Thanksgiving Meals Instead of Turkey

Thanksgiving Meals Instead of Turkey

It is a holiday that celebrates good friends, good food, and good company as well as family. Whether your family is that of your beloved pet, those around you at that moment, or a gathering of mom, dad, aunts, and uncles, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and be thankful. Many Americans observe traditional foods cooked during this holiday. A roasted turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes, and many other family traditional sides and desserts.

This year, perhaps you are thinking of trying something new and different for Thanksgiving. Something that might outshine the usual turkey and cranberry or perhaps you have family members that just aren't a fan of turkey. What alternatives are there?

If you are looking to stir things up this coming holiday, we can help you find Thanksgiving meals instead of turkey that your family, no matter who they are, will no doubt love!


Surprisingly, a tender, juicy Thanksgiving ham can be much easier to cook than the usual whole turkey. For instance, a Silverstar Low Salt, semi-boneless ham that is already cooked requires far less time than the thawing and preparation of a whole turkey. Turkey is much less fatty meat, which tends to be more difficult to get the right temperature for tender, moist meat without drying out. Meanwhile, ham, fatty, salty, and deliciously cured pork will do much better as the fat creates moist and tender meat. The most you may need to do with an excellent ham is glaze it as you prefer, then heat in the oven up to 130°F.

Rib Roast Holidays

For a large family gathering or even small, serving up prime rib is a savory and succulent choice for replacing the age-old turkey. When cooked to perfection, a standing rib roast can be a beautiful pink, juicy, tender, as well as an impressive dish for the holiday. For the best results, investing in an oven-safe digital thermometer will help ensure that you cook your rib roast to the exact doneness that you or your family enjoy without overcooking and drying it out. You can elevate your Thanksgiving rib roast a step further as well by adding a stuffing that fits well with lean beef or grass-fed beef—such as spinach and mushrooms, for a quick example.


For a simple Thanksgiving dish that is simply bursting with a flavor both subtle and delicious, salmon might be your best bet to delight this holiday dinner. Roasting salmon with butter is one of the most astonishingly easy means of cooking tender, flake-apart, bursting with flavor salmon. All you need is a good oven-safe dish or skillet and butter as a base. You can be as creative as you wish with other flavorings such as dill, lemon, garlic, and balsamic glazes to create an elegant and savory dish for Thanksgiving that isn't the same old turkey. Other herbs that work to complement salmon amazingly are parsley, chervil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, or basil.

Roast Lamb

If you or your family have never experienced a perfectly cooked leg of lamb before, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to start! Lamb pairs excellently with sharper vegetables such as asparagus, dandelion greens, and artichokes. Leg of Lamb is a particularly fantastic choice for a meaty, fine-grained, earthy, and mild flavor. A popular herb and flavor pairing for lamb is rosemary and garlic. Pair a roast leg of lamb with delicious roasted butter potatoes, green beans, and fresh tzatziki with flatbread for a truly memorable Thanksgiving feast.

Whole Roasted Fish

Roasting an entire fish and plating it at your Thanksgiving dinner with head and tail can be a dramatically beautiful visual experience that is incredibly tasty for the main course. It is another dish that is extremely easy to cook, with a plethora of easy seasonings to be tossed together, then oven-roasted, and then plated. Options include stuffing the whole fish with your preferred herbs and aromatics, or simply rubbing the fish with them and cooking bones and all.

Whole fish that are roughly 4-6 pounds tend to have larger bones which make them a breeze to remove too.

Feel free to add lemons or oranges, herbs, and crisp, wild mushrooms. A large fish between 4 – 6 pounds should feel 4 – 6 people, a pound per person. Or you could go with a smaller whole fish for each person.

Pork Tenderloin

Changing up your usual Thanksgiving meals is easy with an elegant pork alternative, the pork tenderloin. A gorgeous, golden herb-crusted pork tenderloin done to juicy perfection will no doubt be a memorable experience for guests and family to talk about months, maybe years after Thanksgiving. A very easy to cook main dish that will no doubt be mouth-wateringly tasty, a simple rub of sage, rosemary, thyme, and dry mustard is all that is needed to create this delectable dish. Pork won't need to be defrosted for what seems like days if purchased frozen, and the thin and consistent bit of fat turns pork loin into a moist and tender cut of meat. Not to mention, even the delicious golden-brown juices left in the pan can be used to pour over the meat itself, sides, and even potatoes so you don't need to worry about gravy.

Italian Inspired Rabbit

Meat that many of us may have not considered, or perhaps have never tried or thought of for Thanksgiving is rabbit. Many Americans enjoy wild turkey for Thanksgiving, so why not a wild rabbit? Rabbit meat is tender, lean, and as versatile as chicken and many agree the meat tastes a lot like chicken too. Rabbit is still extremely popular meat in Europe and very sustainable, too. If you're looking for an easy-to-create meal, a simple roasted rabbit is a way to go.

For an Italian-inspired meal, try browning your rabbit, sauteing onion, leeks, garlic, rosemary, and your favorite mushrooms with chopped tomatoes and white wine in a pan and bake for roughly an hour. The meat will fall apart tender and melt-in-your-mouth and on the plus side, rabbit meat is considered one of the most protein-rich meats for a healthy diet!

There are so many different Thanksgiving meals instead of turkey to serve this holiday to wow and delight family, friends, and guests. We urge you to explore our selection for something fresh and new today.

At Wholey's, it is our pride to understand everything we can about the food we love to eat and the products we deliver to our customers. It's why you won't find anything less but the highest quality meats with one of the widest selections online today. When it comes to convenience, we deliver right to your door making meal prep fast, easy, and your next dinners the most delicious yet.