Though turkey is typically the main attraction on the classic American Thanksgiving table, it doesn’t have to be.

For some people, the big bird is too bland or dry, or too much of a hassle to prep and cook, and they may prefer a more forgiving animal protein in its place. Others love options and want another main dish to feature alongside a beautifully roasted turkey. (I especially recommend multiple proteins for larger gatherings.)

Wherever you find yourself along the turkey spectrum, these recipes for ham, lamb, duck and more meaty proteins warrant consideration for this Thanksgiving or holiday meals to come. (And for those going the vegetarian or vegan route, we’ve got great main dish options for you, too.)

Porcini Beef Pot Roast, above. This recipe is full of umami thanks to the inclusion of dried porcini mushrooms. Plus, beef pot roasts tend to be pretty forgiving, which can come in handy on a busy day of cooking and hosting.


Duck Confit. While I do enjoy turkey, duck is the superior poultry in my book. This recipe requires a bit of planning to season the duck legs one to three days ahead of time, but the result is absolutely worth it.


Spiral-Sliced Ham With Cherry-Port Glaze. While some may think of ham as more of a Christmas centerpiece, it belongs on the Thanksgiving table, too, and this one with a cherry-port glaze is quite the showpiece.


Baked Chicken Thighs With Butter and Onions. If you’re looking for an affordable, easy main to prepare for a crowd, these chicken thighs with butter and onions are sure to fit the bill.


Spring Lamb With Rosemary, Basil and Mint and Roasted Red-Skinned Potatoes. Though “spring” is in the title, lamb is fit for a feast any time of the year. This recipe features an herb and garlic marinade that packs the leg of lamb with tons of flavor.


Pernil-Style Pork Tenderloin. Pernil, a garlicky slow-roasted pork shoulder found in many Latin cultures, often makes an appearance at holidays and other gatherings. It’s delicious, but can require a bit of effort. This recipe, from my colleague G. Daniela Galarza’s Eat Voraciously newsletter, applies similar flavors to pork tenderloin to get it on the table in a fraction of the time.


Prime Rib Roast With Roasted Beef Fat Vinaigrette. Prime rib roasts are practically built for holiday celebrations. This recipe makes use of the rendered beef fat in a vibrant vinaigrette with shallots, roasted garlic and herbs.