Not Talking Turkey: Turkey Alternatives for Thanksgiving (By Region)

Turkey is the national Thanksgiving unifier. It might not be your favorite meat but it is what’s on the menu for most. It is very much tradition and the literal symbol of Thanksgiving...

... but one day, my family had a collective epiphany that none of us really liked turkey all that much. We mostly just loved having turkey tacos with the leftovers, and my sister and I partial to the novelty of the wishbone and humongous turkey legs. (Well, that was until one Thanksgiving when we finally had a fresh turkey, from a local farm, never frozen. That. Changed. Everything.) 

But if you happen to live in a country where turkey is not readily available, you don’t eat meat, or simply  want to change things up: here are a few turkey alternatives. If you live in the U.S, you can likely get any of these options, but I’ve broken them down by category for the rest of us, since, what is common locally is usually what’s best!




Pork Loin
Rib Roast
Center-Cut Ham
Whole Goose
Duck breasts

Europe North

Roast Side of Salmon (add oysters to stuffing, and bam!)
Moose Roast

Middle East/India

Rack of Lamb
Leg of Lamb

East Asia

Whole Snapper
Whole Roast Duck


Butternut Squash and Sage Lasagne
Eggplant Steaks
Sautéed Chanterelle Mushrooms

But, in the end, you could just skip the main protein all together... what we really want are those sides anyway! So be sure to download a copy of my mini digital cookbook "Soul Food Thanksgiving" and get to work! 10% of profits will be donated to The Hunger Project.