Non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner ideas/stories

Sometimes life throws you curveballs. And you can’t or don’t want to make a large roasted turkey. What have you done or are doing that’s not a turkey? Is it not Thanksgiving without The Bird?

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9 Comments

PHIL November 22, 2019
Cornish Hens!
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Nicolette B. November 19, 2019
Hi zia lizzy!!!!💜💜My mom and I make rigatoni with meat sauce for thanksgiving alot because we usually celebrate the day after William and I do thanksgiving with dad so we get a bit of an italian flare but we still have mashed potatoes with it because you can never have enough!!!
 
mrslarkin November 19, 2019
Hi Nicolette!! Thanks for your answer! Your rigatoni sounds delicious! And the mashed potatoes, too. Have a very happy Thanksgiving!! I love you!!
 
Stephanie B. November 18, 2019
The first thread Nancy linked is to a question I asked, and everyone had such good suggestions I want to use that thread for meal planning the next couple of weeks. I'll eat risotto, stuffed pumpkins and mushrooms, and lasagna straight through Christmas! Soon after that post I realized that I'm hosting a fair number of vegans, the plot thickens. In the spirit of inclusion (and not catering to 3 different diets), I'm doing a vegan Thanksgiving since everyone will be able to eat that. I've hosted 5 thanksgivings, each with a turkey, so this is a first for me. There are tons of non-turkey options, and a roast chicken for a small group is still a bird. My dad always had some other roast too, either venison or pork, and it was always more popular than turkey. I still haven't settled on the vegan main, but we'll have all the sides so I think it'll still feel like a proper Thanksgiving.

I love a good turkey, but for me pumpkin pie is the must have for Thanksgiving. And a space that is cozy and warm from all the cooking and bustling that's been going on. And wine. And good company, no matter how many or few people that entails.
 
Gammy November 18, 2019
Being kid-less one Thanksgiving, my husband and I went camping over the long weekend. To us, Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without The Bird, but with only the 2 of us, and only a small oven in the camper, we bought a turkey roll and served alongside Stovetop Stuffing. Food always tastes better outdoors, and we had the mandatory leftovers for sandwiches.
 
HalfPint November 18, 2019
I've made prime rib in lieu of turkey for my father-in-law because he (& my husband) really dislike turkey (bad experience with a long-ish story). It still felt like Thanksgiving dinner since all of us have always been more into the sides than the bird. For me, it isn't Thanksgiving dinner without sausage stuffing that my mother always made for the big day (once she got on-board with his American holiday) :)

P.S. Call me crazy but I've always thought of Thanksgiving as a day to be grateful for all the blessings that we have been given in the year. The food is secondary, though I've got to have that stuffing ;)
 
Nancy November 18, 2019
Mrs Larkin - have a look a few threads on similar question, to stimulate your thinking and/or dishes or menus...one vegetarian, one paleo, one with a set of guests with many but different restrictions - Nancy
https://food52.com/hotline/44191-favorite-vegetarian-mains-for-thanksgiving
https://food52.com/hotline/44130-paleo-thanksgiving-please-send-your-favorite-recipes
https://food52.com/hotline/22099-i-need-some-help-y-all-thanksgiving-dinner-help-it-needs-to-be-amazing-but-not-day-of-time-intensi
 
Nancy November 18, 2019
And/or a feature posted this morning on the very same topic.
https://food52.com/blog/24765-how-to-deal-with-dietary-restrictions-on-thanksgiving
 
Emma L. November 18, 2019
Hi! For a few years (a few years ago), my husband and I hosted a very small group of family for Thanksgiving, and we roasted a couple chickens instead of a turkey. It still had the same festive vibe, but was the right amount of food.
 
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