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30 Thanksgiving Dinner Alternatives to Turkey

    30 Thanksgiving Dinner Alternatives to Turkey

    Thanksgiving—a time when tables are laden with hearty feasts and the aroma of roasted turkey fills the air. But what if this year, you’re inclined toward something different? Fear not, for the world of culinary delights offers a vast array of alternatives to the traditional turkey centerpiece. From meaty mains to vegetarian marvels, here are 30 Thanksgiving dinner alternatives to tantalize your taste buds and elevate your holiday feast.


    1. Prime Rib: A succulent, marbled cut of beef that promises a juicy and flavorful main course.
    2. Beef Tenderloin: Elegant and tender, roasted beef tenderloin seasoned with herbs makes for a luxurious Thanksgiving meal.
    3. Brisket: Slow-cooked and packed with smoky flavors, brisket is a comforting option for meat enthusiasts.


    1. Pork Roast: Seasoned and roasted to perfection, pork loin or shoulder roast offers a savory alternative.
    2. Ham: Glazed ham, adorned with spices and honey, brings a sweet and savory touch to the table.


    1. Duck: Rich and indulgent, roasted duck with crispy skin is a decadent choice for a festive meal.
    2. Cornish Hen: Individual-sized hens make for an elegant presentation and cook quickly for smaller gatherings.
    3. Goose: A traditional option with a depth of flavor similar to duck, making it a unique alternative.


    1. Salmon: Grilled or roasted salmon fillets with a herb-infused butter glaze offer a lighter yet flavorful option.
    2. Lobster: Luxurious and decadent, lobster tails or a whole roasted lobster can elevate your dinner to new heights.
    3. Crab Legs: Serve up a seafood feast with succulent crab legs accompanied by melted butter for dipping.

    Vegetarian and Vegan

    1. Stuffed Squash: Delicately roasted acorn or butternut squash filled with a medley of grains, vegetables, and herbs.
    2. Portobello Mushrooms: Grilled portobellos marinated in balsamic glaze make a satisfying main for vegetarians.
    3. Vegetable Wellington: Layers of roasted veggies and herbs wrapped in puff pastry create a stunning centerpiece.

    Exotic Choices

    1. Quail: Small in size but big in flavor, quail offers a unique and sophisticated option.
    2. Pheasant: With its rich, gamey taste, roasted pheasant brings a touch of the wild to your Thanksgiving table.
    3. Venison: For adventurous palates, venison steaks or roasts impart a robust and earthy flavor.

    Ethnic Inspirations

    1. Tamales: Embrace Latin American flavors with savory tamales filled with meats, cheese, or veggies.
    2. Tandoori Chicken: Infuse your celebration with Indian spices by serving tandoori-style roasted chicken.
    3. Sushi Platter: For a non-traditional feast, a diverse selection of sushi rolls can make a unique and colorful spread.

    Comforting Classics

    1. Meatloaf: A homely and comforting option, meatloaf seasoned with herbs and spices satisfies the soul.
    2. Lasagna: Layers of pasta, cheese, and savory sauces create a hearty and crowd-pleasing alternative.
    3. Stuffed Peppers: Bell peppers filled with a mix of rice, beans, veggies, and cheese offer a flavorful vegetarian option.

    Fusion Flavors

    1. Korean BBQ Ribs: Sweet and spicy, Korean-inspired ribs bring a burst of flavors to your Thanksgiving dinner.
    2. Cajun Turkey: Incorporate bold Cajun spices into a turkey preparation for a unique twist on tradition.
    3. Thai Coconut Curry: Aromatic and creamy, a vegetable or seafood coconut curry adds a touch of exoticism.

    Wild Cards

    1. Eggplant Parmesan: Layers of crispy eggplant, marinara sauce, and cheese create a satisfying vegetarian dish.
    2. Gourmet Pizza: Create a variety of gourmet pizzas with unique toppings for a casual and fun Thanksgiving meal.
    3. Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie: A comforting casserole filled with savory vegetables and topped with mashed potatoes.
    4. Mushroom Risotto: Creamy and rich, a well-prepared mushroom risotto can stand as a star dish on its own.


    This Thanksgiving, embrace culinary diversity and consider these alternatives to the traditional turkey. Whether you opt for succulent meats, delectable seafood, or creative vegetarian options, these dishes are sure to make your holiday feast a memorable and delicious affair. Cheers to celebrating abundance and gratitude with a table filled with delightful flavors and cherished company!

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