Why do we eat Turkey on Thanksgiving? Some Interesting Facts

Thanksgiving, as it is celebrated in the United States, is typically centered on a hearty meal. Bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and, of course, turkey are all traditional dishes.

How did turkey come to be the focal point of this feast? Why do we eat turkey on thanksgiving? So there is very interesting information behind this secret. 

why are we eating turkey on thanksgiving

We know that when the colonists sat down to eat with the Wampanoag Indians, beef and fowl were on the menu thanks to letters and records kept by early American settlers.

However, this historic meal became known as the first Thanksgiving. Let’s dig in deep to get more about the serving of turkey on thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Did the Pilgrims suppose to eat Turkey on Thanksgiving?

Nobody knows if the turkey was served at the Plymouth colony’s harvest celebration in 1621, but “wild fowl” was undoubtedly mentioned in historical accounts.

A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, written by colonist Edward Winslow, is the best existing account of the Pilgrims’ harvest feast. There was no mention of turkey in Winslow’s first-hand account of the first Thanksgiving. 

Related: Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

However, mentioning the Pilgrims gathering “wild fowl” for the meal could have just as easily referred to ducks or geese.

Turkey on Thanksgiving

Turkeys are a possibility, but they were not a popular food at the time. We also know that the Wampanoag Native Americans brought five deer, indicating that venison was served.

On the other hand, some theories attribute the Thanksgiving turkey to Queen Elizabeth II. While a fleet of Spanish ships sank on their way to attack England in the 16th century.

Why do we eat turkey on thanksgiving? According to legend, Queen Elizabeth found out while eating dinner. She was so pleased that she requested another goose.

According to some historians, the early settlers were inspired by the queen’s actions and roasted a turkey rather than a goose.

The wild turkey is a North American bird. As a result, Benjamin Franklin claimed that the turkey was a more appropriate national bird than the bald eagle.

However, not everyone agreed with Franklin, and the bald eagle became the United States’ national symbol in 1782. The bald eagle may be America’s bird 364 days a year, but the turkey has its holiday called Thanksgiving.

Why do we eat Turkey on Thanksgiving? – Quick Answer

Turkey became a Thanksgiving staple in the United States due to a combination of tradition, practicality, and historical myth-making. In the 19th century, as the holiday became more nationally recognized, turkey was a logical choice because it is a large bird that can feed many people and was readily available in the fall.

The bird also gained symbolic significance through the popularization of stories about the first Thanksgiving, where it was imagined as part of the feast shared by the Pilgrims and Native Americans, although there’s no definitive historical evidence that turkey was eaten at that event.

This narrative, combined with the practical aspects of serving turkey, solidified its place as the centerpiece of Thanksgiving meals.

Top 5 Grocery Chains in USA that Serve Most Delicious Turkey in Less Price

In 2023, several grocery chains in the USA offer delicious and affordable turkeys. Here are some of the top options:

  1. H-E-B: Known for affordability, H-E-B sells their Thanksgiving turkey for $23.76, with a complete eight-person Thanksgiving dinner costing around $41.56​​.
  2. Aldi: As a prominent discount grocer, Aldi offers whole turkeys at approximately $15.24. Additionally, an eight-person Thanksgiving meal at Aldi is priced at $30.27​​.
  3. Kroger: Kroger offers a competitive price of $11.88 for a whole turkey. The total cost for a Thanksgiving meal that serves eight people is about $34.44​​.
  4. Target: Matching Kroger’s price, Target sells turkeys for $11.88. A full Thanksgiving dinner for eight at Target costs $40.01​​.
  5. Walmart: Walmart boasts the lowest price among the listed chains, with their turkeys priced at just $11.76. The total cost for a Thanksgiving meal for eight at Walmart is a mere $29.86​​.

These stores offer a range of options for those seeking both delicious and budget-friendly turkey options for their Thanksgiving celebrations.

Top 5 Restaurants That Serves Delicious Turkey in Affordable Prices in 2023

Here are some of the most talked-about chain restaurant turkey entrées in the USA for 2023, ranked based on popularity and consumer feedback:

  1. Cracker Barrel Thursday Turkey N’ Dressing: Offers a classic Thanksgiving meal available all year round, receiving high praise from customers​​.
  2. IHOP Homestyle Turkey & Stuffing Melt: A unique sandwich that combines all classic Thanksgiving flavors, trending and well-received by consumers​​.
  3. Panera Bread Bacon Turkey Bravo Sandwich: A fresh and filling turkey sandwich that is nearly universally loved by consumers​​.
  4. Cracker Barrel Country Fried Turkey: A seasonal dish featuring breaded and fried turkey fillets, highly coveted by reviewers​​.
  5. Denny’s Turkey & Dressing Dinner Bundle: A classic Thanksgiving-style dish available for take-home or dine-in, with high consumer ratings​​.

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu for 2023,

  1. Cracker Barrel Thanksgiving Menu
  2. Costco Thanksgiving Dinner 
  3. Boston Market Thanksgiving Menu
  4. Bob Evans Thanksgiving Menu
  5. Publix Thanksgiving Dinner
  6. Hyvee Thanksgiving Dinner
  7. Wegmans Thanksgiving Dinner
  8. Kroger Thanksgiving Dinner
  9. Whole Foods Thanksgiving Dinner
  10. Bristol Farms Thanksgiving Dinner
  11. Shoprite Thanksgiving Dinner

Why do we eat Turkey on Christmas?

One of the most recognizable aspects of a Christmas dinner is the turkey. For many families, Christmas dinner simply isn’t complete without a turkey.

Most people, however, have no idea where this tradition originated or why turkeys, rather than goose, chicken, or beef, are the most popular option on Christmas Day

why are we eating turkey on thanksgiving

Although turkeys are not native to the United Kingdom, they have been consumed there for hundreds of years.

There is evidence that turkeys were imported into the United Kingdom in the early 16th century, and Henry VIII was reportedly the first British monarch to eat turkeys on Christmas Day.

However, it took over 400 years for the turkey to transition from a specialty, luxury item to the most popular festive centerpiece in the UK. 

Turkey became popular as a Christmas meat after it was introduced to the UK. By the Georgian era, turkey was almost as popular as goose and was eaten frequently at Christmas.

However, it wasn’t until the Victorian era that turkey became the most popular Christmas meat. Turkeys were also used in ‘Christmas Pie,’ an intricate dish popularised during the Georgian era.

A pigeon was stuffed inside a chicken, which was then stuffed inside a turkey, which was then stuffed inside a goose. This turducken-style pie was popular throughout the Victorian era. 


As you have read, a lot of years ago, people don’t eat turkeys on special holidays. Rather, they eat fowl and other wild birds and animals to make their holiday specials.

Somehow, people began to harvest turkeys and start serving them on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays.

Why do we eat turkeys on thanksgiving? Queen and famous people make it a custom to eat and serve turkeys. In this way, it has become the main dish of every holiday table. 

Leave a Comment