Food & Entertainment

The ABT (Anything But Turkey) Thanksgiving Dinner

Anna Olson


There’s a nip in the air and a freezer full of turkey in every grocery store. This means Thanksgiving is quickly approaching! But not everyone wants or enjoys the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The reasons may vary. For some, it may be a cultural consideration. For others, there may be dietary restrictions, like vegetarians for example. And some people may have had enough turkey dinners to last a lifetime and just want something different.

My husband and I fall into that last category. After cooking countless traditional Thanksgiving dinners for ourselves and others, we’re ready for something different. That’s where the ABT, Anything But Turkey, Thanksgiving dinner comes in. Not only is it a step out of the ordinary, it’s a great reason to try new things. My Thanksgiving is a seafood feast. It’s delicious, plus I find that seafood tends to be on sale this time of year with everyone’s emphasis on poultry, o you might save a little money too!

Traditional or not, you still want to add the WOW! factor and impress the guests at your table. There’s no better way to do that than ABT with Alaskan King Crab with Grand Marnier Butter. Serve this dish with an autumn salad (think pears, pecans and goat cheese) and it looks fantastic on the plate and tastes even better. So good, in fact, it could easily become your new Thanksgiving tradition.


For the vegetarians in the crowd, I would suggest a veggie twist on an English classic: Mushroom Wellington. Forget the beef and enjoy delicious, juicy mushrooms encased in a golden, flaky pastry. Even non-vegetarians will love this sumptuous turkey alternative, and it can even be “carved” at the table!


Dessert can be the highlight of the Thanksgiving feast, but does it always have to include pumpkin spice? I say no! Try starting things off with the ABPSL (Anything But Pumpkin Spice Latte), then treat your guests with a tea-infused Rooibos Cheesecake. Tailor it to your own taste, choosing flavours from light and fruity, to rich and spicy.


Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to get together with friends and family. Don’t feel limited in what you can do in the kitchen. It might be that everyone is ready to try something new and different, they just haven’t opened their taste palettes to all the opportunities. That’s usually how traditions get started!

  • Diane Foisy

    Sounds good Anna. I am doing something completely different this year as well. We’re getting together for a huge family picnic and making it a potluck. I am bringing a big crock pot of beef stew. Definitely ABT. We’re planning outdoor activities, and having a bon fire! We think we may be launching a new annual Thanksgiving tradition!! :)

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