Expecting a smaller Thanksgiving or intimidated by a whole turkey? We’ve rounded up the best alternatives to a whole bird, from a crispy-skinned roulade to a show-stopping vegetarian dish, that will make your Thanksgiving just as memorable. Find the recipes below!
If you want to save your oven space for Thanksgiving, this recipe from The Creative Bite comes together in your slow cooker! The turkey breast is first brined and then cooked low and slow with a homemade cranberry sauce. It’s packed with flavor and unbelievably juicy.
Interested in deep frying a turkey, but intimidated by the whole bird? This recipe from The Spruce Eats just cooks the breast. It’s an easier recipe to tackle and gives you the same juicy meat and crispy skin.
This Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast recipe from The Food Network is double the fun. First, the turkey is brined with sage, thyme, and chili flakes; then, it’s stuffed with a savory pear stuffing before it’s wrapped up with bacon. As the roulade roasts, the bacon fat bastes the turkey giving you incredibly juicy, flavorful meat.
This Tuscan Turkey Roulade from Ina Garten has the same impressive presentation of a whole turkey, but it comes together in a fraction of the time! This recipe is surprisingly easy if you ask your butcher to help butterfly and debone the turkey. Just make sure they keep the skin on so you get that crackly exterior!
Calling all dark meat lovers, this Thanksgiving main is for you! This recipe from Bon Appetit magazine braises the drumsticks and thighs until they are fall-off-the-bone tender and moist. This is also a great hack if you’re planning on a whole turkey for your feast and you’re worried about the breast drying out before the legs are done—simply cook them separately!
Since you’re already rethinking your turkey this year, why not really mix things up with a Mexican-inspired ancho chile rub? This main from Food & Wine magazine gives you a remarkably juicy turkey breast and exceptionally crisp skin crusted with a salt, sugar and spice mix. Plus, it roasts on a bed of veggies, bathing them in juices and giving you a bonus side dish!
Perfect for feeding two, a roast chicken makes a great alternative to the traditional turkey! Our Goodtaste original recipe uses a combination of braising and roasting techniques so the skin gets extra crispy while the inside stays tender and juicy. We’ve added a touch of honey and fresh lemon juice for a bit of sweetness and acidity, plus some butter to round out the incredibly flavorful gravy perfect for drizzling on all your sides.
If you’re having a vegetarian-only gathering and you’re not in the mood for “tofurkey”, this whole roasted cauliflower from Lauren Caris Cooks would make the perfect centerpiece for your feast! This hands-off dish is spiced with chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika and has a crispy outside and soft inside, while sitting on a bed of lentils that add a real heartiness to the dish.