7 Turkey Alternatives For When You Forgot To Reserve One Ahead Of Time

Unsplash/Mike Tinnion

Order a new tablecloth and decorations? Check. Make sure you have enough dinnerware to serve your entire crew? Check. Pre-order the turkey at your local supermarket? Whoops…

There are so many things to juggle during the holidays that we’re bound to forget something. But if the thing you forgot this year is the centerpiece of your amazing feast, don’t freak out just yet. There are quite a few delicious alternatives to turkey that you can serve alongside your Thanksgiving spread. And trust us — everyone will enjoy these just as much (if not more) as the classic, basted bird. So take a deep breath and get ready for a little creative grocery shopping.

1. Honey-Glazed Ham


This is such a tame suggestion that you’re probably asking yourself, “Oh, why didn’t I think of that?!” Swap in the Christmas dinner staple at Thanksgiving this year with a sweet honey glaze and a side of grain mustard, and you will hear zero complaints come mealtime.

2. Made-To-Order Steaks


If you have a nice budget to work with this year and a crowd that loves red meat, why not step your game up a notch and buy a bunch of small steaks? You can cook them to each of your guest’s preferences with ease on the grill, and they will be amazed by the surprise holiday treat.

3. Cornish Game Hens


Want to get a little fancy? Pick up some of these cute little chickens and roast them similarly to how you would a turkey, but with lemon, garlic and your favorite herbs. Your crew will be amazed by your culinary skills, as well as the decadent flavor of their unique main course.

4. Classic Roast Beef


Keep things on the heartier side with a nice, juicy roast beef fit to feed a small village. This entrée pairs perfectly with traditional Thanksgiving side dishes, and the leftovers make some seriously bangin’ sandwiches. Who can say no to that?

5. Slow-Roasted Pork Tenderloin


If you’re the chef that accidentally dries out the turkey every single year, this one’s for you. Simply toss a pork tenderloin seasoned the way you like it into your slow cooker, and enjoy a perfectly tender main dish that literally falls apart with the slight touch of your fork.

6. Whole Roast Chicken


If it looks like a smaller version of a turkey, your friends and family won’t mind that it’s not actually a turkey, right? Well, it’s worth a shot, especially since a simple roast chicken is beyond delicious and works well with every other dish on your Thanksgiving table.

7. Succulent Prime Rib


Introducing the king of all beef cuts, the prime rib is a crowd pleaser no matter the occasion. Plus, it’s surprisingly easy to cook. Just prop it up on its ribs in a roasting pan, cook it at a high heat to get the outside brown and crispy, and then finish cooking it with a low heat to keep the inside tender and juicy.