone is enough to trigger that "Thanksgiving" feeling -- so most cooks opt to weave in new dishes to supplement (not replace) favorite Thanksgiving recipes. The side dish staples -- stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie -- will always have a place at the table, but adding new sides keep the annual meal feeling fresh and modern. You'd be surprised how much difference small touches can make, whether it's a dash of cardamom in the cranberry sauce or a hint of chipotle swirled into your sweet potatoes. After all, the endless possibilities of the feast are definitely something to be thankful for. (That, and the leftover turkey, of course.)

Roast Turkey

Better Homes and Gardens

It's pretty easy to make a traditional Thanksgiving turkey. Follow these simple steps to a golden and juicy bird.

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

Diabetic Living

This elegant and smooth squash soup recipe supplies 162 percent of your daily quota for vitamin A.

Next-Day Turkey Panini

Better Homes and Gardens

You can have lunch or dinner in about 20 minutes when you put Thanksgiving leftovers of turkey and cranberry relish to good use in a grilled sandwich.

Sweet Potato Waffles


Sweet potatoes do double duty when mashed into a batter for homemade waffles the morning after Thanksgiving.

Total: 40 mins

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

Family Circle

For a spectacular twist on plain mashed potatoes, try these sweet potatoes flavored with caramelized onions that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.

New Sweet Potato Casseroles

Better Homes and Gardens

Serve this recipe on its own or as a starting point for your own creation. It pairs up well with roast pork or chicken dinners.

Holiday Turkey

Midwest Living

Maple-Glazed Roast Turkey

Midwest Living

Easy Carrot Cake

Better Homes and Gardens

You won't need any excuses to eat this delicious dessert. Flax seed meal replaces some of the fat in this holiday-inspired treat. The honey-yogurt recipe makes a tasty icing.

Cornbread Stuffing

Family Circle

Bake this cheesy cornbread stuffing in a casserole dish. The texture will be better and it's a lot easier than trying to stuff a turkey.

Pumpkin Chess Pie

Midwest Living

Wick's Pies in Winchester, Indiana, crosses chess pie with pumpkin, adding more eggs and spices and a little cornmeal to the Thanksgiving standby.

Downhome Sausage Stuffing

Better Homes and Gardens

For this Southern-style stuffing, you can bake the corn bread from scratch or from a packaged mix.

Applesauce Yogurt Fool

Better Homes and Gardens

A fool is a traditional English dessert made of pureed fruit folded into whipped cream. For this recipe, yogurt replaces cream to cut fat and calories.

Total: 20 mins

Best-Ever Mashed Potatoes

Better Homes and Gardens

Want perfect mashed potatoes? The potatoes in this recipe are cooked in evaporated milk giving them a rich, creamy flavor.

Apple Pie

Midwest Living
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