Not Crazy About Turkey or Ham? Here are Some Protein Alternatives to Serve This Holiday Season


While a Thanksgiving turkey and a Christmas ham may be tradition, there is nothing wrong with starting your own holiday customs and trying something new. This year, allow another protein dish to have its moment of glory or even a meat alternative option. Here are some great holiday dinner centerpiece recipes for you to adventurously try out this holiday season.

1. Garlic-Crusted Roast Rack of Lamb

photo by Food & Wine

Food & Wine’s Rack of Lamb recipe will not only impress your dinner guests but will also elevate the elegance of your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. With only five ingredients and a total prep & cook time of just 1 hour and 45 minutes, you will have plenty of time to spend with your guests while having minimal clean-up.

2. Roast Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce

photo by Once Upon a Chef

A rich red wine sauce to compliment a robustly flavored beef tenderloin is what this recipe from Once Upon a Chef will deliver. With ingredients such as thyme, shallots and of course, wine, this centerpiece dish will take under 2 hours to prep and cook.

3. Orange Cranberry Pork Loin Roast

photo by The Cookie Rookie

This entree dish by The Cookie Rookie brings all those familiar fall favorite flavors together. With balanced flavor and few ingredients, your guests will think you spent hours in the kitchen preparing an elegant dinner.

4. Holiday Prime Rib

photo by Southern Discourse

Southern Discourse’s Holiday Prime Rib uses all the flavor of the season to bring holiday cheer straight to your table. With thyme, rosemary and garlic bring a great earthy flavor as the base flavor profile to complement all of the fixins that go along with a traditional holiday dinner.

5. Fall Harvest Cider Roasted Chicken

photo by Half-Baked Harvest

Half-Baked Harvest truly has a unique spin on a harvest chicken recipe. With fall flavors such as walnuts, honey, apples, sage and goat cheese (just to name a few) this dish not only offers a warm holiday feel but also a unique and flavorful profile.

6. Creamy Tuscan Salmon

photo by Eat Well 101

Flaky salmon veiled in a creamy, garlic butter and sundried tomato sauce will bring a taste of Italy to your holiday dinner table. Eat Well 101 provides an exceptional salmon recipe that you can prepare in 20 minutes.

7. Shrimp Scampi

photo from Serious Eats

Serious Eats Shrimp Scampi Recipe uses Vermouth and a blend of herbs to bring a flavorful meal to your holiday table. The entire meal can be cooked in less than 25 minutes and cleaning up is a breeze. Eat plain or serve over pasta or polenta for a heartier meal.

8. Mushroom Lentil Loaf with Cranberries

photo from A Virtual Vegan

For a lighter vegan meal option that still feels like a holiday entree, try out A Virtual Vegan’s Mushroom Lentil Loaf with Cranberries. Consisting of chopped veggies, walnuts, bread crumbs and a select few other ingredients, this loaf will have a great texture while being packed with nutritional value. Assemble, bake for an hour and then dive into a festive vegan meat alternative entree.

9. Vegan Holiday Roast

photo from Shane and Simple

Shane and Simple provides a vegan option that feels classic with his Vegan Holiday Roast recipe. Consisting of beans, tomato paste and a variety of herbs, one bite will leave you and your guests wanting more.

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