Alternative Thanksgiving Meals that are even better than the star of the show (roast turkey!)
Although Turkey and cranberry sauce is a classic Thanksgiving dish, not every likes it or can cook it well! (1 whole turkey is usually too large for a small family too.)
Here is a list of delicious Asian recipes that would make great alternative Thanksgiving meals. They only require simple ingredients for an stress-free holiday season! For specifically fish Thanksgiving recipes, click here.
Note: click here for more Asian and Chinese Thanksgiving recipes.
Chinese Soup with Pumpkin
If you do want a pumpkin dish for autumnal flavor, try this Asian pumpkin soup! It's pretty much cut, dump in the bowl and steam, making sure you'll have an easy and stressless Thanksgiving Day!
Alternatively, I also have more easy Asian pumpkin recipes here and more Kabocha Japanese Squash recipes here.
For a healthy appetizer, try this Chinese cucumber dish- its tangy flavor will get your stomach ready for the rest of the food!
Don't forget to serve with a delicious dip on the side, such as sambal aioli.
Spicy Tuna Dip
This 4-ingredient seafood dip is perfect with crudités such as cut vegetables.
Hong Kong Soy Chicken
A whole roast turkey is traditional for the main course but can be a pain to make and to finish! (Turkey breast can be so dry...) Why not go with something smaller, such as chicken, as a turkey alternative?
This soy sauce chicken is a classic recipe from Hong Kong. The meat is juicy and tender from the poaching- a favourite at family gatherings!
The cooking process is mostly passive, with little hands-on involvement, allowing you the freedom to entertain your guests or make other healthy Thanksgiving recipes. If you want something even easier, I have a 30-minute braised chicken thigh version of this recipe here.
If 1 Asian whole chicken dish isn't enough, click the link for more recipes!
Note: If you do go with the traditional bird and have leftovers, click here for ways to use up the leftover Thanksgiving turkey meat!
Pumpkin Chicken Curry
Curries taste even better the next day, so you can actually make this aromatic dish the day before and just warm it up for your Thanksgiving dinner.
Full of holiday flavors, with tender and juicy chicken in a fragrant curry sauce, it goes really well with wild rice! It's so good you'll finish every grain of rice.
South East Asian Fish Curry
For a lighter non-traditional meal, go with a seafood curry such as this tamarind coconut fish curry. It's so easy and delicious, it may start a new tradition in your household!
These Asian savory pancakes only require sliced spring onions and 3 other ingredients. Delicious, cheap and can be fried from frozen!
Butternut Squash Fries
Instead of pumpkin, why not go for butternut squash?
Gochujang is so flavourful that you don't need plenty of garlic for flavor! The same dressing can also be used for pan-fried pork tenderloin or roasted Cornish hens.
Note: For more Korean side dishes recipes, click here. Wash down with some homemade makgeolli for a perfect meal!
Chinese Mantou Rolls
Go fancy with your dinner rolls this year, and try these Asian steamed buns! They can be made in advance, frozen then steamed from frozen: perfect for parties!
If you're not a matcha fan, you can omit the flavor or substitute with something else such as Hojicha, black sesame powder, turmeric or cocoa powder.
For more Asian breads besides steamed buns, click here.
For a new spin on classic mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes casserole, try these beautifully golden turmeric potatoes that are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Goes with any main dish and a great way to incorporate healthy turmeric into your diet.
Tip: you'll need to rub on the olive oil to get that crispy skin.
These king oyster mushrooms are 1 of my favourite Thanksgiving recipe. They're often used as meat substitutes thanks to their meaty texture. Although delicious with just butter and soy sauce, adding a hint of lemon zest and juice makes the dish even better!
Note: for more Chinese mushroom recipes, click here.
Korean Potato Salad
1 of my favorite potato recipes is this soft and creamy mashed potato- it has crisp apples for sweetness and cucumbers and eggs to balance out the soft potatoes.
Instead of pumpkin pie or classic apple pie and ice cream, try these Chinese Pumpkin Glutinous Rice Cakes which are deliciously gooey but super simple to make.
Much easier than making pie crust, for sure!
Brown Sugar Cookies
Or, for something lighter, maybe end the Thanksgiving menu with these 3-ingredient cookies that go super well with some coffee or tea? (If you don't have brown sugar, you can make your own!)
Tip: they're great as a lime curd sandwich or dipped into coconut caramel.
If you use any of these Asian recipes in your Alternative Thanksgiving Meal, do let me know! I'd love to see a photo of your holiday table spread!
If you enjoyed these dishes, maybe you'd like to sign up for my Chinese recipes newsletter here?
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