How a Real Carnivore Does the Holidays: 8 Options That Aren’t Turkey

Turkey has been synonymous with the American holidays since the Mayflower moseyed its way across the Atlantic Ocean. The months of November and December are centered around friends, family, appreciation, and turkey. Or at least it has been all about the turkey.

This years, it’s time to try something new. Forget rising before dawn to roast yet another turkey. This year, scrap the bird altogether. Yes, it is actually allowed to do this. Instead, try one of these gorgeous alternatives that are sure to impress even the most turkey-loving holiday guests.

1. Roast Leg of Lamb

leg-of-lamb-thanksgiving-roast
North Dixie Kitchen

Lamb is a very traditional holiday roast to have on the table. Juicy, flavorful, and beautiful, who couldn’t be pleased to see this warm, succulent slab of meat appear as the centerpiece to an otherwise traditional holiday roast?

Get the recipe here.

2. Duck Confit

duck confit thanksgiving roast
Food52

If you just like the idea of dedicating an unusual amount of time to the kitchen on the big day, then preparing duck confit is the challenge for you. Don’t worry, it’s not a hard challenge, it’s just time consuming. However, the rewards are great.

This decadent, melt-off-the-bone dish has been a staple of French cooking for centuries and may shortly become your new holiday roast. Get the recipe here.

3. Glazed Ham

glazed-ham-thanksgiving-roast
Creme de la Crumb

Are you craving easy and flavorful this year? Then why not try a sweet and spiced glazed ham? Simply plop it into a slow-cooker with all its trimmings and move on to everything else that you need to do to make sure that your holiday feast is on point.

Get the recipe here.

4. Roast Squab with Braised Peas

squab-braised-peas thanksgiving roast
Saveur

Squab is actually just a fancy Swedish word for pigeon. Who knew something so common could sound so delicious?! This dark meat fowl can be stuffed, pan roasted, grilled, or browned in butter.

It’s so flexible, yet so simple. Plus, with one or two birds required per serving, depending on the number of guests, you’re sure to have a feast on your table! Get the recipe here.

5. Prime Rib

prime rib thanksgiving roast
The Modern Proper

There is no reason that a prime rib should be saved for the summer. Honestly, it should be eaten whenever you want, but introducing it to your holiday table seems like a good first step.

Add a little roast garlic and horseradish sauce and you will be licking the plate clean and wishing you had leftovers. Get the recipe here.

6. Rabbit with Mustard Sauce

rabbit thanksgiving roast
Sweet Love and Ginger

Another classic game animal, rabbit should be elevated from a relatively unknown dinner option into a dish worthy of the holiday table. Readily available, easy to hunt, and awfully cheap, there is every reason you should love rabbit.

If you dress it up in a mustard sauce, then you simply won’t be able to resist it.  Get the recipe here.

7. Roast Venison

venison thanksgiving roast
Georgia Pellegrini

Whether you purchased your roast at the market or you hunted the deer yourself, venison is a rewarding dish to have at the table. Simply soak the meat in herbs and red wine to infuse it with an irresistible flavor, and then roast it with a blanket of bacon.

No one will miss the turkey this year. Get the recipe here.

8. Turkey Cake

turkey cake
Chowhound

However, if you absolutely must have turkey this season or your relatives will never forgive you, why not jazz it up and make a turkey cake?

One slice and you will have all the holiday flavors artfully layered on your plate. Get the recipe here.

Read More: 12 Big Batch Thanksgiving Cocktails So Your Guests Can Help Themselves