10/04/2012 12:16 EDT | Updated 12/05/2012 05:12 EST

Not One for Turkey? Thanksgiving Alternatives

Thanksgiving doesn't just mean turkey time. New traditions and main course ideas are always surfacing. For some the turkey remains the celebrity guest, but for new hosts or cooks the daunting task of roasting a whole turkey is less than desirable. The holidays can bring with it a whirlwind of chaos and stress for even the most proficient home cook.

This year, forget the stress! We've got lots of solutions to make you feel like a pro in the kitchen while you tackle the holiday feast. Even your guests will think you're a Mary Poppins miracle as you breeze around the kitchen stress free.

First things first! Decide whether you are turkey focused or not. For many home cooks, the stress and mess of roasting a whole bird is what triggers the initial holiday panic. Deciding how to share oven time, when to start cooking and how to keep food hot are enough to drive even the experience cook a little crazy.

If you're set on roasting up a 20-pound turkey for your holiday feast, good for you! Roasting a turkey is a great challenge for home cooks. With just a little preparation and a few simple steps you'll be surprised at how easily you can whip up a perfectly roasted bird. To make sure you're set up for success, check out this "How To Roast a Turkey" video. It's super quick and filled with helpful hints to make sure you enjoy a stress free holiday.

How to Roast Stress-Free

Not up for roasting a turkey this year, or just looking for something new? We've got some great dish ideas that will leave you feeling festive and satisfied. From our one pot braised short ribs to roasted Cornish hens, each of these dishes are designed to be flexible and serve two or a crowd without the mess and mayhem of a whole turkey.

Need a holiday main on a budget? Gather friends and family around a comforting pot of our beef and red wine stew or savoury turkey and sweet potato pasta. These dishes use inexpensive cuts of meat and root vegetables to help you stretch your dollar without compromising quality! Your guests will be thankful for the delicious food, time with friends and the easy enjoyment that comes from classic dishes like these.

When it comes to the holidays it is all about traditions that fit your lifestyle and budget. Opt for dishes you feel confident preparing. Your friends and family will be thankful to see you cheery and relaxed instead of slaving over a hot stove.

Thanksgiving Dinner Alternatives