Hosting Thanksgiving? Skip the Turkey and Try These Instead!

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, you may be looking for meal ideas that will take up a little less space in your Chapel Hill North apartment kitchen. Here are some Thanksgiving-inspired recipes that can deliver just as much holiday cheer, without cooking a huge bird.

butternut-squash-mac-n-cheese1Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

At once kid-friendly and gourmet, butternut squash mac and cheese could be your main course or a savory side this thanksgiving. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 lb noodles with lines (penne rigate)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 onion grated
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 c. chicken stock
  • 1 box frozen cooked butternut squash
  • 1 c. cream
  • 2 c sharp cheddar shredded
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano
  • nutmeg and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to the package. Heat a pot over medium heat, then add the oil and butter, melting the butter into the oil. Add the thyme and grate the onion into the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add flour and whisk for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock, then add the squash. Cook until warm and smooth. Add cream and bring to boil. Add cheese and stir until the sauce is completed. Season to taste, and add the pasta.

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Turkey Breast

If you don’t have room to cook a whole turkey, consider cooking this dish instead. Here’s how to make it:

  • 2-3 turkey breasts
  • 1 box seasoned wild rice mix
  • 6-8 slices of bacon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Butterfly the turkey breasts horizontally. Place the breasts, opened, in between two pieces of plastic wrap, and pound them to 1/2 inch thickness. Stuff them with pre-made seasoned wild-rice mix, cooked according to the directions on the box, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold the turkey breasts, with the rice inside, on top of each other, and wrap in bacon slices. Bake for 40 minutes, or until done, and then leave under the broiler to crisp the bacon. Serve with our favorite thanksgiving sides.

Do you have a favorite non-traditional turkey meal? Share it in the comments!