50 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes is a collection of classic holiday dishes you know and love but help you stick to your healthy eating goals. Turkey, veggie side dishes, salads, desserts and make ahead breakfast ideas are easy to make while packing in tons of flavor!
What Are Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes?
Eating healthy on Thanksgiving day is possible. In fact, it is easier than you think. If you know me, you know I believe in eating real whole foods. Healthy Thanksgiving recipes keep your table lighter and tastier!
I have compiled an array of favorite classics you grew up eating every Thanksgiving. Just made more healthy – your welcome. 🙂 From turkey to mashed potatoes to even a pumpkin pie, you can truly enjoy a holiday without feeling guilty the next day.
All the recipes are broken down into sections for easy use. Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving!
Top Tips for Easy Thanksgiving Dinner
- Prep in advance: Many healthy Thanksgiving recipes can be made ahead or are even freezer friendly like mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole.
- Make a plan: Decide what can be made ahead, what needs to prepped the night before and what is essential to make on Thanksgiving day itself. Determine where each Thanksgiving side dish will be cooked (oven, stovetop etc).
- Utilize the Instant Pot: Or even slow cooker – both of these small kitchen appliances save you room in the oven.
- Avoid the grocery rush: (if possible) Buy your groceries the weekend before or even utilize a shopping service.
- Ask others to bring a dish: There is no shame in assigning a Thanksgiving side dish or dessert to guests!
- Too many leftovers: While we have included top picks for what do with Thanksgiving leftovers, if the thought of doing anything stresses you out, buy a few to-go containers and pack them up for guests!
- Have the big dinner- at dinner time: This gives you time to cook all day!
- Kitchen helpers (or not): Assign others easy tasks like salad duty, putting together the charcuterie or setting the table OR, let’s be honest, sometimes helpers require hand-holding, it’s okay to send everyone to another room to play games, watch football etc.!
- Get some fresh air: The kitchen can get hot, it’s okay to step outside, take a breather, have a glass of wine, do yoga etc. The holidays are supposed to be enjoyable!
Healthy Thanksgiving FAQs
That really depends on your definition of healthy! All of these healthy Thanksgiving recipes focus on using whole food ingredients that result in nutritious mains, sides, starters or desserts. No matter what lifestyle ‘diet’ you follow- clean eating, vegan, vegetarian, keto, paleo or even gluten-free, you will be able to find a recipe to suit your needs and if not on this list, feel free to browse my recipe index.
Again, it really depends on your definition of healthy. Whether you want simple garlic green beans or mashed potatoes, you will find those healthy Thanksgiving sides here. Also, feel free to browse my favorite top healthy sides list.
This probably depends on how you grew up- I have heard of even having lasagna on Thanksgiving! Traditionally though, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie make an appearance at Thanksgiving.
Start with a heart full of gratitude! But we are here to talk about food 🙂 I would focus on making recipes that use less butter or cream and use whole food ingredients instead. For example, my sweet potato casserole swaps marshmallows for pecans and my healthy mashed potatoes uses just enough butter to feel decadent. Use unrefined sugar for your pumpkin bread and whole grains for the crust in your pumpkin pie– just follow my recipes 🙂
Thanksgiving Serving Recommendations
From this healthy Thanksgiving recipes list I know you can create an epic and easy Thanksgiving dinner menu! But if you need some menu ideas, here are a few to make your planning even easier:
- Traditional Thanksgiving feast: Roast turkey breast with gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, roasted Brussels sprouts, kale salad with cinnamon dressing and healthy pumpkin pie.
- To feed only a small crowd: Boneless turkey breast roast, garlic green beans, mashed sweet potatoes and spinach salad followed by pumpkin cake for dessert.
- Vegetarian thanksgiving: Sweet potato egg casserole, butternut squash soup with coconut milk, cauliflower risotto, mac and cheese and Brussels sprouts salad followed by no bake peanut butter pie.
- Untraditional Thanksgiving feast: Chicken stuffed with brie, baked salmon in foil, roasted asparagus, cauliflower potato salad, Mexican kale salad and no bake strawberry cheesecake!
Easy Thanksgiving dinner options are endless (continue reading below!), let me know in the comments what you are making!
Table of contents
- What Are Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes?
- Top Tips for Easy Thanksgiving Dinner
- Healthy Thanksgiving FAQs
- Thanksgiving Serving Recommendations
- Healthy Appetizers and Soups
- Make Ahead Thanksgiving Breakfast
- Thanksgiving Turkey, Chicken and Meat
- Healthy Veggie Sides
- Healthy Casseroles
- Instant Pot Recipes
- Healthy Thanksgiving Desserts
- Turkey Leftovers
- More Healthy Recipes to Try
Healthy Appetizers and Soups
This section of easy appetizers before a healthy Thanksgiving dinner is small because I want you to save room for the good stuff. 🙂
This Healthy Spinach Dip Recipe is made with yogurt, twice more spinach and four times less mayo. The result is the same creamy and flavorful spinach dip you know. It is a super easy Thanksgiving dinner appetizer that tastes incredible without the extra calories.
2 Ingredients Parmesan Mushrooms are baby bella mushroom caps stuffed with Parmesan cheese. Healthy and easy mushroom appetizer in 15 minutes, this healthy Thanksgiving recipe is also meal prep friendly and travel well!
My friend Dina from Simply Home Cooked has this amazing tutorial on How to Make a Charcuterie Board. You can make it as healthy as you want. Doesn’t this look amazing for an easy Thanksgiving appetizer?!
Healthy Butternut Squash Soup with simple ingredients, in one pot and in 30 minutes. The creamy goodness and warm spices are so comforting on a chilly fall or winter day. This is also a great ‘hands off’ healthy Thanksgiving appetizer when made in your Instant Pot or slow cooker.
This might seem like an untraditional Thanksgiving appetizer, but if your guests are watching football, there will be no complaints when you serve this Buffalo Chicken Dip!
Make Ahead Thanksgiving Breakfast
Make ahead breakfast for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning is where it’s at! Spend time cozying up with your family while the “prepared the day before” breakfast is bubbling in the oven. Browse even more breakfast ideas to find a few you would like to make!
Air Fryer Breakfast Casserole is quick to prepare, versatile, healthy, and packed with veggies (and optional meat) for a fluffy and flavorful breakfast! Swap out the fillings based on season for a breakfast that will never become boring.
These Healthy Cinnamon Rolls are fluffy wholesome buns with healthy frosting and 4 times less sugar than Cinnabon.
Make this Quinoa Breakfast Bake with berries for a week of healthy and easy breakfasts or for a holiday morning. Serve warm with creamy yogurt and come back to thank me after.
This Healthy Breakfast Casserole is delicious, easy and has no bread. Make ahead for a crowd, meal prep or clean out the fridge. This egg bake is veggie, protein and flavor packed.
Sweet Potato Egg Casserole with shredded sweet potato, eggs and spinach. Make ahead healthy egg casserole perfect for meal prep breakfast, brunch and holidays. You could use this healthy Thanksgiving recipe as a vegetarian main as well!
These Starbucks copycat Egg Bites are made quickly in the Instant Pot and stay well in the refrigerator for 5 days! They can even be frozen. Serve with one of my best muffin recipes (many freezer friendly!) and you have the perfect meal prepped, hands-off holiday breakfast.
Thanksgiving Turkey, Chicken and Meat
Turkey is not the only star of the show when thinking about healthy Thanksgiving recipes. We take more lean turkey and chicken breasts and make them juicy and flavorful. Don’t feel like poultry? Make an easy Thanksgiving dinner with lamb or salmon.
Serve this juicy Boneless Turkey Breast Roast for Holidays instead of a turkey. Herb crusted and stuffed with garlic it is a winner every time! Or enjoy as a healthy sandwich meat year round.
Roasted Turkey Breast comes out incredibly juicy inside, with crispy skin and flavorful with simple ingredients like garlic and dried herbs – perfect for the Holidays. It is perfect for small gatherings when you need an easy Thanksgiving dinner.
Air Fryer Turkey Breast is an easy way to cook a small portion of a turkey, with perfectly juicy results, for a smaller holiday crowd. It’s seasoned with a herb infused butter that helps to add moisture, taste and that crispy outer skin!
Chicken Stuffed with Brie, Spinach and Cranberries makes clean and easy Thanksgiving dinner or a fancy chicken recipe for any occasion. Moist, flavourful and juicy, no one will miss the turkey.
How to cook perfect Boneless Leg of Lamb Roast every time. Basic EASY Thanksgiving dinner recipe anyone can make (and can we talk about how impressive it is, too?!)
Hands off Slow Cooker Balsamic Pot Roast comes out tender and is perfect for those guests that don’t want turkey! Beef cooked in balsamic vinegar, beef stock, mustard and soy sauce for a delicious ‘shredded beef’ perfect for eating with your mashed potatoes or cauliflower.
Easy Baked Salmon in Foil with simple seasonings in 20 minutes. Healthy, moist and delicious dinner even picky eaters will enjoy.
Nothing screams fall like Stuffed Acorn Squash with ground turkey, spinach and the perfect blend of spices. This recipe looks so fancy but is so easy to make. And tastes even better!
Healthy Cranberry Sauce with 3 simple ingredients and refined sugar is not one of them. Easy, healthy Thanksgiving recipe and tasty cranberry sauce from scratch. Perfect addition to your Thanksgiving turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes.
Healthy Veggie Sides
When it comes to mashing, roasting and sauteing vegetables, mashed potatoes are just the beginning when it comes to Thanksgiving side dishes. I like my veggies not overcooked, with a lot of flavor and yet healthy. This is where we exercise moderation. Did I mention bacon can also be included in healthy Thanksgiving recipes? 🙂
The Best Healthy Mashed Potatoes my Ukrainian way. Creamy, fluffy and delicious without 2 sticks of butter.
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes is easy Thanksgiving dinner side and a delicious low carb alternative to traditional mashed potatoes, but just as smooth and creamy. You can also make these hands off slow cooker cauliflower potatoes!
Mashed Sweet Potatoes are unbelievably fluffy, creamy, healthy and so easy to make. Delicious Thanksgiving side dish for a weeknight dinner or a holiday table. These are so good!
Garlic Green Beans not only taste incredible, but are super easy to make. Fresh green beans, butter/olive oil and garlic sautéed in a skillet make for the perfect healthy Thanksgiving side dish or enjoy them year round with any of these 45 ground turkey recipes.
Roasted Cauliflower is made with garlic and olive oil, then baked until nutty and caramelized. It is such a simple way to make flavorful cauliflower.
Super simple Roasted Brussels Sprouts are baked until they are crispy on the outside and buttery soft on the inside. This is a delicious and easy fall side dish that will help you eat more vegetables.
Cauliflower Risotto with brown mushrooms and cauliflower rice sautéed in flavourful broth in 15 minutes. Hearty and healthy low carb Thanksgiving side dish with amazing reviews.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with simple warm spices, soft inside and crispy outside are perfect as a side dish, in a wrap or salad. These sweet potatoes cubes melt in your mouth and satisfy a serious savory craving in a healthy way.
Perfect Roasted Asparagus every time plus tips on how to store, prep, roast and season this healthy side dish. You will never have to eat limpy and mushy asparagus again.
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with bacon, pecans, garlic and maple syrup make healthy finger licking side dish. On Thanksgiving or a busy weeknight, brussels sprouts come to the rescue as they are easy and quick to cook.
Delicious and healthy Thanksgiving casseroles can be made without canned soups, marshmallows and dehydrated packet mixes.
Healthy Green Bean Casserole made from scratch with Parmesan pecan onion topping. Low calorie, low sodium and light healthy alternative without mushroom soup or breadcrumbs.
Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with crunchy pecan sugar topping is melt in your mouth, delicious and comforting casserole for your holiday table without the guilt. Bonus – can be made ahead and frozen. You’re welcome!
Healthy Mac and Cheese in one pot in 15 minutes. Creamy, cheesy and flavorful and as healthy as it gets. No weird ingredients because life is short, friends.
I love a good salad! However, the last thing you need is a complicated salad recipe on a busy Thanksgiving day. Most of these salads can be made ahead and do not contain many ingredients or have blender made salad dressings.
Creamy Mexican Kale Salad with raw kale, black beans, corn, cilantro and creamy cumin flavoured avocado dressing. This might seem untraditional, but no one will complain when they gobble it up!
Brussels Sprouts Salad with thinly sliced Brussels sprouts, toasted almonds, real Parmesan cheese shavings and easy lemon garlic dressing.
Spinach Salad with eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, sesame seeds and easy healthy salad dressing. Simple recipe for a weeknight or a celebration table. I promise it is one of the easiest salads you will ever make!
Arugula Beet Salad with zesty greens, simple candied pecans, crumbled feta and easy balsamic dressing. If you are looking for an easy way to eat more beets, this beet salad recipe is the one. It will win you over, even if you don’t love beets!
Cozy Kale and Quinoa Salad with apples, walnuts and cinnamon dressing. Superfood fall in a bowl tasty any day!
The Best Broccoli Salad combines fresh broccoli, crispy bacon, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, shredded cheese and creamy dressing. This easy salad is the best of both worlds – healthier and flavorful.
This Cauliflower Potato Salad is low carb salad with a lot of flavor. It will blow your mind. It’s just brilliant!
Flavorful and easy (no massaging) Lemon Kale Salad with toasted nuts and fresh Parmesan cheese, tossed in lemon and garlic dressing. Hands down, one of my favorite leafy green salads ever!
No matter the season, this fresh Lettuce Salad contains tomato, cucumber, dill, onion, olive oil, salt and pepper. It’s so simple and perfect for an easy Thanksgiving dinner.
Instant Pot Recipes
Are you a lucky Instant Pot owner? If yes, electric pressure cooker can save you precious stove and oven space on a busy Thanksgiving day. And food comes out just as delicious with minimal prep. Instant pot is way faster, but just as convenient as using a slow cooker.
Instant Pot Sweet Potato Casserole is fluffy souffle topped with delicious and crunchy candied pecan topping. Made from start to finish in your electric pressure cooker. So convenient on a busy Thanksgiving day!
Instant Pot Baked Potatoes come out fork tender, perfectly fluffy in your pressure cooker in half the time. This is foolproof recipe for any size of potatoes.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes are easy, creamy and fluffy in 30 minutes in one pot. No drain, no cutting potatoes into small chunks and no heating up milk separately. Simply the best way to make mashed potatoes!
Instant Pot Turkey Breast is super juicy, ready in an hour and even gravy is made in same pot. Saves time, money and feeds a small gathering. It’s perfect!
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is creamy, mouthwatering and hands off family comfort food. Made healthy-ish with only 1 cup of cheese and any kind of noodles, this pasta dinner recipe is ready in 15 minutes.
Savory and delicious, Instant Pot Pork Chops with gravy are a delicious alternative (or in addition) to turkey!
Healthy Thanksgiving Desserts
We are not huge on desserts, but what would a holiday be without a little treat?! Here are some of our healthier Thanksgiving favorites.
This Healthy Pumpkin Cake is the best version of a classic fall dessert. Topped with a luscious yogurt cream cheese frosting, it is moist, decadent, and packed with hidden nutrients!
Healthy Pumpkin Pie with easy whole wheat crust and silky smooth pumpkin pie filling. A delicious low sugar addition to your healthy Thanksgiving table.
Healthy Carrot Cake with whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, toasted coconut and walnuts. This cake is moist, tall, has texture and thick creamy frosting. It is absolutely delicious!
This No Bake Peanut Butter Pie is smooth, creamy and healthy. Made without cream cheese, cool whip or graham crust, watch it disappear at any gathering. It is that good!
Healthy Pumpkin Bars with oatmeal, almond flour and chocolate chips. A delicious guilt free treat on a chilly fall day that the entire family will love!
This No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake is fluffy, full of strawberry flavour and lighter. Easy to make with fresh or frozen strawberries and Nutella crust, this is the perfect cake for any celebration.
For those that just need a ‘bit’ of dessert, Healthy Pumpkin Cookies are the perfect solution! Soft and chewy with a crisp exterior, everyone will ‘gobble’ these up!
Swap the peaches for apples in this Instant Pot Cobbler and serve warm or cold with a scoop of dairy free vanilla ice cream! Everyone will rave about this healthy Thanksgiving dessert!
Growing up in the Ukraine, I was taught not to waste food. That includes a turkey carcass or leftover turkey meat. So, here are a few ideas for your turkey carcass.
This Turkey Tetrazzini is an easy way to enjoy leftover turkey. To make this traditional casserole healthy, we load it up with veggies and lighten up the sauce. And everything cooks in one pot because last thing you want to do is dirty 3 more pots after the Holidays.
My family’s Instant Pot Bone Broth Recipe we made for centuries in Ukraine. Full of collagen, budget friendly and ready in 2.5 hours instead of 24 hours.
Ukrainian Buckwheat Soup Recipe with soup bones, vegetables and roasted buckwheat. Healthy, wholesome and delicious soup that makes enough for leftovers.
Turkey Noodle Soup is the answer to leftover roasted turkey. Its broth is so healing and delicious, once combined with simple veggies and pasta your family will devour it in minutes.
Add some protein to this Vegetable Soup with your leftover turkey! Made on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot this soup is a great way to use up any leftover odds and ends from Thanksgiving!
More Healthy Recipes to Try
50 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes: Boneless Turkey Breast Roast
Boneless Turkey Roast
Boneless Turkey Roast
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium roasting pan or Dutch oven, place turkey roast and make 10-15 inserts with a paring knife. Stick garlic slice into each one until you run out of garlic.
- Rub roast with oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper all around. Taking small handfuls of rosemary pat it onto the roast, then sprinkle some. The goal is to coat the roast in herbs.
- Bake uncovered for 90 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Remove from the oven, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Internal temperature will reach 170 degrees F and juices settle.
- Using a sharp knife, remove the casing and slice. Serve warm at a Holiday table, cold as an appy or use in sandwiches instead of deli meat.
Easy Pan Gravy (Optional)
- Place roasting pan with juices from cooking turkey roast on medium heat. Scrape and shake rosemary and burnt on pieces from removed casing into the pot. There is a lot of flavor. Discard the casing.
- Add water or broth and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes and whisk to scrape the walls. Again lots of flavor in there.
- Add white wine, butter, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low-medium and cook for 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, add a bit of gravy from the pot and cornstarch. Whisk well with a fork, pour back into the pot and whisk until gravy starts boiling.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened a bit. Serve with a turkey roast.
- Boneless turkey roast: This recipe calls for fresh boneless skinless turkey roast. If you have a frozen one, thaw it first.
- Fresh rosemary: I love using dried herbs for soups and stews. For herb roasted turkey roast I highly recommend to buy fresh rosemary. I understand it is extra hassle. I am all for shortcuts but Holidays and roasts call for fresh herbs. You can freeze leftover fresh chopped rosemary and use later.
- Garlic: There is really no substitute for garlic, which has a very distinctive flavor. if you are allergic to garlic, maybe bake with a bit of lemon juice and zest. And/or sprinkle with fresh chives after.
- Olive oil: Can also use avocado or grapeseed oil. I do not recommend to use melted butter because it will solidify as soon as you brush it on cold meat and herbs will not stick.
- Bone in roast: If you want to cook turkey breast with bone in, check out this roasted turkey breast recipe.
- Don’t remove the casing before cooking: Under any circumstances please don’t. Casing is holding pieces of meat together. If you remove it, meat will fall apart. Do not worry, we will season it inside. It will come out juicy and delicious.
- Bake roast uncovered: If you cover it, meat will steam instead of roasting.
- Extra large roast 5-10 lbs: Cook for 30 minutes per lb but check with thermometer 30 minutes before calculated total time. Just to avoid overcooking as oven gets hotter with time.
- Turkey roast beyond the Holidays: If you are looking at this recipe and it’s not Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter, please know you can still cook the roast. And use instead of deli meat. Healthy sandwich meat! Summer picnics, school and work lunches, appetizers board. Heck, yeah!!!
- Storing leftovers: Refrigerate roast whole or sliced in an airtight container for up to a week. It tastes so good cold. And warm with gravy. This recipe is so versatile!
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