If you're in need of a fresh take on a Thanksgiving classic, here's the answer to your recipe prayers! These 46 healthy and delicious recipes will delight your guests — and there's an option for everyone. Whether you're entertaining a group that's vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, or even Paleo, there's a recipe here to get your creative juices flowing while you're in the process of developing a holiday menu. Click on the category below to hop right to the dish or course you're looking to lighten up this year.
Fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes may be what your Thanksgiving dreams are made of, but the side, high in saturated fat and empty calories, isn't exactly diet-friendly. If you're trying to save a few calories this Thanksgiving and are looking for healthier, lower-carb, and low-calorie mashed options, any of these four recipes would be an excellent addition to your holiday plate.
Paleo Cauliflower Mash
Gone low-carb or Paleo? High-fiber mashed cauliflower makes a fluffy, tasty substitution to carb-rich mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with Paleo-approved bacon pieces (why not?) and still get away with a 106-calorie side.
Low-Carb Mashed Potatoes
If you just can't commit to a non-potato mash, this low-carb mashed potatoes recipe will save you on fat, calories, and carbs without having to give up your favorite holiday side. Using naturally creamy Yukon gold potatoes helps cut down on the amount of butter needed as well.
Celery Root and Parsnip Puree
For a departure from traditional holiday flavors, opt for this celeriac and parsnip puree over mashed potatoes. The side is high in fiber and protein for a lower-calorie option that helps you feel satisfied.
Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes
For another filling side that will look amazing on your Thanksgiving table, try these fiber-rich savory mashed sweet potatoes. Flavored with cumin and cayenne, this dish is a spicier, dairy-free take on tradition.
Between the turkey, gravy, and pies, Thanksgiving can be a carnivore's delight but a vegan's nightmare. Fortunately, we've put together a few of our favorite dairy-free recipes so you can watch a delicious meal unfold. Try brussels sprouts that will convert the naysayers or pies that don't require an oven. In fact, these five recipes are so good, guests will be surprised to learn your secret!
I still can't believe that Thanksgiving and the first night of Hanukkah coincide this year! Even if you're going the traditional route for recipes on Thanksgiving, this healthy menu is perfect for another night when you'll be celebrating Hanukkah with a special (separate) meal. It also doesn't hurt that you could make use of some Thanksgiving leftovers . . .
Sweet Potato Latkes
Trade in your traditional potato pancake recipe (and sweet potato casserole) for Thanksgivukkah-appropriate carrot and sweet potato latkes. To keep things light, top off these beauties with a little all-natural applesauce or a dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt instead of traditional sour cream.
Fresh Fall Salad
If you think cranberries are just for the sauce, this fresh cranberry and apple salad will put that notion to rest. The creamy goat cheese and crunchy pecans round out this salad recipe.
It just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without that beautiful bird! Cook up POPSUGAR Food's easy roasted turkey that makes use of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage for flavor.
Fresh Orange-Cranberry Sauce
Cut out the preservatives, and brighten up the flavor of the standard canned sauce with a bowl of orange cranberry sauce. It's so easy to make!
Light Noodle Kugel
Sure, latkes are the most well-known Hanukkah treat, but sweet noodle kugel holds a special place in my heart. Traditional recipes for this decadent dish pile on the cream, butter, and sugar heavily — but this lightened-up version is a healthier alternative that brings the same nostalgic flavors.
Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts
Instead of serving a heavy batch of fried doughnuts, pay homage to the oil that lasted eight nights with these baked gluten-free apple cider doughnuts. They're the perfect Fall treat to end your special meal.
While that big bird seems to be the main event of a Thanksgiving spread, I'm always drawn to piling my plate high with a variety of delicious sides. Many of these dishes are lightened-up versions of comforting favorites, while others take a big twist on tradition, but their common denominator is big, bold flavor that all your guests are sure to enjoy.
Gravy seems to make everything better. But since it's dripping in butter and meat, it's less than ideal if you follow a healthy diet, and totally off limits if you're vegetarian. This vegan gravy recipe will fool even the biggest carnivores at the table. It's rich and creamy, but not loaded with saturated fats. It's a must at your next gathering!
Make this juice recipe your new main squeeze for Fall. It contains this season's superstars: apples, celery, and of course, beets. This deep red juice will get you into the Holiday spirit and keep you feeling healthy all season long.
Learn how to make this beet juice recipe after the break!
It's not really Thanksgiving until the turkey's on the table, but it's not official unless there's cranberry sauce to complement the main. The classic combo practically makes the holiday dinner — but you don't have to resort to the processed, sugary, store-bought jellied cranberry sauce if you're feeling overwhelmed in the kitchen. These low-sugar, lower-calorie cranberry sauce recipes are far more flavorful and nutritious, and super quick to make!
Cranberry Apple Orange Relish
A bag of cranberries, a chopped orange (no peeling required!), and a chopped apple are pretty much all you need for this cranberry relish that comes together in a flash. The fact that this relish is raw means that you benefit from all the ingredients' nutrients, especially vitamin C.
Classic Cranberry Sauce
For a more classic take on the cranberry side, opt for this vanilla-orange cranberry sauce recipe. This sweet and tart, 75-calorie sauce is a perfect addition to your Turkey Day dinner.
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce
Talk about antioxidants! This cranberry pomegranate sauce adds a major disease-fighting punch to your holiday dinner. Easy to make and very versatile, this sauce is even amazing on your day-after pancake breakfast!
Worried about the gluten-free sides you'll be serving at Thanksgiving this year? No need to stress about that part of the menu! Here are 10 healthy and delicious options that will do your meal justice. Both gluten-free eaters and gluten lovers will enjoy one (or a number!) of these additions to your table.
Sausage, Apple, and Squash Stuffing
To all the gluten-free gals out there, meet your new favorite Paleo and gluten-free stuffing. Sweet butternut squash stands in for cubed bread, while high-quality sausage and an assortment of other traditional ingredients like apples, celery, and onion round out the recipe.
Creamy Cauliflower Mash
Lighten up your standard, starchy mashed potato side with this Paleo-friendly twist on tradition: creamy mashed cauliflower. This decadent-tasting dish has that texture you're craving, reminiscent of the classic, while the baked-potato toppings like scallions and diced bacon make the dish even more delicious.
Panko-Crusted Green Bean Casserole
Freshen up your casserole with this healthy green bean recipe from Bobby Deen. Panko and parmesan cheese are a healthier and gluten-free revamp of traditional toppings, while fresh mushrooms up the veg factor. Trust us — this lighter riff on the classic casserole is better than the original. Just be sure you're using gluten-free panko!
An old family recipe with a gluten-free twist? We're sold on this gluten-free cornbread dressing for our table this year. You'll be happy to know that making this recipe suitable for dairy-free eaters is also a breeze!
Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet potato casserole is traditionally gluten-free, and this lightened-up casserole weighs in at under 210 calories per heaping serving. The flavor is familiar, but this recipe is fresh, new, and easy to follow.
See even more recipes after the break!