75+ Alternative Thanksgiving Meals

Tired of the same old Thanksgiving classics? This list of Alternative Thanksgiving Meals is sure to give your Thanksgiving dinner a welcome update!

collage of alternative Thanksgiving meals


 

It’s that time of year; the grocery stores shelves are stacked with all kinds of things for the holiday season.

Of course you have the classic recipes like sweet potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pie. But why not start a new tradition?

The main course for your Thanksgiving table doesn’t need to have those classics. You can still serve delicious recipes on your Thanksgiving menu that change the game a little.

Turkey Dinners

Maybe you still want that traditional Thanksgiving meal, but aren’t feeding enough people to justify making a whole turkey? These turkey breast recipes are the answer!

Still full of all of that delicious Thanksgiving turkey flavor, making a turkey breast is a great solution to hosting a smaller crowd.

turkey breast covered in orange sherry sauce

Orange Sage Turkey Breast with Creamy Sherry Sauce

5 from 14 votes
Orange Sage Turkey Breast with Creamy Sherry Sauce is a flavorful and easy meal made with sherry cooking wine, fresh oranges and a sweet cream sauce.
See The Recipe!
turkey breast sliced on a cutting board

Turkey Breast with Stuffing

4.80 from 49 votes
Oven roasted turkey breast doesn't get any better than this Stuffed Turkey Breast! Perfect for any weeknight, not just Thanksgiving!Oven roasted turkey breast doesn't get any better than this Stuffed Turkey Breast! Perfect for any weeknight, not just Thanksgiving!
See The Recipe!
angled shot of platter of roast turkey breast with oranges and cranberries

Herb Mayonnaise Roast Turkey Breast Recipe

4.65 from 31 votes
Herb Mayonnaise Turkey Breast is a delicious roast turkey breast perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. Easy to make in a fraction of the time of a whole turkey.
See The Recipe!
Spicy Honey Grilled Turkey is perfect for throwing on the grill for a quick and easy meal time solution!

Spicy Honey Grilled Turkey

5 from 3 votes
Spicy Honey Grilled Turkey is perfect for throwing on the grill for a quick and easy meal time solution!
See The Recipe!

Chicken Dinners

From cornish game hens to stuffed chicken breasts, these chicken dinners will be a welcome addition to your spread on Thanksgiving day.

overhead of a roasted cornish hen

Garlic Herb Cornish Hens Recipe

4.15 from 35 votes
Roasted Cornish Hens are basted with a fresh herbs olive oil, roasted for browned crispy skin and finished with a zesty butter garlic sauce.
See The Recipe!
plate of crispy baked chicken thighs

Baked Chicken Thighs in Oven

4.56 from 67 votes
Flavorful and crispy baked chicken thighs basted with a garlic lemon butter sauce. An easy chicken dinner in the oven.
See The Recipe!
spinach stuffed chicken with apple gravy on a white plate

Stuffed Chicken with Apple Gravy

5 from 4 votes
Award winning Stuffed Chicken with Apple Gravy uses pine nuts, spinach, currants and garlic to flavor the chicken. A savory apple gravy finishes off this easy dinner recipe!
See The Recipe!
plate of crock pot balsamic chicken

Crock Pot Apple Balsamic Chicken recipe

4.51 from 61 votes
Fork tender chicken breasts in a rich sweet sauce with less than 10 minutes of prep! Serve over noodles, rice or mashed potatoes.
See The Recipe!
braised chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet

Braised Chicken Thighs

4.87 from 15 votes
Chicken thighs braised in a white wine Dijon sauce and caramelized shallots, crispy bacon and tomatoes.
See The Recipe!
angle view of chicken cutlet with sauce

Chicken Cutlets with Roast Tomato & Garlic

4.95 from 34 votes
Breaded chicken cutlets with a roast tomato and garlic topping and balsamic sauce served over arugula.
See The Recipe!
caprese chicken recipe

Chicken Caprese Recipe

5 from 9 votes
This Caprese Chicken is sure to be one of your favorite grilled or baked chicken recipes. Juicy & delicious, it comes together with only 6 ingredients!
See The Recipe!
overhead shot of instant pot whole chicken on cutting board

Instant Pot Whole Chicken

4.94 from 33 votes
Instant Pot Whole Chicken is so EASY! With a simple cooked chicken, you can make yourself a main dish or cooked chicken for multiple other recipes!
See The Recipe!
garlic parmesan chicken on a white plate with asparagus

Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken

4.25 from 8 votes
Garlic Parmesan Chicken is an easy weeknight meal option that kids love! Just 6 ingredients and dinner is made!
See The Recipe!
chicken marsala with mushrooms in a skillet

Chicken Marsala Recipe

4.45 from 43 votes
This Chicken Marsala recipe is made in 1 pan in less than 30 minutes! Whip up this EASY dish with a rich creamy mushroom sauce on top of juicy chicken.
See The Recipe!
rimmed baking sheet with roast chicken and vegetables

Spatchcock Sheet Pan Chicken

4.73 from 11 votes
Spatchcocking a chicken is an easy and ingenious way to break down a bird that guarantees gorgeous results every time.
See The Recipe!
plate of chicken cacciatore and pasta

Chicken Cacciatore

4.91 from 10 votes
Easy Chicken Cacciatore uses tender chicken in a tomato sauce with mushrooms, bell peppers, olives and herbs. Only takes 30 minutes from stove to plate!
See The Recipe!
close up of chicken kiev cut in half

Easy Chicken Kiev

4.78 from 9 votes
Thin chicken breasts stuffed with compound butter and covered in a light Panko breading, this Chicken Kiev is an easy dinner the whole family will enjoy!
See The Recipe!
Close up of creamy asiago chicken

Creamy Asiago Chicken

4.39 from 26 votes
Creamy Asiago Chicken is a tasty and easy chicken recipe that is perfect for a weeknight meal. Mushrooms, shallots and thyme flavor this delicious dish. 
See The Recipe!
close up of roast chicken with thyme

How to Roast Chicken

5 from 7 votes
Easy steps on how to roast chicken plus the mostly frequently asked questions about baking a whole chicken answered! Moist and flavorful chicken and vegetables in under 2 hours. 
See The Recipe!

Chai Tea Oven Roasted Chicken

5 from 6 votes
Chai Tea Oven Roasted Chicken is a baked whole chicken rubbed with spiced herb butter, root vegetables and the earthy fall flavors of Chai tea.
See The Recipe!
chicken thigh on plate with fork and veggies

Fireman Chicken

4.74 from 102 votes
Fireman Chicken, also known as Cornell Chicken BBQ, is a classic BBQ chicken marinade that originated in upstate New York, but is making its way through the states!
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Crispy Duck A L’Orange Recipe- You won’t believe how easy this dish really is! Classic crispy duck a l'orange makes for a perfect holiday or special event dinner. Super juicy and flavorful meat with a crispy, seasoned skin.

Crispy Duck a l’Orange Recipe

4.23 from 22 votes
Classic crispy duck a l’orange makes for a perfect holiday or special event dinner. Super juicy and flavorful meat with a crispy, seasoned skin.
See The Recipe!
Orange Marmalade chicken with orange, tarragon and olives

French Baked Chicken

4.84 from 12 votes
Orange Marmalade with orange, tarragon and olives make this delicious, sticky crust for French Baked Chicken. Use on chicken halves or chicken breasts for a delicious French dinner recipe. 
See The Recipe!
Lemon Garlic Chicken Recipe- the best lemon chicken recipe out there. Garlic and honey make this sauce bright and tasty! Serve lemon chicken over pasta, rice or toasted couscous. www.savoryexperiments.com

Honey Lemon Garlic Chicken Recipe

4.93 from 13 votes
Honey Lemon Garlic Chicken is an easy dinner recipe made with garlic and honey to make this sauce bright and tasty! Serve lemon chicken over pasta, rice or toasted couscous. 
See The Recipe!
Walnut Crusted Chicken is a deliciously healthy, crunchy chicken with a cool dipping sauce! Made with chopped walnuts, panko bread crumbs, and fresh rosemary! #walnutcrustedchicken #rosemarychicken www.savoryexperiments.com

Walnut Crusted Chicken Recipe

4.64 from 19 votes
Walnut Crusted Chicken is a crunchy, oven-baked chicken with a zesty yogurt dipping sauce. Perfect for those craving crispy chicken cutlets, but without the fat.
See The Recipe!
angle view of chicken in piccata sauce

Chicken Piccata Recipe

4.76 from 57 votes
Classic Chicken Piccata is an easy Italian recipe that comes together in less than 30 minutes and explodes with flavors of lemon, caper and shallot.
See The Recipe!
Lemon Chicken with Zucchini is a meal with classic, all-American flavors. Cast iron recipes are great since everything gets cooked in the same pan! #lemonchickenrecipe #castironrecipes www.savoryexperiments.com

Lemon Chicken Recipe

5 from 3 votes
 Lemon Chicken with Zucchini is a meal with classic, all-American flavors perfect for even the pickiest of eaters. Serve with long grain wild rice for a full meal.
See The Recipe!
overhead close up of a beer can chicken

Beer Can Chicken Recipe

5 from 4 votes
This Beer Can Chicken Recipe is made with a special blend of spices and a touch of sugar to make a zesty bark. Serve with Cola BBQ Sauce.
See The Recipe!
close up of stuffed chicken breast

Pesto Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast Recipe

5 from 6 votes
Pesto Spinach Stuffed Chicken are chicken breasts stuffed with gooey mozzarella cheese, sun dried tomatoes and spinach. Marinated in a yogurt and basil pesto sauce, they are moist and flavorful. 
See The Recipe!

Pork Dinners

With recipes like a crown roast of pork on your dinner table, I promise no one will even be missing the turkey! Alternative Thanksgiving meals don’t get much better than this!

pork loin in a crockpot

Hawaiian Slow Cook Pork Loin

4.40 from 252 votes
Bring the island flavors to the table with this simple, slow cooker Hawaiian Pork loin made with pantry staples and finished with an easy to make sauce.
See The Recipe!
sliced pork tenderloin with roasted veggies

Herb Garlic Pork Tenderloin

4.45 from 18 votes
One Pan Garlic Herb Pork is an easy weeknight meal that roasts juicy pork with vegetables all on one pan and in just 30 minutes!
See The Recipe!
slice onion pork tenderloin

French Onion Pork Loin

4.22 from 51 votes
This French Onion Pork Loin with potatoes, carrots, parsnip and onion is the perfect one-dish weeknight meal!
See The Recipe!
overhead pork loin plated on a serving platter

Crock Pot Pork Loin Roast

4.70 from 20 votes
Use your slow cooker to make a tender pork loin roast. Serve with onion gravy and mashed potatoes for a hearty comfort meal.
See The Recipe!
Pineapple Balsamic Pork Chops are a quick and easy meal that combine sweet balsamic vinegar and pineapple with garlic and onions for a well-balanced and easy meal! #porkchoprecipes #balsamicporkchops www.savoryexperiments.com

Pineapple Balsamic Pork Chop Recipe

4.86 from 14 votes
Pineapple Balsamic Pork Chops are a quick and easy meal that combine sweet balsamic vinegar and pineapple with garlic and onions for a well-balanced and easy meal!
See The Recipe!
Apple Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Stuffing- one of the best pork recipes out there! This pork tenderloin recipe will blow you away with aromatic spices and an apple jelly glaze, surrounding with fresh apple and ham stuffing, all cooked on the same baking sheet. www.savoryexperiments.com

Apple Spiced Pork Tenderloin and Stuffing

4.41 from 10 votes
Apple Spiced Pork Tenderloin is a pork tenderloin recipe  that will blow you away with aromatic spices and an apple jelly glaze, surrounding with fresh apple and ham stuffing, all cooked on the same baking sheet.
See The Recipe!
overhead of pork chops in a butter sage sauce

Butter Sage Cast Iron Pork Chop Recipe

4.80 from 55 votes
Butter Sage Pork Chops are pan seared pork chops in a simple butter, garlic and sage sauce. Sear in cast iron and then finish in the oven for the best pork chop recipe ever! 
See The Recipe!
overhead shot of honey ginger short ribs in dutch oven

Honey Ginger Short Rib Recipe

4.53 from 19 votes
Honey Ginger Short Ribs are a zesty and sweet, fall off the bone short rib recipe, braised to perfection and served with the best fried rice ever!
See The Recipe!
bbq pork chop

Pork Chops in the Crock Pot

4.32 from 22 votes
These Crock Pot Pork Chops are the perfect family dinner. Super tender, cooked in BBQ sauce and a special spice rub, then smothered with bacon and cheese!
See The Recipe!
breaded pork chop with mushrooms

Crispy Baked Pork Chops

4.70 from 13 votes
If you've never made pork chops in the oven, this shake and bake Crispy Baked Pork Chop recipe is the best! It's even better than shake and bake!
See The Recipe!
Spiced Pork Tenderloin is tender pork rubbed with spices and roasted to perfection. The amazing aroma coming from the oven is just a holiday bonus! #porktenderloin #holidayentree www.savoryexperiments.com

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Sauce

5 from 6 votes
Spiced Pork Tenderloin is tender pork rubbed with spices and roasted to perfection. The amazing aroma coming from the oven is just a holiday bonus!
See The Recipe!
two halves of a grilled stuffed pork chop on a plate with green beans

Grilled Stuffed Pork Chops

4.94 from 47 votes
Grilled Stuffed Pork Chops are an easy grilled pork recipe. Herb marinated pork is stuffed with bread crumbs, herbs and Parmesan cheese and grilled to flavorful perfection in just 15 minutes!
See The Recipe!
Crown Pork Roast is the perfect special occasion or holiday meal to serve for a crowd. Tasty and impressive presentation make this a winning pork recipe!

Crown Pork Roast

4.59 from 12 votes
Crown Pork Roast is the perfect special occasion or holiday meal to serve for a crowd. Tasty and impressive presentation make this a winning pork recipe!
See The Recipe!
Creamy Apple Pork Chops are a wholesome meal your whole family will enjoy. Mushrooms, apples, juicy pork chops in a savory cream sauce.

Creamy Apple Pork Chops

4 from 5 votes
Creamy Apple Pork Chops are a wholesome meal your whole family will enjoy. Mushrooms, apples, juicy pork chops in a savory cream sauce.
See The Recipe!

Beef Dinners

As a turkey alternative, these beef recipes will take center stage. Perfect for special occasion of any kind, they’re a delicious alternative to making a whole bird.

overhead of rare rib roast on a cutting board with fresh herbs and garlic cloves

Best Rib Roast Recipe

4.47 from 39 votes
The best prime rib recipes using a flavorful herb crust, Dijon mustard and zesty creamy horseradish sauce. Easy instructions and images!
See The Recipe!
two steaks in a skillet topped with butter

Garlic Butter Sirloin Steaks

4.71 from 51 votes
This Garlic Butter Sirloin Steak recipe is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Juicy sirloin with homemade garlic herb butter for ultimate flavor!
See The Recipe!
cross section of rare beef wellingotn

Easy Beef Wellington

4.39 from 34 votes
Beef Wellington a classic dish for a special occasion. Tender beef tenderloin is smothered in Dijon mustard, mushroom, shallot and proscuitto before being baked in a delicate puff pastry.
See The Recipe!
how to serve beef wellington appetizers

Mini Beef Wellington

3.90 from 46 votes
Mini Beef Wellington is one of the best party appetizers out there! Mini pieces of beef tenderloin seasoned with mushrooms, thyme, Dijon and bacon, all tucked into puff pastry and topped with a creamy mustard sauce.
See The Recipe!
close up of melting butter on a steak

Steak Frites

4.84 from 84 votes
A juicy seasoned steak over crispy French fried potatoes, topped with tangy maitre d’hotel butter and served with sauteed garlic mushrooms and onions.
See The Recipe!
overhead eye of round roast

Baked Eye of Round Roast

4.20 from 15 votes
This Baked Eye of Round Roast is the easiest way to make delicious roast beef in your oven! Slice your roast beef and serve with a flavorful gravy made from the drippings.
See The Recipe!
sliced braised brisket with gravy

Braised Brisket

4.61 from 23 votes
A slow, red-wine Braised Brisket is the perfect EASY dinner with minimal effort. A prime cut of beef, slowly roasted and fall apart tender!
See The Recipe!
overhead of two steaks in a pan

Pan Fried Steak

4.41 from 25 votes
How to make a Pan Fried Steak at home is easier than you think with my step-by-step instructions and easy steak seasoning!
See The Recipe!
serving platter of beef tenderloin with blueberry sauce

Reverse Sear Beef Tenderloin with Blueberry Sauce

4.91 from 11 votes
Stunning Reverse Sear Beef Tenderloin recipe with a savory Blueberry Sauce and toasted Hazelnuts is the perfect celebratory roast for your holiday table!
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Sous Vide Steak au Poivre is a sous-vide steak recipe worthy of a random weeknight or a special occasion. New York strip is cooked to your perfect temperture smothered in a creamy Au Poivre Peppercorn Sauce. #sousvidesteak #steakaupoirve www.savoryexperiments.com

Sous Vide Steak

5 from 7 votes
Sous Vide Steak Au Poivre is a sous-vide steak recipe worthy of an easy weeknight meal or a special occasion. New York strip is cooked to the perfect temperature and smothered in a creamy Au Poivre Peppercorn Sauce.
See The Recipe!
oscar style steak with lemon and side salad

Oscar Style Steak (Crab oscar)

4.04 from 87 votes
Fork tender beef tenderloin filets topped with crab oscar and buttery sauce! Ready in under 30 minutes and the perfect romantic dinner idea.
See The Recipe!
plate of seared beef tenderloin with tomatoes and scallions

Coffee Crusted Beef Tenderloin Recipe

4.68 from 25 votes
Coffee Crusted Beef Tenderloin will add a whole new flavor dimension to your roast! Serve with delicious whipped horseradish sauce.
See The Recipe!
Crab Stuffed Beef Tenderloin takes a tenderloin and fills the center with buttered crab and caramelized onions, then baked to perfection with a black pepper bark. #beeftenderloinrecipe www.savoryexperiments.com

Crab Stuffed Beef Tenderloin

4.50 from 24 votes
Crab Stuffed Beef Tenderloin takes a tenderloin and fills the center with buttered crab and caramelized onions, then baked to perfection with a black pepper bark. 
See The Recipe!
Cranberry Glazed Tri-tip Roast- a Cranberry and orange glaze that also tastes amazing on vanilla ice cream and waffles!

Cranberry Glazed Tri-Tip Roast Recipe

4.58 from 26 votes
Cranberry Glazed Tri-Tip is a tender piece of beef that pairs perfectly with a sweet cranberry-orange glaze for a perfect roast on the grill, smoker or even in the oven. 
See The Recipe!
In just under 30 minutes, this tender and juicy Balsamic Whiskey Sirloin is grilled and ready to eat. What could be better? 

Balsamic Whiskey Sirloin Steak Marinade

4.86 from 7 votes
5 minutes and 5 ingredients for flavorful and tender sirloin steaks. Make them on the grill or in the oven.
See The Recipe!
Mushroom Cheese Stuffed Flank Steak is a delicious and succulent main dish with cheese, mushrooms and garlic. The best flank steak pinwheel recipe! #stuffedflanksteak #flanksteakrecipe www.savoryexperiments.com

Mushrooms and Cheese Stuffed Flank Steak

5 from 9 votes
Mushroom Cheese Stuffed Flank Steak is a delicious and succulent main dish with cheese, mushrooms and garlic.
See The Recipe!
Grilled Filet Mignon

Garlic Butter Steak- Grilled Filet Mignon with Brandy Garlic Butter

5 from 2 votes
Garlic Butter Steak is perfect for any occasion! Grilled filet mignon is perfect for a special date night or just for a typical weeknight meal! 
See The Recipe!
porcini rubbed steak with grilled onions

Capital Grille Porcini Rubbed Steak

4.73 from 40 votes
Copycat Capital Grille Porcini Rubbed Delmonico is the perfect home date night dinner. An easy recipe filled with robust steak flavors and sweet balsamic reduction sauce.
See The Recipe!

Seafood Dinners

Lobster and crab are sure to get your family in the holiday spirit! It’s the perfect way to add a festive touch to your big day. They take the cake when talking about alternative Thanksgiving meals.

overhead of seafood paella recipe in a cast iron skillet

Classic Seafood Paella

4.36 from 14 votes
If you’re a seafood lover, you’ll adore this paella. My Classic Seafood Paella recipe gives you an easy, step-by-step paella for the paella novice.
See The Recipe!
overhead of seafood mac and cheese in a casserole dish

Seafood Mac and Cheese

4.43 from 14 votes
This Seafood Mac and Cheese is super creamy with two types of cheese, seasonings, your favorite seafood and crunchy topping.
See The Recipe!