20+ Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes
Thanksgiving doesn't have to be unhealthy. Whether you're looking for a main course (try our Perfect Roast Turkey) or a sweet treat to enjoy after the big meal (you'll love our reduced-fat Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Pie), we've got you covered from dinner to dessert.
Perfect Roast Turkey
First-time Thanksgiving hosts, don’t fear: We’ve got the perfect simple, yet doable turkey recipe that also happens to be super delicious. The bird comes out moist (Butterball turkeys are pre-brined, saving first-time roasters some serious time and cooking space) with a delectably crispy, brown skin. There’s a bit of butter involved, so wear disposable gloves while you’re rubbing it all over the outside of the bird. The turkey's temperature will rise as it rests, meaning that the entire bird will be at least 165°F by the time it's ready to eat.
Sweet Potato Casserole with Rosemary and Goat Cheese
Sweet Potato Casserole with Rosemary and Goat Cheese Recipe
This savory take on sweet potato casserole has a lovely nuttiness and aromatic nature. The tang of the goat cheese plays nicely with the sweetness of the potatoes, while the crunchy pecans and crispy rosemary give a great texture and incredible looks. It’s like the traditional sweet potato casserole aesthetic, but with a little more personality, plus cheese. Be sure to brown the butter with the fresh rosemary—not only does it infuse the butter with flavor, but it also crisps the rosemary leaves and provides a nice crunch.
Oven-Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges
Oven-Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges Recipe
If you prefer to explore the savory side of sweet potatoes, make these roasted sweet potato wedges for an easy and delicious fall dish. All it takes is a sprinkle of fresh rosemary and standard pantry spices to take these potatoes from overtly sweet to simple, salty-sweet perfection. Spread your potato wedges in a single layer rather than overcrowding them in the roasting pan to ensure they get nicely browned and crisp. Leave them in the oven a little longer for a satisfying crunch. Toasty on the outside and soft in the center, these oven roasted sweet potato wedges are a guaranteed way to get veggies on every family member’s plate.
Brussels Sprouts Casserole
Brussels Sprouts Casserole Recipe
This solid casserole is perfect for a winter gathering and would especially be welcome around the holidays. The strong flavors of sharply biting Brussels sprouts and salty bacon are rounded our with creamy, cheesy goodness while buttery breadcrumbs add a nice crunch. It’d make a perfect side for roasted chicken or pot roast, but it’s also a nice addition to a Thanksgiving or Christmas table.
Keto Cornbread Stuffing
Keto Cornbread Stuffing Recipe
Who says you can’t celebrate Thanksgiving on the keto diet? This kets-friendly stuffing is loaded with the traditional flavor you love, plus hearty, salty pops from the bits of uncured bacon. Make sure to let the dressing sit at room temperature before being baked so the cornbread has some time to absorb the chicken broth mixture. If you need to get a head start on Thanksgiving prep, you can assemble this the day before and store it in the fridge—just remove it from the fridge and let it sit for at least an hour before baking.
Warm-Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
Warm-Spiced Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
Earthy, fragrant spices like allspice, cloves, and cinnamon make wonderful accents for the natural sweetness of butternut squash. Make sure to simmer the squash until very tender--the softer it gets, the silkier the puree.
Smoky Brussels Sprouts
Since there’s a touch of sugar in this recipe, stir the Brussels sprouts often to prevent burning. If you’re feeling extra decadent, top this side with a little grated Manchego cheese.
Instant Pot Paleo Gravy
Instant Pot Paleo Gravy Recipe
Smoked turkey legs do most of the heavy lifting, seasoning-wise (just check the label to make sure that the ingredients align with your particular restrictions). This recipe calls for fresh pork belly as well, but feel free to go with thick-cut, uncured, smoky bacon and a fresh turkey leg if that's what you've got on hand.
Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts and Farro Salad
Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts and Farro Salad Recipe
Hearty and filling, this easy Instant Pot side dish was an instant hit in our test kitchen. For a vegetarian option, omit the bacon, saute the Brussels sprouts in olive oil, and cook the farro in vegetable stock.
Brussels Sprout Slaw with Apples and Pecans
Looking for a side that’ll stand out this Thanksgiving? Look no further than these charred, super tender carrots cooked in a spiced harissa oil. Smoky sweet carrots are balanced by brightness from the lemon zest, and the harissa paste mixture helps the carrots achieve a nice spice crust and char in the oven. Reserve some of that oil and drizzle it on at the end for a burst of flavor.
Lemon-Feta Green Beans
Searing lemons is one of our favorite tricks for upping the ante on any dish. The tart juice mellows out, providing the perfect balance for the briny capers and feta in this skillet side. If you have any leftovers, try adding halved cherry tomatoes and enjoying as a cold salad; some cooked chicken or shrimp would turn it into a lovely main dish.
Instant Pot Curried Coconut-Pumpkin Soup
Instant Pot Curried Coconut-Pumpkin Soup Recipe
This fall-flavored soup tastes lush and creamy, but has no heavy cream whatsoever. Want to make it in your slow cooker? Click here for the recipe.
Green Beans with Mustard-Tarragon Sauce
Green Beans with Mustard-Tarragon Sauce Recipe
Substitute fresh thyme or dill for the tarragon, if you prefer. To blanch haricots verts, cook them in boiling water 2 minutes, and immediately transfer to an ice bath to cool.
Fall Fruit Salad
Thanks to the hearty greens, you can assemble the salad ingredients ahead of time—just wait to drizzle with the mustardy vinaigrette until right before serving.
Festive Fall Salad
This vibrant seasonal salad offers the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors, with a bright cider vinaigrette cutting the richness of the butternut squash and turkey. While this seasonal salad would obviously be an excellent way to utilize some Thanksgiving leftovers, you could also very well leave out the turkey and serve it as a holiday dinner side dish. Full of seasonal flavor and color, it makes a fantastic alternative to heavier casseroles that are often included in the holiday spread. Feel free to swap the butternut squash for sweet potatoes or even roasted beets.
Fall Vegetable and Lentil Salad
Fall Vegetable and Lentil Salad Recipe
We love firm French green lentils, but you can also use standard brown lentils. You're not likely to find a whole butternut squash that's only 1 pound; just buy the smallest one you can find, and use 1 pound of it.
Roasted Grape, Apple, and Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Grape, Apple, and Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Roasted grapes—especially black grapes—are super sweet and slightly tannic, with a concentrated fruit flavor. They help balance the tangy, astringent quality of the cranberries, allowing you to use less added sugar.
Pumpkin Pie with Vanilla Whipped Cream
Pumpkin Pie with Vanilla Whipped Cream Recipe
This is the pie you remember from many Thanksgivings, made better for you. Instead of using a can of regular evaporated milk, we swapped in a fat-free version.
Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Pie
Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Pie Recipe
Impress your guests with a stunning cranberry cheesecake. The secret of the rich but reduced-fat filling is the combination of reduced-fat and fat-free cream cheese and Greek yogurt.