7 Creative Ways to Upgrade Your Thanksgiving Turkey

There’s definite appeal to presenting a classic, Norman Rockwell-type roasted turkey to family and friends on Thanksgiving, but a little creativity never hurt anyone, either. Try something new with your featured dish this year by switching up cooking style and presentation. Your turkey will be the talk of the table!

Here are 7 exciting recipes sure to make your turkey stand out this Thanksgiving.

1. Cider-Brined Turkey


Cider-brined turkey | iStock.com

“This turkey ended up being so moist and flavorful. Everything a turkey should be. This is definitely my new favorite method,” Self Proclaimed Foodie writes of this juicy apple cider-brined turkey recipe. Brining is a common method of turkey preparation that involves soaking turkey in a salty solution for an extended period of time, resulting in a spectacularly tenderized main course for your holiday dinner. Filling the turkey with spices such as rosemary, marjoram, thyme, and oregano will further infuse the meat with a fragrant, sophisticated character.

Visit Self Proclaimed Foodie for the recipe.

2. Date, Pecan, and Pear Stuffed Turkey


Turkey | iStock.com

“This is one divine recipe…I am certain you will make this recipe a keeper if you just have a try at this,” writes Dalia’s Kitchen. “It’s East meets West and truly is a gorgeous feast for the holidays.” The turkey is roasted to a crispy perfection, stuffed with an exquisite pear, date, and beef bacon stuffing, all making for one of the heartiest dishes you’ll encounter this season! Pecans add a crunchy, seasonal element to the dish, while honey lends a dash of sweetness. It yields 8-10 servings.

Visit Dalia’s Kitchen for the recipe.

3. Slow-Cooked Turkey


Turkey | iStock.com

“Crock Pot Turkey Breast cooks up tender and full of flavor with minimal effort. A tasty gravy from the cooking juices can be made in just minutes,” writes Spicy Southern Kitchen. Cooking your turkey in a crockpot not only saves precious oven room on Thanksgiving Day, but it also results in a phenomenally moist and flavor-packed turkey. To achieve that crispy outer skin that everyone loves on their holiday turkey, you can place this dish under the broiler for a few minutes after it’s finished cooking in the crockpot.

Visit Spicy Southern Kitchen for the recipe.

4. Deep-Fried Sriracha Turkey

deep fried turkey

Deep fried turkey | iStock.com

“This is, no joke, the best tasting turkey I’ve ever made,” Tori Avey writes of her Fried Sriracha Turkey, adding that “Sriracha is spicy, but I’ve kept the infusion flavor fairly mellow, in case any of your guests are spice-sensitive.” An injection with this Sriracha-olive oil marinade, followed by a bout in the deep-fryer, will result in an exceptionally-cooked turkey — and one unlike any other you’ve ever tried! For best results, enjoy it along with Avey’s Sriracha-infused gravy recipe to complement the dish, adjusting spice level to your preferences.

Visit Tori Avey for the recipe.

5. Roasted Turkey Roulade

stuffed turkey breast

Stuffed turkey breast | iStock.com

“This dish will make you wonder why you haven’t been making it all along. Not only is it mouthwatering and tender, it’s easy to make, a breeze to carve, looks super elegant, cooks quickly, and it can be prepared ahead of time!,” writes Hapa Nom-Nom. What else is there to say? This dish has it all! And on top of all these convenient perks, the turkey is stuffed with an irresistible pork sausage dressing. Dig in!

Visit Hapa Nom-Nom for the recipe.

6. Grilled Turkey

Grilled turkey

Grilled turkey | iStock.com

“Grilling turkey is a great way to conserve that precious oven space and this method is quick too, with tasty results,” writes She Wears Many Hats. As an alternative to your traditional turkey, try cutting the turkey up into legs, thighs, wings, and breasts and cook them all up on the grill. The result will be an evenly cooked and tender turkey. We’re sure this preparation will bring a welcome change of pace to the Thanksgiving table!

Visit She Wears Many Hats for the recipe.

7. Turkey Meatballs With Cranberry Barbecue Sauce

turkey meatballs

Turkey meatballs | iStock.com

“Maybe it’s a little extreme ask people to replace the roasted turkey on Thanksgiving or to think that meatballs are a sufficient equivalent to a beautifully roasted turkey, BUT wouldn’t this make a great holiday party hors d’oeuvres?” asks Spoon Fork Bacon. Depending on your level of traditionalism, we think this dish could go either way. It combines the finest flavors of Thanksgiving into a conveniently snackable form — but the real treat comes from the smoky-sweet cranberry barbecue sauce served alongside for dipping.

Visit Spoon Fork Bacon for the recipe.