Traditional side dishes transformed with modern flavors


Modern flavors aren’t just for food TV, celebrity chefs or your favorite restaurant. Traditional side dishes can be transformed by any home cook.

As people prepare for holiday dinners, parties and gatherings, the meal becomes a huge focus. While a turkey, standing rib roast or other main dish is the star of the table, the side dishes are just as important. The traditional side dishes don’t have to be the same, unexciting choice. Modern flavors transform the traditional side dish from boring to extraordinary.

Transforming a traditional side dish to a more exciting version doesn’t have to be a huge task. A few ingredients or spices can make a huge difference. These easy changes won’t offend Aunt Edna either. The traditional side dish is still apparent, but these upgrades appeal to the more savvy eater.

Traditional side dishes transformed with modern flavors, sweet potato cranberry stuffing, photo provided by

One simple idea for a modern twist on a traditional side dish is Veggies Made Easy sweet potato cranberry stuffing. Stuffing is always a favorite side dish. The traditional Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without stuffing. But, the traditional stuffing is heavy on the bread and sometimes light on the veggies. This modern stuffing version is full of added nutrients.

By adding sweet potato ribbons to a traditional stuffing recipe, the modern stuffing has additional dietary fiber and tons of vitamin A. Plus, the flavor is delicious. Even more important, there is minimal additional prep work. The home cook can buy a bag of sweet potato ribbons. This modern version is close enough to the traditional stuffing yet forward thinking.

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This particular modern interpretation of a traditional side dish is made easier by pre-prepped vegetable options. With companies offering vegetable ribbons, fresh cut veggies and other pre-prepped options, the home cook has more choices available. The daunting kitchen prep excuse is removed and the home cook can become more culinary creative.

This kitchen hack can be applied to many side dishes. Instead of the canned green bean casserole on the holiday table, the home cook could take a package of fresh green beans and create an Asian inspired green bean side dish. Add some soy sauce and sesame seeds to the fresh green beans. For a spicier version, the home cook could add a little sriracha or even gochujang could add a fresh take to the traditional green bean side dish.

Many side dishes can be reinterpreted. From adding more fresh vegetables to bolder flavors, little changes can transform those traditional side dishes into something modern yet approachable.

A little experimentation is always good in the kitchen. The changes might create a new tradition for years to come. Traditional side dishes might  have a whole new meaning.