We love Thanksgiving dishes, from stuffing to cranberry sauce to pumpkin pie… but let’s get real for a minute. Whether for dietary reasons or personal taste, not everyone loves turkey. It may be the traditional centerpiece of a holiday table, but making new traditions can be just as great as keeping the old ones. This season, try one (or all) of these turkey alternatives out for size.
1. Prime Rib and Oven-Roasted Potatoes With Bay Leaves and Sage: Dark turkey meat just doesn’t cut it for the true meat enthusiast, but prime rib will. An aromatic rub of bay leaves, sage and orange zest crusts this regal cut of beef. (via Martha Stewart)
2. Maple Balsamic Roasted Duck: With crispier skin to boot, duck cooks faster than roasting an entire turkey. Spiced cranberry-persimmon chutney gives every juicy slice a tangy twist. (via Spoon Fork Bacon)
3. Grilled Branzino With Rosemary Vinaigrette: If you are lucky enough to celebrate in a place where grilling is an option for late fall, then grab your tongs. This whole grilled fish is practically foolproof, with only a few simple ingredients. (via Simply Recipes)
4. Fried Sweet Potato Gnocchi: Rich gnocchi could make a show-stopping primi for a formal full-course meal or one heck of a side dish. Try tossing with crispy pancetta if your guests can handle the goodness. (via Domestically Blissful)
5. Zuni Cafe’s Roasted Chicken and Bread Salad: Subbing a whole-roasted bird for another whole-roasted bird may seem a bit sacrilegious, but keep reading. There’s a science to this particular chicken, served with a special bread salad that gives stuffing a run for its money. (via Smitten Kitchen)
8. Soy-Ginger-Lacquered Cornish Hens: Everyone will feel special with their own little bird, roasted in Asian-inspired ingredients like mirin, soy, ginger and sesame oil. Replace your traditional green vegetables with bok choy, and you’ve got a themed holiday dinner on your hands. (via Food & Wine)
9. Classic Meat(less) Lentil Loaf: Vegetarians rejoice, because this substantial entrée is made just for you. It’s packed with protein, so you can be thankful you won’t be stuck with just sides this year. (via One Ingredient Chef)
10. Stuffed Chicken Breast With Prosciutto, Pears and Brie: This gluten-free, low-carb recipe is both cheesy and sweet. Kind of like your Great Uncle Herb. (via Skinny Taste)
13. Kabocha and Havarti Pockets: One of fall’s best veggies, kabocha squash, melts together with rich havarti cheese in flaky puff pastry. Folded larger, they easily stand alongside other entrees, while tinier triangles work as appetizers, too. You won’t even think to ask what happened to the meat. (via I Will Not Eat Oysters)
Ready to create some new traditions this year? Tell us about it in the comments below.