Thanksgiving is definitely one of the most beloved holidays of the year, and for a good reason. It helps us get together with our families and friends to celebrate all the beautiful things in our lives. Unfortunately, many of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes aren’t always the healthiest. Most classic side dishes are loaded with carbs, fats, and sugars. However, it’s still possible to have a delicious and healthy Thanksgiving dinner by upgrading the menu with these easy recipes. Keep scrolling to get some ideas on how to indulge without guilt this holiday season.
1. Easy Keto Creamed Spinach
This side is an easy way to get more greens in during the holidays. It is packed with creaminess and flavor which is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. It’s also incredibly easy to make and uses frozen spinach, although you could also substitute fresh if you have it. Get the recipe here.
2. Keto Avocado Cucumber Shrimp Appetizer
This recipe would make an excellent appetizer and will make about 20-22 cucumber bites. You can also make it ahead as long as you add some lemon or lime juice to your avocado, so it stays a vibrant green. The juicy Cajun shrimp pairs well with the creaminess of the avocado and the freshness of the cucumber. Get the recipe here.
3. Low-Carb Cauliflower Mac-N-Cheese
This delicious low-carb is also keto-friendly and allows you to enjoy all the cheesy goodness of traditional mac and cheese without the carbs from pasta. The sauce is made from heavy cream, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese which makes it creamy and cheesy. This recipe calls for cayenne powder for added heat, but you can skip it or replace it with milder chili powder if you’re not a fan of spice. Perfect for a healthy Thanksgiving dish swap! Get the recipe here.
4. Low-Carb Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuffed mushrooms make for a perfect appetizer and are very easy to make; this recipe only takes five minutes to prepare and has 8 simple ingredients. Even those who don’t like mushrooms won’t be able to resist these stuffed with shredded zucchini, crispy bacon, and melted cheese. It also has an egg to bind the stuffing and provide added protein. Get the recipe here.
5. Vegan Herb-Roasted Root Vegetables
Not only is this recipe incredibly beautiful, but it’s also healthy and an easy way to get additional vegetables into your diet. It’s a beautiful rainbow of various root vegetables, sliced thinly, and roasted with olive oil, lemon juice, and plenty of delicious herbs. To make the slicing go faster, you could use a mandolin for uniform slices. Get the recipe here.
6. Vegan Stuffed Mini Pumpkins
What says harvest and fall more than mini pumpkins!? These cute little pumpkins are stuffed full of flavor and may become your new go-to Thanksgiving side dish. Combining nuts and fruits along with wild rice, they are not only beautiful but also healthy and filling. Get the recipe here.
7. Gluten-Free Green Beans Casserole
Everyone knows and loves the classic green bean casserole recipe. This recipe makes it possible for those with a gluten-intolerance to enjoy by subbing gluten-free bread crumbs, flour, and yes, even those addictive crispy fried onions! You’ll also make your own cream of mushroom soup which adds to the freshness and make it that much healthier. Get the recipe here.
8. Gluten-Free Cranberry Blueberry Crisp
An updated version of the cranberry sauce, this recipe incorporates blueberries and is not only gluten-free but also dairy-free and vegan. Together the blueberries and cranberries provide that zest and tanginess that’s often missing from that Thanksgiving table. Top it off with a crispy oat crumble and even some ice cream or whipped topping for a little sweetness. Get the recipe here.
9. Vegetarian Roasted Carrots With Creme Fraiche
Although this recipe looks gourmet, it’s pretty simple to make and will impress all your guests. The tri-colored heirloom carrots are packed with vitamins A, K, and C while the farro, an ancient grain, is full of fiber and protein. Drizzle the herbed crème Fraiche on top with some fresh parsley, and it is ready to serve. This recipe also includes instructions on how to modify it to be gluten-free and dairy-free or vegan. Get the recipe here.
10. Vegetarian Pumpkin Soup
This yummy soup is elevated by hints of lime, chili, and coconut and is naturally gluten-free and vegan – everything you need for a healthy Thanksgiving feast! Once you roast the pumpkin, it’s easy to whip this up in a blender to make it super smooth and creamy. Then garnish with sunflower seeds for healthy fats and some fresh herbs like sage or cilantro. Get the recipe here.
11. Paleo-Friendly Roasted Squash And Kale Salad
With a mixture of flavors and textures, this salad has everything you need to satisfy all your taste buds. There’s the crunch of the toasted almonds and walnuts, creaminess of the feta, and heartiness of the roasted squash. Fresh pomegranate seeds add color, sweetness, and freshness topped off with the acid from a lemon for the simple lemon-olive oil dressing. Get the recipe here.
12. Paleo Caramel Apple Parfait
Who says delicious treats can’t also be paleo this healthy Thanksgiving season? With this simple parfait, you get the best of both worlds, and it’s nut-free, gluten free, and dairy free to boot! The roasted apples are drizzled with a healthy salted caramel sauce and topped with a coconut crumble. Then top with your favorite dairy-free whipped cream, and enjoy. Get the recipe here.
Recipes like these show how creative you can get when planning your Thanksgiving menu and prove it’s possible to enjoy while staying healthy. By choosing any of these dishes, you’re sure to have a memorable holiday while nourishing yourself and your family with nutritious, delicious sides that you won’t regret eating.