50 Non-Turkey Thanksgiving Main Dishes

Just because tradition dictates that you eat turkey for Thanksgiving doesn't mean you have to do it every year! Try one of these delicious and different Thanksgiving main dishes and add some variety to your feast.

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In our family braciole was served as a special treat for birthdays and as a Thanksgiving main dish. When the meat and sauce were fully cooked, Grandma called us into the kitchen to watch her lift the big braciole roll from the sauce to the cutting board to slice it. The pinwheels of meat, laid side by side on the platter, topped with Grandma’s delicious sauce, made a colorful picture. —Cookie Curci, San Jose, California

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Baked Spiral Ham Exps Ft22 19634 St 10 18 1

Baked Spiral Ham

This is my favorite spiral ham recipe. It will feed a crowd, or use what's remaining in two recipes. No one groans about ham leftovers when these items are on the menu. —Marilou Robinson, Portland, Oregon
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Roasted Pumpkin Lasagna Exps Tohon20 246937 B06 05 5b 1

Roasted Pumpkin Lasagna

This is a hearty meatless Thanksgiving main dish that my family enjoys. If you’re not a fan of pumpkin, you can use butternut squash instead. —Wendy Masters, East Garafraxa, Ontario
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Duck Breasts with Apricot Chutney

When serving this Thanksgiving main dish as part of a buffet, try using chafing dish to keep it warm. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pear And Pomegranate Lamb Tagine Exps Thso18 220490 B04 20 1b 4

Pear and Pomegranate Lamb Tagine

Pomegranate, pear and orange go together so well that I decided to use them to prepare a Middle Eastern-themed tagine with lamb. This tastes delicious served over couscous, polenta or cauliflower mashed with feta cheese. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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Sheet Pan Salmon With Simple Bread Salad Exps Rc22 268006 P2 Md 05 05 5b 2

Sheet-Pan Salmon with Simple Bread Salad

If you’re looking for a new take on a Thanksgiving main dish, try this salmon. The abundant fatty acids in salmon make it extremely healthful and ideal for baking. The vibrant salad, made on the same sheet pan, complements the rich fish perfectly. —Laura Wilhelm, West Hollywood, California
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Glazed Cornish Hens Exps Tohca23 22559 Dr 08 18 2b

Glazed Cornish Hens

If you’re looking to add a touch of elegance to your Thanksgving main dishes, we suggest these Cornish game hens topped with a sweet apricot glaze. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Spaghetti Squash Casserole Exps Ft22 1217 St 08 23 1 4

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti squash, like zucchini, can take over a garden. This is an excellent way to put that abundance to good use. I got the original spaghetti squash casserole recipe at a cooking class, and I've made it many times since. It's unique and tasty. —Mina Dick, Boissevain, Manitoba
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Cranberry Stuffed Beef Tenderloin Exps Tohca23 61545 P2 Md 07 29 2b 1

Cranberry-Stuffed Beef Tenderloin

Fresh cranberries and cranberry juice lend a satisfying sweet-tart taste to beef tenderloin. Serving plated dishes to guests makes for a pretty presentation.—Carolyn Cope, Allston, Maryland
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Herby Chicken With Apricots And Feta Exps Rc22 268197 Dr 05 05 11b

Herby Chicken with Apricots and Feta

Mix up your Thanksgiving menu with a flavorful braised chicken dish with Middle Eastern flair. I love to serve it with couscous. —Sally Sibthorpe, Shelby Township, Michigan
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Slow Cooker Baked Ziti Exps Tohescodr22 236854 Md 02 09 2b 1

Slow-Cooker Baked Ziti

Turkey is amazing, but sometimes you need to switch things up when it comes to your Thanksgving main dish. This slow cooker ziti is perfect if you’re looking for a recipe that’ll free up some space in your oven. —Christina Addison, Blanchester, Ohio
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Air Fryer Garlic And Wine Lamb Chops  Exps Rc22 267741 Dr 03 02 10b 4

Air-Fryer Garlic and Wine Lamb Chops

This recipe is special to me because the flavor reminds me of my mother’s lamb roast. It’s a special Thanksgving main dish that doesn’t take much time or effort, so you can actually have it all year. — Dorice Winston, Concord, North Carolina
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Pork Chops With Sauerkraut Exps Tohescodr22 25198 Dr 02 25 3b 5

Pork Chops with Sauerkraut

In Omaha, Nebraska, Stephanie Miller pairs tender pork chops with tangy sauerkraut in this filling main dish. “It’s so quick and easy to put together,” she notes.
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Sheet Pan Steak Dinner Exps Tohescodr22 257719 E12 16 5b 7

Sheet-Pan Steak Dinner

Rather than roasting a bird, I like to serve this steak as my Thanksgiving main dish. It comes together quickly and is much easier than preparing an entire turkey.
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Sausage Stuffed Shells Exps Tohescodr22 29057 B02 16 1b

Sausage-Stuffed Shells

I wanted to make manicotti one day but was out of the noodles. So I came up with this recipe for stuffed shells with Italian sausage. The jumbo shells were much easier to work with. —Lori Daniels, Beverly, West Virginia
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Italian Pan Fried Chicken Exps Rc21 265482 E10 28 5b 1

Italian Pan-Fried Chicken

I love this recipe for many reasons, but mostly because it is both simple and delicious. It was passed down from my Italian grandmother, and I modified it only slightly. I have used it and enjoyed it for years, and it’s even been my Thanksgiving main dish for a year or two. —Karen Mahlke, Estero, Florida
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Exps Sdon16 168414 A06 02 8bc Rms 9

Warm Squash & Quinoa Salad

Whenever I see butternut squash at the supermarket, I buy one. It’s amazing tossed with earthy quinoa, Italian spices and crunchy pine nuts. And don’t get me started on the browned butter! I like to serve it as a Thanksgiving main dish for my family members who don’t eat meat. —Carly Taylor, Libertyville, Illinois
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Best Ever Roast Beef Exps Tohca22 59346 E08 26 3b

Best Ever Roast Beef

This is the best roast beef recipe ever, and it’s great for family dinners! Cube leftover meat and save any extra sauce; they’ll add new flavor to basic fried rice. —Caroline Flynn, Troy, New York
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Pennsylvania Style Pork Roast Exps Ft21 18882 F 0826 1

Pennsylvania-Style Pork Roast

Our children first had this tender and juicy pork roast with sauerkraut at a family celebration. They devoured it and went back for seconds! Now it's a mainstay in my recipe file.
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Grandma’s Roasted Duck

When I was growing up, my grandma always served roast duck for the Thanksgiving main dish, and for other family events throughout the year. I always thought it was better than turkey! —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Tortellini With Sausage And Mascarpone Exps 5ing20minbz23 245880 P2 Md 09 20 2b

Tortellini with Sausage and Mascarpone

When I crave Italian comfort food on a busy night and don't have a lot of time to cook, this sausage tortellini skillet recipe is fast and yummy. You can have it on the table in less time than a takeout order. —Gerry Vance, Millbrae, California
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Herb Crusted Rack Of Lamb With Mushroom Sauce Exps Tohca23 88382 P1 Dr 08 17 4b

Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mushroom Sauce

With this easy, surefire recipe, you don’t have to be intimidated to prepare rack of lamb for a Thanksgiving main dish. Rice pilaf and roasted asparagus are a lovely way to round out the meal.
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Rotisserie Style Chicken Exps Ucc22 72954 B08 12 1b 8

Rotisserie-Style Chicken

My mother used to fix this rotisserie-style chicken when I lived at home, and we called it Church Chicken because Mom would put it in the oven Sunday morning before we left for church. When we got home, the aroma of the roasted chicken would hit us as we opened the door. —Brian Stevenson, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Homemade Ragu Bolognese Exps Ft21 47366 F 0615 1 11

Homemade Ragu Sauce

My family loves homemade spaghetti sauce and this one is a big hit. I always make sure to serve this ragu sauce recipe with plenty of garlic bread. —Kate Gaul, Dubuque, IA
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Sheet Pan Pork Supper Exps Tohedscodr21 205654 E04 28 4b 7

Sheet-Pan Pork Supper

I created this pork tenderloin sheet-pan dinner to suit our family's needs. It's so quick and easy to clean up since you use one pan for everything! Use any variety of small potatoes—fingerlings or other colored potatoes are a fun and delicious option. —Debbie Johnson, Centertown, Missouri
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Louisiana Chicken Exps Ft21 436 F 0506 1

Louisiana Chicken

Green peppers and mint add a surprise to this Thanksgiving main dish. A roasting bag keeps the chicken moist and flavorful. —Jill Werle, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
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Honey Maple Glazed Ham Exps Thca21 58012 B03 25 5b 7

Honey-Maple Glazed Ham

My graham cracker-crusted ham gets a double coating of a simple honey-maple glaze. The first half melts into the ham while the second half forms a sweet caramelized topping. —Alan Sproles, Knoxville, Tennessee
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Shrimp In Cream Sauce Exps Thca22 23455 B10 21 4b

Shrimp in Cream Sauce

Looking for an extra-special Thanksgving main dish to delight your busy crowd? My family always manages to make time for this rich shrimp dish. We enjoy it over golden egg noodles.
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Roasted Tuscan Chicken Dinner Exps Tohescodr21 69364 B03 24 5b 11

Roasted Tuscan Chicken Dinner

When an Italian friend shared many years ago that she often added Italian sausages to her pan of baked chicken, I had to give it a try! Over the years, I’ve turned it into a one-dish meal by adding potatoes, onions and peppers. It has become a family favorite that I often use for my Thanksgiving main dish, spur of the moment company and Sunday dinners. —Teri Lindquist, Gurnee, Illinois
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Slow Cooker Beef Tenderloin Exps Tohescodr21 66237 B03 24 1b

Slow-Cooker Beef Tenderloin

I created this slow-cooker beef tenderloin recipe when I was having guests over. It tastes incredible with little effort. —Amanda Wentz, Virginia Beach, Virginia
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Herb Stuffed Roasted Cornish Hens Exps Thca21 42182 B02 25 2b 4

Herb-Stuffed Roasted Cornish Hens

If you’re looking for an elegant Thanksgiving main dish for two, we suggest these delightful Cornish game hens. As a bonus, crisp, tasty potatoes cook right alongside the meat. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Mom S Celery Seed Brisket Exps Tohesodr21 76560 E02 17 3b 7

Mom's Celery Seed Brisket

Warning: Keep a close eye on this tangy pot of goodness. Because it’s been fine-tuned to perfection, it tends to vanish at gatherings. —Aysha Schurman, Ammon, Idaho
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Easy Vegetable Lasagna Exps Ft21 35717 F 0727 1 10

Easy Vegetable Lasagna

Bursting with garden favorites, this easy vegetable lasagna is a vegetable lover's dream. The pasta layers are generously stuffed with roasted zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and onion in homemade tomato sauce. —Susanne Ebersol, Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania
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Broiled Sirloin Exps Ft21 11282 F 0218 1 15

Easy London Broil

A mild marinade prepared with lemon juice, thyme and oregano seasons this easy London boil recipe. It feeds a family of four with lots left over to enjoy in satisfying second-day dishes later in the week. —Sue Ross, Casa Grande, Arizona
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Moist Cranberry Pork Roast

I love to serve this tender, flavorful pork as my Thanksgiving main dish. You don’t have to toil away in the kitchen to prepare it, yet it tastes like a gourmet meal. —Kimberley Scasny, Douglasville, Georgia
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Festive Fall Tortellini Toss

Fall is my favorite season and I love the foods of autumn, such as mushrooms, squash, apples and walnuts. I combined these all with pasta to make a delicious dish perfect for sharing at a potluck; the recipe can easily be doubled and can be served either warm or at room temperature. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Exps114349 Thca153054c11 07 2b 9

Holiday Crown Pork Roast

Crown roast makes a regal Thanksgiving main dish. Flavored with rosemary, sage and thyme, it’s elegant and simple, a real blessing during the hectic holidays. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
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Herb Brined Cornish Game Hens Exps Thca18 224491 C02 22 2b 14

Herb-Brined Cornish Game Hens

Instead of a turkey or a big roast, why not serve individual Cornish game hens for the holidays? They cook in a fraction of the time and they're guaranteed to impress all your guests. —Shannon Roum, Cudahy, Wisconsin
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Citrus Herb Roast Chicken Exps Ffmz22 184508 Md 03 02 1b V1

Citrus-Herb Roast Chicken

This dish is one of my all-time favorites. The flavorful, juicy chicken combines with the aromas of spring in fresh herbs, lemon and onions to form the perfect one-pot meal. I make the gravy right in the pan. —Megan Fordyce, Fairchance, Pennsylvania
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Garlic Herbed Beef Tenderloin Exps Atbrs21 21171 E11 19 4b 8

Garlic Herbed Beef Tenderloin

You don't need much seasoning to add flavor to this beef tenderloin recipe. The mild blending of rosemary, basil and garlic does the trick. —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, Washington
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Pumpkin Lasagna Exps Pcbbz17 45358 C03 23 5b 4

Pumpkin Lasagna

I especially like this comforting fall dish because it's vegetarian. Even friends who aren't big fans of pumpkin are surprised by this delectable lasagna. Canned pumpkin and no-cook noodles make it a cinch to prepare. —Tamara Huron, New Market, Alabama
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Cranberry-Orange Roast Ducklings

I came up with this recipe few years ago. The first time I served it, there wasn't a speck of food left on the platter and I knew I had a winning recipe. —Gloria Warczak, Cedarburg, Wisconsin
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California Roast Lamb

This recipe is very easy to make and requires little attention. It goes well with any rice dish, and it's perfect for just about any occasion. —Ann Eastman, Santa Monica, California
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Chicken with Sugar Pumpkins & Apricots

When we have family gatherings, we give the slow cooker kitchen duty. This yummy chicken with pumpkin and apricots has the warm flavors of Morocco. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Baked Ham With Honey Chipotle Glaze Exps Hca18 91150 D11 02 4b 12

Baked Ham with Honey-Chipotle Glaze

Your Thanksgiving celebration will be so simple to orchestrate with this sweet, smoky ham recipe at your fingertips. It feeds a crowd and the baked ham glaze tastes fantastic. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Orange-Spiced Brisket

Give tender beef a festive touch with cinnamon, cloves, coriander and a kiss of sweetness from orange and dates. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Glazed Cornish Hens with Pecan-Rice Stuffing

Cornish hens bake up with a lovely golden brown shine when they are basted with my sweet and tangy glaze. The traditional rice stuffing has some added interest with crunchy pecans and sweet golden raisins.—Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario
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Sweet Potato Tortellini with Hazelnut Sauce

Using wonton wrappers instead of fresh pasta dough makes homemade tortellini easy to prepare. For more formal dinners, this makes an impressive vegetarian entree. —Charlene Chambers, Ormond Beach, Florida
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Orange-Glazed Pork Loin

This is one of the best pork recipes I've ever tried. My family looks forward to this roast for dinner, and guests always want the recipe. The flavorful rub, and the glaze brightened with orange juice, are also outstanding on pork chops. —Lynnette Miete, Alna, Maine
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Apple Butter Barbecued Roasted Chicken Exps35902 Gl2468857b01 19 5bc Rms 8

Apple-Butter Barbecued Roasted Chicken

I love cooking so much I sometimes think of recipes in my sleep and wake up to write them down! This dream-inspired dish is my family's favorite way to eat chicken. —Holly Kilbel, Akron, Ohio

Grace Mannon
Grace is a full-time mom with a Master's degree in Food Science. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and writes about her hits (and misses) on her blog, A Southern Grace.