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37 Non Traditional Pumpkin Recipes for Thanksgiving

37 Non Traditional Pumpkin Recipes for Thanksgiving

Okay turkeys and pilgrims, Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away. Do you know what you're eating? Typically we have the normal turkey dinner, but it wasn't always that way. When my Poppa was alive, we'd travel somewhere new every Thanksgiving. From Graceland in Tennessee, to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, in NYC. The weirdest thing (for us) was eating chinese food for the big meal. I think we were the only white people in the whole restaurant - they actually stuck us in the basement. It was a hoot and definitely one of mine and my sister's favorite memories.

Yes, people have different traditional meals - they are relative; however, no matter what kind of meal you are having, it's about the people, not the food. This year, Nick and I are headed to Sacramento for Thanksgiving. I've never been, so it should be super fun! We'll hang out with his parents in his home town, visit local wineries (Nor Cal is known for port, which I LOVE), and take a day trip to Lake Tahoe. Are you doing anything fun?

Our Thanksgiving meal is still being determined, so I thought it'd be fun to share some ideas, with ya! Whether you've already got your whole menu planned or just need a last minute side dish, here are some yummy options that involve traditional fall flavors in a not so traditional way. I love the classics, but new flavor combos can shed light on some amazing recipe ideas! While we were in Saint Lucia, at Jade Mountain Resort, we had the most AMAZING pumpkin risotto. I am still having dreams about it. Hopefully some of these ideas will spark yummy dinner options and unforgettable memories. Side note- I am including other squash recipes too. They are awesome alternatives for pumpkin if you need something different, but you can also swap butternut or acorn squash for the pumpkin recipes too, and visa versa. Enjoy!


Breakfast - I think it would be super fun to have a Thanksgiving breakfast one day! It's actually kind of hard to find pumpkin breakfast items that aren't bread...I had to search for a scramble to share with you, but honestly it's not hard. Just throw your favorite protein, cheese, and squash in with your eggs, and you're good! You could also use some of my "main dishes" (below) as easy brunch item mains, as well!

Pumpkin Pancakes 

Pumpkin Spice Waffles

Pumpkin Donut Holes 

Pumpkin French Toast 

Squash Scrambled Eggs

Pumpkin Oatmeal


Appetizers - I am a muncher, a grazer, whatever you want to call me. I also get hangry if I'm not fed. Thanksgiving "dinner" often falls at a weird time for my family (around 3 pm), so appetizers are key! Here are some savory and sweet options, that will get your party started!

Roasted Pumpkin Soup 

Pumpkin Biscuits

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Dip 

Pumpkin, Ricotta, and Arugula Bruschetta 

Pumpkin Meatballs with Cinnamon Sage Tomato Sauce

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow 

Pumpkin Rolls with Rosemary and Sea Salt 


Main Dishes - There are so many dishes to make instead of turkey. Don't get me wrong, I love the bird, but more and more people have dietary restrictions and are going vegetarian, so these are some good, seasonal options. PLUS you can easily add turkey to them if you want a protein present. The first listing is what we made in these photos! Nick and I LOVE making our own raviolis, but you could always buy pasta dough/pasta if you don't want to do it yourself. 

Pumpkin Goat Cheese Ravioli 

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

Acorn Squash Gnocchi 

Turkey Pumpkin Chili 

Stuffed Pumpkin with Sausage Gruyere

Creamy Pumpkin Spaghetti with Garlic Kale

Roasted Squash Conchiglie with Chipotle, Brussels Sprouts 

Pumpkin and Chicken Enchiladas 

Thai Peanut Chicken and Pumpkin Curry with Sticky Pomegranate Rice 

Pumpkin Pizza with Caramelized Onions


Side Dishes - If you want to remain mostly traditional, then adding one of these fun sides, is the way to go. My family has staple sides, but there are a couple we experiment with from year to year.

Roasted Pumpkin with Feta and Honey

Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach

Butternut Squash Risotto 

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

Pumpkin Curry 


Desserts - I'm weird. I don't really like pie... I will sometimes eat pumpkin pie, but the only one I always go for is chocolate pie. I adore other types of pumpkin desserts, though! Here are some good ones, no matter your crowd.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Pumpkin Buttermilk Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles 

Pumpkin Praline Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

Pumpkin Pie Crescents

Pumpkin Spice Truffles

Chocolate Pumpkin Magic Cake

Pumpkin Creme Brulee


I hope you're now prepped and ready to tackle the Thanksgiving holiday! It's all downhill from here, so cherish it. In September I presented y'all with A Challenge to be Thankful. Let's live it out! Need a reminder? I'm obsessed with this "Thankful" home line, which can be used all year!

Have a happy week! I hope you have some yummy food and an even better Turkey Day! A lot of these recipes are PERFECT to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey in - happy experimenting! You might discover a new family favorite.

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