Try These Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Food Ideas

“This turkey will not die today!” Make a stand for your own non-traditional celebration of thanks this season.

If you are planning to host a Thanksgiving meal in your apartment this season, get creative with a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner that will surprise your guests and cater to family and friends with special food preferences.

Set a diverse buffet
One of the main reasons people stray from traditional Thanksgiving traditions is to satisfy the dietary needs of a everyone at the table. If your guest list includes vegetarians, vegans or gluten-free friends – or foodies! — you can still create a delicious dinner that suits all of their tastes. The key is to provide options.

Seafood is a great alternative to turkey, and some vegetarians are open to eating fish. Prepare a tasty Thanksgiving salmon with cranberry sauce or autumn spice scallops. For a truly vegetarian Thanksgiving, shoot for scrumptious veggie entrees like butternut squash baked risotto or a mushroom tart. Preparing pumpkin pie can be bewildering when you are crafting a gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner menu, but there’s always gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust to save the day!

Don’t let special diets intimidate you. Have fun experimenting with your dinner menu and create a new tradition that’s both healthy and yummy.

Plan a faraway feast
As Thanksgiving is an American holiday that celebrates our first settlers, an obvious way to mix things up this year is to give your Thanksgiving dinner menu an international twist. A Greek lamb roast, Italian turkey sausage lasagna or Indian shrimp vindaloo is guaranteed to spice up the flavor of your feast.

Take your Thanksgiving dinner on the road with a visit to a local restaurant. International restaurants are often open on Thanksgiving Day, so keep your kitchen clean and drive your family to the neighborhood Chinese, Indian or Korean spot. Plus, eating out means you don’t have to cook Thanksgiving in a small kitchen!

Or you can go big with your holiday vacation plans and travel farther afield for a real non-traditional Thanksgiving out of the country. Viking River Cruises offers spectacular European holiday excursions that feature fabulous meals and seasonal market shopping.

Give thanks without the focus on food
Some of us dread Thanksgiving because we are watching our weight or trying to stay healthy. Grandma’s decadent turkey dinner is simply too tempting! Removing the food focus from Thanksgiving is a great alternative. After all, there are fun ways to savor the spirit of the holiday without destroying your diet.

If the temptation truly is too great, you might skip the family meal, but offer to host a post-dinner game night at your house. That way you can still see your loved ones and share what you are grateful for over a game of Scrabble instead of stuffing. Other healthy options include planning an afternoon walk in the park or meeting everyone for an evening movie.

Think outside of the box of stuffing this year and plan a non-traditional Thanksgiving meal that will make this holiday unexpected and memorable.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Everett Collection

5 thoughts on “Try These Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Food Ideas

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