Great Thanksgiving Dishes

Great Thanksgiving Dishes

Today I am sharing my unexpected, great Thanksgiving dishes, that will not disappoint on flavor this season.

This season I spoke a lot about bringing Great Thanksgiving Dishes to the table for your holiday menu. This year it may all be about the quality not necessarily the quantity, so you may want to focus on impactful flavor, in all your dishes and fun flavor pairings. Today I am share a few of our favorites including the Cran Cherry Couscous Stuffing which I just featured in our Amaizing Grace Tablescape over the weekend.Crancherry CousCous Stuffing JENRON DESIGNS

Print Pin
5 from 8 votes

Cran Cherry Couscous Stuffing

Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Morrocan, Southern
Keyword Air Fryer, Bacon, couscous, Instant Pot, pecan, squash
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Jennifer


  • Instant Pot 3 Qt. Mini ( can be doubled for a larger 6 Qt. Pot)
  • Air Fryer


  • 2 Delicata Squash Halved, Seeded
  • 3 tbsp Rosemary Infused Olive Oil 1 tbsp for squash, 2 tbsp for couscous
  • 2 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 medium Vidalia Onion Diced
  • 2 cups Israeli Couscous
  • 4 tbsp Thyme, Fresh removed from stems
  • 2 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 5 oz Ocean Spray Cran Cherries
  • 5 oz Applewood Bacon Pre Cooked, optional
  • 3 oz Pecan Pieces, optional
  • 1 cup Shaved Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Lemon Zested, Juiced


  • Halve your delicata squash and light season with salt, peper and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast in your Ninja Air Fryer at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Check half way through to make sure they are not over cooking or burning.
  • Add 2 tbsp olive oil in Instant Pot on the saute setting.
  • Add in your garlic, onion and Israeli couscous with a pinch of salt. Stirring until onions are softened and couscous is lightly toasted 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in 2 1/2 cups of stock, thyme, lemon juice and zest and cranberries.
  • Seal and set you Instant Pot to cook at manual high pressure, for 8 minutes.
  • Quick vent and stir in your cream cheese, bacon, and pecan halves immediately.
  • Place stuffing into the roasted halves of the delicata squash and top with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake at 390 degrees for 10 minutes in the Ninja Air Fryer.
  • Reserve any extra couscous to make a serving bed for the stuffed squash, keep warm in your Instant Pot until the squash are done baking.

Another one of my Great Thanksgiving Side Dishes which is perfect to bring to the table is my Butternut squash Soup. Now whether you serve this on the day of Thanksgiving or with your Turkey sandwich leftovers, this recipe is truly a keeper. It pairs perfectly as a soup and sammy combo or soup and salad combo for a lighter meal option, and is calorically helpful this time of year. Check out my Butternut Soup recipe here for the details.

Great Thanksgiving Side DishesMy Corn Fritters are an unexpected way to celebrate the holidays as well. These are nice since traditionally we see a lot bread stuffings and such at Thanksgiving. These spicy little Corn Fritters are a cross between a traditional cornbread and a southern style, Johnny Cake with the addition of whole corn or maize inside, to give it a hearty fritter consistency.

Summertimer Fish Fry Corn Fritters JENRON DESIGNS


Southwestern Fried Corn Fritters JENRON DESIGNS
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Southwestern Corn Fritters

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Southern
Keyword Corn, Fritter
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Jennifer Gainer


  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Ice Cream Scoop


  • 1 26.8 Corn Drained
  • 2/3 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Taco Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro Fresh, Chopped
  • 2/3 cup Tempura Mix
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil


  • Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet
  • Add 1 ice cream scoop of batter to pan cook until golden brown and crisp, 2-4 minutes per side.
  • Using a slotted spatula, transfer fritters to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Season with a pinch of sea salt to taste.
  • You may need to cook fritters in batches. Lower heat if fritters are browning too quickly.

Cornbread Stuffing with Pumpkin Seeds JENRON DESIGNS

Of course this post would not be complete if I did not list both of our Thanksgiving Day staples our Cornbread Stuffing with Toasted Pumpkin Seed and my super easy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese recipe which went completely viral last year. I think it may have ended up on everytable in Georgia last year, and I heard about how good it was for months after the fact, which is a testament in itself.

Macaroni & Cheese JENRON DESIGNS


Just one final thought about leftovers, because we all have them. This is what I decided to do with mine this year, I made Poutine pronounced (poo teen). I have been craving it ever since we visited Montreal 8 years ago, so I decided to make my own version with our leftovers. Really all you need is some good cheese curds, which I love, thank you Publix! Smoked meat, fried potatoes or french fries and brown gravy. While this is not exactly calorically sound, or found on any keto diet, it sure is good.

Poutine with Thanksgiving Leftover JENRON DESIGNSI also did a post last year on how to make Leftover Savory Hand Pies, which are pretty tasty as well. This one was a cranberry, turkey, cheddar melt which was so good, stuffed into a pie crust. You can see the full recipe at my link above. Left Over Hand Pies JENRON DESIGNS


I also keep getting asked about my favorite little cocktails for Thanksgiving, and while we can really just go with a nice simple glass of bourbon or maybe a nice wine. We do have a few fun ideas for a treat, so to speak if you looking for something  a little more festive. One of our all time favorites is the Pumpkin Pie Martini which is really more of a dessert. Pumpkin Pie Martini JENRON DESIGNSWe also love the simplicity and flavor profile of my Blackberry Sage Moscow Mule. These are so easy to drink and can be made by the pitch similar to a Sangria, so serving is super easy if you are have a few more adults. Cheers to the holidays, and stay safe everyone! Blackberry Sage Mules JENRON DESIGNS

PIN ME for later and be sure to follow us on Pinterest at Jen @ JENRON DESIGNS

Great Thanksgiving Dishes JENRON DESIGNS


  1. So many great ideas, thanks for sharing!

  2. This post is amazing and I’d love to try all of the meals and drinks! And the fact that they are also healthy, in a word – perfection!

  3. Digitaldaybook

    Oh such a beautiful thanksgiving spread! Got hungry looking at this and so excited for next week! Haha

  4. Wow yummy dishes. Will try the corn fritters! Thanks for sharing

  5. Karletta

    5 stars
    I’m salivating …the menu looks absolutely delightful. The corn fritters brought back memories of one of my mums favourties. Off to the kitchen to whip some up.

  6. These dishes look absolutely fabulous! We don’t have thanksgiving in the uk but perhaps I’ll try some of these dishes for Christmas!

  7. Digitaldaybook

    Love these ideas as we go into the holiday season!

  8. These all look delicious, I wish we did celebrate here but I mean, I can still enjoy them, even without the holiday ahah

  9. We tend to make the same dishes every Thanksgiving. You have some different options that are making me want to test some new things out!

  10. 5 stars
    So many fabulous Thanksgiving foodie ideas! I can’t wait to try some of these delicious recipes this holiday season.

  11. Tisha

    Great list of yummy dishes!!!

  12. 5 stars
    These all look so good but I cannot wait to try the sweet corn fritters, they look like a great side for the holidays.

  13. Monica Simpson

    5 stars
    I love how unique these dishes are for Thanksgiving. It’s nice to break away from some of the traditional stuff.

  14. Amber Myers

    5 stars
    My stomach just growled. All of these look delicious and I will certainly be trying some.

  15. I am so glad you found a few that looked good, hope you have a excellent Thanksgiving my friend!

  16. Whitney Stewart

    5 stars
    Nothing wrong with good old fashioned turkey and stuffing, but I’m not above switching out or adding in some new dishes just to be different! Plus these look amazing! The cocktails look awesome too!

  17. Monica Simpson

    5 stars
    I love pearled couscous! I’ve never thought to make it like this though as a Thanksgiving side. Yum!

  18. 5 stars
    Oh wow!!! With Thanksgiving just around the corner this is really helpful! I’d love to try the corn fritters too!

  19. I am so glad you found a few fun new add ins for your holiday celebration. That is what makes it fun, to add new stuff to the traditional faire.

  20. Me too it is a favorite around here too! I guess that is why I added it to our menu, LOL! It was never a part of my mom’s menu but I love to add in new stuff to change things up just little.

  21. Oh those corn fritters are really good! If you have ever had the ho-cakes at Paula Dean’s restaurant they are similar but with corn inside. I made them by accident one year and they became a hit, so now my mistake is everyones request, LOL!

  22. Tisha

    5 stars
    This sounds perfect for thanksgiving! Great dishes

  23. Thank You so much have a great Thanksgiving my friend!

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