Thanksgiving Main Dishes That Aren’t Turkey

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Thanksgiving Main Dishes That Aren’t Turkey

Thanksgiving main dishes that aren’t turkey! These alternatives to turkey for Thanksgiving are just as delicious as the whole bird.

I absolutely love the holidays! The end of the year is just something so special, cold weather, more family time, it’s all so perfect. We’ve compiled some easy, friendly recipes to cook for Thanksgiving dinner for whatever your plans may be, that are not focused on Turkey.

See below for 24 Thanksgiving Main Dishes That Aren’t Turkey!

What can I serve instead of turkey for Thanksgiving? You can really go anywhere when it comes to mains! You can opt for salmon, lamb, roasted chicken, duck breast, ham, pork tenderloin and more. 

Some main highlights and my favorites including these: Moroccan Inspired Rack of Lamb , Korean Roasted Chicken with Ginger Scallion Sauce, Portobello Mushroom “Steaks” and more below!

If you’re looking for more, be sure to check out The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu!

Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken

Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken

I am living for this simple; yet packed with juiciness and flavor, garlic herb roasted chicken. The spice blend is simple: a mix of parsley, thyme, rosemary, garlic and lemon and of course, unsalted butter, all tossed and roasted to perfection.

Halibut en Papillote with Green Olive Salsa Verde

Halibut en Papillote with Green Olive Salsa Verde

I’m dreaming of this one pan halibut en papillote with a green olive salsa verde! It’s easy (like under 30 minutes), filled with flavor and is definitely going on my weeknight dinner rotation! It’s great to make for a party, as well!

Slow Roasted Salmon with Citrus and Capers

Slow Roasted Salmon with Citrus and Capers

Welcome the most perfect slow roasted salmon recipe! Easy slow roasted salmon with citrus and capers: absolutely BEAUTIFUL! This set it and forget it salmon is filled with flavor, texture and cooked so delicately in the oven.

Lamb Meatballs

Herb Lamb Meatballs with a Horseradish Dipping Sauce

I am absolutely dreaming of these herb lamb meatballs paired with a horseradish dipping sauce. It is just the perfect, easiest, no fuss mess recipe that is filled with flavor.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

I am in a cozy winter mode with these red wine braised short ribs! Charred to perfection short ribs topped with a lil green onion, parsley and lemon zest. This would also be wonderful to braise with potatoes or sweet potatoes as well, for the perfect thanksgiving meal.

Mushroom Pot Pie

Mushroom Pot Pie

I am all over this mushroom pot pie; a dreamy filling topped with crispy puff pastry – nothing better and so cozy!

Grilled New York Steak with Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette Salad

Grilled New York Steak with Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette Salad

Let’s welcome this: grilled New York Steak with a sherry shallot vinaigrette salad.

Moroccan Inspired Rack of Lamb with Turmeric Couscous

Moroccan Inspired Rack of Lamb with Turmeric Couscous

This beautiful, and delicious Moroccan inspired rack of lamb is just so perfect, I am obsessed.

Cacio e Pepe Orzo

Cacio e Pepe Orzo

I LOVE Cacio e Pepe pasta, it is just so delicious, decadent, and easy. I will always have all the ingredients on hand.

Rosemary Peppercorn New York Steak with Béarnaise Sauce

Rosemary Peppercorn New York Strip Steak with Béarnaise Sauce

This rosemary peppercorn New York strip steak with béarnaise sauce is absolutely epic! Seasoned generously with freshly cracked peppercorns and salt, the New York Strip Steak is​ ​seared to perfection and served with a special, creamy homemade béarnaise sauce. Although we are using a NY steak, you can opt to do this with a beef tenderloin as well.

Lemon Garlic Butter Scallops

Lemon Garlic Butter Scallops

These delicious, simple & easy scallops will go in your menu this year. They come together SO quickly, and are just so perfect.

Harissa & Sumac Roasted Chicken with Tzatziki

Harissa & Sumac Roasted Chicken with Tzatsiki

This harissa and sumac roasted chicken with tzatziki! It is SO good.

Korean Apple Short Ribs

One pot braised Korean apple short ribs! Served with rice and lettuce wraps. SO easy to make, minimal pantry ingredients and tastes just.. amazing. The absolute perfect roast! This would also be really good if you swap this with a leg of lamb as well.

Date Night Lamb Ragu Rigatoni

Seriously swooning over this amazing Lamb Ragu, it is so perfect for a Thanksgiving for 2, served with wine and a nice crunchy salad.

Grilled Crispy Pork Belly Wraps

This recipe is legitimately the meal of my dreams. Pork belly marinated and grilled crispy to absolute perfection – tender pork belly on the inside, with the top bite having that huge crunch.

Chicken Schnitzel

Chicken Schnitzel

These chicken Schnitzel tenders are absolutely EPIC. A panko blend with fresh parsley & basil with dried herbs like oregano, garlic powder, ginger powder + paprika make this chicken super crispy.

Korean Roasted Chicken with Ginger Scallion Sauce

This roasted spatchcocked korean chicken is absolutely breathtaking. The marinade is made with soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, gochujang, garlic chili oil, paprika + spicy bean paste. Served with a blended ginger scallion sauce and white rice, the perfect Thanksgiving Korean themed meal.

Paprika & Mustard Spatchcock Chicken

Dreaming over this paprika and mustard spatchcock chicken. Serve with roasted potatoes and a gem salad and you are golden! If you want to make any smaller portions, opt to do a few cornish game hens also.

Skillet Chicken Thighs with Tzatziki Sauce

One pan dreaming! This one skillet chicken thighs with tzatziki sauce is the perfect main.

Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Grilled Avocados

This seared ahi tuna with grilled avocados are a perf appetizer and side for Thanksgiving! It’s tossed in a ginger ponzu sauce, it is beautiful. If you want to go exciting and untraditional without the meat or poultry, this main is for you.

Thai Beef Skewers with a Spicy Homemade Red Chili Sauce

Thai beef skewers with a homemade chili sauce is my go-to favorite thing to make right now. I love to wrap these up in lettuce with cucumbers and shiso leaf.

Portobello Mushroom “Steaks”

Portobello mushrooms “steaks”. An amazing + delish vegetarian main, serve with your favorite greens, protein and nom! Although not classic, any one that doesn’t eat meat may enjoy this as a main, served with a salad on the side.

Broccolini Pesto & Sausage Orecchiette

All about this broccolini pesto & sausage orecchiette! Switch your pesto up using blanched broccolini that is to DIEEE for, promise.

Sake Shrimp Scampi

Buttery, garlicky goodness is this shrimp scampi! with a twist: SAKE instead of white wine. It adds a little bit of a sweeter touch but still tastes like the scampi we know and love.

Stuffed Squash with Vegetables

Stuffed Squash with Vegetables

The most EPIC vegetarian main: this roasted butternut squash with a loaded vegetable stuffing. Think celery, mushroom, carrots, shallots and squash all cooked down to perfection and tossed with some toasty panko breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, lemon juice and fresh parsley.

Want even more Thanksgiving recipes?

Find all our Thanksgiving recipes in our index! Thanks for reading along to these alternatives to turkey for Thanksgiving! You are all set for the most amazing Thanksgiving feast.

If you do make any of these recipes (first of all, thank you!!), be sure to leave a comment and/or give the recipes a rating! Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and through social media so I can be sure to see what you’re making! If you’d like to stay in touch and get the latest to your inbox, sign up for our Newsletter here as well!

In addition, we can also be found on Facebook and Pinterest!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

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Rosemary Peppercorn New York Steak with Béarnaise Sauce
5 from 1 vote

Thanksgiving Main Dishes that Aren’t Turkey

These alternatives to turkey for Thanksgiving are just as delicious as the whole bird. This steak recipe is one of our favorites to make.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 2


For The Steak

  • 1 New York Strip Steak
  • 1 large sprig rosemary
  • Freshly cracked peppercorns and kosher salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoons neutral oil

For The Béarnaise Sauce

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoons water
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • lemon juice, to finish


  • Season your steak generously with salt and pepper on all sides of the steak.
  • In the meantime, make your béarnaise sauce. In a saucepan, add diced shallot, and chopped tarragon with sherry vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring this mixture to a boil, and then at a low simmer until the liquid has absorbed. Set aside and cool.
  • Once your vinegar mixture has cooled, on low heat, add in your egg yolks and water. Whisk continuously for 5-7 minutes until the yolks have doubled in size and it is a creamy and frothy texture.
  • Tips: *Make sure your heat is on low so you don’t scramble the eggs, and every couple minutes, remove from heat and keep whisking, controlling your heat. At this point, you shouldn’t leave your stovetop, keep whisking on and off the heat. (You can also do this on a double boiler but I prefer this method).
  • Once that is creamy, melt your butter in a separate pot or the microwave and slowly start adding the melted butter in sections in the egg yolk mixture. Do not add the butter all at once. Keep whisking so the butter melts in the mixture and emulsified without breaking the sauce for another 5-8 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, adjust for seasoning and add a splash of lemon juice to finish off. At this point, it should be the texture of a thick creamy dressing. Set aside.
  • In a cast iron, heat a drizzle of oil until piping hot. Cook and sear your steak on all sides until cooked to your desired doneness. When you flip the first time, add in a sprig if rosemary. Remove, slice and serve with your béarnaise sauce!
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