Break from the norm this Thanksgiving. With some creativity and inspiration, you can blend a variety of flavors to create unique Thanksgiving side dishes and drinks everyone will love. Even better, if you bring a little Arizona flair to the table, you can create a Southwest style Thanksgiving meal your family and friends will remember for years.
Not quite sure what to make yet? The turkey is a given, but the sides and drinks are all up to you. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Southwest Style Thanksgiving Side Dishes and Drinks
1. Classic Eggnog? Try Mexican Eggnog
Mexican eggnog is essentially the same as regular eggnog, but with a blast of flavor. Substitute regular cinnamon for Mexican canela and drop in a few drops of Mexican vanilla extract, and you’ll have the traditional drink with a twist.
2. Traditional Dressing? Try Cornbread-Chorizo Dressing
If you want to create a unique Thanksgiving meal, the dressing is where you can really have a lot of fun. Everyone makes it in a different way and with a variety of ingredients and cooking methods. Give your dressing a Southwestern concept with chorizo sausage and cornbread.
3. Plain Mashed Sweet Potatoes? Try Sweet Potato, Raisin, and Pecan Tamales
This one is more about fun than anything, but it will definitely help you create a Southwest style Thanksgiving. The most basic and traditional tamales feature pork covered with corn flour and then steamed in a corn husk. Switch it up by using a filling made of sweet potato, raisin, and pecans, and you’ll have a tasty side dish or dessert.
4. Same Old Pumpkin Pie? Try Fireball Pumpkin Pie.
It’s OK to love traditional pumpkin pie, but adding some heat with Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey will kick it up a notch, or two or three. Adding chilled whipped topping or whipped cream on top of each slice will create a savory contrast of hot and cool flavors and textures.
Take Advantage of the Arizona Lifestyle to Enhance the Vibe
An important element of a Southwest style Thanksgiving is the setting, so don’t forget to create a beautiful tablescape to complement your themed meal. Whether you have dinner in the kitchen of your Arizona home, the dining room, or the backyard, creating a comprehensive look for your theme will appeal to every one of your guests.
For tablescape ideas for your Thanksgiving meal, see our blog page.