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Thanksgiving is a foregone conclusion, right? A big, boring turkey, lots of different beige-tinted side dishes, football, pie and a nap. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Alternative Thanksgiving dinners are trending in kitchens across the country, and not just in the homes of chefs. More people are exploring ways to fill their relatives beyond the bird and gravy. We teamed up with the culinary experts at Omaha Steaks to explore some options and discover what your next big meal might look (and taste) like!


A beef roast makes a tasty substitute for turkey as the main dish on Thanksgiving, and a chateaubriand is one that makes a statement. It’s a beef tenderloin roast, meaning it’s a roast-sized filet mignon. There’s no other beef roast that’s this tender, and the mild flavor goes well with nearly any seasoning or side dish.

Prime Rib

A big prime rib roast is probably the most “traditional” of the nontraditional Thanksgiving centerpieces. Start with a big, beautiful aged prime rib beef roast, sear it for amazing flavor and slowly roast it to juicy, rich perfection. Serve it in big slices with au jus and tasty accoutrements like horseradish or chutney. Serving prime rib for Thanksgiving isn’t necessarily easier than serving turkey, but it’s guaranteed to make an amazing impression.

Slow Cooker Meal

How does a Thanksgiving with actually, literally, zero work involved sound to you? Look to your slow cooker. The ingenious low-temp kitchen device is the key to creating rich, sharable dishes without complicated recipes. Omaha Steaks has partnered with Crock-Pot® slow cookers to create ready-to-cook meals that don’t even require chopping or prep. It’s all there. You can serve family-size dinners of chicken and dumplings, jambalaya, beef bourguignon and more. Seriously … try it for Thanksgiving! Get a few slow cookers together and make everyone’s favorites! Your family – and stress level – will thank you.

Turkey Roulade

Yes, it’s turkey. But this Thanksgiving idea has a unique gourmet presentation that’s far from the traditional bird. Making a turkey roulade means taking tender white-meat turkey and wrapping it around a mélange of ingredients like a stuffing. Omaha Steaks’ easy roulade is filled with croutons, kale and apricots, then the entire roll is wrapped in savory prosciutto. An easy option like this means chef-like results without complicated cooking on your part.

Spiral-Sliced Ham

Ham isn’t just for Easter! A gourmet cured ham makes a great Thanksgiving centerpiece and it goes well with traditional sides, too. The best thing about serving a top-of-the-line ham like the spiral-sliced ham is that it’s really easy – it comes ready to heat so all you have to do is turn on the oven.

Grilling Out

Here’s an idea – ditch the traditional meal scenario completely! Instead of having one big dish in the middle that you slice up for everyone, have fun at the grill! A big grilling package like the Freezer Filler from Omaha Steaks lets you plan a summer-inspired menu with steaks, pork chops, chicken, burgers, sausages and more. Everybody loves a cookout, so why not have one when everyone’s together?


Even if you’re sticking with a traditional meal, try taking a break from pumpkin or pecan pie! These traditional Thanksgiving desserts are good, but there’s also no way they’re going to excite anyone. New York cheesecake is rich and tangy, and pretty much universally loved, plus you can top it with fruit, sweets or even a little pumpkin spice!

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Do you have other Thanksgiving meal alternatives? Share them with us in the comment section!

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