This Thanksgiving, some dishes are going to look and taste a little different – except the turkey, of course, according to a new survey from McCormick, America’s favorite herbs and spices. Classic sides and desserts are beginning to reflect the growing number of cooks in the kitchen, who are getting more creative with new flavors, ingredients and preparations.
While the majority of Americans still want the turkey to taste the same, the survey revealed 40 percent want to change up their sides and 38 percent want to do the same with desserts. Add that two-thirds of adults are now helping cook the big feast – including one in every two men – and it’s clear the Thanksgiving meal is turning into a melting pot of flavors and dishes, evolving from a time when one person planned and prepared a classic meal with mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.
“Sides and desserts are often made by different people – whether it’s a neighbor, a cousin or a friend – and they tend to add their personality to the dish,” said Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “That might include using cayenne pepper in a great aunt’s sweet potato recipe or searching Pinterest for new flavors, like butterscotch, to make a more decadent pumpkin pie.”
Regional differences are also impacting flavors and dishes. For example, Midwesterners are most likely to change up their menus by adding an entirely new dish. And, those in the West and South are more likely to celebrate with a mixture of friends and family from different backgrounds, bringing their own heritage flavors to recipes.
In celebration of this year’s big and flavorful Thanksgiving meal, the McCormick kitchens are offering cooks tasty inspiration for stuffing, gravy, vegetables and desserts.
Classic Sides with a Twist: Of the Americans changing up sides, 69 percent said they’d like to add new flavors, while 20 percent are looking for spicier ingredients. Introducing a few unexpected twists to traditional Thanksgiving sides is a great way to bring new tastes to the table while still enjoying the ones you already love.
- Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Ginger Honey Sauce – Instead of regular green beans or broccoli, serve Brussels sprouts with a delicious ginger-honey sauce and sprinkle with toasted pecans – they might be the biggest hit at the table.
- Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing – Crumbled corn bread adds a layer of sweet flavor to traditional stuffing seasoned with thyme and garlic.
- Spiced Whipped Sweet Potatoes – Take a break from your usual Thanksgiving mashed potatoes. Brown sugar, cinnamon and cayenne red pepper add a little sweetness and heat to these whipped sweet potatoes
- Apple Sage Turkey Gravy – Use turkey gravy mix, sage and apple juice to add warm fall flavor to your gravy.
Flavorful Desserts Prepared in New Ways – Of the Americans changing up dessert, 63 percent want to add new flavors and 29 percent are eager to switch up how it’s prepared. Put together a menu that features an array of desserts and gives your guests a chance to sample it all:
- Mini Pumpkin Pies, Easy Mini Apple Pies and Pecan Pie Bites – Use a muffin tin to prepare these delectable mini pies, perfect for a holiday buffet table – no slicing required.
- Gluten-Free Apple Crumb Bread Pudding – Coconut milk, apple pie spice and vanilla extract combine in this sweet streusel-topped bread pudding.
- Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Meringue – A Southern favorite, this richly spiced pie – made using cinnamon and ginger – is topped with a fluffy mound of meringue that’s toasted golden brown.
More Thanksgiving Recipe Recommendations from McCormick® FlavorPrint™
Love the flavors in pumpkin pie? Discover new favorite Thanksgiving and holiday recipes using free FlavorPrint recipe recommendations, which take the flavors you like and recommend the dishes you’ll love. Get your FlavorPrint atwww.McCormick.com/FlavorPrint.