10 Turkey Exit Strategies

November 23, 2015

There comes a point when you just have to be real with yourself, and the Monday before Thanksgiving is prime time to do that when it comes to turkey. You've read everything there is to know about cooking a turkey and know there are no more secrets to be learned. You've looked at the million turkey recipes there are, knowing that you only have to pick one—but the job is just too difficult.

Does this scare you? That is okay! Photo by Bobbi Lin

And you know, deep down, you do not want to make this turkey. And that's acceptable: Instead, make something that's equally showy and main-dishy and grand. It's not quitting, it's called pivoting.

More: For traditionalists, here's the most classic Thanksgiving menu for you.

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Here are 10 very delicious ways to get out of making a whole turkey:

Pork Loin

A leftover gem, just like turkey.

A Turkey Part

It's still turkey!

Pork Shoulder

Cooked low and slow—and with crispy skin, just like turkey is supposed to be.


Drop a whole cauliflower on the table and folks' mouths will drop.

More: An entirely vegan, gluten-free, good-tasting Thanksgiving menu.

A Whole Chicken

You might even be able to fool a few of your relatives into believing one of these is a turkey.

52 Days of Thanksgiving
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52 Days of Thanksgiving

Top-notch recipes, expert tips, and all the tools to pull off the year’s most memorable feast.

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Editor/writer/stylist. Author of I Dream of Dinner (so You Don't Have To). Last name rhymes with bagel.