5 Turkey Alternatives to Make Your Festive Cooking More Exciting 

Turkey may be the traditional centerpiece to serve for Christmas dinner, it’s by no means the only option!

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And by now, you’ve probably heard at least one of your guests complain that they don’t really like turkey or find it too dry. So why not switch it up a little this year? Here are some great main ideas for you to experiment with this Christmas.


Roast goose can be a great alternative to turkey, as it offers a much richer, flavorful taste than turkey, while still retaining that Christmas feel. As a result, while it can be on the expensive side, it can be well worth it. Being fattier than turkey, goose meat also has a moister, more tender texture, as well. Goose fat itself is also packed with flavor and can thus be used to cook mouth-watering Christmas vegetables.


Tender and delectable, beef is a sure-fire winning choice for any of your guests who turn their noses up at turkey. Beef is also advantageous because you can choose how to cook it and which cut to use, based on your guests’ preferences. When cooking, you can either cook the beef so it is juicy and rare, or slow-roast the meat for added tenderness. When choosing a cut, topside is an enduring favorite for roast dinners. Alternately, though, you could opt for a luxurious steak cut, such as a prime bone in ribeye, to really wow your family and friends.


Ham is another ever-popular festive option and can thus be a spectacular centerpiece for your Christmas dinner. Salty and succulent, roast ham presents a more complex taste profile than turkey. You can also easily add another layer of flavor to your meat by coating the ham in a sweet glaze. Any leftovers can easily be repurposed for snacks or other meals, too. Because of its popularity, it is likely that you will need to order the ham in advance to ensure its availability, though.

Nut Roast

More and more people today are choosing to reduce or cut out their intake of meat, so it always pays to have some festive vegetarian dishes in mind to prepare for this. The nut roast is a classic no-meat alternative to Christmas dinner but can be a little bland at times. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can add to easily spice up this dish. For example, giving your nut roast a cheese-topping can add another dimension to the dish, while adding cranberries and chestnuts can give it a festive slant.

Stuffed Aubergine

If you are looking to branch out a bit with your vegetarian Christmas cooking, you could give stuffed aubergines a try, instead. Also known as eggplant, aubergine has a meaty texture that makes it a good substitute for Christmas dinners. For the filling, you can use cheese, nuts, or vegetarian stuffing, depending on your tastes. Alternately, if you want to use something more season, you can substitute the aubergine for baked squash.