9 Alternatives to Roasting a Turkey: SparkRecipes SlideShow

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9 Alternatives to Roasting a Turkey

By Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer
Though Thanksgiving is usually synonymous with turkey, there is no reason why you have to eat it. Whether the thought of cooking a whole bird is intimidating, you like to buck tradition, or you need a main course that takes less time, we have a recipe for you. Here are nine alternatives to the traditional roast turkey. We think you'll give thanks for these delicious dishes!

Crockpot Turkey Breast

OK, so this is still turkey, but it's a much easier option than roasting a whole bird. Turkey breasts are perfect for smaller families and those who don't like dark meat. Plus, using a slow cooker frees up your oven for the other delicious Thanksgiving dishes. Tip: If your family always runs out of white meat, cook a breast in addition to a whole bird!

Dijon-Herb Pork Tenderloin

Pork is the other white meat, and the tenderloin is both tender and lean. Even better: It roasts in just 20 minutes! The flavors of this pork roast pair well with traditional Thanksgiving side dishes like mashed potatoes and sage stuffing.

Super Easy Cornish Game Hens

If you are a stuffing lover, consider serving Cornish game hens. Not only are these small enough for each person to have an entire bird, but also they can safely be stuffed (unlike whole turkey).

Beef Brisket with Savory Sauteed Apples

Though usually a traditional Hanukkah meal, brisket can be the centerpiece at your Thanksgiving table, too--especially with Savory Sauteed Apples.

Honey Roasted Ham

Ham is the star of plenty of other holiday feasts, so why not Thanksgiving? The sweetness of the glaze and salty meat beautifully contrast with the other earthy fall flavors on the table, and most only need to be cooked until heated through.

World's Best (and Easiest) Salmon

This salmon dish is as impressive as it is simple. Load up on your omega-3s while you celebrate, and start a new Thanksgiving tradition!

Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken

The oven is prime real estate on Thanksgiving, and there's usually a waiting list to get in. How will you get the stuffing, all the pies, and the main dish cooked in time? Enlist your slow cooker and make a simple, delicious "rotisserie" chicken.

Slow Cooker Beef Roast with Vegetables

Some families like to work out before they pig out on Thanksgiving. If you'd rather spend time on the football field or hiking in the woods than sweating over a stove, consider making a one-pot meal, like this hearty beef roast with vegetables.

Roasted Chicken with Herb Oil

This roast chicken is simple yet delicious, the perfect canvas for an experiment in flavor. Go beyond the traditional herbs of Thanksgiving and try cilantro, coriander, and cumin, served with roasted corn.