In preparation for the upcoming meal marathon, let’s exercise our appetites, tease our taste buds and mentally prepare ourselves for the feast to come this Thanksgiving long weekend! What am I thankful for? TURKEY! So what better way to show my thanks than to share the many ways you can eat the iconic meat of this occasion. See after the jump for Five ways to make and eat turkey this Thanksgiving!

1. Turkey Pot Pie

Pie (period) is wonderful. Any way to incorporate pie into a dish is genius. Meat pie, chicken pot pie, turkey pot pie – I’m there. Tender turkey, savoury and creamy filling, hearty vegetable and flaky pastry crust. MMMMMMM. Plus – pot pie is an awesome way to enjoy your meat, vegetables and pie all in one place. Yummy and efficient! Check out this recipe from Canadian Living.

2. Turkey Sliders

For the laid back Thanksgiving. Watching football with roomies for the holiday? Looking to impress your boy without the pressure of having to cook an entire turkey + stuffing for two of you? The best way to get casual – make sliders! Easy to make, easy to snack on, and always a crowd pleaser. There are hundreds of turkey slider recipes online, but I came across this Buffalo Turkey Sliders recipe by Rachel Ray, which looks delish. If you want to forego the Buffalo seasoning to stick to the Thanksgiving flavours, use cranberry sauce as a festive condiment!

3. Mini Turkey Meatballs

As an Italian, there’s no way meatballs doesn’t make this list. Meatballs can be made from most meats, so simply Thanksgiving-ize traditional meatballs with turkey. And if you’re having meatballs you might as well add some spaghetti to that! Any excuse to have pasta. Of course you can count on Giada De Laurentis for this one, check out her Mini-Turkey Meatballs recipe.

4. Turkey Salad Sandwich

Yet another casual Thanksgiving dish – simple to make and easy to munch on. Why not make mini turkey salad sandwiches as an appetizer? Or if you’re hanging with your girlfriends for the holiday, this is a great choice for a refreshing snack that’s also festive. And talk about perfect leftovers for the day after! Check out this recipe from FoodNetwork.com.

5. Turkey Chili

Did I already recommend a dish for an afternoon of Thanksgiving football? Well why not have the ultimate Thanksgiving Monday night football wit sliders and chili [OK, now I’m hungry]. Chili is great because you basically chop stuff up, throw it in a pot, set it to simmer and let it cook – super low maintenance (but watch it of course!). This is a simple way to infuse Turkey into a fan favourite dish. You can find hundreds of chili recipes online or use a family recipe, and simply swap the beef with turkey! I’m planning on trying out this Turkey Chili recipe from Canadian Living.

Sometimes roasting a whole turkey is just too much work for us novice cooks, but that doesn’t make us lazy – it just means we want to be original! So think outside the box this Thanksgiving with these fun alternative Turkey dishes!

Happy Turkey Day! *gobble gobble*

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