Move Over Turkey, Here Comes the Thanksgiving Ham

Turkey gets all the hype on Thanksgiving, which really doesn't seem fair to all of the other delicious foods on the table. Thanksgiving dinner wouldn't be complete without a scrumptious assortment of sides like mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce. Not to mention, one of the most underrated Thanksgiving dishes is glazed ham!

Thanksgiving Ham is the Way to Go

thanksgiving ham

In fact, some Americans choose to forgo the turkey altogether in favor of Thanksgiving ham for the main course. Ham is just as tasty as turkey and is much easier to prepare, not to mention more versatile for leftovers. You can use leftover ham in lots of yummy recipes, from ham casserole to ham sandwiches.

Baked ham is not just a popular recipe for Thanksgiving but is often enjoyed on Christmas and Easter as well. Christmas ham and Easter ham are delicious choices for holiday dinner or brunch, and they go great with appetizers like tossed salad, rolls and crispy sweet potatoes. When buying fresh ham, bone-in ham is the best option financially, as it costs roughly the same as turkey. Boneless ham is on the pricier side, so bone-in ham is a better option for enjoying your ham-centered Thanksgiving without changing the budget.

The best ham is indulgently covered in ham glaze, often involving brown sugar, pineapple or orange juice, and cinnamon. Alternatively, an orange marmalade glaze is a tasty choice. No matter the glaze, a perfect Thanksgiving ham is cooked to tender juiciness and baked in yummy sauce. Honey baked ham is especially popular, as the sweet flavor of honey is the perfect complement for the juicy meat. You can even make this meal into a beautiful centerpiece by artfully placing pineapple slices around the edges!

Easy Crockpot Ham

Although traditionally cooked in a roasting pan, you can make a super easy main dish by baking your holiday ham in a crockpot or slow cooker! This way, you won't spend any time checking to see that it's done, and you can leave your Thanksgiving ham to cook as you go about making your other dishes. Here's a glazed ham recipe flavored with brown sugar glaze, pineapple juice, honey and Dijon mustard.

Calphalon Classic 16-Inch Roaster

Calcium and potassium-rich, this pineapple and brown sugary Thanksgiving ham recipe is a simple and flavorful option for your holiday dinner. This recipe is flexible in that you can use spiral ham or whole ham, making planning even easier. The cook time for this pineapple glazed ham is five hours, but the prep time is ten minutes, so you can let your ham cook in your instant pot as you make a tasty array of sides.

If you want a Thanksgiving main course as tasty as turkey but with half the effort involved, glazed ham is the way to go!

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on November 8, 2020. It was updated on November 11, 2021. Products featured on Wide Open Eats are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.