Top-down shot of group of people sharing dinner

If you're tired of the same old turkey and mashed potatoes routine, it might not be a bad idea to spice up your Thanksgiving feast this year. Especially when it's with mouth-watering, non-traditional Thanksgiving ideas that we have right here!

Whether you're ready to break free from Thanksgiving tradition or simply want to add some new flavors and dishes to your feast, these ideas will definitely bring something new and exciting to the table.


3 Recipes for an Unconventional Thanksgiving Dinner

Now, it's one thing to cook for yourself, but with big families, there's a lot of things to take into account.

No worries, though, because we've got three unique Thanksgiving dinner ideas here that cover all the bases of what makes its traditional cousin so revered!

For Those Who Want to Keep It Low-Key: Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Buddig Turkey Shepherd's Pie


If what you're really looking to change in your Thanksgiving is the amount of work that goes into it, then we've got the alternative Thanksgiving dinner of your dreams right here!


  • 3 cups Buddig Turkey or Chicken, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 2 cups mixed veggies
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar, grated
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • Gravy (store-bought or prepared; as much or as little as you like)
  • Parsley, minced
  • Salt


  • Preheat your oven to 350℉ and lightly spray a 1-quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Melt butter in a medium-heated pan, then add onions until they turn transparent. Mix in the veggies, garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme for a couple of minutes.
  • Stir in the turkey and gravy until well-coated, and evenly distribute this mix in your casserole dish.
  • Heat your mashed potatoes until they're spreadable, combine with half the cheese, and layer this over the turkey mix. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling at the sides. For additional browning, engage the broiler for the final 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley before serving warm. Be sure to scoop from the bottom up for an equal mix of mashed potatoes and turkey underneath!


For Those Who Can Go for Broke: Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Buddig Pear and Blue Cheese Salad


If your family and friends trust you enough, why not go way off left field with this light, zesty, yet surprisingly filling combo? It's sure to leave you all more time to bond, play games, or whatever else the fam is up for when they're not napping on the couch after turkey overload!



For the salad

  • 1 head lettuce, torn roughly
  • 5 oz Blue cheese, crumbled
  • 3 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced (use cucumbers if you'd rather have something less sweet)
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • ½ cup green onions, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup caramelized pecans
  • ¼ cup Buddig Original Honey Ham, chopped finely (Buddig Pastrami also works for those without much of a sweet tooth.)

For the dressing

  • 1 ½ tsp prepared mustard
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Black pepper


  • Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking the vinegar, oil, mustard, sugar, salt, garlic, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Layer the pears, Blue cheese, lettuce, green onions, and avocado, in a bowl. Drizzle your freshly prepared vinaigrette over the top.
  • Crumble pecans over the salad, followed by a generous sprinkling of honey ham or pastrami. Give it a good toss before serving.
  • We like serving this salad with some crackers and our favorite Buddig lunch meats on a separate platter to give diners the option of adding toppings as they wish!

For the Traditional Non-Traditionalists: Spicy, Smoky Roast Turkey

Buddig Spicy, Smoky Roast Turkey

If your family's Thanksgiving traditions are as ingrained as the actual holiday itself, you'll want to tread carefully when it comes to changing up the menu.

Enter: our spicy, smoky roast turkey.

This might not be your Grandma's classic golden brown bird, but it has just the right mix of traditional and unexpected to satisfy both the traditionalists and the adventurous eaters alike.


  • 1 small turkey, chopped into pieces
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp paprika (go with smoked if you want to amp up the smoky flavor!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin (ground)
  • For the sauce
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 small jar cranberry sauce
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup hot sauce
  • Black pepper


  • Sauté chopped onion in oil until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Blend cranberry sauce, ketchup, hot sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer to desired thickness.
  • Cool, blend and strain mixture. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 390°F/200°C.
  • Combine spices in a bowl, then rub onto turkey pieces.
  • Bake turkey until cooked and BBQ sauce caramelizes on the skin. Brush on extra sauce for added flavor.
  • Roast turkey in a tray for about 40 minutes, basting occasionally with its juices.
  • If needed, roast for an additional 20 minutes, ensuring doneness at the thickest part of the breast.
  • Serve the turkey hot, with extra sauce on the side.


With Buddig, Non-Traditional Doesn't Mean Non-Delicious

Our three non-traditional Thanksgiving meal ideas will definitely expand everyone's palates—without breaking the bank or your back!

And remember: if you want to pack on some extra protein, flavor, and convenience to your Thanksgiving, Buddig is always here to celebrate with you. Munch on them in between prep, add them to the table for snacking, or top your dishes with them for an extra meaty punch. The recipe possibilities are endless!

Find the nearest shop with all your favorite Buddig treats using our store locator. And if you're in the mood for even more imaginative ways to squeeze in your love for Buddig meats, check out our recipe ideas section for inspiration.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Find Buddig Products and Be Ready for Lunchtime Anytime

Buddig offers a variety of affordable and packed-to-go lunchmeat, sliced just right for any meal. Find a store near you that carries all our delicious flavors. With no gluten or MSG, you can enjoy lunchmeat that tastes good, and really IS good.

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