13 Best (Non-Turkey) Thanksgiving Main Dishes

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The National Turkey Federation reports that 88% of Americans consume turkey on Thanksgiving.

If you want to be one of the 12% who would rather have a well-done steak than another turkey, we’ve gathered our favorite non-traditional Thanksgiving meals.

Best Non-Turkey Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

13 Best (Non-Turkey) Thanksgiving Main Course Recipes

1. Smoked Prime Rib Roast

This prime rib is a Christmas staple for a reason, and it tops our list of the greatest turkey substitutes. A herb and garlic compound butter coats the prime rib with taste.

2. Twice Smoked Spiral Ham With Pineapple Maple Glaze

A double-smoked spiral ham with your choice of BBQ seasoning and a sweet pineapple and maple glaze is the ideal Christmas main course.

I promise that even the most ardent turkey enthusiasts will want seconds of this smoked ham.

You may still use this recipe with a nonspiral cut, such as a ham leg.

3. Smoked BBQ Brisket 

While brisket is typically served as a main entrée on Jewish festivals, it is not a popular choice for the rest of us during Thanksgiving.

This one cooks quickly and hot, making it ideal for the holidays when you’re pressed for time.

4. Grilled Steak Pinwheels 

Stuffed flank steak with cream cheese, baby spinach, and mozzarella, then wrapped up into pinwheels and cooked till medium-rare. Guests will believe you worked hard on it, but this dish is deceptively easy to prepare.

5. Smoked Whole Duck with Maple Bourbon Glaze

Smoked duck has long been regarded as a sumptuous holiday dish. With a sweet maple bourbon frosting, this dish packs a powerful flavor punch. It fulfills the poultry requirement while being more interesting than dried turkey.

6.  Big & Meaty Smoked Beef Ribs 

Many lists of turkey alternatives do not include smoked beef ribs, but as barbecue fans, we believe these Texas Style beef short ribs are huge, assertive, and suitable for the center of your Thanksgiving table.

7. Hot & Fast Smoked Baby Back Ribs 

These, like the beef ribs, aren’t traditionally considered Thanksgiving fare, but who wouldn’t want succulent and meaty ribs slathered in sweet, sticky BBQ sauce?

No one.

8. Smoked Rack of Lamb With Pistachio Crust 

This complete lamb rack is breaded with pistachios and smoked till a lovely crumbly crust emerges. If you want to spice up your Christmas cuisine this year, serve it with a drizzle of apricot-balsamic sauce.

9. Double Smoked Ham with Maple-Mustard Glaze

Because smoked ham is a Christmas staple, we believe it merits two slots on our list of turkey substitutes.

This is another quick and easy dish with a festive maple-mustard glaze. If you want a more alcoholic glaze, we also offer hot honey and bourbon glazed ham.

10. Smoked Lamb Shoulder

If you enjoyed the appearance of the lamb rack but need to feed more people, a complete shoulder (or leg) is the way to go.

As the centerpiece of your Christmas feast, a whole smoked lamb looks fantastic.

11. Smoked Lobster Tails

We had to add a seafood option, and smoked lobster tails are the perfect celebratory treat. The sweet and buttery aromas of lobster tails are heightened with a hint of smoky flavor.

12. Smoked Pork Tenderloin wrapped in Prosciutto

Pork encased in even more pork? Please, yes. The pork tenderloin is a less expensive turkey option for your Thanksgiving main course.

A single tenderloin is ideal for a small party, and it’s simple to increase the quantity by cooking additional.

13. Rotisserie Porchetta Pork Belly

This porchetta dish is a holiday hit if you have a rotisserie on hand.

Furthermore, the aroma that will permeate your home as the juices from the pig gently contact hot coals will put your visitors in a festive spirit.

How to keep that stubborn turkey lover happy

13 Best (Non-Turkey) Thanksgiving Main Course Recipes

You now have a plethora of great main dish options for your Christmas feast.

The main issue is keeping that one individual happy who believes that Thanksgiving isn’t complete without turkey.

I’d like to advise that you smoke a token turkey breast. It’s simple to make and inexpensive. Once sliced, there will be plenty for everyone to have a taste of turkey without having to cook an entire bird.

To keep them satisfied, you may even opt for wings or legs.


What can I serve for Thanksgiving besides turkey?

Thanksgiving Main Dishes That Are Better Than Traditional Turkey
Roasted Chicken with Maple Butter and Rosemary. Image courtesy of Beef Wellington. Ombré Gratin (image). Skillet Pork Chops with Apples and Miso Caramel. Image of a Samosa Pie. Image of a Maple-Baked Salmon. Image. Lasagna. Make-Ahead Coquilles St. Jacques by Ina Garten.

What traditional main course do most eat on Thanksgiving?

Turkey. The roast turkey is the traditional main course for Thanksgiving dinners. Remember, no matter what you cook, the key to a great meal is having a turkey big enough to satisfy everyone – and enough leftovers for yourself.

What are the top 3 Thanksgiving dishes?

The Top Ten Thanksgiving Recipes
Roast the turkey. We’ve previously shown you how to cut a turkey like a pro.
Stuffing. Stuffing is essential to a good Thanksgiving feast.
Potatoes mashed.
Casserole of green beans.
Casserole of corn.
Caramelized sweet potatoes.
Brussels sprouts coated with honey.
Sauce with cranberries.

What are good main courses?

Top 20 main dish recipes
Recipe for Chilli with carne. A 4.8 out of 5 star rating.
The greatest bolognese spaghetti recipe. A 4.8 out of 5 star rating.
The best spaghetti carbonara recipe.
Pie with cottage cheese.
Easy fish pie recipe for the whole family.
The best macaroni and cheese dish ever.
Beef stew in the slow cooker.

What are 4 other traditional Thanksgiving foods 17?

In some form or another, the classic roasted turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie may be found on practically every contemporary Thanksgiving table.

What are 4 other traditional Thanksgiving foods?

Roast turkey, stuffing with onions and celery, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie are all typical Thanksgiving fare.

What are the 12 most popular Thanksgiving dishes?

Mashed potatoes scored first among the 12 most popular Thanksgiving side dishes. We’ll come back for seconds.
Stuffing. To be honest, we could eat stuffing all year.
Mac and cheese. Macaroni and cheese is a Thanksgiving staple.
Sauce with cranberries.
Casserole of Green Beans.
Casserole of Sweet Potatoes.
Brussel sprouts are a kind of sprout.

What other meat can you serve on Thanksgiving?

Instead of turkey, here are some enormous, magnificent, and tasty pieces of meat you should absolutely prepare for Thanksgiving:
Roasted duck with plum sauce.
Prime Rib Roast with Garlic Rosemary Sauce and Horseradish Cream.
Capon with Sage Stuffing, roasted.
The best roast leg of lamb from Jamie Oliver.

What are the top 10 Thanksgiving foods?

Here are the top ten most popular Thanksgiving meals you’re sure to encounter at any gathering.
Turkey. The turkey is a Thanksgiving emblem, and it’s difficult to picture the celebration without it.
Potatoes mashed.
Casserole of Green Beans.
Sweet potatoes are a kind of potato.
Rolls for dinner.
Sauce with cranberries.
Pie made with pumpkin.

What is the perfect Thanksgiving menu?

Glazed ham for the main course.
Thanksgiving turkey, roasted.
Cocktail of shrimp.
Cheese ball with cranberries and pecans.
Meatballs for a Cocktail.
Casserole with Green Beans and Mushrooms with Candied Bacon.
Salad with Cranberry Jello.
Dinner Rolls with No-Kneading.

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