15 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes to Try This Year | The Fox & She (2024)

These 15 healthy Thanksgiving recipes all look amazing and will lighten up your big feast.

15 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes to Try This Year | The Fox & She (1)

I didn’t want to go to crazy healthy here because it’s Thanksgiving after all and I’m a big believer in moderation. If you eat healthy the rest of the year, I think splurging a little on the holidays is quite all right!

But, considering the most traditional recipes are things like green bean casserole, cornbread stuffing, gravy, cranberry jelly and mashed potatoes with lots of butter, it’s nice to work in a few healthier, veggie-forward options. Load your plate with more of this stuff and you won’t feel quite so full at the end of dinner!

Healthier Thanksgiving Recipes

1. Butternut Squash & Wild Mushroom Stuffing

15 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes to Try This Year | The Fox & She (2)

Okay, honestly, I’m partial to my family’s stuffing or dressing (what do you call it—stuffing or dressing?) recipe, but this one sounds so good too! And is definitely less carb heavy than my family’s version. Roasted earthy mushrooms and sweet butternut squash with thyme and caramelized onions also just sounds like a really great Thanksgiving vegetable side dish.

2. Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta

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The sweetness of the squash and cranberries mixed with the tanginess of feta in this dish sounds so yummy! Again, Thanksgiving tends to be a lot of bread and carbs, so having a nice roasted veggie dish sounds so lovely. I love dishes that have a mixture of flavors and textures!

3. Simple Bacon-Wrapped Brussel Sprouts

The easiest way to get anyone who doesn’t usually like brussels sprouts to eat them! This recipe only has two ingredients and salt and pepper! They’d make for great little appetizers for Thanksgiving or any holiday party for that matter!

4. Cranberry Quinoa Salad

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This quinoa salad is a nice alternative to stuffing. It’s got kale, mint and orange in it and sounds absolutely delicious! My guess is that you could make it ahead and it would only taste better after sitting in the fridge for a while! The mint would be so refreshing and unique for your Thanksgiving dinner.

5. Herbed Wild Rice & Quinoa Stuffing

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If you’ve got someone who doesn’t eat gluten and you’re not sure what to make in the way of stuffing, here’s an idea! Wild Rice and quinoa are hearty, earthy and tasty, but are gluten free and won’t leave you feeling quite so full!

6. Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

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I do like mashed potatoes, but I LOVE roasted potatoes. I wouldn’t be mad one bit if these were on our Thanksgiving table instead of their mashed counterparts. The parmesan adds a salty and savory bite without adding too many additional calories.

7. Salted Caramel Apple Parfaits

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We’ve always got pie at our house and honestly, I usually don’t have any until hours later—I’m just too full! I love this option though! It’s nut free, gluten free, and dairy free and looks sooooo yummy! It can also be made in pre-prepared dishes for easy serving.

8. Honey Maple Roasted Carrots

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Carrots and thyme go together so well! Have you had them before? Roasting carrots brings out their sweetness. This recipe is so simple and would be an easy one to make. I love the addition of pomegranate seeds in here for a burst of tart flavor to counterbalance the sweet carrots.

9. Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Cinnamon Butternut Squash, Pecans & Cranberries

15 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes to Try This Year | The Fox & She (10)

Julia’s Album

I love every ingredient in this recipe so I know I’d love it! My husband is allergic to pecans so we won’t be making this one, but if it was up to me, this would be on the menu! I love them!

10. Chopped Brussel Sprouts Salad with Cranberries & Blue Cheese

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Lastly, a salad! I find that salad is often overlooked, something cool, light and crisp is exactly what’s missing from my Thanksgiving plate. Serving a salad is one of the easiest ways to keep yourself from over-eating on Thanksgiving. Fill up on salad, even a basic greens salad and you won’t have as much room for the other stuff!

11. Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

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These green beans look divine and would make for a perfect healthy Thanksgiving recipe to add to your menu! And the fact that you can make them in the oven? Even easier. They have a mix of panko bread crumbs and parmesan to add some nice crunchy texture to this easy and healthy Thanksgiving side dish.

12. Healthy Quinoa Stuffing

15 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes to Try This Year | The Fox & She (13)

Again, another gluten free option for stuffing. I love quinoa and love that it’s packed with protein and fiber. Of course, I love the addition of fresh herbs as well!

13. Pumpkin Hummus

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This just looks beautiful and healthy! This would make for a great healthy appetizer for Thanksgiving. It’s seasoned with warming spices to make it the perfect addition to your feast.

14. Butternut Squash Risotto

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Any Italian-Americans out there? This might the perfect way o bring in a little touch of Italy to your Thanksgiving table. I love risotto and add in butternut squash, sage and a touch of parmesan and I’m sold!

15. Autumn Kale Salad

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One thing that’s usually missing from Thanksgiving is something light, fresh and raw! I’m all about the savory dishes, but mixing in a salad is ideal for lightening up your plate. This autumn kale salad with honeycrisp apples, fennel and goat cheese looks divine! I think I’ll be adding this one to our menu this year!

What healthy Thanksgiving recipes and side dishes do you love?

BTW, unexpected Thanksgiving desserts you need to try, and easy and delicious pumpkin bread.

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15 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes to Try This Year | The Fox & She (2024)


What is the healthiest food to eat on Thanksgiving? ›

Go for small amounts of cooked squash, sweet potato, white potato, beans and carrots. Try to use whole-grain breads and cereals whenever possible; they are rich in fiber and the B vitamins that are not so abundant in simple carbohydrates (white and refined grains, cereals, flours and starches).

What are the top 10 Thanksgiving foods? ›

Top 10 Thanksgiving Dishes
  1. Turkey.
  2. Stuffing/Dressing.
  3. Pumpkin Pie.
  4. Sweet Potato Casserole.
  5. Mashed Potatoes.
  6. Ham.
  7. Green Bean Casserole.
  8. Cranberry Jelly.
Nov 22, 2023

How can I make Thanksgiving more healthy? ›

Boiled shrimp with lemon or co*cktail sauce is a healthier pick than fried hors d'oeuvres. Try having a pot of a roasted vegetable soup, such as carrot or butternut squash, on offer for guests to enjoy. Other healthful starters include stuffed mushrooms, raw veggies with hummus, and seasonal fruit.

What is the unhealthiest food on Thanksgiving? ›

14 Unhealthiest Thanksgiving Sides To Avoid This Year
  • Sweet potato casserole. Foodio/Shutterstock. ...
  • Green bean casserole. from my point of view/Shutterstock. ...
  • Ambrosia salad. Alleko/Getty Images. ...
  • Jell-O salad. Islandleigh/Getty Images. ...
  • Dinner rolls. Say-cheese/Getty Images. ...
  • Mashed potatoes. ...
  • Potatoes au gratin. ...
  • Macaroni and cheese.
Nov 6, 2023

What should I eat on Thanksgiving to lose weight? ›

Help yourself to high-fiber foods like fruits and veggies, whole grains and bean dishes. Just don't fall for dishes drenched in butter or creamy sauces, which can be loaded with calories and fat. For many, it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without the taste of turkey.

What are the 12 most popular Thanksgiving dishes? ›

Scroll through to take a look at our most popular Thanksgiving recipes.
  • 01 of 24. Perfect Turkey. ...
  • 02 of 24. Roasted Brussels Sprouts. ...
  • 03 of 24. Cranberry Sauce. ...
  • 04 of 24. Homemade Mac and Cheese. ...
  • 05 of 24. Sweet Potato Pie. ...
  • 06 of 24. Granny Kat's Pumpkin Roll. ...
  • 07 of 24. Slow Cooker Turkey Breast. ...
  • 08 of 24. Cream Corn Like No Other.
Oct 26, 2023

What is the most important meal on Thanksgiving? ›

Four Essentials for Thanksgiving
  • Turkey. Some would say a turkey is the most important food item at the table. ...
  • Mashed potatoes. There's nothing better than smooth and creamy mashed potatoes! ...
  • Cranberry Sauce. Thanksgiving is never Thanksgiving without this iconic treat. ...
  • Pies. We saved the best for last!
Nov 6, 2023

What are 4 commonly consumed foods at Thanksgiving other than turkey? ›

Cornish game hen, goose, duck, ham, beef, salmon, and mushroom recipes make worthy centerpieces for holiday meals.

What is the healthiest way to cook a Thanksgiving turkey? ›

Rustveld suggests air frying your turkey as a healthier alternative to deep frying. It takes less time at 400 degrees, and the end product contains less fat since you do not need to add oil. “Deep frying is not as healthy as air frying, roasting or grilling,” he said.

What is healthier than turkey for Thanksgiving? ›

Try it out on Thanksgiving by substituting tofu for your turkey. Tofu can be cooked in a variety of flavorful ways and comes with a ton of nutritional benefits including a lot of calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin B, and protein.

How do you make Thanksgiving dinner less stressful? ›

Ted's Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving
  1. Thaw the darned turkey. In the refrigerator. ...
  2. Try a fresh turkey for a change. From a butcher. ...
  3. Beware of deep-frying. I'm not saying not to do it -- deep-fried turkey is a delicious Southern confection. ...
  4. Innovate—but not too much. ...
  5. Delegate. ...
  6. Plan and work ahead.

What do you say instead of Happy Thanksgiving? ›

Short Thanksgiving greetings

May the chairs around your table be filled with those you love. May this day and every day be filled with love, joy and happiness. Wishing you every blessing of this bountiful season. May the blessings of Thanksgiving fill your heart and home with joy.

What do you put in a turkey instead of stuffing? ›

Here are a few ideas:
  1. Citrus fruits: Stuffing a turkey with citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, or limes can add flavor and moisture to the meat.
  2. Herbs and spices: You can stuff a turkey with herbs and spices such as rosemary, thyme, sage, and garlic to infuse the meat with flavor.
Aug 27, 2022

How healthy is Thanksgiving dinner? ›

The traditional turkey-day feast, replete with fatty, high-cholesterol foods like drumsticks, mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing, is generally anything but heart-healthy. Try a healthy roasted turkey and gravy recipe for your Thanksgiving meal.

Is turkey healthy on Thanksgiving? ›

Turkey is a great source of protein, rich in many vitamins and minerals, and is low-fat — if you don't eat the skin,” Catherine M. Champagne, professor of nutritional epidemiology and dietary assessment and nutrition counseling at Louisiana State University, told the American Heart Association.


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