A turkey breast is the obvious possibility for many who benefit from the conventional feast however do not essentially want 10 kilos of meat for 2 or 4 individuals on the desk. However, if the concept of not consuming turkey would not ruffle your feathers, let your self off the hook. You simply do not need to serve it!
As a meals skilled who personally may care much less in regards to the chicken, I’ve spent the previous few years serving something however a whole turkey at my Thanksgiving dinners.
It’s a extremely adaptable dish that may serve a crowd or only a few individuals — and do not feel as if it’s essential to follow turkey and even rooster. A vegetarian pot pie, filled with greens like potatoes, inexperienced beans, squash, corn and peppers, may be simply as thrilling and filling.
Stuffed peppers are for weeknight dinners — stuffed squashes are showstoppers for Thanksgiving! Smaller squash varieties make for a beautiful particular person presentation that may eclipse a turkey even when it had been on the desk.
Slice off the tops of spherical squash equivalent to carnival or acorn, or halve rectangular squash like delicata lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds and stringy insides.
Main dish casseroles
As somebody who believes that stuffing is the explanation for the season, I’m right here to say it isn’t a stretch to translate this basic Thanksgiving sidekick into the primary course.
Think of it extra as a savory bread pudding as a substitute of a daily aspect, with ingredient add-ins that increase its main-meal potential with much more taste. Like stuffed squash, you possibly can take a stuffing casserole in nearly any route.
In many Italian American households, a slab of lasagna is a conventional starter or aspect dish alongside the extra extensively accepted vacation dishes. But why not flip the script and switch lasagna into the primary attraction with a Thanksgiving twist?
Happy Easter or Passover
If your favourite vacation meal is Easter or Passover, there isn’t a meals regulation that claims you solely have to eat it yearly. The conventional ham or brisket that takes heart stage at these large feasts can simply make its method over to Thanksgiving.
Either of those big-deal roast cuts go nicely with the same old roster of Thanksgiving sides, from mashed potatoes to inexperienced bean casserole to roasted candy potatoes and cranberry sauce.
So in case you’ve received a beloved household recipe for brisket or would simply reasonably have a ham, by all means, make that meal for your self.
Mac and cheese
Hear me out. When made out of scratch, mac and cheese is a dish of indulgence even on a daily day. But when you have the choice to make it extra particular, why not go all the way in which?
Bake a no-holds-barred mac-and-cheese casserole with actual dairy and crunchy breadcrumbs, then high it with one thing much more decadent, like fried onions — hey, in the event that they’re ok for the inexperienced beans, relaxation assured they are going to be nice right here. Or go Southern-style with barbecue pulled pork or brisket.
In truth, brisket mac and cheese is what my husband and I will likely be having at our two-person Thanksgiving this 12 months. In a time when all bets are off, why not go in on the consolation meals you like essentially the most?
Casey Barber is a meals author, photographer and illustrator; the creator of “Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food” and “Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats”; and editor of the web site Good. Food. Stories.