32 Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes If You Don't Want To Serve Turkey

lobster risotto
32 Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner RecipesPHOTO: ANDREW BUI; FOOD STYLING: SPENCER RICHARDS

Each year, we all go about the usual Thanksgiving dishes. But what if you're not feeling the usual traditional Thanksgiving food spread? We think it's high time to kick that dry bird (and holiday routine) to the curb and serve up some of these 32 Delish-approved non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner recipes, like a tender prime rib, classic lasagna, and perfect bite roast chicken. And don't worry, we've got plenty of worthy fall side dishes that highlight all the best seasonal produce, like shredded Brussels sprouts, sweet potato salad, and miso roasted carrots to complete your unique feast!

We're not entirely sure how it happened, but lasagna is one of our all-time favorites when we're a bit tired of the ol' stuffing and turkey show. And we're definitely not complaining. Our classic lasagna recipe is a classic for a reason, and we even have a pumpkin lasagna if you need to use up some of your canned pumpkin stockpile. Let's be honest: No one is disappointed when they see lasagna on the table.

Ditto for these luscious, buttery grilled lobster tails! Nothing is more impressive than serving up fancy-seeming (but easy-to-cook!) lobster. We'll be surprised if lobster (in the form of our lobster risotto and arugula salad on the side) doesn't become your new favorite Thanksgiving tradition.

Turkey is notoriously tricky to roast. It's often too dry and bland, which is why we love highlighting other cuts of meat that are foolproof to cook. Our braised short ribs with 40 cloves of garlic are wildly tender and go incredibly well with our grapefruit & goat cheese fennel salad. This recipe for Korean fried chicken is our ultimate pick when we want a bird on the table, especially with toasted sesame oil mashed potatoes on the side. And if you simply must have a bird on the table (but want to shake things up), look no further than our pickle-brined turkey!

Perfect Prime Rib

Prime rib, also referred to as standing rib roast, is a beautiful piece of meat. Whenever we need a truly showstopping holiday roast, we turn to it. A well-cooked prime rib is juicy, full of flavor, and not at all difficult to make.

Get the Perfect Prime Rib recipe.

prime rib sliced with rosemary

Grapefruit & Goat Cheese Fennel Salad

Crisp licorice-y fennel is best from winter to early spring, so we paired it with some more winter-friendly ingredients: juicy grapefruit, briny Kalamata olives, creamy goat cheese, and some rich toasted pine nuts. This salad would pair nicely with roasted fish or a beef stew.

Get the Grapefruit & Goat Cheese Fennel Salad recipe.

grapefruit goat cheese fennel salad
Andrew bui

Lobster Risotto

When you think of decedent dinners, there are few that can outshine the rich, creamy, seafood-stuffed glory that is lobster risotto. A simple combination of fresh aromatics, white wine, and seafood stock transforms humble Italian rice grains into the dreamy, cheesy, luscious rice porridge that we’ve all come to love. And adding fresh, faintly sweet lobster meat is all that’s needed to take your risotto over the top.

Get the Lobster Risotto recipe.

lobster risotto

Grilled Green Beans

No grill or grill pan? A cast-iron skillet works well for these too!

Get the Grilled Green Beans recipe.

grilled green beans
Hearst Owned

Classic Lasagna

Seeing a lasagna on the Thanksgiving table is always a welcome sight, as far as we're concerned. We took a couple shortcuts for this recipe by using store-bought marinara and boxed pasta sheets. Trust us, it saves a ton of time without sacrificing any flavor.

Get the Classic Lasagna recipe.

classic lasagna in a white pan topped with fresh herbs

Cider Glazed Chicken Thighs

In this one-pot dinner, filled with sweet potatoes, apples, and juicy chicken thighs. These apple cider glazed chicken thighs are full of spiced, warming flavors, making this recipe a perfect fall dinner, whether you’re looking for a weeknight chicken dinner staple or a holiday dinner party stunner.

Get the Cider Glazed Chicken Thighs recipe.

cider glazed chicken thighs with apples and sweet potatoes

Shredded Brussels Sprouts

We love classic sautéed Brussels sprouts, but sometimes we crave something with a bit more kick. These slightly spicy salty-sweet sprouts make for a unique and easy fall side dish.

Get the Shredded Brussels Sprouts recipe.

shredded brussels sprouts

Vegan Meatloaf

This hearty "meat" loaf is made mostly out of chickpeas and baby bella mushrooms. We're in love! Pair it with some pre-prepped vegan mashed potatoes and green beans for the most comforting meals ever.

Get the Vegan Meatloaf recipe.

vegan meatloaf

Polenta With Wild Mushroom Ragú

Make this showstopper with a custom blend of your favorite funghi! If wild mushrooms are not accessible, creminis or button mushrooms also work perfectly. If serving for a dinner party or event, the ragú can be made up to three days in advance; just reheat gently on the stovetop while you make the polenta.

Get the Polenta With Wild Mushroom Ragú recipe.

polenta with wild mushroom ragu
Emily hlavac green

Pork Chops With Apples

Delicious pork chops that aren't dry can very much be a thing! These easy pork chops get cooked with apples and onions that provide tons of flavor and then simmered in apple cider for a little sweetness and keeps them from drying out.

Get the Pork Chops With Apples recipe.

pork chops with apples
Rachel vanni

Sweet & Sour Braised Red Cabbage

One of our favorite ways to prepare cabbage is to braise it. The best part about braising? You can impart a TON of flavor into your cabbage. We love pairing this sweet and sour cabbage alongside creamy mashed potatoes and a pork chop.

Get the Sweet & Sour Braised Red Cabbage recipe.

sweet sour braised red cabbage
Joel Goldberg

Lolita's Kale Salad

At Lolita’s, one of Poughkeepsie, NY’s, best restaurants (and I would argue among the best in the Hudson Valley), the ultra-creamy kale salad is bound with what is essentially a Caesar dressing amplified by extra lemon juice, and then grounded and offset by toasted breadcrumbs, pistachios, and pecorino. Simple: check. Amazing: definitely!

Get the Lolita's Kale Salad recipe.

lolita's kale salad
Joel Goldberg

Carrot Gnocchi

These are, by their soft, tender, and pillowy nature, very rustic—one might even call them ugly. But worry not: Once you sauté them in butter, herbs, and pistachios, they will look every bit as delicious as they smell. You can also use them as you would store-bought gnocchi, like in our one-pan creamy chicken & gnocchi recipe.

Get the Carrot Gnocchi recipe.

carrot gnocchi
Lucy schaeffer

Sweet Potato Salad

This sweet potato salad is the perfect way to lighten up any fall dinner or even your Thanksgiving spread. It's packed with all the things we like to pair with sweet potato—feta, dried cranberries, and red onions pair really nicely with the earthy sweetness of the orange superfood. We can't get enough!

Get the Sweet Potato Salad recipe.

sweet potato salad
Parker feierbach

Perfect Bite Roast Chicken Dinner

!Spoiler alert! If you load a fork with garlic-herb butter chicken, crispy roasted potatoes, tender sweet carrots, and a smear of balsamic reduction, you will experience perfection.

Get the Perfect Bite Roast Chicken Dinner recipe.

spatchcock roast chicken dinner you perfect bite

Toasted Sesame Oil Mashed Potatoes

Vegan mashed potatoes that are just as creamy and delicious as the real thing? You bet. Toasted sesame oil adds tons of flavor and creaminess. Green onions and extra sesame seeds round them out for some of the best mashed potatoes we've ever made.

Get the Toasted Sesame Oil Mashed Potatoes recipe.

toasted sesame oil mashed potatoes
Andrew bui

Chicken Pot Pie

Truly comfort food at its finest, chicken pot pie represents the addictive marriage of a flaky, buttery crust with diced chicken, onions, carrots, and peas in a creamy sauce. While it's a dish that you can easily find pre-made in almost any grocery freezer aisle, we strongly believe that making your own is worth it.

Get the Chicken Pot Pie recipe.

chicken pot pie
Joel goldberg

Creamy Kale & Gnocchi Bake

Fans of creamed spinach will absolutely love this hearty bake that puts the classic side dish front-and-center on your plate with gnocchi as the main attraction. It's quick to put together since the gnocchi cook right in the sauce, making them extra-creamy and delicious.

Get the Creamy Kale & Gnocchi Bake recipe.

creamy kale gnocchi bake

Braised Short Ribs With 40 Cloves of Garlic

Does anything impress quite the way braised short ribs do? They feel truly restaurant fancy, but here's a secret: Short ribs are pretty easy to make at home. We like it alongside creamy dishes like polenta or mashed potatoes, or paired with a flavor-forward salad, like our fennel or beet salads.

Get the Braised Short Ribs With 40 Cloves of Garlic recipe.

braised short ribs with 40 cloves of garlic
Andrew bui

Arugula Salad

Arugula is a great addition to lots of dishes, from steak sandwiches to farro salads, but here we’re honoring it by featuring it all by itself in a super-simple salad.

Get the Perfect Arugula Salad recipe.

arugula salad
Parker feierbach

Miso Roasted Carrots

These sweet-savory carrots are topped with the most delicious mix of crunchy nuts and spices. We like pistachios and black and white sesame seeds, but feel free to swap in your favorites.

Get the Miso Roasted Carrots recipe.

miso roasted carrots
Erik bernstein

Pumpkin Curry

Pumpkin is often only used in pumpkin pies or in pumpkin soups. But the earthy, sweet vegetable is the perfect base for a spicy, Thai-inspired coconut curry.

Get the Pumpkin Curry recipe.

pumpkin curry
Joel Goldberg

Kalbi (Korean Short Ribs)

Kalbi is one of the popular menu items seen at Korean BBQ restaurants. The marinade is known for its sweet and salty flavor profile, but it also acts as a tenderizer, typically from Korean pears or grated onion. Serve the kalbi right off the grill with bowls of steamed rice, kimchi, and fresh red leaf lettuce to wrap the meat and rice in.

Get the Kalbi (Korean Short Ribs) recipe.

kalbi korean short ribs
Andrew bui

Chili Oil Smashed Potatoes

This recipe is a spicy take on our favorite crispy potato method: smashed potatoes. It uses chili oil—make your own or use store-bought. Whichever you choose, try and get the potatoes coated in a good mix of both the oil and the crispy bits. These potatoes need both to be perfect.

Get the Chili Oil Smashed Potatoes recipe.

chili oil smashed potatoes
Lucy schaeffer

Garlic-Sesame Sautéed Spinach

This easy sautéed spinach recipe is our take on the classic Korean banchan (aka side dish) sigeumchi namul. The rich flavor of toasted sesame oil pairs beautifully with the verdant spinach, and fresh scallions, peppery raw garlic, and rice vinegar bring a pleasant brightness that'll keep you coming back for more.

Get the Garlic-Sesame Sautéed Spinach recipe.

garlic sesame sautéed spinach
Joel Goldberg

Korean Fried Chicken

Nicknamed “candy chicken,” Korean fried chicken is known for its addictively crunchy exterior and its thick sweet-and-spicy sauce. These bites pack a little capsaicin punch, so feel free to decrease the amount of dried chiles that go in.

Get the Korean Fried Chicken recipe.

korean fried chicken
Parker feierbach

Vegetable Casserole

For this recipe, we wanted to gussy up the idea of a casserole by combining two French dishes: ratatouille and potatoes au gratin. This combination makes for a luxurious and delicious way to get your daily dose of veggies this September.

Get the Vegetable Casserole recipe.

vegetable casserole
Andrew bui

Butternut Squash Curry recipe

Butternut squash is toothsome and savory, kale is earthy and green, and coconut milk wraps everything together in a creamy sauce. The curry spice adds a little warm punch to each spoonful, while a squeeze of lime juice and fresh parsley brighten each bite, cutting out some of the richness.

Get the Butternut Squash Curry recipe.

butternut squash curry recipe
Erik bernstein

Pickle-Brined Turkey

Here at Delish, you could definitely say we're more than a bit pickle-obsessed. But this dill-y brine not only yields a flavorful turkey, but makes sure the bird stays incredibly tender and moist. This is 100% guaranteed to be your new favorite Thanksgiving tradition.

Get the Pickle-Brined Turkey recipe.

pickle brined turkey
Hearst Owned

Pumpkin Lasagna

At first, pumpkin lasagna might not seem as hot as, say, spinach artichoke lasagna, but don't be fooled: With layers of melty fontina and mozzarella and notes of sage and nutmeg, you'll be wanting seconds of this veggie-filled lasagna.

Get the Pumpkin Lasagna recipe.

pumpkin lasagna
Ethan calabrese

Stuffed Butternut Squash

After baking brown-sugar-butter-slathered squash until perfectly tender, you'll top the squash with a hearty filling of quinoa, kale, and chickpeas. Flecked with dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds, the savory pilaf has the perfect balance of texture, flavor, and pops of color.

Get the Stuffed Butternut Squash recipe.

stuffed butternut squash
Lucy schaeffer

Cheesy Bacon Butternut Squash

No matter what the centerpiece of your meal is, this cheesy butternut squash skillet is sure to steal the show. The balance of sweet, salty, and creamy is EXTREMELY delicious.

Get the Cheesy Bacon Butternut Squash recipe.

cheesy bacon butternut squash
Parker feierbach

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