If you’ve spent any time at all in America, you know that the best time of year is November and December. Not because of the chilly weather or the sudden appearance of Christmas decorations weeks in advance, but because it’s time for some of the best food you’ve ever had.

With each passing year, you may get tired of the same old turkey and stuffing, the endless pumpkin pie and the questionable green bean casseroles. In order to prevent any apathy towards this year’s festivities, take a look at these seven tasty alternatives to the average Joe’s Thanksgiving meal. You might think your family is weird, but some of these dishes might be even weirder.

1. Turducken

If the turducken could speak, its motto would definitely be “go big or go home.” This dish is a chicken stuffed inside a duck, which is stuffed inside a turkey (bird inception?). If you’re a fan of all kinds of fowl and feeling especially carnivorous this year, get out your biggest carving knives and start making your own here, courtesy of the ever-controversial Paula Deen.


2. New York Times Pumpkin Cheesecake with an Oreo Crust


Photo courtesy of somethingswanky.com

For those of us who pride ourselves on eating as much as possible on Thanksgiving, this cheesecake is perfect–you get pumpkin, cheesecake and Oreos, all in one dessert. Try out this combination (and enjoy many more images of it), on Something Swanky’s website here. This may be the only sweet treat you’ll need for your celebrations! Killing three birds with one stone, and I’m not even talking about the turkey!


3. Thanksgiving Turkey Cake


Photo courtesy of chow.com

Before we begin, let me warn you that this recipe is not for the faint of heart–or those who prefer that their food groups don’t touch. The Thanksgiving turkey cake takes every holiday dish you could possibly imagine and combines them into one jaw-dropping concoction. There are layers of turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, all topped with mashed sweet potatoes and marshmallows. Prepare yourself to be amazed and find the recipe here.


4. Pumpkin-Apple-Pecan Pie


A photo posted by Michigan Food (@michiganfood) on

Why settle for only one when you could have the best of both worlds? This combo of the traditional trio of Thanksgiving pies ensures that you won’t have any whiny guests left without dessert at the dining room table. This is sure to satisfy any pie lover (since it encompass three separate pies!). Try it out here.


5. Tofurky

A photo posted by Dana (@vegancookiemonster) on

Even if you’re not a vegetarian, take a deep breath and don’t be afraid to try Tofurky–even if it seems to be an act of treason against the true Thanksgiving spirit. There’s no assembly required, and you’ll be able to pig out on sides without feeling guilty. Hey, at least you’ll be able to say you tried it.  


6. Pilgrim Cupcakes

A photo posted by @desserts.year.round on

Though we now know that the Pilgrims were carriers of infectious diseases, if you put them on cupcakes they’re still pretty cute. This recipe requires little cooking, focusing mostly on customizable assembly and decoration. Make your own Pilgrim and then feel free to eat them whole.


7. No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Salted Caramel Sauce


Photo courtesy cookingclassy.com

If you’re looking for a fancier approach to dessert, these miniature pumpkin cheesecakes are the way to go–and there’s no oven required. The sweetness of the pumpkin and the cheese balances the salted caramel sauce perfectly in this recipe.

Think you’re ready to part with your ordinary turkey and stuffing, step out of your comfort zone and try one of these? Sure, Thanksgiving may be a holiday built on tradition, but take that leap of faith and try something new this year. Who knows? Your family might be begging for you to make your famous “Turducken” next year.