Delicious Potato Dishes That Will Mix Up Your Thanksgiving

Mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes have become nearly as identifiable with Thanksgiving as turkey. But neither type of potato were on the menu at what has historically been called the first Thanksgiving in 1621 at Plymouth Rock (from Country Living). It was celebrated as the first harvest since the pilgrims landed, and it likely would have featured local ingredients like corn, onions, beans, and seafood, according to History.

Part of the reason that mashed potatoes have ended up on traditional Thanksgiving menus can be attributed to Sarah Josepha Hale. In the 1800s, Hale encouraged government officials to create a national Thanksgiving holiday and as an editor for the popular magazine "Godey's Lady Book," she included seasonal fall dishes that would be perfect for a Thanksgiving celebration, including mashed potatoes and sweet potato pie (via Smithsonian Magazine). Thanksgiving became an official national holiday in 1863, and potatoes have been a mainstay since.

But if you're looking for a twist on the traditional, here are some yummy options.

Crispy hasselback potatoes

Instead of mashing potatoes, keep them whole and load them up with cheese with this recipe that Kelly Ripa's kids have apparently begged her for years to make (via People). And if it's good enough for the morning show queen, it's good enough for us! The recipe for these Crispy Hasselback Potatoes comes from the "Live with Kelly and Ryan" website and is pretty easy to recreate in your own kitchen. 

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub four or five Russet potatoes — keep the skin on — then slice them Hasselback style: cutting them into slices nearly all the way through. Ripa's way of doing it was to line up a pair of chopsticks on either side of the potato to stop your knife from cutting all the way.

Then put the potatoes in a buttered, oven-safe dish and top with 1 tablespoon of butter and some salt and pepper and a tablespoon of thyme. Then sprinkle with 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese and 1 cup of grated Gruyere cheese. Finally, pour in two cups of heavy cream over everything.

Cover in aluminum foil and cook for one hour. Uncover and cook for another 30 minutes until the top is browned and the center of the potatoes are tender.

Healthier sweet potato casserole

The popular Thanksgiving dish of sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows first showed up in 1917 per USA Today. Here's a healthier spin on a sweet potato side dish that will pair perfectly with turkey. This Sweet Potato Casserole from The Modern Proper will hit the spot this holiday season. 

Preheat the oven to 375. Peel and slice five large sweet potatoes into 1/8 inch slices using a mandolin.

In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Add the sweet potato slices and toss until coated.

Grease a 9x13 inch pan with coconut oil, then arrange your sweet potato slices in a circle — place them vertically and from the outside of the pan inwards.

Next, sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/4 cup each of pumpkin seeds, candied ginger, and craisins on top.

Finally, drizzle 1/4 cup of maple syrup over the top before baking for 50 to 60 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Crispy potatoes with bay and scallions

For a sure-fire crowd-pleaser, this recipe was inspired by a traditional Native American dish from central California: Crispy Potatoes With Bay and Scallions from Bon Appetit.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Scrub two pounds of fingerling potatoes then put them into a large pot along with four bay leaves and a tablespoon of kosher salt. Add cold water until the potatoes are covered by two inches.

Heat on high until boiling, then lower the heat and simmer for 25-35 minutes, or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.

Drain, then put the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Coat them with 3 tablespoons of room temperature duck fat and roast for 25-30 minutes. While they're roasting, slice six scallions diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces. Once the potatoes start to crisp, take the baking sheet out of the oven, mix in the scallions, and then bake for another 10-15 minutes until the scallions are browned on the edges.