Whether you're an seasoned (no pun intended) foodie seeking an unconventional dish to add to your repertoire, or you want to get excited about cooking, these outside-the-box dishes will raise eyebrows and activate taste buds.
1. Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Peanut Butter BBQ Sauce
This twist on the pulled pork sandwich swaps the pork for leaner chicken and includes a variety of fresh greens (red onion, cabbage, lettuce, spring onions) as further departure from barbecue food that leaves you comatose. The peanut butter BBQ sauce is the real draw, though, and is reminiscent of the meat-sauce combination you'd find at an Asian restaurant.
2. Beef Teriyaki Meatballs
When you think meatballs, you might think of an Italian grandmother spending hours crafting a homemade recipe. When you think teriyaki, you think of decidedly more Eastern dishes. This dishes blends the two seamlessly, and the chef calls these teriyaki-style meatballs “comfort food at its finest.”
Recipe: 2 Teaspoons
3. Southwestern Grilled Cheese
Make this Southwestern grilled cheese with nothing more than avocados, sliced pepper jack cheese, your favorite salsa, a dollop of butter, and a sturdy bread. Warning: one sandwich is almost certainly not going to be enough, so you may want to double up when shopping for ingredients.
Recipe: Sunshine & Hurricanes
4. Macaroni and Cheese Pizza
If you cry blasphemy at the sight of a macaroni-and-cheese themed pizza, purists won't blame you. However, don't knock it until you try it. This recipe keeps the pizza sauce but swaps the traditional mozzarella for sharp cheddar and the other ingredients you'd find in a hearty serving of Mac.
Recipe: A Spicy Perspective
5. Eggplant Lasagna
This recipe isn't exactly genre-bending, but it's a welcomed twist on an Italian classic. Eggplant Parmesan meets lasagna, and the results are a whole new level of flavor texture.
6. Shepherd's Pie Loaded Baked Potatoes
While the Brits catch a lot of flack for their culinary shortcomings, this twist on the Shepherd's Pie (and the baked potato) are the perfect recipe for winter. Or summer. Or fall.
The addition of ground beef, a helping of vegetables, some Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth elevate the standard loaded baked potato. If you're going to do one thing in the memory of Queen Elizabeth, you may as well whip up this UK-themed dish.
Recipe: Cupcakes & Kale Chips
7. Shrimp Pot Pie
The chicken pot pie is has kept many an American belly full. From hungover frat brothers to children coming home after a hard day at play to the most elderly of elders, the chicken pot pie has always there when appetites arise. But, nobody would accuse the chicken pot pie of being especially exciting. Reliable, yet. Exciting, no.
So why not try this seafood-y twist on the classic? Swapping the chicken for shrimp is just the start to this recipe. The author also notes that hiding shrimp in a pot pie is a Trojan Horse method for introducing picky eaters (i.e., kids) to the joy of fresh shrimp. If you're into those kinds of tricks, that is.
Recipe: Simple Joy
8. Pineapple Stuffing
While Thanksgiving comes only once a year, this tropical take on stuffing works year-round. The author notes that this dish works well as a side with pork dishes in particular. The recipe includes the onions, breading, and celery that you'll find in many stuffing dishes, but the addition of pineapple is a game-changer. The combination of salt and sugar will give this stuffing a distinct flavor, and may have your dinner guests asking for the recipe.
Recipe: The Merchant Baker
9. Mexican Deviled Eggs
While this might not be the ideal time to bring up egg-based dishes, this recipe is too good to pass up. The traditional deviled egg leverage the yolk to create a delicious filling, with an assist from mayo and mustard. The Mexican version of the deviled egg takes that basic formula and takes the spices up a notch. As the perfect finger food for basically any event (or even a solo dev-egg sesh), try this fresh take on the classic that is the deviled egg.
Recipe: Budget Delicious
10. Barbecue Tater Tot Casserole
Tater tots are another American staple that you'll find in breakfast-themed restaurants and drive-throughs from sea to shining sea. Like some of the other dishes on this list, though, the tater tot doesn't exactly elicit “oohs” and “aaahs” from the culinary peanut gallery. So, why not let a classic but un-sexy dish (the tater tot) be the building block for something grander? Thus, you have the barbecue tater tot casserole.
With a ground beef base, plenty of cheese, and plenty of other flavor-giving ingredients, this is a dish that you should plan your day around.
Recipe: Charlotte Shares
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.