If you are looking for new creative and healthy recipes to serve this year at Thanksgiving look no further! From festive salads to creative easy desserts, in this post, you'll find a variety of options including allergy-friendly, vegan, gluten-free, and grain-free side dishes. Something to please every guest at your celebration.
The Thanksgiving menu at my house has remained pretty consistent for the last 30+ years. My mom has her tried and true favorites and every member of the family insists on at least one of her recipes. Swapping new recipes in for some of the old favorites is a challenge, but every year I try to gently introduce one new dish. I love trying new flavors and playing with seasonal produce.
Whether your family is rooted in tradition or always open to trying something new I love to gently encourage the addition of one dish that may be just a little bit healthier. It's the holidays, enjoy your traditions, stay mindful and eat with intention, but it doesn't hurt to also shake things up with a new recipe that can help to balance out the heavier foods of the season.
HEALTHY THANKSGIVING APPETIZER RECIPES
I love having a little something for my guests as they arrive. My family has been known to have an epic appetizer/cocktail hour which, as delicious as it is, tends to get everyone a bit too full before the meal. I think serving a little something takes the pressure off the host, your guests fill their bellies with a few bites of something yummy so you (the hostess with the most-ess) have time to finish the main meal.
Creamy pumpkin soup with the addition of peanut butter! This soup is vegan and super easy to whip up. In this post, you will also find the simple tutorial to use small pumpkins as bowls! So cute.
Pull apart bread is a family favorite, add feta cheese and olives and OMG you just have to make this!
Another super simple and delicious soup! Vegan, festive, and nourishing.
Save the seeds from all of your winter squash, acorn, delicata, butternut, and of course pumpkin! Then roast the seeds with warming spices and place in beautiful bowls for cocktail hour. Squash seeds are loaded with essential minerals and nutrients.
This is my favorite Thanksgiving appetizer, I can switch it up a little bit every year and everyone loves it! Use a variety of raw and roasted veggies, several yummy dips (like this beet sumac hummus), cheese, and nuts. It's the ultimate grazing platter and light enough that you save room for the main event.
HEALTHY THANKSGIVING SIDE DISH RECIPES
My favorite part of the meal BY FAR! Try some of these healthier side dish recipes this Thanksgiving!
Perfect as a vegan entree or just a delicious and nutritious side dish
You will never make mashed potatoes on the stovetop again. These potatoes are NO DRAIN! Yup, you heard that right, no drain! Adding parsnips, a hearty root vegetable that is like carrots paler sister, not only adds a host of nutrients but also a phenomenal flavor. My magical Instant Pot is an essential tool during the holidays, no-drain mashed potatoes is a very strong reason why.
I successfully snuck this beauty onto the thanksgiving menu last year. Honeynut squash is a smaller, nuttier, sweeter butternut squash, roasted with seasonal herbs and topped with an umami nutty miso tahini sauce. This recipe is a real winner!
Updated Green Bean Casserole – Vegan! (coming soon)
Green bean casserole is not a recipe I grew up with, but I like the idea of it, sort of. I am always looking for ways to lighten up some of the traditional side dishes to bring a better balance to the meal. This version contains crisp roasted green beans and hearty mushrooms with a vegan creamy onion sauce lightly drizzled on top.
Simple, hearty, and delicious. Beautiful for a fully vegan celebration.
If you LOVE marshmallow sweet potato casserole madness, this is not the recipe for you. I have an aversion to overly sweet, sweet potatoes unless it is intentionally in a pie. In this version, I add a touch of heat from cayenne and top the fluffy light sweet potatoes with crunchy pecans that are also not overly sweet.
I am always looking for something bright, citrusy, and crunchy on Thanksgiving. All the other side dishes, as delicious as they are, tend to be a bit heavier. A light citrus salad is the perfect compliment.
So easy, so delicious. Cranberries, apples, a touch of maple syrup. Yes, you should make this. Bonus, you can make it several days in advance!
Move over boring Brussels sprouts, there is a new kid in town! Create a nutty brown butter sauce and then add pecans, top with a maple tahini glaze. Stop the delicious madness!!
This side dish is a no brainer, creamy butternut squash with crunchy panko breadcrumbs, fragrant rosemary, and salty parmesan cheese. Yum!
Are you looking to have a smaller Thanksgiving celebration? May I suggest the pumpkin parmesan chicken (below) and this glorious salad! Greens, warm cooked buckwheat, spiced roasted acorn squash, creamy feta cheese, and that perfect pop of sweet, tart pomegranate.
A little twist on traditional apple sauce, made in the slow cooker. So easy and so delicious!
HEALTHY THANKSGIVING ENTREE RECIPES
Thanksgiving for two? Forget the turkey, make this chicken and you will love me forever.
HEALTHY THANKSGIVING DESSERT RECIPES
Do you have a lot of kids that come to your Thanksgiving celebration? Create a DIY caramel apple and pear station and make this heavenly vegan pumpkin caramel sauce.
Single-serve, super easy, make in advance, all the things. Heavenly pumpkin mousse layered with gluten-free gingerbread cookies and coconut whipped cream. Vegan, gluten-free and so delicious!
A more refined dessert, not your traditional pie, but oh man no one will complain! Roast pears in earl grey tea and then drizzle with chocolate sauce.
A simple gluten-free dessert, fresh seasonal apples topped with a crispy oat and nut crumble. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
HEALTHY THANKSGIVING DRINK RECIPES
I keep this warm all day in my Instant Pot and let my guests serve themselves. A small bottle of good quality bourbon is near by for those that want a little extra “warmth”.
I have been on a serious kombucha cocktail kick, they are low in alcohol and have the added benefit of a little bit of gut support. Woop! Woop! This festive kombucha cocktail is absolutely delicious!
Make a batch of vegan pumpkin spice creamer and leave it at your coffee bar to gain some serious hostess points!
You know what Thanksgiving really means right? It heralds in EGGNOG SEASON!!! My favorite time of the year! You can make a batch of this ahead of time and heat as needed.
Wishing you the most glorious holiday celebration ever!!!!
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