According to the National Turkey Federation, 88% of Americans eat Turkey on Thanksgiving.
If you want to join the 12% who would rather bite into a well-done steak than eat another turkey, we’ve collected our best festive recipes for a non-traditional Thanksgiving.
Best Non-Turkey Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes
This prime rib is a holiday classic for a reason and kicks off our list of the best alternatives to Turkey. A herb and garlic compound butter gives the prime rib a flavor-filled crust.
Double-smoked spiral ham with your choice of bbq rub and a sweet pineapple & maple glaze makes for a perfect holiday main.
I guarantee this smoked ham will have even the most traditional turkey fans going back for seconds.
You can still follow this recipe with a nonspiral cut, e.g., a leg of ham.
While brisket is commonly served as a main course during Jewish holidays, for some reason it’s not a common option at Thanksgiving for the rest of us.
This one is cooked hot and fast, perfect for the holidays when you are short on time.
Flank steak stuffed with cream cheese, baby spinach & mozzarella, then rolled up into pinwheels and grilled until a perfect medium-rare. Guests will think you slaved over it but this recipe is deceptively simple to make.
Smoked duck has always been a decadent holiday treat. This recipe delivers a major flavor hit with a sweet maple bourbon glaze. Ticks the “poultry” box while being more exciting than dry turkey.
You won’t see smoked beef ribs on many lists of turkey alternatives, but as barbecue enthusiasts, we think these Texas Style beef short ribs are big, bold and perfect for the center of your Thanksgiving table.
Just like the beef ribs, these aren’t typically considered “Thanksgiving appropriate,” but who wouldn’t want these tender and juicy, covered in sweet, sticky BBQ sauce ribs?
This whole lamb rack is coated in pistachio breading and then smoked until a nice crumbly crust forms. Served with a drizzle of apricot-balsamic sauce it’s a great holiday main if you want to mix your menu up this year.
Smoked ham is a holiday classic, so we think it deserves two spots on our list of turkey alternatives.
This is another super simple recipe with a sweet holiday-themed maple-mustard glaze. We also have hot honey and bourbon glazed ham if you want to go for a more boozy glaze.
If you liked the look of the lamb rack but need to cook for more people, then you can’t beat a whole shoulder (or leg).
A whole smoked lamb looks awesome as the centrepiece of your holiday meal.
We had to include a seafood option, and you can’t beat smoked lobster tails for a festive treat. The sweet and buttery flavors of lobster tails are enhanced even more with a little hit of smokey flavor.
Pork wrapped in more pork? Yes, please. The pork tenderloin is an affordable turkey alternative for your holiday main.
A single tenderloin is perfect for a small gathering, and it’s easy to scale up by cooking more.
If you have a rotisserie on hand, this porchetta recipe is a holiday winner.
What’s more, the smell that spreads through your house as the juices from the pork slowly hit hot coals will fill put your guests in a holiday mood.
How to keep that stubborn turkey lover happy
You now have plenty of epic main course alternatives for your holiday feast.
The only problem is keeping that one “it’s not Thanksgiving without turkey” person happy.
May I suggest you smoke a token turkey breast. It’s easy to prep, and affordable. Once you slice it up, there’s enough for everyone to get their taste of turkey without you having to prepare a whole bird.