Non Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner
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With Thanksgiving just around the corner it’s time to prepare that show stopping Thanksgiving meal for your loved ones. Now, this may be considered shocking what I’m about to say, but here goes. We’ve never been fans of Turkey! I know it’s tradition, however in these modern times with all the chaos going on, surely we are allowed to break free of tradition to make a meal we all truly enjoy? So with that, we’re sharing our Ultimate Non Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner

Trust us, this is still a phenomenally delicious dinner. We’re sure that it will leave full bellies from even the most traditional of friends and family you have. We’re keeping the dishes somewhat in the wheelhouse of their originals, so there is still a sense of familiarity in the Thanksgiving plates that will be served up

What’s on the Menu?

So here’s what we’re serving up. Instead of the Thanksgiving Turkey, we are substituting that with a delicious, Buttery, Herby Roast Chicken Dinner

Substituting the classic Roasted Potatoes (or Sweet Potatoes) is our delicious Mac and Cheese

Replacing the sweet Cranberry Sauce is our tangy, sweet, and oh-so-delicious Tamarind Chili Jam

Green Beans? Not today! We’ll be serving up beautiful, Brussel Sprout Salad with a lovely buttery Almond drizzle

For dessert? Well, this is purely indulgent on my behalf as it’s my favorite dessert of all time. No Pumpkin Pie here, we’re eating Chocolate Mousse!

Perhaps an eclectic selection of dishes you say? Well, that’s exactly what we think too! If you’re going to be serving up a Non Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner then why not go all out with the Non Traditional dishes! So, please find our Perfect Non Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner meal plan and happy cooking!

Turkey Substitute – The Perfect Roast Chicken

Classic Roast Chicken Dinner Thanksgiving Meal Plan

Trust us, this Chicken is going to be a showstopper at the table. Mouthwateringly delicious and super tender with beautiful crispy skin. You really can’t go wrong! More and more Chicken is replacing Turkey across the USA for Thanksgiving Dinner, and with good reason. Chicken is the most widely consumed protein in the country so why should the holidays be any different?

Given a whole Chicken is nowhere near as large as a Turkey means you’re cook times will be drastically reduced. This recipe has a total cooking time of just 1 hour and 20 minutes! No need to be getting up at the crack of dawn to get the Turkey on! Also, this recipe doesn’t require a deep fry like some of those crazy Turkey cooking techniques. So, no need to have the fire extinguisher handy as there will be no backyard fires here!

The secret to this delicious Chicken recipe is in the preparation. We’re talking about stuffing some delicious Garlicky, Herb Butter underneath the Chicken Skin so when it roasts that beautiful butter melts away, infusing all that flavor into the meat. The skin absorbs that flavor too, and leaves it a beautiful, crispy golden brown. It’s a true center piece of the meal!

Roast Potatoes Substitute – Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese Thanksgiving Dinner

Ok sure we’ll give you the Mac and Cheese, as we know this is definitely a classic dish to serve during the holiday, particularly in the south. We just can’t resist putting Mac and Cheese on the menu, it’s just so good. A good starchy side needs to soak up the beautiful juices of the meat, while still holding it’s own as a delicious side. Something that good old Mac and Cheese does better than most!

Serve a big helping of delicious Mac and Cheese next to that Buttery Roast Chicken and you’re in for a treat. The delicious buttery juices of the Chicken mixed in with that Creamy Mac and Cheese is such a perfect combination

We stand by our Mac and Cheese recipe as being one of the best we’ve ever eaten; restaurant or home cooking. There are two secrets to this delicious Mac and Cheese recipe. The first is the 3 cheese combination of Cheddar, Gruyere, and Parmesan. Creamy, Sharp and full of flavor. The perfect combination

The second secret is Dijon Mustard. The addition of a good quality Dijon Mustard completely elevates this entire dish. Adding depth of flavor and a sharpness that cuts through the creaminess beautifully

Green Beans Substitute – Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad

Brussel Sprout Salad Meal Plan

You gotta have greens right? Of course you do! What Thanksgiving spread would be complete without some greens to cut through the richness of those heavy dishes on the table. We here at Dinnertime Somewhere are big fans of Beans. Love them! Baked, fried, steamed, blanched, you name it. We’d happily chow down on a big plate of beans for this dish. However, this is the Non Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner remember, so we’re mixing it up with this delicious Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad

This dish provides a more than suitable alternative to the beans and still maintains some of those familiar flavor profiles you expect. Similar to a lot of traditional green bean recipes, this Salad is topped with buttery, crunchy Almonds. It just adds so much flavor to the salad and adds that sense of luxury that you maybe wouldn’t expect with Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts pack so much flavor in them anyway. However, paired with the beautiful Buttery Almond finish and our Garlic Vinaigrette, this salad is a pure flavor bomb. Even the kids who would never ear Brussel Sprouts will enjoy this one! Perhaps just don’t tell them it’s Brussel Sprouts before they eat it!

The Brussel Sprouts are served raw and when shredded create a delicious crunchy, light texture. It certainly is a lighter alternative to the Green Beans and more than suitable for this feast!

Cranberry Sauce Substitute – Tamarind Chili Jam

Tamarind Chili Jam Thanksgiving Dinner

Unfortunately for some of you, our Tamarind Chili Jam can’t be bought out of a can. You’ll have to make it yourself. We’re truly sorry for that!

I still am perplexed how there is a huge debate within the Thanksgiving Dinner community about whether the canned Cranberry Sauce is better than homemade. We’ll play Switzerland on this debate for the sake of trying not to offend and instead offer up a completely different alternative! Our Tamarind Chili Jam is such a beautiful replacement for Cranberry Sauce as it hits on all those notes you expect

This is a deliciously Sweet Sauce which has a lovely thick consistency. So a beautiful punch of sweetness to add to the feast to pair well with that beautiful roasted meat. Replacing the tartness from Cranberries, the Tamarind Jam gives a lovely kick of Spice with the Chilis. It is also using Tamarind which is an extremely popular dish in Asian and Indian cuisine which adds a delicious acidic flavor, much similar to what you’d expect from Limes

Another benefit of this recipe is the Jam lasts for months in the refrigerator and has a million brilliant applications. Honestly, just try it as a side with some of your favorite dishes and see what you think. We love it with Mexican Food, Spread it on crusty bread, paired with roasted meats, and also pairs beautifully with Asian recipes. Give it a try!

Pumpkin Pie Substitute – No Egg Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse Thanksgiving Dinner

Last Thanksgiving, we had a phenomenal Pumpkin Pie courtesy of our amazing neighbors (shout out Jerry and Heather!). To be honest, that pie couldn’t be topped so out of utter respect we are not attempting to replicate. Instead, I’m just being totally greedy here and suggesting my favorite all time dessert as a replacement

Who can blame me either? It’s Chocolate Mousse! This dessert is A+ in every way possible. Velvety creamy Chocolate Mousse served with some delicious Whipped Cream. Finished off with some delicious fresh berries? You simply cannot go wrong in our books

Yes it isn’t traditional. However, by this point in the meal if anyone at the dinner table is looking for something traditional then they’re in the wrong house! There’s no better way to top off a Non Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner with a non-traditional Thanksgiving Dessert

It does always surprise me that there is a distinct absence of Chocolate in general for Thanksgiving. What’s the deal with that? I would happily give thanks to Chocolate every day if it meant I got to eat some delicious Chocolate Mousse!

All jokes aside. This is a lovely dessert. It’s Egg free for anyone with allergies, it’s super simple to make with only a few ingredients. Finally, it just tastes amazing. A perfect dessert to finish off a meal

Non Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Ingredients

  • 1 Large Whole Chicken
  • 2 lbs. Brussel Sprouts
  • 1 lb. Tomatoes
  • 4 Red Chilis
  • 1 tbsp. Ginger
  • 12 Garlic Cloves
  • ½ cup Parsley, chopped
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme
  • 4 Sprigs Rosemary
  • 4 Lemons
  • 2 Red Onions
  • 4 oz. Tamarind Block
  • 3 cups Cream
  • 4 cups Whole Milk
  • 2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated
  • 2 cup Gruyere Cheese, Grated
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
  • 1 heaped tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 box of Cavatappi Pasta (16 oz)
  • 4 tbsp. Plain White Flour
  • 8 oz. high quality Chocolate (combination of bittersweet and / or dark)
  • 2 tbsp. Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup Fine Sugar / Caster Sugar
  • 9 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 3 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Fish Sauce
  • 2 cups Water
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Optional: Mixed Berries
  • Optional: Mint

So, there you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed our Non Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. We hope you all enjoy the holidays spending time with loved ones and Happy Cooking!

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