8 Creative Turkey Alternatives for Thanksgiving Dinners

Thanksgiving is about good food, loved ones, and gratitude. While turkey has become a traditional part of the holiday, it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of alternatives to add to your feast to help you switch up your menu both for non-meat eaters as well as for those who are just feeling the turkey fatigue.

From rosemary citrus glazed ham to vegan mushroom gravy pie, these alternatives to turkey for Thanksgiving will leave your guests pleasantly satisfied. And who knows? They might forget the turkey was technically supposed to be there.

Vegan Mushroom Gravy Pie

Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving — Vegan Mushroom Gravy Pie
The First Mess

The First Mess's vegan mushroom gravy pie recipe doesn't beat around the bush—it's delicious carbs covered in gravy. A mushroom gravy with herbs, garlic, onions, and French lentils is topped with garlicky kale mashed potatoes for some hearty vegan goodness in the dish. It may be vegan, but this dish is definitely filling.

Healthy Shepherd’s Pie

Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving — Healthy Shepherd’s Pie
The Modern Proper

Instead of eating your protein and mashed potatoes separately, why not combine them? In this healthy shepherd’s pie dish from The Modern Proper, a parsnip puree subs in for the potatoes. Another perk? It’s Whole30-compliant.

Rosemary Citrus Glazed Ham

Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving — Rosemary Citrus Glazed Ham
Creme De La Crumb

In this rosemary citrus glazed ham recipe from Creme de la Crumb, juicy oven-roasted ham is slathered in a savory herbal citrus glaze. Earthy rosemary combined with zesty oranges and grapefruit adds complexity that will outshine any turkey. Paired with the traditional festive salad, this dish will fit right in.

Thyme and White Bean Pot Pies

Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving — Thyme and White Bean Pot Pies
Minimalist Baker

In this thyme and white bean pot pie recipe from the Minimalist Baker, 10 ingredients come together for some savory plant-based protein. In the dish, white wine and fresh thyme infuse carrots and white beans with extra flavor. This comforting dish will make you thankful for opting out of turkey.

One-Pot Braised Chicken

Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving — One Pot Braised Kale with Crispy Chicken
The Modern Proper

Not only will this braised chicken with kale and white beans from The Modern Proper provide a healthy alternative to turkey, but it will also free up your pots and pans for all of the other dishes you need to make. This recipe is a one-pot wonder.

Serve this over mashed potatoes or try a creamy polenta.

Sweet Potato Lasagna

Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving — Sweet Potato Lasagna
Minimalist Baker

When you think of lasagna, you probably think of a meaty, cheesy marinara dish. This sweet potato lasagna version from Minimalist Baker will inspire you to reframe your thinking. The nine-ingredient dish is entirely plant-based, featuring sweet potatoes, tofu ricotta, and a homemade pesto drizzle.

Acorn Squash With Apple Walnut Stuffing

Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving — Acorn Squash with Apple Walnut Stuffing
Salt & Wind

Salt & Wind offers up another filling alternative to turkey with this acorn squash with apple walnut stuffing recipe. The dairy-free, vegan, and vegetarian option takes hollowed-out acorn squash and fills it with an apple walnut and garlic mixture. Roasted together, this dish can be served as a main course or a side.

Lentil Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving — Lentil Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Minimalist Baker

In this colorful take on shepherd’s pie from Minimalist Baker, a fluffy sweet potato topping subs in for the traditional white potato and cheese layer. The 10-ingredient plant-based meal can be made easily in advance, so you won’t have the last-minute scramble like you do with turkey. Eat it on its own, or pair with other plant-based sides.

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