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No Turkey, No Problem: Thanksgiving Turkey Alternatives

Sweet mother of mashed potatoes, Thanksgiving is the best! Unless, of course, you’re one of the many people who don’t actually like turkey. Is this deliciously beautiful holiday lost to you? No!

There is a cornucopia of other options. You can choose to have a completely unconventional main meal, or you can just pick one of the grandmother-approved alternatives. Now, let’s get one thing straight: We’re not harping on health here. Thanksgiving is a time to kick the diet plan to the curb and say, “We will not be controlled by calorie counts.” With that in mind, check out these yummy alternatives:

Ham: A holiday classic! This delicious centerpiece dish is good hot, cold, smoked, honeyed, or cured. It’s great the next day or while it’s still in the oven. Let’s just say there is nothing like a holiday ham to tell turkey to hit the road! Why is it a good alternative? Ham is familiar and cheap. Whether you stick it on a sandwich or eat it on a slab, be sure to go back for seconds!

Pork loin: Another in the pork train, but hear us out because it’s delicious. A good roast can make any turkey look plain and flavorless. A roast may take a shorter amount of time to cook depending on weight and can be kept in the fridge longer than turkey. Drawbacks? It won’t taste as good as cold cuts. Regardless, heat some up, and slap it on your plate already!

Salmon: What? That’s right… The seafood kingdom is invading our holiday table. Salmon is something most vegetarians are willing to eat, and it tastes like heaven on a plate. Smoked or oven-baked, it’ll make a beautiful centerpiece dish and will be a little gentler on your health.

Or you could obviously go for every other delicious thing on the table like:

Stuffing: The inside of the turkey is where it hides the most delicious bits! While not veggie-friendly, it is delicious and filling. Keep an eye on portions, though. It is mostly breading, so it’ll fill you up fast.

Mashed potatoes: The sweet purée of the gods. Add a heaping spoonful of butter, some salt, and a little garlic, and you are floating on a cloud of holiday joy. Usually vegetarian-friendly and always smile-inducing!

Pie: Apple, pumpkin, key lime, cherry, strawberry, blueberry — so versatile and so delicious. Make sure to keep room for this amazing dessert or pre-dinner treat!

The best thing to do if you’re picky about your Thanksgiving meal is to bring a side dish or smaller main dish that you know you’ll like. This ensures that you’ve contributed and you have something to eat.

Happy Thanksgiving from Her Campus UFL!



Journalism major with a minor in education. Currently a copywriter for Infinite Energy. Twitter handle: @DiadysFig
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