5 Nontraditional Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas for Your Family

On Thanksgiving Day, tradition says that you eat turkey. Whether your family likes it or not, you’re going to spend hours roasting a bird in the oven, basting it, and desperately hoping that it will be done in time for dinner. It’s even worse for people who celebrate Thanksgiving more than once. Turkey here, turkey there, turkey everywhere! If you’re tired of all the turkey talk, consider some of these nontraditional ideas for Thanksgiving instead.

Have a Chili Cook-Off

Do you have plenty of budding chefs in your family? Chances are, everyone has a go-to chili recipe–and they’re probably dying to show it off. Instead of bringing in dozens of side dishes, arguing over who fixes the best broccoli casserole, and dragging out the pumpkin pie at the last possible minute, try a chili cook-off instead! Each family brings a pot of their favorite chili. Family members who don’t enjoy cooking can bring the fixings: cheese, corn chips, crackers, or anything else you might like to put on your chili. Looking for the perfect chili recipe? Some of these favorites might give you a starting place.

Take It Up a Notch

Still enjoy your turkey, but want to do something completely different with it this year? Try a recipe for Turducken: a chicken stuffed inside a duck, which is then stuffed inside a turkey. You’ll certainly have more than enough leftovers to last for a while! You could also try this recipe for Thanksgiving Turkey Cake, which combines all of your Thanksgiving favorites into one convenient and attractive dish. Note: this particular Thanksgiving meal is probably not appropriate for toddlers who have issues with their food touching.

Go Italian

Who says that Thanksgiving dinner has to embrace American tradition? Go Italian instead with a great lasagna recipe, pizza, bread sticks, and more. Of course, a fancy Italian dinner wouldn’t be complete without an excellent dessert!

Try a Vegetarian Meal

Whether you’re counting calories or just don’t like having meat in your life, try a vegetarian Thanksgiving with this great Tofurky Roast. It has all the flavor you’re looking for in a main dish with fewer calories, making it great for Thanksgiving on a diet. If you want to add some meat back into your meal for the non-vegetarians in the crowd, this Stuffed Pumpkin is a great way to do it.

Try a New Meat

If you’re just tired of turkey and want something new for the holiday this year, Martha Stewart has plenty of “beyond the turkey” recipes that will have everyone around the table clamoring for seconds. Roast pork is a popular option, but chicken and prime rib also feature prominently in her offerings.

Picking Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to mean turning straight to the turkey when there are so many other great options available. Check out some of these great recipes and discover just how different this Thanksgiving can be.