Still Need a Thanksgiving Turkey? These Retailers Have Fresh, Frozen, and Cooked Birds in Stock

There are some vegan options too!

group of turkey
Photo: Getty Images

If you still need a turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner, you're not alone. While there's certainly an argument to be made for purchasing your bird early, there are still several days to go before the holiday arrives and there's no reason to panic … yet. Still, if you're planning on cooking a turkey this year and haven't ordered one, you may want to act quickly.

Since COVID-19 put a damper on many 2020 Thanksgiving celebrations, Americans are especially eager to spend the holiday with family and friends this year, which in turn means there's an increased demand for turkeys. According to grocery delivery service Instacart, nearly all Americans (an estimated 91 percent, to be exact) intend to celebrate on November 25, and the majority of those revelers plan to mark the holiday with fewer than 10 people.

Instacart's data, which gathered intel from recent surveys among more than 2,000 U.S. adults conducted online by The Harris Poll, also found that 68 percent of respondents expect to purchase a large or average-sized bird, while 18 percent plan to buy a small turkey, and 7 percent intend to get either a tiny turkey or turkey parts.

Increased demand for turkeys coupled with those pesky food shortages you've probably heard plenty about, could make it more difficult for you to procure a bird this year. However, there are still plenty of retailers (including some online sellers) with turkeys in stock.

Keep reading to find out where you can still snag a fresh, frozen, or cooked turkey. We even included some meat-free options for the vegetarians and vegans out there!

Where to Buy a Fresh or Frozen Turkey

Some consumers prefer fresh turkeys because they don't need to thaw before going in the oven, and tend to be juicier than birds that have been frozen. On the other hand, fresh turkeys may be pricier than their frozen counterparts and need to be cooked shortly after they're purchased, whereas frozen turkeys can stay in the freezer for months at a time.

01 of 08

Aldi

The German chain, which rivals Trader Joe's for its inventive and well-priced products, is currently selling frozen, whole Butterball turkeys. While the weight of the turkeys varies (as does the price) the premium birds tend to weigh between 10 and 32 pounds and are typically very well priced. Additionally, the Grade A turkeys are raised without hormones or steroids, contain no artificial ingredients, and are minimally processed.

If you prefer a fresh turkey, Aldi will have two birds to choose from starting on November 17. The first, a Honeysuckle White Turkey, is pre-basted and was raised without growth-promoting antibiotics and added hormones or steroids. It's expected to cost $1.49 per pound. The second option, a Simply Nature Fresh Organic Turkey, includes giblets. It retails for $2.99 per pound and is certified organic, non-GMO, antibiotic-free, and humanely raised.

02 of 08

Trader Joe's

TJ's will stock three different fresh turkeys this year, all of which will go on sale on November 12 until they sell out. The All Natural Antibiotic Free Brined Fresh Young Turkeys are soaked in a sweet-savory brine that really adds flavor to the meat, and come in two sizes. The smaller birds weigh 12 to 16 pounds, while the larger turkeys weigh 17 to 22 pounds. Both cost $1.99 per pound and may contain giblets.

The All Natural Glatt Kosher Fresh Young Turkeys are giblet-free, and are soaked and salted using a kosher-certified method instead of being brined. These turkeys cost $2.99 per pound.

Lastly, the Organic Young Turkeys are humanely raised and given access to the outdoors. They are also fed a vegetarian diet that is purely organic. These birds are not brined and do contain giblets, and cost $3.49 per pound.

RELATED: 10 Trader Joe's Thanksgiving Offerings You Need on Your Holiday Table This Year

03 of 08

Whole Foods

The Amazon-owned chain's whole, fresh turkeys went on sale on November 3, and will be offered until November 25 (good for those who are cutting it really close) or until they run out of stock. The birds cost $0.99 per pound for Amazon Prime members and $1.49 per pound for non-members.

Pro-tip: There are additional fresh turkeys available for pick-up in Whole Foods stores, but size, price, and availability varies by location.

Where to Buy a Pre-Seasoned or Cooked Turkey

Don't want the hassle of preparing an entire turkey this year? We totally get it. Luckily, several retailers do too. Keep reading to find out where you can purchase a pre-seasoned or cooked turkey and save yourself several hours in the kitchen.

04 of 08

Costco

While the big-box store isn't selling fresh or frozen turkeys this year, Costco members can purchase an Antibiotic-Free Turkey Breast Roast Turkey Dinner from Rastelli's. The spread, which includes turkey and an array of sides, serves eight to 10 people, and costs $199.99. It includes a 5-pound pre-seasoned turkey breast roast that you can pop straight in the oven, 4 pounds of crème fresh mashed potatoes, 4 pounds of traditional stuffing, 4 pounds of Brussels sprouts casserole, 2 pounds of green beans almondine, 2 pounds of cranberry, apple, and orange relish, 2 pounds of gravy, a pre-baked 10-inch pumpkin pie, and an unbaked 10-inch apple pie. There's also a smaller version of this spread available for eight people.

While both versions of this meal can be shipped to all 50 states, Costco is only shipping these orders on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays in order to guarantee Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday deliveries.

RELATED: Thinking of Ordering Thanksgiving Dinner This Year? Here Are 9 Delicious Options That'll Save You So Much Time

05 of 08

Goldbelly

Yes, the online marketplace that ships cakes, crab legs, and more directly to your door has multiple Thanksgiving spreads (with turkey!) to choose from. One of the most popular options is the Cajun Spicy Deep Fried Turkey from Uncle Ray's Fried Turkeys in Dallas, Texas. Each turkey is hand-selected, deep-fried, and seasoned with a mouthwatering blend of Cajun spices.

The turkeys are fully cooked and shipped frozen, and feed up to a dozen people. Each bird costs $109, but ships for free.

06 of 08

Whole Foods

In addition to its fresh turkeys, the chain also sells cooked birds both à la carte and as part of larger Thanksgiving spreads. While availability depends on your location, most Whole Foods stores still have plenty of options to pick from. Turkey-only choices include a Classic Roast Turkey that comes in three different sizes, or a Apple-Brined Smoked Whole Turkey that can feed eight. Both birds are cooked, but will need to be reheated. Shoppers must reserve their holiday meals by November 23, and all orders must be picked up at a Whole Foods location of your choice.

RELATED: Thanksgiving Dinner Without the Stress

Where to Buy a Vegan "Turkey"

If you don't eat meat, finding a plant-based substitute for turkey can be tough. However, given that more consumers are embracing vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian diets these days, the meat-free options for Thanksgiving are much tastier than they used to be.

07 of 08

Trader Joe's

TJ's strikes again! The turkey haven has a vegan option called the Breaded Turkey-less Stuffed Roast, which can be found in the frozen foods section. This dish, which comes with its own vegan gravy, is made mostly from wheat gluten. It's stuffed with wild rice, cranberries, celery, and onions, and coated in a breading seasoned with herbs and red pepper flakes in an effort to give it that classic crispy texture. The best part? It's only $12.99.

Just don't wait until the last minute to pick this dish up, because all Trader Joe's stores are closed on Thanksgiving Day.

08 of 08

Myrtle Greens

This plant-based brand sells whole vegan "turkeys" made from non-GMO soy protein. These meat-free birds even come with vegan gravy and vegan stuffing, so you can enjoy a completely meat-free Thanksgiving feast for $69.99.

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