10 Alternative Thanksgiving Meals (That Just Might Be Better Than Turkey)
You know us—we’re all about rankings. So when it comes to Thanksgiving, stuffing tops our list. No questions asked. Turkey, however? Ehh, it’s a bit further down. If you are like us and would rather skip the “star” in favor of another serving of sweet potato casserole, then this roundup is for you. Here, alternative Thanksgiving meals that are so good you’ll forget all about the traditional bird.
1. Spicy Orange-Honey Glazed Ham
Yes, it really is as delicious as it sounds. With just eight ingredients, this recipe is basically foolproof. And did we mention the amazing sandwiches you can make with the leftovers?
2. Rosemary-Glazed Cornish Hens
Here’s a thought: Go mini. Cornish hens retain all the comforts of a classic Thanksgiving table, but their size is perfect if you’re just making a meal for two. Try grilling them with onion and a rosemary glaze.
3. Garlic Rosemary Beef Tenderloin Roast
The secret here? Tying the roast with cooking twine in three-inch sections to ensure it’s consistent in shape and cooks evenly. This aromatic dish is served alongside a red-wine shallot reduction. Oh, you fancy.
4. Braised Lamb Chops with Cranberry-Harissa Chutney
Not nearly as overwhelming as a 16-pound turkey, these little guys make for perfect Thanksgiving portions. As in, you’ll still have room for pumpkin pie (and every other dessert).
5. Rum and Pomegranate Roast Duck
Don’t let this one fool you. It may look like a turkey, but it most definitely doesn’t taste like one. Served on a bed of chestnut, apple and pancetta stuffing, this dish is pretty enough to serve as your Thanksgiving centerpiece.
6. Brussels Sprout Mushroom Pizza
We’d invite ourselves over to any house serving pizza at their holiday table. The dough is covered with sweet apple butter, while the crispy prosciutto and cheese add the right amount of salty and savory flavor.
7. Lasagna with Pumpkin and Sage Infused Béchamel
You didn’t think we’d make this whole list without at least one pumpkin dish, did ya? Ideal for vegetarians (or simply anyone who enjoys flavor), this lasagna packs a punch with its smooth and creamy filling. If you’re serving this for dinner, don’t count on leftovers.
8. Oven-Roasted Duck Legs with Butternut Squash Puree
Seared and then roasted, these duck legs are super crispy. They are complemented with a creamy butternut squash puree featuring mascarpone and Parmesan. And to top it off, a simple sage butter sauce. Yes, please.
9. Butternut, Apple and Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
This stuffed pork tenderloin is essentially your entire Thanksgiving meal wrapped in one. It’s filled with wild rice, butternut squash, bacon, spinach, sage and goat cheese. All that’s missing is the mashed potatoes and gravy.
10. Stuffed Butternut Squash
We don’t know about you, but this sounds like heaven to us. Not to mention, it’s healthy and hearty, so you won’t feel guilty about going back for a second helping.