18 Savory Recipes For A Complete And Healthy Thanksgiving Meal

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Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be here and you’ll be gathering with friends and family (some that you’ve not seen in ages, possibly) around a table that’s overflowing with everyone’s favorite foods.

If you’re trying to manage your weight, the idea of having to cook and eat an entire meal of incredibly fattening foods can seem a little stressful to say the least. Lucky for you, it’s really easy to put together a meal that you won’t feel bad about eating or serving to your family.

Here are a few different options for you so that no matter what your family’s taste is, you’ll be able to put a meal on the table that not only looks award worthy, but also tastes it.


 Appetizers

Regardless of how many times you say dinner won’t be until six or seven, people will always start showing up around two. These next dishes will give those early birds a little something to pick at (and you won’t feel guilty if you end up picking at them yourself).

Broccoli Stuffed Baby Portobello Mushrooms

Stuffed Portobello MushroomsThis doubles as both healthy and vegetarian friendly. Stuffed mushrooms are delicious, but they’re usually loaded with sausage, crab, and/or bacon which can lead to a ton of caloric consumption without you even realizing it.

This recipe uses broccoli instead – I usually add some garlic and sprinkle a couple of red pepper flakes over top of mine, but the recipe is pretty good without those additions as well.

Recipe: Food.com

Roasted Pumpkin Bites

Roasted Pumpkin BitesThere’s no better time than the present to pick up a local pumpkin (especially with Halloween just a couple of days away).

Fresh pumpkin always tastes better than canned, and here’s an absolutely delicious way to display this seasonal fruit – It’s sweet, tangy, and hot (so it probably won’t be a favourite among the kids around the table, but you never know!).

Recipe: Food.com

Scandinavian Pickled Herring Bites

Scandinavian Pickled Herring BitesMy dad adores pickled herring (swears it’s one of the things that keeps him from falling ill, too).

If you have the same type of dad (or uncle, or grandfather… You get the point), he’s going to absolutely love this recipe (that also claims to be a perfect first experience for anyone that’s never tried the pickled fish before).

I’d be careful about not overcooking the potato though, I feel like that could really make or break the dish (I’d also opt for full fat sour cream since anything low fat or fat free screams chemical wasteland to me).

 

Recipe: EatingWell

Roasted Sweet Potato Salsa

Love chips and salsa but not such a huge fan of the inches your favourite snack can add to your waistline when you eat too much of it? Then opt for this potassium, fiber, and antioxidant rich mixture instead.

It’ll definitely be seasonally aesthetically pleasing on your fall themed table, and it can be used in a bunch of different ways (although I suggest plating it with new York style flatbreads or on a toasted baguette).

Recipe: Martha Stewart

Edamame Hummus

Edamame HummusUsing edamame instead of chickpeas to make this hummus is an interesting idea and is sure to add a lovely splash of green colour to any appetizer table.

Protip: If you’re going to try and make yours look like the picture (by using a cabbage), put a bowl or container in the cabbage and fill that up – It’ll cause less mess overall and you’ll still be able to use the cabbage for another meal later.

Recipe: Martha Stewart


The Main Event

What’s Thanksgiving without a main course? Regardless of if you have vegetarians in your family, aren’t having the biggest family get together, or aren’t a fan of turkey, there’s something on this list for everyone.

Herb Roasted Turkey

Herb Roasted TurkeyYou don’t have to wrap your turkey in bacon to give it flavor, herbs do a perfectly good job of that! It will look so beautiful when it’s finished cooking that you’ll want to display it as a table centerpiece while it’s resting!

Once it’s carved and on your plate, you can sit back and enjoy one of the juiciest, most flavorful bird you’ve ever roasted!

Personally I’d replace the canola oil with another cold pressed oil or ever organic butter myself, but feel free to work with what you’ve got (If this will be your first time as host and you’ve never roasted a turkey before, here’s an incredibly well put together walkthrough).

Recipe: EatingWell

Herb Stuffed Turkey Breast

Herb Stuffed Turkey BreastIf you’re having a small get together this Thanksgiving, roasting an entire bird will either leave you eating nothing but turkey leftovers for a month or a ton of it will end up going to waste. Instead just cook a couple of turkey breasts (they’re the best part of the bird anyway).

If you (or someone at the table) don’t like turkey, substitute chicken instead (account for one or two chicken breasts per person depending on who you’re feeding – You know your family best!).

Recipe: Greatist

Delicata Squash Stuffed With Mushrooms, Farro, Pecans, And Dried Cranberries

Delicata Squash Stuffed With Mushrooms, Farro, Pecans, And Dried CranberriesIf you have a vegetarian or vegan coming to dinner, please make this instead of having to subject them to tofurkey – Fake meat really is as horrible as it sounds.

This recipe comes with a few variations so that no matter what kind of special diet you have to accommodate, you can easily adapt it.

Recipe: TheKitchn


Side Dishes

Side dishes are probably my favourite part of any holiday (I’m one of those people that simply cannot survive without my mother’s homemade dressing/stuffing on any holiday). Here are a few different dishes that you can be thrilled about having on your Thanksgiving table – For their aesthetic as well as their nutritional value.

Broccoli Potato Puree

Broccoli Potato PureeThis is a great way to get some extra vitamins, and it allows you to enjoy mashed potatoes without having to add a whole lot of butter and cream to make them taste good.

I would steam the vegetables instead of boiling them, and I would maybe also add spinach and/or turnips to them as well.

Make sure that you use the type of potatoes that the recipe calls for – They can be whipped without turning gummy.

Recipe: Reader’s Digest

Chunky Cranberry Sauce

food9Cranberry sauce is another Thanksgiving staple, but the canned version that you get at the grocery store is loaded with sugar and other preservatives.

Making your own cranberry sauce with (I recommend) fresh cranberries not only tastes better, but it’ll take you less than 30 minutes – totally worth the effort.

This recipe uses apple juice to help sweeten them which will give you less of a blood sugar spike when you eat them and way more nutrients than by using plain sugar alone.

 

Recipe: Food and Wine

Green Bean And Shallot Ravioli Salad

Green Bean And Ravioli SaladGreen Bean Casserole is a favourite dish among many dinner tables, but with all the mushroom soup, cream, and fried onions the calories you ingest can add up fairly quickly.

This recipe offers a new twist with less calories (and it’s incredibly tasty! Paste with Thanksgiving dinner might seem incredibly weird, but trust me when I say that this is one of those instances when change is a good thing).

Recipe: Whole Living

Wheatberry Stuffing With Apricots

Wheatberry Stuffing With ApricotsDressing may or may not be the one thing I personally refuse to compromise on, but if you’ve been looking for something to put on the table that’s a little more healthy than the usual carb ridden side dish, this one sounds like it might actually be pretty good.

It uses wheatberries – a versatile whole grain – and rice to hold it together (Please, if anyone decides to make this – Let me know how it turns out).

 

 

Recipe: Good Housekeeping


Desserts And Drinks

Even though everyone will absolutely stuff themselves with everything you’ve put out so far, there will still be some guests with a sweet tooth that will be hungry for dessert. And if they’re having some, why shouldn’t you as well?

With these desserts/after dinner drinks, your guests will be raving about what a spectacular host you are! Fair warning – After serving a meal this tasty, you may be asked to host every single holiday meal forever (The drinks I’ve included are all non-alcoholic so that the little ones can have them as well).

Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free Pumpkin PieEven if you don’t have a vegan in your family, you should seriously consider making this instead of your traditional pumpkin pie – It has more fiber, and less calories, cholesterol, and sodium.

Don’t be weirded out about eating raw pumpkin, either, it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds (it’s even kind of sweet).

Recipe: PopSugar

Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip CookiesPumpkin and dark chocolate were basically made for each other, and this recipe showcases them both beautifully. Adding flaxseed to the cookies is an awesome way to get in some extra omega-3s, but I’d almost save that for when you make these for just your family.

It’s the holidays – Live a little! Without the flaxseeds I think these would have an absolutely perfect texture.

Recipe: Greatist

Sweet Potato Pie Truffles

Sweet Potato Pie Truffles

A super seasonal alternative to the more traditional chocolate truffle, this will allow you to get your sweet potato pie fix without all of the extra calories and fat that come from the crust.

Either serve these adorable cake pop sized truffles on a seasonal dish or put them on skewers, stick them in a Styrofoam block, and work them into your centerpiece.

Recipe: Clean Eating Mag

 Sleigh Driver

food15This takes warm apple cider to the next level by adding all kinds of seasonal fruits to it.

I might add a tad less allspice myself, but you’ll definitely want to play around with it to suit your personal preference.

If you’re looking to add some alcohol to this for the adults in the room, I’d imagine you’d probably want to go with rum (or possibly even whisky).

Recipe: EatingWell

 

Spicy Hot Chocolate

food16If you prefer your fall to taste a little more chocolatey, this is definitely a drink that you’re going to want to make a ton of (Seriously, if you make it you might want to make a double batch – It’ll go a lot faster than you think!).

There’s even a secret ingredient in it that I promise you can’t even taste (which will make you doubly happy when your little ones start asking for seconds, and probably even thirds).

If you’re looking to make an adult version of this, I would maybe add a coffee lacquer, or maybe some Kahlua.

Recipe: Health.com

The Rehydrator

The RehydratorThis drink recipe uses cherries and cranberry juice, which makes it perfect for seasonally sipping on. I think that if I were to make it myself, I’d maybe add some mint as well.

If you’d like to make this one for adults, you’d probably want to stick to something a little more simple like vodka or maybe even a fruity wine (although I think this one might already be perfect just as it is in its non-alcoholic state).

Recipe: Bon Appetite

A table filled with all of the above recipes is sure to be a complete showstopper. Try one (or all) of them this Thanksgiving holiday and let us know what your family thought about it (or them!) in the comments section – We always love hearing what you have to say!

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Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes