These healthy Thanksgiving recipes will help you plan your holiday menu to include flavorful and delicious foods that suit your clean-eating lifestyle. I’ve separated the post into categories to make the perfect celebration easy to accomplish. Enjoy!
We take our Thanksgiving Day 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 meal preparation for an amazing Thanksgiving, it’s important your recipes are not only absolutely delicious, but are easy to follow and make. Also, if you’re following a weight-loss or clean-eating lifestyle, or you don’t know how to make healthy Thanksgiving dishes, I’ve got you covered.
I’ve gathered our family’s best-loved healthy Thanksgiving recipes to share with you. We absolutely love each and every one of these dishes and hope you will, too. All of these Thanksgiving dinner recipes make HEALTHY and delicious dishes. Because yes, friends, it is possible to eat healthy without saying no to all your favorite comforting flavors.
I’ll teach you how to make your preferred holiday dishes less heavy and I’ll share with you my best recipes, including Thanksgiving entrée dishes, savory Thanksgiving sides, and my delicious and healthy Thanksgiving desserts.
How does this sound?
Also, to make the meal prep easier, I’ll tell you all the tools I use to make healthy 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 some of 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.
WHAT KITCHEN ITEMS DO I NEED FOR THANKSGIVING?
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 an unforgettable 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 simple 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, 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 when I roast meats, but it is awesome and really helps the turkey roast perfectly.
7 TIPS FOR MAKING HEALTHY 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.
- 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! You don’t have to spend hours researching healthy Thanksgiving recipes.
- If you want your Thanksgiving dinner to be healthy, make sure you have all the good-for-you substitutes. Make sure you have a list of all the healthy alternatives before you go shopping.
- Olive oil and coconut oil are great butter alternatives.
- Whole wheat flour, almond flour, and chickpea flour are better than all-purpose flour.
- Coconut sugar is a great alternative to refined white sugar.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 for approximately 13 minutes per pound.
- 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!
- 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.
QUICK AND HEALTHY THANKSGIVING RECIPES
I hope my tips made you less stressed and more excited about 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 nutritious things to make for Thanksgiving? Because I have the best Thanksgiving recipes for you – and they are all made with the best clean-eating ingredients.
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 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. Because no festive meal is complete without dessert!
HEALTHY THANKSGIVING BREAKFASTS
When you’ve got a big day of cooking ahead (but don’t worry, this list will make it come together easy-peasy), starting the day off with a satisfying breakfast is ideal.
FROZEN BREAKFAST BURRITOS
Grab these nutritious Frozen Breakfast Burritos out of the freezer, have a relaxing breakfast, and get ready for the day. The kids will love’em, too.
MAKE-AHEAD FREEZER BREAKFAST SANDWICHES
These Make-Ahead Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches are another recipe you can grab out of the freezer for a protein rich breakfast to start Thanksgiving Day off right. I use whole wheat English muffins.
CHOCOLATE QUINOA BREAKFAST BOWL
Low on calories, low on carbs, but high on flavor, this Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl is beyond delicious and full of fresh-fruit goodness.
You've gotta love these overnight oats. Whether it’s blueberry, carrot cake, or chocolate peanut butter, prep one of these 6 Overnight Oats Recipes for a healthy Thanksgiving breakfast.
HEALTHY THANKSGIVING APPETIZERS AND DRINKS
It's always nice to have something to nibble or sip on while you prepare the meal, or to offer the family and guests while they wait!
I know that Thanksgiving dinner is a meal that you like to fill up on. But I like to have an appetizer or two on hand in the event the serving of the meal runs a little late. And, because I just love appetizers! Choose from dips and other yummy tidbits here.
ROASTED ACORN SQUASH SOUP
Don’t fill up on this amazing Roasted Acorn Squash Soup, but I know it may be hard to stop at one bowl! This soup has 69% of your daily requirement for vitamin C!
CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP
Another one of my fave soups is Cream of Tomato. Once you make this delicious soup, you’ll never buy canned again. I like to use vine-ripened tomatoes for this recipe.
BAKED PITA CHIPS
I like to crunch on Baked Pita Chips if my tummy is hungry as I prep the turkey. A little bit of garlic and a little bit of olive oil – perfectly good!
HEALTHY BEET HUMMUS
The ideal accompaniment to the chips is colorful and oh-so healthy Beet Hummus. It’s easy to make and ready in about 30 minutes! It's a fabulous Thanksgiving appetizer.
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.
HEALTHY PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE
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.
HEALTHY THANKSGIVING ENTRÉES
This section is all about the star of the show – the turkey! But I've also got recipes for fish and beef, too.
NO-FAIL THANKSGIVING TURKEY
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.
For non-turkey fans, it’s nice to offer roast beef. I’ve written a post to help you cook the Perfect Roast Beef, and even give tips on how to slice it properly for the juiciest result.
HEALTHY THANKSGIVING SIDES AND FIXINGS
The best Thanksgiving meal has can't-resist trimmings! Just like the ones I have listed below.
BEST HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE
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.
HOMEMADE TURKEY GRAVY
Do you know what goes well with roasted turkey? Homemade Turkey Gravy, of course. If you were looking for healthy Thanksgiving recipes, particularly clean-eating 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.
Add this Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe to your list of healthy Thanksgiving recipes and try it. Paired with the turkey, this Thanksgiving side just adds extra yumminess. It's the perfect texture, with amazing flavors that make the turkey complete!
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.
CROCK POT MASHED POTATOES
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.
EASY SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
You will love 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.
HEALTHY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
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?
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. And, most importantly, the good-for-you list! Also, you only need 3 ingredients to make roasted acorn squash and refined sugar is not included, which makes this veggie dish not only delicious but also healthy.
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.
HEALTHY MAC AND CHEESE
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.
CAULIFLOWER MASHED POTATOES
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.
GARLIC PARMESAN GREEN BEANS
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 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.
THYME ROASTED CARROTS
I love carrots and even better, carrots that have nutritious ingredients. That’s this Thyme Roasted Carrots recipe, which contains lots of healthy fiber. Carrots definitely deserve a spot at the table when serving a healthy Thanksgiving dinner.
HEALTHY THANKSGIVING DESSERTS
There is always room for dessert, right? This healthy Thanksgiving desserts list is going to be your annual go-to for variety and clean-eating, I guarantee it!
SOUTHERN SWEET POTATO PIE
Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving dessert, or are you 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.
HEALTHY CINNAMON APPLES
To me, apples signify fall just as much as pumpkin, squash, and sweet potatoes do. And that’s why I love to include Healthy Cinnamon Apples as part of the dessert offerings on Thanksgiving Day. There is no refined sugar in the recipe, yet they are as sweet and tasty as can be!
QUICK AND EASY QUINOA BRITTLE
My kiddos love this treat, even after a big Thanksgiving meal. It’s sweet and salty and full of peanutty goodness. Sweetened with maple syrup, this Quick and Easy Quinoa Peanut Brittle has both fiber and protein.
HEALTHY NO BAKE CHERRY VEGAN CHEESECAKE
I, for one, love cheesecake at Thanksgiving! And I like this Healthy No Bake Cherry Vegan Cheesecake especially. It is so rich and creamy, not to mention all of the healthy ingredients in it – like raw almonds and coconut milk.
THE BEST PUMPKIN PIE FROM SCRATCH
We've got a sweet potato pie, and we can't forget this Thanksgiving staple. This Best Pumpkin Pie From Scratch has a lovely keto whipped cream to top it, and the pie is nice and light, too. There is no refined sugar in this dessert, either!
FRESH PUMPKIN ICE CREAM
Ice cream for Thanksgiving? Why not? It’s Fresh 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.
HEALTHY PECAN PIE
There is no such thing as too many pie choices at Thanksgiving. That's why I just had to include 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.
HEALTHY THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS
One thing I love about Thanksgiving is that I get to enjoy the leftovers for days! These are recipes ideal for using your yummy leftovers in a healthy way.
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 your turkey.
LEFTOVER TURKEY SALAD WITH CRANBERRY VINAIGRETTE
This delicious and fresh Leftover Turkey Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette is the perfect healthy recipe for what to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers!
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