Spice Up Your Thanksgiving Gathering with These Three Recipes

Photo: Bite Me More
Apple cider sangria, sweet potato pie and more make for fun twists on Thanksgiving flavors and dishes.

Thanksgiving is, of course, a holiday known for its classic recipes and flavors. And while tradition is a major part of it, sometimes it's fun to spice things up! We've got some super fun recipes from Bite Me More that play on those well-known flavors in unique and interesting ways.

Apple Cider Sangria

Nothing starts the evening off right quite like a seasonal cocktail. This festive sangria, made perfect for the Thanksgiving holiday with the addition of a special spiced apple cider, is just the sipper to delight your guests.


What You'll Need

Serves 6

Spiced Apple Cider

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 orange, sliced


  • 1 (750mL) bottle Spanish red wine (such as Garnacha or Tempranillo) or bottle of Zinfandel
  • 2 cups spiced apple cider (recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • Orange slices, for garnish
  • Cinnamon sticks, for garnish


Step 1: For the spiced cider, mix all ingredients together in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once comes to a simmer, remove from heat and cool completely. Once cool, strain using a mesh sieve.

Step 2: For the sangria, in a large pitcher, combine all ingredients. Garnish with orange slices and cinnamon sticks. Serve over ice.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup with Cinnamon Sugar Croutons

The cinnamon sugar croutons complement the smooth and creamy butternut squash and sweet potato so well. This is such a great starter dish to your Thanksgiving feast.


What You'll Need

Serves 8-10

Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

  • 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 5 cups)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 ½ cups vegetable broth

Cinnamon Sugar Croutons

  • 2 cups French bread cubes, ½-inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon


Step 1: For the butternut squash and sweet potato soup, preheat oven to 400ºF. Toss butternut squash, sweet potatoes and carrots with the melted butter. Season with salt and pepper and place on a rimmed baking sheet covered with aluminum foil and coated with non-stick cooking spray. Roast for 30 minutes stirring midway through until tender. Remove from oven and set aside.

Step 2: In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, cooking until softened about 3 minutes. Add minced garlic, maple syrup, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Continue cooking 1 minute more. Stir in squash mixture, add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree the soup using a hand held blender.

Step 3: For the cinnamon sugar croutons, preheat oven to 350ºF. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, toss the bread cubes with melted butter. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Add cinnamon-sugar mixture to the bread cubes and toss thoroughly. Spread bread cubes on baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, stir and continue to bake 4 minutes more, until bread cubes are crispy. Top each serving of soup with a couple of croutons.

Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Praline Sauce

Because it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without pie, right?! This sweet potato pie topped with a pecan praline sauce is simply heavenly - you MUST give it a try!

sweet potato pie

What You'll Need

Serves 8

Gingersnap Crust

  • 1 ½ cups finely crushed gingersnap cookies
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted

Gingersnap Crumble Topping

  • 1 cup finely crushed gingersnap cookies
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, cut into pieces

Sweet Potato Filling

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Pecan Praline Sauce

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract


Step 1: Preheat oven to 350fºF. For the crust, in a large bowl combine crushed gingersnaps, pecans, brown sugar and melted butter. Stir well, until incorporated. Firmly press mixture over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven, set aside to cool.

Step 2: For the gingersnap crumble topping, in a medium bowl combine gingersnap crumbs, flour, sugar and brown sugar. Cut in butter with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

Step 3: For sweet potato filling, prick each sweet potato several times with a fork or knife. Place potatoes on paper towel and cook for 5 minutes in microwave. Turn potatoes over and cook for 5 minutes more, until tender. Cool slightly. Halve potatoes and scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl and discard skin. Add butter and mash well with a fork. In another bowl whisk eggs, egg yolks, sugar, milk, vanilla, molasses, salt and cinnamon until well combined. Gradually add egg mixture to mashed sweet potatoes, stirring to combine. Pour into partially baked crust. Bake in 350ºF oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle gingersnap crumble topping evenly over the partially baked pie. Return to oven and continue baking for 15 minutes. Cover lightly with aluminum foil and bake for 20 more minutes to set. Let cool and serve with pecan praline sauce.

Step 4: For the sauce, in a medium skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add pecans and cook until slightly toasted 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, cream and cinnamon over low heat. Stir constantly until well combined. Increase heat to medium and cook mixture until it reaches 230ºF (soft ball stage) - it's easiest to use a candy thermometer for an accurate temperature read. Remove from heat and stir in pecan mixture, sour cream and vanilla extract. Keeps well when refrigerated.

For more holiday recipes and entertaining ideas, see Bite Me More.