Home Recipe Roundup 23 Best Turkey Alternatives for Thanksgiving

23 Best Turkey Alternatives for Thanksgiving

Shake up the tradition and switch things up this year with these turkey alternatives for Thanksgiving!

From vegan delights to meaty centerpieces and savory pies, these recipes will take center stage.

Roast chicken with vegetables on pan.
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Whether it’s dietary preferences, culinary adventures, or simply wanting some change, this list has you covered. Sometimes, it’s fun to switch things up!

With these turkey alternatives, every dish brings a new meaning to your Thanksgiving celebration.

1. Best Vegan Turkey Roast

Embrace the essence of Thanksgiving without the bird! 

Believe it or not, it mimics the familiar flavors of your traditional holiday turkey. 

Enveloped in a crispy, herb-infused skin, each slice offers a tender, juicy bite.

Accompanied by rich vegan gravy and green vegetables, this roast is sure to deliver.

2. Ina Garten’s Roast Chicken

From the queen of homestyle elegance herself, Ina Garten’s roast chicken is nothing short of spectacular. 

Roasted with fragrant herbs and citrus, it boasts a festive flavor explosion. It has a golden, crispy exterior and a flavorful interior that melts in your mouth. 

This roast chicken embodies the culinary magic only Ina Garten’s recipes provide.

3. Cottage Cheese Lasagna

This cottage cheese lasagna is a delightful detour from traditional Thanksgiving offerings. 

The velvety pasta sheets are layered with a savory blend of cottage cheese and robust marinara

Once baked, the lasagna is chewy, creamy, and tangy. A piece of this lasagna is like a warm, cheesy hug on a plate.

4. Beef Wellington

Transform your holiday table with the flavorful layers of Beef Wellington. 

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At its heart lies a tender filet mignon, seared to perfection. It’s smothered with delectable mushroom duxelles and encased in a golden, flaky puff pastry. 

When you slice it open, you’ll be delighted by the layers of savory beauty.

This dish proves Thanksgiving can be both traditional and extravagantly different.

5. Easy Healthy Baked Salmon

Looking for a salmon recipe that’ll make seafood a star of your dinner table? Opt for a twist this Thanksgiving with a nourishing and flavorful dish.

This baked salmon is delicately seasoned with a blend of herbs and citrus. Each flaky bite is full of zest and nutrition.

Baked to a tantalizing perfection, this salmon is a light yet filling main course.

6. Honey Glazed Ham

This honey-glazed ham is a sweet symphony of smoky and succulent flavors.

Slow-roasted to perfection, it’s coated in a luscious glaze with honey, pineapple juice, and brown sugar. Each slice reveals a delicious blend of salty, sweet, and smoky notes.

And the best part? There are tons of side dishes for ham to make your celebration truly satisfying.

7. Mushroom Wellington with Rosemary and Pecans

This meatless recipe creates a majestic centerpiece!

Earthy mushrooms meet aromatic rosemary and crunchy pecans. It’s a marriage made in culinary heaven. They’re all encased in a buttery, flaky pastry crust. 

The mushroom Wellington promises a rustic and refined experience.

8. Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Sweet meets savory in this autumn-inspired delight. 

Tender pork is marinated and roasted to perfection. It’s bathed in a rich, amber-hued maple glaze. This dish embodies the warmth and coziness of fall.

Pair it with your favorite vegetable side dish for a truly filling meal.

9. Campbell’s Chicken Pot Pie

A nod to the classics, Campbell’s chicken pot pie is comfort in a crust. 

It’s filled with juicy chicken chunks, peas, corn, and carrots and bathed in a creamy, savory sauce. Enveloped in a golden, flaky pastry, each slice promises warmth and nostalgia.

It’s perfect for those chilly Thanksgiving evenings when all you crave is the comfort of home.

10. Vegetable Lasagna

Who said you need meat to make a show-stopping Thanksgiving feast? This vegetable lasagna proves veggie recipes are worth the hype.

Layers of pasta are generously filled with a vibrant medley of zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms. They’re all nestled between garlicky marinara and melty cheese. 

Each slice brings fresh flavors, making it a heartwarming and wholesome dish.

11. Classic Shepherd’s Pie

The classic shepherd’s pie is the definition of comfort food

This dish boasts a delicious layer of well-seasoned ground meat and vegetables. It’s simmered in a rich gravy, crowned with a layer of buttery mashed potatoes.

The contrast between creamy potatoes and the savory filling is to die for. Swap turkey for shepherd’s pie, and everyone will be delighted.

12. Sunday Roast

This Sunday roast is not just a meal but an event. 

These little morsels of deliciousness feature Yorkshire pudding loaded with beef and paired potatoes. A river of rich, flavorful gravy brings together all of this goodness. 

It’ll remind you of weekends at grandma’s, lazy Sunday afternoons, and family gatherings.

13. Roast Duck

Looking for something unique to leave a lasting impression on your dinner guests? Roast duck is a fantastic way to bring a touch of elegance.

This bird is roasted to crispy perfection on the outside, while its inside remains tender. It’s juicy and packed with savory and slightly sweet flavors.

It’s slathered with a sweet, tangy honey lemon glaze, making this centerpiece shine.

14. Roast Rack of Lamb with Garlic and Herbs

This roast rack of lamb is classy and sophisticated.

The lamb racks are slathered with garlic-herb marinade, then roasted to a rosy hue. Each cutlet promises a bite that’s tender and juicy with the flavors of the herbs. 

This hearty dish is served alongside roasted potatoes and makes for a truly filling meal.

15. Broiled Lobster Tail

Turn your Thanksgiving into a seaside gala with the luxurious broiled lobster tail. 

These succulent sea morsels are brushed with melted butter, a hint of garlic, and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Then, they’re broiled to a perfect golden brown. 

The result is lobster meat that’s tender, buttery, and utterly divine.

Serve it with some drawn butter for dipping and a glass of white wine for a fancy celebration.

16. Braised Short Ribs

A true carnivore’s delight, braised short ribs offer a satisfying and flavorful experience.

They’re slow-cooked to tender perfection and infused in red wine.

Notes of aromatic herbs, garlic, and caramelized onions blend seamlessly with the meat’s natural juiciness. 

This dish turns any Thanksgiving table into a gourmet restaurant when served with buttery polenta.

17. Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella is a wonderful blend of sweet, salty, and tangy. 

Chicken pieces are marinated in a garlic and herb marinade, then baked to golden perfection. 

Serve this recipe with a bowl of mashed potatoes to soak up the flavorful goodness of this main dish.

With its rich history and vibrant taste, it’s a conversation starter.

18. One-Pan Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

Embrace the essence of fall with one-pan pork chops. 

They’re pan-seared to a beautiful golden hue and crisp crust. Then, they’re simmered with slices of tart apples and sweet onions. 

Caramelized apples complement the savory pork to tie the dish together.

This recipe showcases the simpler joys of the season.

19. Prime Rib

Prime rib is a centerpiece that demands attention. 

It’s rubbed with fresh herbs, garlic, and olive oil. It’s roasted to a perfect medium-rare to showcase a deep, rich flavor with every slice. 

The exterior is a crispy contrast to the juicy, tender meat within. This dish turns Thanksgiving into a royal banquet, making every guest feel like nobility.

20. Braised Brisket

Braised brisket is soulful, hearty, and deeply comforting.

The beef is slowly braised in a tomato-based sauce infused with aromatics and spices. It’s perfect to drizzle over the brisket slices. 

Pair it with your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes and eat your heart out.

Evoking memories of family gatherings, this dish is like a warm embrace on a plate.

21. McCormick Meatloaf

Take your tastebuds on a nostalgic trip to the past with McCormick meatloaf.

It’s a classic dish filled with memories of family dinners and cherished moments. 

This meatloaf, seasoned with the signature blend of McCormick spices, offers familiar and delightful flavors. 

With a crusty exterior and a moist, flavorful interior, you’ll love every bit of this dish.

22. Italian-American Beef Braciole

Serve a slice of Italy with Italian-American beef Braciole. 

Thin slices of beef are pounded and layered with prosciutto and herbed breadcrumbs. It’s then rolled, tied, and slowly simmered in a robust tomato sauce. 

It’s perfect for a Thanksgiving that’s a little out of the ordinary yet deeply rooted in tradition.

23. Roasted Cornish Hens

Add a touch of elegance to your Thanksgiving spread with petite and delightful roasted Cornish hens. 

The small birds are seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices. They’re roasted to a beautiful, crispy, golden-brown skin, giving way to succulent, tender meat. 

These Cornish hens promise a refined dining experience.

23 Best Turkey Alternatives for Thanksgiving

These turkey alternatives for Thanksgiving make your feast more exciting! From roast chicken to lasagna to vegan options, each one is guaranteed to shine.


  • Best Vegan Turkey Roast

  • Ina Garten’s Roast Chicken

  • Cottage Cheese Lasagna

  • Beef Wellington

  • Easy Healthy Baked Salmon

  • Honey Glazed Ham

  • Mushroom Wellington with Rosemary and Pecans

  • Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin

  • Campbell’s Chicken Pot Pie

  • Vegetable Lasagna

  • Classic Shepherd’s Pie

  • Sunday Roast

  • Roast Duck

  • Roast Rack of Lamb with Garlic and Herbs

  • Broiled Lobster Tail

  • Braised Short Ribs

  • Chicken Marbella

  • One -Pan Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

  • Prime Rib

  • Braised Brisket

  • McCormick Meatloaf

  • Italian-American Beef Braciole

  • Roasted Cornish Hens


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a Thanksgiving feast to remember!
Turkey Alternatives for Thanksgiving

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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