10 Tasty Turkey Alternatives for Thanksgiving Dinner

Are you looking for something different to serve other than traditional turkey? Friendsgiving celebrations are a good place to try a new main and we have ten delectable ideas that will make your gathering into a feast. Your thankful guests will delight in these alternatives, all of which are perfect for the center of your holiday meal.

1. Go for the Goose

Let’s start with the obvious. The goose is the bird of first choice for special occasions in Europe. Make it yours for Thanksgiving. Perfect for roasting, the goose offers dark meat and a distinctive flavor that pairs well with fruits of the season.


2. Succulent Porcelet

Exclusively available at D’Artagnan, Porcelet is the pork equivalent to veal; milk-fed piglets that offer succulent pork unlike any other. Make a porcelet porchetta as an impressive main course and is fairly hands-off (no basting!) once you put it in a low oven, so you can attend to other dishes.

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3. The Super Chicken: Capon

Try roasting a capon, smaller than a turkey, but larger than a chicken and voted most popular poultry by Italian and French families who center their holidays around these tender, richly flavored birds. While you can roast a capon, you might also stuff it with foie gras and cook it au pot style, for savory results.

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4. Game for Venison

Venison was most likely on the menu at the original feast of Thanksgiving. With rich red meat full of iron, zinc, and other vitamins, venison is leaner than beef and quite flavorful. Venison also pairs well with the vegetables of the season: squash, pumpkin, chard, turnips, and any kind of potato. An oven-roasted venison rib rack looks beautiful on a platter, and loin of venison will feed a good-sized group.

Cervena Venison Rack

5. Suckling Pig

An impressive choice for a holiday feast! Whole animal cooking is a lost art, but one that is being rediscovered in these food-obsessed, nose-to-tail-eating, DIY days. We consider this a wonderful culinary development, which is why we offer hard-to-find suckling pigs to the home cook. No serious feast is complete without one. Choose one that will fit inside your oven, or use a big grill and roast the pig outside – it leaves lots of room in the oven for side dishes.


6. Glorious Game Birds

We are going broad with this category, with everything from Guinea hen to pheasant, and even our exclusive Rohan duck. What’s great about smaller birds is they take less time to roast, and you can often serve one per diner, making each plate its own Thanksgiving meal. Try our exclusive jumbo French quailsquab, or even wild Scottish game birds for those with a taste for game.

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7. Classic Heritage Ham

Why not plan your holiday meal around our impressive ham? D’Artagnan hams are handcrafted from heritage-breed pork, seasoned with just the right touch of brown sugar and salt, and smoked over real wood. You can truly taste the difference this treatment makes in every bite. Our recipe for the perfect ham glaze is easy and delicious.


8. The Best Beef: Wagyu

Wagyu beef is extraordinary; well-marbled and sumptuous, it is the pinnacle of beef. We offer domestically raised Wagyu beef that would be the star of any holiday dinner, as well as genuine A5 Wagyu beef imported from Japan, which could be described as the best beef in the world. Any meal with Wagyu beef at the center will be talked about for years to come.


9. Luscious Leg of Lamb

Truly fit to be the centerpiece of a dinner party, leg of lamb is easy to prepare. Rub with herbs and pop in the oven, basting a few times. You’ll end up with a gorgeous centerpiece roast that will draw oohs and aahs.


10. One-Pot Party: Cassoulet

This classic dish of preserved duck, sausage, and beans is the very soul of traditional Gascon cooking. If cassoulet is the center of the party in Southwest France, it will definitely liven up your Thanksgiving meal. This convivial dish is perfect for sharing with family or friends (along with robust red wine), and you need very little in the way of side dishes. A salad should suffice. Our cassoulet recipe kit will serve 12 people, so invite away!

Cassoulet in Cassole

Are you going traditional with a turkey this year? Or do you prefer to shake things up at Thanksgiving? Tell us more about your plans on social media. Tag @dartagnanfoods on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. 

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