Photo: Mark Bowden via 123RF

This year, why not try something different for your Thanksgiving feast? Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or just looking for a healthier option, there are plenty of great options to liven up your Thanksgiving dinner menu. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Pumpkin Yellow Curry

Curry dishes are a perfect alternative Thanksgiving entree. Plus, they’re easy to make, take less time to cook than traditional Thanksgiving dishes, and (depending on the spices) offer a variety of health benefits.

This pumpkin yellow curry recipe is a flavorful and festive dish that takes just minutes to prepare. It includes several ingredients, such as turmeric, ginger, minced garlic, and one red chili or serrano pepper for heat.

This recipe can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator until it’s ready to serve. It can then be reheated in the microwave, stove, or oven before serving.

Caramelized Onion & Butternut Pumpkin Crostata

Crostatas are another versatile and easy-to-make dish perfect for any holiday table. Crostatas are made with fresh bread crusts and often filled with cheese, herbs, meat, or vegetables — making them an excellent option for entertaining guests or feeding a crowd.

This savory butternut pumpkin crostata recipe combines the sweetness of butternut squash with the smokiness of caramelized onions. The dish creates a unique and delicious appetizer or main entrée. Plus, it consists of basic ingredients you probably already have on hand, making it convenient to whip up on short notice.

Vegetarian Spinach Pumpkin Lasagna

A fresh fall twist on traditional lasagna, this vegetarian spinach pumpkin lasagna recipe consists of mozzarella and ricotta cheese layers, sautéed spinach, and seasoned pumpkin puree. Canned pumpkin and no-cook noodles make this dish quick and easy to prepare — which means you can spend more time enjoying your guests’ company instead of in the kitchen.

Not a fan of lasagna? Consider whipping up another cozy fall pasta dish like baked penne with butternut-sage sauce or pasta al forno with squash and pancetta.

Photo: Kamil Zab’ocki via 123RF

Cranberry Pork Roast

If you’re looking for a way to impress your guests sans effort, this cranberry pork roast is the recipe for you! This simple meat entree takes only about an hour and a half from start to finish and includes minimal prep time. Best of all, it’s fully customizable. You can add other seasonings or swap out different ingredients to suit your and your guests’ tastes.

To make this succulent and savory dish, you’ll need: 

  • Pork loin 
  • Olive oil
  • Thyme
  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice
  • Honey
  • Orange zest
  • Cranberry sauce (store-bought or homemade)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pan Seared Duck Breast with Savory Blackberry Sauce

Turkey may be the traditional centerpiece of most Thanksgiving meals, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holiday with a tasty alternative like duck breast! While preparing duck may seem daunting, it’s pretty simple to cook and results in tender and juicy results every time.

Here is a mouth-watering recipe for pan-seared duck breast with savory blackberry sauce. The sauce calls for bourbon (or balsamic vinegar), thyme, and blackberry jam to create a sweet and tangy flavor to transform any ordinary duck breast into an unforgettable main dish.

Whether you stick with tradition or embrace your culinary creativity this holiday season, one thing’s for sure: these dishes will leave a lasting impression!