The Thanksgiving meal—a time for hosting family and friends in your home, and also forgetting that dietary preferences for half your guests don’t fit the menu you planned.

Whether your family serves hors d’oeuvres while comfortably waiting for the main event, or waits in tense silence for the turkey to finally finish, these options offer a variety when there’s a lot of people to feed but not a lot of time.

For traditionalists:

We all have at least one in the family. For the traditionalists, the Thanksgiving meal is a sacred experience; certain dishes must be on the table, and the flavors should transport them to warm memories of holidays past. Turkey takes time, but there are three easy side items that are surefire bets: sweet potato casserole, green beans, and cranberry sauce. All simple, quick and easy to make.

For health nuts and vegetable lovers:

Whether someone’s trying to get through a Whole 30 diet in November, or guests are simply making an effort to eat more vegetables during the holidays, everyone can probably do with a few dishes that aren’t loaded with calories. And they don’t all require an hour in the oven—unlike a lot of squash recipes, this roasted delicata squash with garden herbs takes just 15 minutes to roast. And if you can sacrifice traditional stuffing, this quinoa and butternut squash version makes a healthy alternative. Picky kids? Win them over by adding these parmesan garlic roasted mushrooms to the line up.

For Instagram lovers:

When it’s all about making a picture-perfect statement at the Thanksgiving table, your side dishes can’t just taste good—they have to look good, too. Luckily, you don’t have to spend hours on each dish to get it camera ready, and with a few tweaks to traditional dishes, unique pics are guaranteed. First step: Skip the boring bread and go with this savory monkey bread recipe instead. Just make sure to get an overhead shot when someone goes to grab a cheesy piece. Not all salads have to be green. Make those filters pop with this roasted fennel, red onion and orange salad. Finally, when it comes to roasted veggies, skip the baby carrots and cook these harissa and maple roasted carrots in all their skinny, glossy glory.

For the unconventional foodies:

It’s more common these days to find hosts with a bit of a rebellious streak when it comes to the Thanksgiving meal. Some choose to eschew traditional fare altogether, while others just want a side option that isn’t potato-based. Either way, open-minded cooks and guests have several easy-to-prepare options just prior to the meal. For a different take on the casserole, why not give this red hot oyster and kimchi dressing a try? For a simple, but flavorful option, try roasted radishes with capers and anchovies. Lastly, for an excellent salad side dish, opt for this pumpkin salad with pomegranate and cumin yogurt.

Open Mortgage always wants to help people find comfort (and comfort food) in their homes. Ready to host a holiday at your dream house? Click here for information on finding the perfect mortgage.

 

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