21 Easy Thanksgiving Recipes (with a Healthy Twist!)

Traditional Thanksgiving dishes are not very healthy but you can learn how to make them healthy with just a few simple substitutions. These easy Thanksgiving recipes are perfect for those who want to stay healthy on Thanksgiving and enjoy their favorite holiday flavors at the same time. No more guilt and no more stress!

Easy Thanksgiving Recipes With A Healthy Twist | Traditional Thanksgiving dishes are not very healthy but you can learn how to make them healthy with just a few simple substitutions. These easy Thanksgiving recipes are perfect for those who want to stay healthy on Thanksgiving and enjoy their favorite holiday flavors at the same time. No more guilt and no more stress! | A Sweet Pea Chef

We take our Thanksgiving dinner very seriously around here.

Nothing’s better than enjoying great food with family and friends on Thanksgiving. Adding in a Cowboys game is pretty awesome, too.  Man, I love Thanksgiving!

Since there’s a lot of parts to cook on Thanksgiving, it’s important your recipes are not only absolutely delicious, but are easy to follow and make. Also, if you’re struggling with weight or you don’t know how to make healthy Thanksgiving dishes, I’ve got you covered.

I’ve gathered our family’s favorite easy Thanksgiving recipes to share with you. We absolutely love each and every one of these Thanksgiving recipes and hope you will, too. All these easy Thanksgiving dinner recipes make HEALTHY and delicious dishes. Because yes, friends, it is possible to eat healthy without saying no to all your favorite Thanksgiving flavors.

I’ll teach you how to make your favorite Thanksgiving dishes less heavy and I’ll share with you my best Thanksgiving recipes, including Thanksgiving side dishes, easy Thanksgiving treats, and my delicious and easy Thanksgiving desserts.

How does this sound?

Also, to make your Thanksgiving meal prep easier, I’ll tell you all the tools I use to make easy Thanksgiving food. You know I love to give you useful tips so get ready to learn how to save time and to enjoy a healthy Thanksgiving dinner. I hope these simple Thanksgiving recipes will make your life a little easier because I know the holiday season can be stressful.

One more thing before we get started, the best way to have stress-free holidays is planning. Start by selecting your favorite Thanksgiving recipes from this list to create a menu. Many of these recipes including the Thanksgiving sides, appetizers, and starters can be made ahead of time so you don’t have to worry that you won’t have time to prep and cook all the healthy Thanksgiving recipes you want.

Overhead shot of a full Thanksgiving dinner menu on a plate, including the roasted turkey, fresh cranberry sauce, garlic parmesan green beans, cauliflower mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, gravy, fresh pumpkin pie, and whipped cream.

TOOLSET FOR EASY THANKSGIVING RECIPES

Before discussing all the best Thanksgiving recipes I gathered for you in this post, let’s take a minute to talk about the tools that will help you to put together a delicious and healthy Thanksgiving menu.

  • Let’s start with a large skillet. It’s important to have one, especially when you cook for more people. A large skillet will be very helpful when cooking some of the Thanksgiving side dishes.
  • Casserole dishes are also very popular during Thanksgiving because they are easy to make and you can easily cook for a crowd so make sure you have casserole baking dishes for the Thanksgiving recipes.
  • Another useful tool for cooking Thanksgiving sides is a baking sheet. You can use the baking sheet for roasting sweet potatoes or other veggies you can serve as a Thanksgiving side.
  • Now, if you want to prep ahead these easy Thanksgiving recipes, make sure you have your meal prep containers ready. Or your Ziploc bags, gallon freezer bags or whatever airtight container you have for storing food.
  • If you want your Thanksgiving dessert to be a pie, you’ll need a pie plate. And a rolling pin if you want to make a healthy pie crust.
  • As for more general tools and appliances, you’ll need a set of mixing bowls in different sizes, a sharp knife, a digital thermometer to make sure your turkey is perfectly roasted, a sauce pan for the homemade cranberry sauce, and a food processor or blender for all the Thanksgiving recipes that require mixing and blending.
  • Last, but not least, I use a roasting pan to make my turkey.  I only use it for when I roast meats, but it is awesome and really helps the turkey roast perfectly.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

7 TIPS FOR MAKING EASY THANKSGIVING MEALS EXTRA DELICIOUS

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before. If you want to cook a healthy Thanksgiving dinner, however, rest assured you have nothing to worry about if you make a plan and stick to it.  To help boost your confidence, here are my 7 top tips for having a successful Thanksgiving dinner.

  1. As I already mentioned, the first thing you have to do is to decide on your healthy Thanksgiving menu by selecting your favorite Thanksgiving recipes. This list is a great resource since it has all the Thanksgiving favorites so you don’t have to spend hours researching healthy Thanksgiving recipes.
  2. If you want your Thanksgiving dinner to be healthy, make sure you have all the healthy substitutes.  Make sure you have a list of all the healthy alternatives before you go shopping.
    1. Olive oil and coconut oil are great butter alternatives.
    2. Whole wheat flour, almond flour, and chickpea flour are better than all-purpose flour.
    3. Coconut sugar is a great alternative to refined white sugar.
  3. And speaking of shopping, plan your grocery shopping at least a week before Thanksgiving to be sure you find fresh and healthy ingredients and you’re not forced to rely on canned and processed ones.
  4. Prep ahead. The key to a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner is prepping side dishes ahead of time. Thanksgiving appetizers make ahead recipes are also a good idea. You can prep them a few days or even a week ahead of time and store them in the fridge or in the freezer.
    1. Recipes that can easily be made ahead and then served cold or reheated the day of are:
      1. Cranberry Sauce
      2. Green Bean Casserole
      3. Mashed Sweet Potatoes
      4. Sweet Potato Casserole
      5. Pecan Pie
      6. Sweet Potato Pie
  5. If it’s your first time roasting a turkey and you’re not sure when it’s safe to eat, use your digital thermometer to check the internal temperature. A turkey is done when the internal temperature of the thigh is 165 degrees F. Also, as a general rule, you should cook the turkey approximately 13 minutes per pound.
  6. To keep your mashed potatoes warm, you can use your slow cooker. Keep the mashed potatoes on low in the slow cooker for up to 4 hours.   In fact, I even have a recipe for Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes you can use!
  7. If you’re not hosting but you want to cook something for Thanksgiving dinner, choose Thanksgiving sides or Thanksgiving desserts because they are easy to transport. And nobody complains they have extra Thanksgiving desserts. Plus you can make them healthy. Same for the sides.

All four ingredients, the fresh cranberries, orange zest, raw honey, and orange juice, are in a sauce pan to be cooked down to make the best homemade cranberry sauce.

QUICK AND EASY THANKSGIVING RECIPES

I hope my tips made you less stressed and more excited for Thanksgiving.

Because you deserve to be excited and stress-free. Also, because it’s Thanksgiving food we’re talking about here so YUM.

Now, are you looking for easy things to make for Thanksgiving? Because I have the best easy Thanksgiving recipes for you.

And I promise these Thanksgiving recipes will make your life a lot easier and a lot healthier. On the list, we have some quick and easy Thanksgiving recipes that you can prep and cook in no time but also some classics that turned into healthy Thanksgiving recipes, some delicious Thanksgiving side dishes, and, of course, desserts for Thanksgiving. Because no festive meal is complete without dessert!

1.      CROCK POT MASHED POTATOES

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes | Such an easy dinner side, especially when the crock pot does all the work! | A Sweet Pea Chef

Do you have a list of mandatory Thanksgiving side dishes? I do. And Parmesan Mashed Potatoes are definitely on that list. These Crock Pot mashed potatoes are dense, full of flavor, and delicious. I could say they are the best Thanksgiving side.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 20 mins
  • Cook time: 10 mins
  • Total time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 306 kcal

Get the recipe.

2.      FRESH PUMPKIN ICE CREAM

Fresh Pumpkin Ice Cream | Smooth, creamy, sweet, vegan, and clean eating pumpkin ice cream. So much goodness. | A Sweet Pea Chef

Is it too early on this list to talk about Thanksgiving desserts? I don’t think so especially since I want to talk about this Fresh Pumpkin Ice Cream. Ice cream for Thanksgiving? Why not? It’s a pumpkin ice cream after all, which, in my book, makes it perfect for Thanksgiving. The homemade pumpkin ice cream is ready in 15 minutes and is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan so all your guests will be able to enjoy it.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 15 mins
  • Cook time: 4 hrs
  • Total time: 4 hrs 15 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 158 kcal

Get the recipe.

3.      HEALTHY PECAN PIE

Healthy Pecan Pie | Clean, easy, and super delicious - this pecan pie is free of refined flours and sugars! | A Sweet Pea Chef

Since I started talking about Thanksgiving desserts, let me tell you a few things about this Healthy Pecan Pie. It’s yummy, obviously. But it’s also made with a clean pie crust which makes it healthy too. And the cinnamon-egg filling poured over pecans is so darn delicious.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cook time: 25 mins
  • Total time: 35 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 430 kcal

Get the recipe.

4.      EASY TURKEY NOODLE SOUP

Easy Turkey Noodle Soup

When you make a Thanksgiving turkey, you know leftovers are inevitable. If you don’t want to make the same old turkey sandwiches, you can try this Easy Turkey Noodle Soup. It’s yummy, it’s healthy, and it’s a great way to use leftovers.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cook time: 1 hr
  • Total time: 1 hr 10 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 273 kcal

Get the recipe.

5.      EASY SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

This Easy Sweet Potato Casserole uses fresh sweet potatoes, and is perfectly sweet, dense, and crunchy. Say hello to your new favorite Thanksgiving side!

Let’s get back to our healthy Thanksgiving dinner and discuss this Easy Sweet Potato Casserole.  It has sweet layers of crunchy and dense deliciousness. But it’s still healthy because the brown sugar was replaced with coconut sugar and the butter with coconut oil.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 25 mins
  • Cook time: 20 mins
  • Total time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 487

Get the recipe.

6.      SOUTHERN SWEET POTATO PIE

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving dessert or you’re like me and you have a couple of favorite Thanksgiving desserts? I like the classic pumpkin pie. But I also love the pecan pie. And this Southern Sweet Potato Pie which is similar to pumpkin pie but lighter and made only with nutmeg and cinnamon for spices. This pie is very easy to make and healthy too.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 20 mins
  • Cook time: 55 mins
  • Total time: 1 hr 15 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 329

Get the recipe.

7.      HEALTHY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

Healthy Green Bean Casserole | Healthy, easy, delicious, and so much better than the original! | A Sweet Pea Chef

This Healthy Green Bean Casserole is in my top 3 favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. It’s made from scratch with healthy ingredients including homemade crispy onions and mushroom sauce and it’s perfect for prepping ahead. Did I mention it’s darn delicious?

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 20 mins
  • Cook time: 25 mins
  • Total time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 221 kcal

Get the recipe.

8. BEST HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE

Best homemade cranberry sauce, ready to eat, and next to fresh cranberries and spoons.

Cranberry sauce is by far my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Don’t worry, it’s still a healthy Thanksgiving if you make the Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce. No more canned cranberry sauce loaded with sugar. This cranberry sauce is made with only healthy ingredients. Aside from cranberries, the cranberries sauce contains – raw honey, pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, and orange juice.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 5 mins
  • Cook time: 20 mins
  • Total time: 25 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 78 kcal

Get the recipe.

9. BUTTERLESS FLAKY PIE CRUST

Butterless & Flaky Pie Crust | A clean, easy, and delicious flaky pie crust. | A Sweet Pea Chef

I talked about the pecans pie and the Southern sweet potato pie so I have to talk about this Butterless Flaky Pie Crust because this is the crust I use to make those pies. The crust I use for pumpkin pie too. Or any other pie for that matter. You know why? Because it’s super easy to make and it’s healthy, which means you can eat Thanksgiving desserts guilt-free.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 25 mins
  • Cook time: 25 mins
  • Total time: 50 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 282 kcal

Get the recipe.

10. LIGHT EGGNOG

Light Eggnog | Introducing Eggnog without the guilt (and you can have it all year round!). Yes, you can rejoice now. | A Sweet Pea Chef

 

If you want to have a healthy Thanksgiving menu, you have to think about the beverages too. Start with this Light Eggnog.  It’s creamy, it’s delicious, and you can adjust the flavors to suit your taste.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cook time: 15 mins
  • Total time: 25 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 251 kcal

Get the recipe.

11.      HOW TO MAKE ROASTED ACORN SQUASH

Learning How to Make Roasted Acorn Squash is a great way to start your Thanksgiving planning. This recipe for acorn squash definitely fits into the quick Thanksgiving recipes category. And the super easy to make category too. Also, you only need 3 ingredients to make roasted acorn squash and refined sugar is not on that list, which makes this roasted acorn squash not only delicious but also healthy.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cook time: 50 mins
  • Total time: 1 hr
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 21 kcal

Get the recipe.

12. NO-FAIL THANKSGIVING TURKEY

Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Do you still worry your turkey won’t turn out perfect?  Follow the steps listed in this No-Fail Thanksgiving Turkey post and I guarantee that you and everyone gathered around your Thanksgiving table will love your turkey.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cook time: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Total time: 2 hrs 40 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 194 kcal

Get the recipe.

13. THANKSGIVING STUFFING

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Add this Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe on your list of simple Thanksgiving recipes and try it. Paired with the turkey, this Thanksgiving side just adds extra yumminess, perfect texture, and amazing flavors to your easy Thanksgiving meals.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 30 mins
  • Cook time: 40 mins
  • Total time: 1 hr 10 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 234 kcal

Get the recipe.

14. HOMEMADE TURKEY GRAVY

Homemade Turkey Gravy

Do you know what goes well with roasted turkey? Homemade Turkey Gravy, of course.  If you were looking for quick Thanksgiving recipes, particularly quick gravy recipes, this is it right here. The gravy can be made while the turkey is resting. Perfect timing I’d say. Also amazing flavors and perfect texture.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 5 mins
  • Cook time: 20 mins
  • Total time: 25 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 175 kcal

Get the recipe.

15. MASHED SWEET POTATOES

How To Cook Sweet Potatoes - Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Looking for other vegan Thanksgiving sides with mashed potatoes? How about Mashed Sweet Potatoes? Made with only 3 ingredients, this recipe makes delicious refined sugar free mashed potatoes with amazing cinnamon flavors.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cook time: 20 mins
  • Total time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 84 kcal

Get the recipe.

16. SWEET CORNBREAD

Want some easy Thanksgiving treats? Try my Sweet Cornbread. I call sweet cornbread a treat because it’s perfect for any hour of the day – breakfast, lunch or dinner. And it’s also one of those quick and easy Thanksgiving recipes that is ready before you know it. The texture is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. And don’t get me started on the amazing taste.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 8 mins
  • Cook time: 16 mins
  • Total time: 24 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 109 kcal

Get the recipe.

17. HEALTHY MAC AND CHEESE

Healthy Mac And Cheese | Make It Healthy - let's enjoy some HEALTHY mac and cheese, shall we? | A Sweet Pea Chef

Healthy Mac and Cheese or, in other words, how to make classic mac and cheese better. Simple changes and you can transform a great dish into the perfect dish. And it’s still considered easy Thanksgiving food because no complicated steps are involved.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 25 mins
  • Cook time: 25 mins
  • Total time: 50 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 337 kcal

Get the recipe.

18. HEALTHY PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte | Low calorie, high in protein, low carb, cream-free pumpkin spice latte without an espresso maker! www.asweetpeachef.com

Do you want to make your coffee festive on Thanksgiving? Try my Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s similar to the one you can buy from Starbucks. Except it’s better because it’s also healthy and cheaper.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 2 mins
  • Cook time: 5 mins
  • Total time: 7 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 290 kcal

Get the recipe.

19.      CREAMY PARMESAN CAULIFLOWER MASHED POTATOES

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes | Such an easy dinner side, especially when the crock pot does all the work! | A Sweet Pea Chef

Make this recipe for cauliflower mashed potatoes instead of regular mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving for a low-carb alternative. Easy to alter for paleo and vegan diets.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 10 mins
  • Cook time: 10 mins
  • Total time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 103 kcal

Get the recipe.

20. GARLIC PARMESAN GREEN BEANS

Garlic parmesan green beans lined up on a white plate, garnished with grated parmesan cheese, and ready to eat.

I love easy vegetarian Thanksgiving side dishes as you can see. So here’s another one – Garlic Parmesan Green Beans. Made with only 6 ingredients and ready in only 15 minutes, this is one of my go-to quick and easy Thanksgiving recipes. They make my and everybody’s taste buds very happy. Plus, green beans are high in fiber and protein, which means this recipe deserves a place on the healthy Thanksgiving recipes too.

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 5 mins
  • Cook time: 10 mins
  • Total time: 15 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 81 kcal

Get the recipe.

21. LEFTOVER TURKEY SALAD WITH CRANBERRY VINAIGRETTE

Leftover Turkey Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette | The perfect healthy use of those Thanksgiving leftovers! | A Sweet Pea Chef

This delicious and fresh Leftover Turkey Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette is the perfect healthy recipe for what to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers!

Recipe notes:

  • Prep time: 5 mins
  • Cook time: 8 mins
  • Total time: 13 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Calories: 316 kcal

Get the recipe.

 

This post contains affiliate links for products I highly recommend and use very often.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

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