By Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
Want a healthy Thanksgiving but love traditional Thanksgiving food and Thanksgiving treats? You're in luck with these delicious but nutritious Thanksgiving dishes!
Wondering what to make for Thanksgiving dinner? Well, you're in luck because here are 57 healthy recipes for Thanksgiving that your guests will love, including healthy appetizers for Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving pie recipes.
Whip up a few of these healthy Thanksgiving recipes, and you'll have an easy, nutritious menu ready in no time. You'll find healthy takes on traditional Thanksgiving foods, delicious side dishes, and Thanksgiving treats.
If you love Thanksgiving feast recipes like roast turkey, roasted cauliflower, green bean casserole, roasted beets, apple fritters with sour cream, apple pie, and pumpkin pie with maple syrup, don't worry! You can eat all these classic Thanksgiving foods, just with a healthier spin. Now, read on to get the fun Thanksgiving recipes.
Hello, Healthy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Yes, I love it even more than the December holidays!
I look forward to it every single year, and I'm always daydreaming about the menu of healthy Thanksgiving ideas that my family serves up weeks before the holiday happens. Your guests will love these healthy recipes for Thanksgiving dinner as much as my family and friends love them.
Every year, my parents host a big, 30-something-person holiday dinner. We've been doing this with the same five or six families since I was in kindergarten, and the kids still sit at the kids' table, with their kids now.
Above, you can see us kids at a Thanksgiving a few years ago. We love Thanksgiving so much in my family that my best friend and I put together a picture book of all the years of Thanksgiving photos.
While my family always has must-have eats on the menu–like the Cinnamon Spice Muffins below–I'm always looking for some new easy, healthy Thanksgiving recipes to whip up.
Although, I suppose, this year will be very different with a pandemic Thanksgiving. But we still want healthy recipes to whip up for what will likely be a festive Zoom dinner!
This is all why I asked my dietitian colleagues for their favorite healthy Thanksgiving appetizers, soups, breads, sides, and desserts to center around the main turkey–or in my case, Tofurkey–event. You're getting the best of easy dinner ideas, and I can't wait to hear which ones you've tried.
Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes
2. Chai Walnuts from Judy Barbe, RD, author of Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest: Simple Solutions for Fresh Food & Well-Being
4. Pistachio and Wild Blueberry No-Bake Brie from my own kitchen
5. Yogurt Veggie Dip from my own kitchen
6. Cauliflower Poppers with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce from Natalie Rizzo
Thanksgiving Soup and Bread Recipes
8. Creamy Carrot Cauliflower Soup from my own kitchen
9. Spiced Pumpkin Bread from Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN co-author of We Can Cook: Introduce Your Child to the Joy of Eating with 75 Simple Recipes and Activities
10. Roasted Butternut Squash and Chipotle Soup from Ashley Munro, RD, at A Pinch of Grace
11. Pumpkin Crescent Rolls from Anne Dunaway Teh, RD, and Lesley Baradel, RD, at My Menu Pal
12. Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup from Jessica Levinson
13. Spice Muffins from my own kitchen
14. Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins with No Added Sugar from Chelsey Amer
Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes
16. Roasted Chestnut, Mushroom, and Cranberry Stuffing from Victoria Shanta Retelny, RD, author of Total Body Diet for Dummies
18. Freekeh-Stuffed Acorn Squash from Maria Westberg-Adams, RD, at Halsa Nutrition
19. Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes from Amanda Hernandez, RD, at The Nutritionist Reviews
21. Creamy Rice with Parsnip, Onion, and Pepper from my own kitchen
22. Healthy Mashed Potatoes with Rosemary and Goat Cheese from EA Stewart, RD, at Spicy RD Nutrition
24. Broccoli Slaw Salad with Flaxseeds and Hemp Seeds from my own kitchen
26. Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine and Vinegar from Marie Dittmer, RD, at Healthy Ideas Place
27. Pesto Parmesan Spaghetti Squash from my own kitchen
28. Cheesy Corn Casserole from Anne Dunaway Teh and Lesley Baradel
29. Mashed Sweet Potatoes from Jennifer Lynn-Pullman, RD, at Nourished Simply
31. Creamy Buttermilk Mashed Cauliflower from Kelli Shallal
32. Lowfat Apple Bacon Gouda Macaroni and Cheese from Jamie Vespa, RD, at Dishing Out Health
33. Caramelized Onion Gravy from Denise Shepherd Barratt, RD, at Vine Ripe Nutrition
35. Sweet Cranberry and Apple Lentils from my own kitchen
36. Citrus Glazed Carrots from Angela Grassi, RD, author of The PCOS Nutrition Center Cookbook: 100 Easy and Delicious Whole Food Recipes to Beat PCOS
37. Green Beans with Pecans, Cranberries, and Parmesan from Karman Meyer, RD, author of Eat to Sleep
38. Fall Farro Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Maple Apple Cider Dressing from Chelsey Amer
39. Cranberry Ginger Sauce from Tawnie Kroll, RD, at Kroll's Korner
40. Maple Balsamic Roasted Winter Vegetables from Marie Dittmer
41. Roasted Acorn Squash with Pomegranate and Pistachios from Stephanie McKercher, RD, author of The College Vegetarian Cookbook
42. Cranberry, Walnut, and Apple Arugula Salad from Anne Dunaway Teh and Lesley Baradel
43. Orange Cranberry Sauce from Allison Stevens Schaaf, RD, at Prep Dish
44. Quinoa Mung Bean Salad from Shahzadi Devje, RD, at Desi-licious RD
45. Gluten-Free Egg Casserole from my own kitchen
Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes
46. Orange Cranberry Tart from Judy Barbe
47. No-Bake Nutty Pumpkin Squares from Shahzadi Devje
48. Avocado Chocolate Brownies from my own kitchen
49. Spiced Cheesecake with Roasted Cranberries from Jenny Shea Rawn
51. Baked Mini Pumpkins from Christy Brissette
52. Chocolate Pecan Bites from Jennifer Lynn-Pullman
53. Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie from Alice Henneman, RD, at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
54. Almond Raspberry Banana Baked Rice from my own kitchen
55. Holiday Fruit Compote from Denise Shepherd Barratt
56. So-Simple Cinnamon Roasted Apples from my own kitchen
57. Pumpkin Spice Cake Roll from Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, co-authors of Nutrition Twins' Veggie Cure: Expert Advice and Tantalizing Recipes for Health, Energy, and Beauty
This blog post was updated in November 2020.
- Judy Barbe, RD, author of Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest: Simple Solutions for Fresh Food & Well-Being
- Natalie Rizzo, RD, at Nutrition a la Natalie
- Chelsey Amer, RD, author of The 28 Day Pescatarian Meal Plan & Cookbook
- Jessica Levinson, co-author of We Can Cook: Introduce Your Child to the Joy of Eating with 75 Simple Recipes and Activities
- Ashley Munro, RD, at A Pinch of Grace
- Anne Dunaway Teh, RD, and Lesley Baradel, RD, at My Menu Pal
- Jenny Shea Rawn, RD, at My Cape Cod Kitchen
- Victoria Shanta Retelny, RD, author of Total Body Diet for Dummies
- Katie Cavuto, RD, author of Whole Cooking and Nutrition
- Maria Westberg-Adams, RD, at Halsa Nutrition
- Amanda Hernandez, RD, at The Nutritionist Reviews
- Jessica Cording, RD, author of The Little Book of Game Changers
- EA Stewart, RD, at Spicy RD Nutrition
- Christy Brissette, RD, author of Everyday Low Carb
- Marie Dittmer, RD, at Healthy Ideas Place
- Jennifer Lynn-Pullman, RD, at Nourished Simply
- Julie Harrington, RD, co-author of The Healing Soup Cookbook
- Jamie Vespa, RD, at Dishing Out Health
- Denise Shepherd Barratt, RD, at Vine Ripe Nutrition
- Tracee Yablon Brenner, RD, co-author of Simple Food for Busy Families
- Angela Grassi, RD, author of The PCOS Nutrition Center Cookbook: 100 Easy and Delicious Whole Food Recipes to Beat PCOS
- Karman Meyer, RD, author of Eat to Sleep
- Tawnie Kroll, RD, at Kroll's Korner
- Stephanie McKercher, RD, author of The College Vegetarian Cookbook
- Allison Stevens Schaaf, RD, at Prep Dish
- Shahzadi Devje, RD, at Desi-licious RD
- Lauren Harris-Pincus, RD, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club
- Alice Henneman, RD, at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, co-authors of Nutrition Twins' Veggie Cure: Expert Advice and Tantalizing Recipes for Health, Energy, and Beauty
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I'd love to hear from you! Let me know if you have any favorite healthy recipes for Thanksgiving to add to this list. Which popular Thanksgiving dishes make your mouth water the most?
What are your other Thanksgiving healthy recipes, including healthy Thanksgiving dinner options and healthy Thanksgiving recipes for kids? Do you have any go-to slow cooker, fresh herb, or sweet potato casserole recipes?
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