Turkey is often what you will find at the center of Thanksgiving dinner celebrations year after year. But what if you are not a fan of this popular holiday family favorite? There are many nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner alternatives that are just as delicious and I’m going to share some ideas with you today.
Now, if you have family members that will go ballistic if you don’t have a turkey on the table, by all means, don’t skip the turkey. But, maybe save a little room for some additional entrees to make their way onto the Thanksgiving menu lineup?
This site may contain links to affiliate websites, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you on the affiliate website at no extra cost to you.
What can I cook for Thanksgiving instead of Turkey?
If you are still reading this, that means you have probably decided to try something new for Thanksgiving dinner. Here are some ideas for things you can have for dinner instead of turkey:
Mexican Inspired Cuisine
Though Thanksgiving is traditionally an American and Canadian holiday, you can still have Mexican-inspired dishes to celebrate the day. Mexican foods are tasty and fun and pretty easy to prepare. Consider doing a taco buffet, enchiladas, tamales or fajitas to change up the traditional turkey dinner this year.
Pro tip: Keep everything warm in this server/food warmer.
Spaghetti, baked ziti, alfredo, tortellini, need I go on? Pasta is a great alternative to turkey and dressing if you’re looking for something different for the holidays. You can prepare a variety of pasta dishes along with some delicious salads and breads for a tasty Thanksgiving dinner.
Try your hand at making your pasta from scratch with this pasta maker!
Chili is often a family favorite. You could even spruce up your traditional chili recipe by adding some ground turkey so you wouldn’t have to completely abandon turkey this Thanksgiving. There are also chili recipes that include corn and some traditional Thanksgiving spices. Make it fun by serving the chili in some festive holiday bowls.
What about grilling some of your favorites for Thanksgiving this year? You can smoke some chicken or ribs or steaks and grill some veggies to go alongside your favorite meats. Even if the temperatures outside are cold this holiday season, you could make some great memories by transforming Thanksgiving into an outdoor affair this year.
If seafood is your thing, consider a seafood boil for the holidays. You can grab shrimp, lobster, crab legs, crawfish and any other family favorites and create a tasty meal for your family that’s very different from the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
These are just a few alternatives that you can try if you’re feeling uninspired by the thought of Turkey this Thanksgiving. Remember, Thanksgiving is more about spending time with your family than the actual meal, so it’s not the end of the world if you decide to shake things up a bit this year.
If you’re not convinced that your family will be okay with eliminating turkey from the holiday menu, include a smaller turkey breast or rotisserie chicken alongside whichever of these nontraditional holiday meals you decide to try.
You can also prepare some of the family’s favorite holiday side dishes so they don’t feel like you’ve completely abandoned the family’s traditions. Plus, it will satisfy their cravings for those family recipes that normally don’t make their appearance on the table throughout the year.
Whatever you do, make Thanksgiving fun and memorable!