The best alternatives to turkey this Christmas

The best alternatives to turkey this Christmas

Turkey is the classic meat to serve at a Christmas dinner, it’s been a staple of the table since the early days of Christmas traditions and continues to be today. However, there is also increasing demand for a good alternative to turkey at Christmas. Whether someone in your family has an allergy or you’re simply fed up with having the same old meat every year, in this guide we’ll be exploring the very best options that could replace turkey this holiday season.

Chicken, Goose or Beef


This is a fairly obvious choice for a turkey alternative, it’s in the same type of category and for some people it’s a must to have Christmas chicken. A beautiful, high quality, free range, juicy chicken can make the perfect centrepiece for a Christmas dinner. If you’re worried that using chicken will make it just like any other Sunday roast dinner, you don’t need to. There are many versatile recipes and approaches that can elevate your chicken and make it a mouth-watering, flavourful dish that suits the special occasion of a Christmas dinner.


Sticking with the theme of birds, goose is another classic alternative to turkey, and was in fact the original meat of choice before turkey saw a surge in popularity. Goose reaches its prime during the winter, so it’s no surprise that many families make it their main Christmas meat. The fat in a goose works as a natural baster, which means it’s pretty much impossible for it to dry out, and the skin becomes very crispy and flavourful during cooking.


Breaking tradition completely but in the best way, many people are starting to opt for Christmas beef over turkey. The possibilities are endless when it comes to beef, there are many different cuts available, as well as ways to prepare and cook it. You could cook it in a way that ensures it’s juicy and rare or take the low and slow approach for melt in the mouth tenderness.

A popular option for beef at Christmas is a beef wellington. Additionally, the leftovers can make for a perfect Boxing Day feast or if you used a beef joint, flavour-packed hot sandwiches, or paninis for when you understandably want quick and easy following the Christmas chaos.


It might seem like a surprising option, but a fish dish can look and taste very impressive on a Christmas dinner when cooked right. Also, it is significantly lighter than other meats, meaning you won’t have to lie down on the couch for the rest of the afternoon from over indulgence. Certain types of fish like monkfish or turbot would fill the bill perfectly, but they are on the pricier side.

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, you can’t go wrong with a plaice or grey mullet. You might think that fish doesn’t complement the typical Christmas flavours, and for some things it won’t. However, both plaice and mullet work nicely with a sage and onion stuffing to retain that festive feeling. Also, for dinner table showstopper you could have a beautiful salmon en croute, which is easy to prepare and share with the whole family.

Ham / Gammon

A beautifully sweet and salty roast ham or gammon can be a real treat for Christmas and there’s always plenty to go around the dinner table. Ham can often go underrated, but if you’re looking for an alternative to turkey that still has that showstopper feeling when carving it, a juicy and succulent ham joint could be just what you need.

It works just as well as turkey with the usual Christmas dinner trimmings and it makes the best leftovers for the next few days. You can turn it into a British classic, ham, egg, and chips, you can make sandwiches with it and so much more. There’ll never be waste if you use ham or gammon for your Christmas dinner.


You won’t be short of choices if you’re considering alternatives to turkey this Christmas, there are plenty of amazing meats that will satisfy the whole family. As the C word creeps ever closer it’s important to be prepared, and the best way to do that is buying shopping at an online butchers like The Village Butchers.

We stock a wide range of fresh, high-quality meats that can be quickly and carefully delivered straight to your door, ready for you to freeze ahead of the big day. Shop online today and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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