What are some of your favorite non-turkey thanksgiving meals. I am planning a dinner and most of the guests (including myself) do really not

  • Posted by: Adianne
  • September 22, 2013


drbabs September 23, 2013
I don't like turkey either. Several years ago, it was just my husband, my mother-in-law and me for Thanksgiving. She kept kosher, so we took her to Ben's delicatessen for Thanksgiving dinner. She and my husband had turkey and I had stuffed cabbage. It was my favorite Thanksgiving dinner ever. (but I'm weird like that) Here's a recent recipe that's pretty great: http://food52.com/recipes/23756-joan-nathan-s-chosen-stuffed-cabbage
savorthis September 23, 2013
I agree about not liking Turkey as much, though last year we did one brined in smoked tea and orange that was great and allowed us to serve Asian-inspired sides. All the same ingredients, just different flavors.

I am a sucker, though, for the sweet potatoes, brussels and stuffing so I would probably want a protein that would still go well with those...possibly game hen or quail or a pork roast.
HalfPint September 23, 2013
Last Thanksgiving, instead of turkey, we did prime rib roast.
SMSF September 23, 2013
Are there any local specialties that might make a great main course? For example, here in San Francisco, Dungeness Crab season usually opens just before Thanksgiving so that's a natural. Maybe there's local game or ethnic foods to celebrate where you are?
healthierkitchen September 23, 2013
butternut squash and mushroom lasagna. Side dishes of green beans roasted with fennel, cranberry sauce, etc.
ChefJune September 23, 2013
One of my favorite Thanksgivings ever the menu was Indian! We had Goanese Roast Pork (Julie Sahni has a fantastic recipe), and at least 7 traditional Indian vegetable dishes. No one missed the turkey.
amysarah September 22, 2013
I always roast a turkey, but it's not my favorite - I'm all about the sides. (Much prefer a turkey sandwich the next day.) I'd imagine the pilgrims ate fish, given they were coastal - if not on the actual night (but they didn't really have turkey then either, right?) A whole roast fish - like maybe a salmon - can be a pretty impressive presentation. Or stuff and roast a whole striped bass.
TobiT September 22, 2013
Along these lines, if you are thinking about something more authentic to the First Thanksgiving, check out the Cape Cod Wampanoag Cookbook by Earl Mills. He is a chef and member of the tribe that helped the Pilgrims through their first winters. The book is a combo cookbook and tribal history. Really interesting.
PS I'm all about the sides, too, and wouldn't mind if another piece of turkey never passed these lips. Plus, Goose, duck, pheasant, other game birds- yum!
Pegeen September 22, 2013
Crown Roast of Pork is very nice for a larger group. This article has a link to a recipe: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/12/dining/a-roast-that-cant-be-overlooked.html
Maedl September 22, 2013
I have never been all that crazy about turkey. I’m partial to ham--or even a big, juicy pork roast.
pierino September 22, 2013
Calvin Trillin wrote an incredibly funny piece on why spaghetti carbonara should be our traditional Thanksgiving dish. I am in that camp and it's worth looking up. The punch line is that the Indians walked away from the Pilgrims' Thanksgiving table muttering "what a bunch of turkeys!"
EmilyC September 22, 2013
My family always has turkey, but years ago, I attended a cooking class by the great Sara Moulton, and I recall her saying the braised short ribs are traditional in lieu of turkey in her family. This stuck with me -- I'd be pretty darn happy with this main, and you could still do a lot of the more traditional sides (e.g., mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, rolls).
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