Delicious Turkey Alternatives For Thanksgiving When You Need A Break From Tradition

While holiday traditions are cozy and fun, there's nothing wrong with wanting to switch things up. If you're all about this concept, consider serving an alternative to Thanksgiving turkey. This seasonal poultry may not appeal to everyone’s taste buds, after all, and it can also be tricky to cook if you aren’t exceptionally savvy in the kitchen.

Some people simply love adding their own spin to traditions; I am definitely one of those people. While I understand the comfort and familiarity of tried-and-true traditions, I can’t help but add my own personalized touch to these expected practices. Isn’t that the beauty of hosting your own get together? You can tweak everything to suit your style, taste, and preferences. And when it comes to Thanksgiving food alternatives, you have the opportunity to use ingredients that best suit your dietary choices.

Remember, deviating from the norm and ditching the turkey doesn’t mean that you can’t have a “real” Thanksgiving. Think about the holiday menu as a whole. Bring together sides and appetizers that complement each other in the best way. Add seasonal flavors here and there, but don’t obsess over it — just make food that you truly enjoy. This way, you can be sure that nothing will go to waste. Most importantly, you will enjoy great food with even better company.

1. Ham

While ham typically has a place on the Christmas table, it can work especially well for Thanksgiving. Once sliced, it's also easy to share among guests. Plus, who can resist a tasty glaze? Head to Half Baked Harvest to learn how to make a zesty chipotle pineapple version.

2. Rotisserie Chicken

You can't go wrong with a juicy rotisserie chicken. Compared to turkey, this main dish typically has more flavor and moisture. It can also be enjoyed all year round, but makes an especially tasty Thanksgiving entrée. You can pick one up for less than 10 bucks at most grocery stores. Alternatively, you can head to Foodie Crush to learn how to make your own.

3. Salmon

Lovers of seafood will adore this option. It's easy to prep and offers a generous dose of healthy fatty acids. You can also easily customize it with just a few ingredients; a splash of lemon and spices can do wonders. For a quick sheet pan dinner complete with veggies, visit Foodie Crush.

4. Steak

Who can say no to a hearty steak? If this kind of meat is more your style, consider cooking up a couple steaks to split and share. Keep things interesting by using different flavors and ingredients for each one. For some inspiration to get you started, check out this garlic butter version by The Crepes of Wrath.

5. Lasagna

While lasagna may seem like an ideal side, it can also work as the main dish. Take a tip from Half Baked Harvest and bring in seasonal ingredients like butternut squash. Alternatively, you can stick to the conventional lasagna with tomato sauce. A veggie version would work especially well for a vegetarian Thanksgiving.

6. Pumpkin

If you're set on serving a seasonally-appropriate entrée, try stuffing and baking a pumpkin or two. It will impress your guests while serving as instant decor for your dinner table. Click on over to Green Kitchen Stories to learn how to do it yourself.

7. Chili

For a meal that is easy to split and share, make a huge pot of chili. This version by Foodie Crush features both butternut squash and turkey, making it the perfect Thanksgiving option. It's a rad way to serve turkey in a unique and different way.

8. Tofurky

A list of turkey alternatives wouldn't be complete without tofurky. And while you can easily buy it in the store and call it a day, The Kitchn explains how to make it at home. This is an excellent way to control the flavors with fresh ingredients.

Images: Pexels; Half Baked Harvest; Foodie Crush; Foodie Crush; The Crepes of Wrath; Half Baked Harvest; Green Kitchen Stories; Foodie Crush; The Kitchn