Three Anti-Turkey Thanksgiving Menus

Start a new tradition. Three menus that allow you to forgo that big bird.

Spiced Pumpkin, Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad

Thanksgiving is about getting together with friends, family and loved ones, so it can still be celebrated without roasting (or frying) a turkey. We’ve scoured the web to create three alternative Thanksgiving menus that will satisfy any turkey-dinner rebels.

Menu 1:
Our twist on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner that keeps many of the same favorite ingredients and flavors for those not looking to stray too far.

Appetizers and Side Dishes:

Crystal-Coated Walnuts
A sweet and nutty treat to start off the night.

Parmesan and Rosemary Sweet Potato Fries
From Sarah's Cucina Bella
A new twist on sweet potatoes for your holiday dinner.

Parsnip and Celery Root Soup
From Chef Lee Skawinski, Cinque Terre
A classic soup, featuring hearty root vegetables

Spiced Pumpkin and Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese
Spiced pumpkin, hearty lentils, and creamy goat cheese are an unexpected yet harmonious combination in this salad.


Braised Short Ribs, from the Blue Duck Tavern
From Chef Brian McBride, the Blue Duck Tavern
Tender short ribs are a delicious and filling alternative to a Thanksgiving turkey.


Baked Butternut Squash Pudding with Ginger Whipped Cream
Pumpkin pie has met its match with this surprising yet flavorful combination of ingredients.

Menu 2:
This Thanksgiving menu takes an international approach, incorporating harmonizing flavors and ingredients from different cuisines.


Moroccan Carrot Soup
The sweet and savory combination of carrot, cumin, honey and yogurt will transport one back to the streets of Morocco with this dish.

Cranberry Bean Salad
Cranberry beans are a special item that are often hard to come by in fall Farmer's Markets. But, if you find them, they are tender and flavorful, especially when combined with fresh herbs.

Roast Potatoes with Saffron
From Gourmet Food at Home
Roasted potatoes combined with saffron is a new combination of a classic favorite.


Anchovy and Rosemary Roasted Leg of Lamb
A roast leg of lamb is an excellent alternative to a Thanksgiving turkey, when prepared with seasonal produce and flavors.

Roasted Venison with Zinfandel-Spiked Cranberry Sauce
The classic Thanksgiving turkey with cranberry sauce inspires this flavorful combination


Ginger Date Pudding Cakes with Rum Walnut Toffee Sauce
From Dessert First
A modern interpretation of an old-fashioned autumnal dessert

Menu 3:

Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the vegetarians; they deserve to enjoy this holiday just as much as everyone else. We’ve capitalized on hearty and healthy seasonal winter vegetables to create a warm, earthy and comforting Thanksgiving feast.


Apple and Butternut Squash Soup
From Orangette
Savory butternut squash and sweet apple blend perfectly in this smooth, fall favorite soup.


Vegetable-Stuffed Ravioli
From Chef Lee Skawinski, Cinque Terre
These vegetarian-friendly raviolis start with a cheese-based filling. You can then add one of many vegetable fillings to create your own flavor.

Side Dishes:

Swiss Chard with Currants and Pine Nuts
A fall harvest favorite is infused with Sicilian flavors in this savory-sweet vegetable side.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Fresh Walnuts and Pecorino
Brussels sprouts are a classic fall dish. When shaved thin, and combined with walnuts and pecorino, the sprouts take on a whole new identity.

Old-Fashioned Ginger Bread
A traditional New England dish. Try serving this with a fruit compote and lightly sweetened whipped cream.


For more turkey talk, visit The Daily Meal's Guide to Thanksgiving!