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10 Thanksgiving Alternatives for Turkey

You can't argue with this fact: Not everyone likes turkey!

Typically the main star of the Thanksgiving meal is, of course, the turkey, that bulbous bird taking center stage on your dining room table year after year. Well, it’s high time that we think of new options for dinner’s main attraction, and not just because I saw a photo of some baby turkeys in a newspaper as a child with the caption, “These little gobblers will be ready for the Thanksgiving table,” and decided then and there that I would specifically not be eating turkey on Thanksgiving. Anyway, here are 10 alternatives to turkey for your Thanksgiving feast.

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Honey-Glazed Ham

If you think a big ‘ole ham is only for the Christmas meal, you are entirely wrong—it can actually be served at any time. In fact, Thanksgiving has probably long felt resentful of its later brother, Christmas, for always featuring that gorgeous plump pork and it always being stuck with the same turkey year after year. Perhaps the best aspect of a honey glazed ham is that it is mostly prepared for you and you don’t really have to do much. Glazed spiral hams are always a treat and should be spread throughout the holidays—so have it on Thanksgiving, why don’t you.

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Chipotle Pineapple Ham

Remember how I told you that ham is very easy to prepare? Well, this is why I am about to tell you about another ham. You see, I am all about not doing anything, and that’s why hams should battle turkey as far as Thanksgiving is concerned. Permanently. This particular ham features a jerk rub and pineapple chipotle glaze and only takes 15 minutes to prep. Ham is the way this Thanksgiving, so please follow me right to it.

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A Ham That Won a Contest

And here is yet another ham, but this ham actually won a contest. This shows right away that the Contest-Winning Holiday glazed ham is perfect for your Thanksgiving Day table. It is best prepared by surrounding it with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables and contains an apricot glaze that is simply contest-winning.

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Perhaps you expected another ham. But no, my next recommendation is a lasagna. I’ll bet you didn’t expect to replace this year’s Thanksgiving turkey with large sheeted pasta, but guess what, it’s 2020 and nothing is what it once was. Lasagna is Thanksgiving now—why, you ask? Well, first of all, it’s a fantastic option for those wanting to go meatless. And this particular lasagna is the best of the best—an intensely flavored sauce, the creamiest of cheeses, chunky meatless meat, and noodles that are both soft to the fork and a sturdy architecture for its contents.

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Savory Pumpkin Tart

Another lovely meatless option is this savory pumpkin tart. Both festive and rustic, this gourd-themed tart is an innovative replacement for a Thanksgiving turkey inspired by recipes from the Loire Valley. It takes a little more time to prep as you must toss it with salt and let it sit overnight, but the end result is certainly worth it.

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Pumpkin Pot Pie

Since we’re on the subject of pumpkin-themed bread items, let me introduce you to the pumpkin pot pie, which is an easy dish to make, taking only 40 minutes to bake in the oven, and satiating those who would like savory pumpkin-flavored. A bonus? This dish can easily be made vegan.

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Maple Mustard Roasted Chicken

Have you ever thought, “Hm, I like the flavors of maple and mustard separately but I’m currently wondering if I could possibly eat something that is…both of them?” Well, please welcome the maple mustard roasted chicken into your life and into your Thanksgiving. It’s maple! It’s mustard! It’s…both of them, together! And it’s delicious!

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Salmon Roasted in Butter

If you are specifically my mom, you will love replacing the Thanksgiving turkey with simply salmon roasted in butter. Perfect for pescatarians who don’t want anything to do with that turkey, they’ll probably also love it because it’s what they eat every other day of the week. This oven-baked salmon is simple to make and very, very good.

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Tamales are an excellent alternative to turkey for many reasons, and especially because they can be made so many ways—meatless, vegan, sweet, savory. They are also just generally a festive dish and, most importantly, they’re delicious. They’re tamales. Who doesn’t love tamales? One might even like to replace the chicken in this particular recipe with turkey, making it the perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece meal.

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Stuffed Portabellos

Ah, portobellos: vegetarians know them well as they have been the most regular replacement for meat since people have been replacing meat with things with meat-like texture. This particular recipe is easy to make and fancy enough for the Thanksgiving table.