Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes (Includes Keto Options)
Thanksgiving and the holiday season are a great time to reflect, relax, and enjoy time with people you love. Enjoying time with others is often accompanied by many indulgences that most likely distract you from your health goals. If you are someone looking to have an indulgent (yet healthy) Thanksgiving this year, this article is packed with healthy Thanksgiving recipes to satisfy every taste bud.
From the turkey to the mashed potatoes and gravy – this article has every healthy Thanksgiving recipe you will need to make this year’s Thanksgiving dinner satisfying and nourishing. Just click the pictures below each recipe description to go straight to the recipe!
In many households, you can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without the turkey! This recipe uses loads of flavorful anti-inflammatory herbs and switches out the commonly used sugary glazes for a keto-friendly alternative.
To take your turkey to the next level, you can keep the liver and incorporate it into the stuffing. Liver is one of the most nutritionally-dense foods on the planet! Sweet, salty, and herbaceous. Oh, and if you’re going to make a bomb turkey, I’d highly recommend buying a pasture-raised bird. The meat from pasture-raised Turkey is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids! Especially compared to those raised in factory farms.
Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Garlic Herbs Green Beans
As a lighter and more nourishing alternative to the popular green bean casserole, these garlic herb green beans are fantastic. This is such a simple recipe yet it manages to cram in the benefits of healthy fats, antioxidant-boosting onions and garlic, anti-inflammatory herbs, thyroid-nourishing kelp, and bone broth.
This recipe is great for the gut, the metabolism, and won’t leave you feeling like you just ate a tub of mayonnaise when you finish. What makes it sweet is the Lakanto monk fruit keto maple syrup we use. Click the picture below to get this healthy Thanksgiving recipe!
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
4 words… Keto friendly mashed potatoes. What?! Yes, glance down at the picture below and you’d never know that this healthy Thanksgiving recipe actually contains no potatoes at all! People who have tried this recipe tell me all the time that they have made this for their family and they couldn’t even tell the difference.
The benefits of cruciferous veggies (cauliflower) and grass-fed butter make this a superfood! So simple, and yet so nourishing. If you’re looking to cut out the starchy carbs or keep your Thanksgiving keto this year, this one is a must.
Smashed Sweet Potatoes
If you’re not concerned about cutting carbs but at least want to stick with healthier carb sources, this healthy Thanksgiving spin on a classic is a great option. Instead of loading up your sweet potatoes with sugar, try mashing them up with grass-fed butter, a granny smith apple, and a bit of cinnamon!
This recipe also includes a bit of stevia to up the sweetness a bit. Feel free to customize this one to your liking. If you are not a fan of stevia and do well with some extra carbs, organic maple syrup or raw honey can also be great options. Finally, top them off with a bit of salt to taste and you’ve some creamy, sweet, and salty mashed potatoes!
Keto Coconut Flour Gravy
Gravy is the perfect dressing for… pretty much everything on Thanksgiving. Most traditional recipes use inflammatory flours – but not this one! A healthy Thanksgiving twist, this one actually uses coconut flour (as the name suggests) which is nutritious and a great source of prebiotic fiber.
This recipe in particular calls for butter, chicken or beef stock, coconut flour, and some of my favorite anti-inflammatory flavor enhancers. Feel free to take the base three ingredients and spice it up however you like!
Grain-Free Paleo Stuffing
Ah, stuffing – the food that literally and metaphorically represents Thanksgiving. This classic side dish (or main course depending on who you ask) is often highly inflammatory since bread is the main ingredient.
This version is completely grain-free and loaded with nutrition. You can stuff your turkey (and your belly) with this healthy Thanksgiving recipe and feel good about it. That’s because it is full of foods that actually improve your gut health. You can’t say that about the other stuff.
Paleo Cranberry Sauce
There are two big issues with common cranberry sauce recipes, they are full of sugar and call for canned cranberries in BPA lined cans. These are two things you definitely don’t want in your body if you intend to have a healthy hormone balance.
This recipe is incredibly simple with only 5 ingredients. As an optional 6th ingredient, you can add in the sweetener of your choice. If you are sticking with a ketogenic or low-carb meal plan, then stevia or monk fruit may be your go-to. If not, then test it out with a bit of raw honey or maple syrup to taste!
Turkey Bacon Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are an underestimated superfood. They are a cruciferous vegetable that improves your liver function and hormone balance. They also contain powerful sulfur compounds that help improve the production of glutathione, the body’s most powerful antioxidant.
This recipe contains other antioxidant boosting foods like cabbage, red onion, and garlic. Topped off with some bacon and grass-fed butter – these will go fast (make extra)!
Buttery Brussels Sprouts
For a simpler baked Brussels sprouts recipe, this is a solid go-to. Just Brussels sprouts, butter, salt, pepper, and garlic! Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes and you’re ready to go! If you’ve got a big crowd coming in, this is definitely a time-saver.
Roasted Sage Turkey Legs
If you’re a dark meat lover like me then you know the Thanksgiving struggle of running out of this nutritious and tender part of the Turkey. This is why it can be a great idea to roast some Turkey legs on the side! The legs are where the most nutrient-dense meat is so this is an excellent healthy Thanksgiving hack.
All you need is a healthy fat like grass-fed butter, some fresh sage, and any other seasonings of your choice. I like to add in a few slices of orange for added flavor and tenderness.
Healthy Thanksgiving Desserts
Sugar-Free Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake is such a satisfying fall-time dessert. It’s sweet, rich, and has a hint of cinnamon spice. This version takes the traditional recipe to a new level. Instead of a nutritionally lacking sugar-bomb, this recipe has too many nutrients to list here and no added sugar!
Pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed butter, coconut flour, and organic cream cheese are the stars in this dish that make it both healthy and satisfying. Save room for this one because it is high-fat and filling!
Pumpkin is a great fall flavor that is also very nourishing for the body. It is loaded with vitamin A and gut nourishing fiber. Pumpkin pie and pumpkin rolls are two popular Thanksgiving dessert recipes but this cheesecake is next level!
This recipe is higher in carbs but absolutely worth it when you’re enjoying a healthy Thanksgiving meal with people you love. In this recipe I recommend monk fruit sweetener to lower the carb load but maple syrup and honey are also great natural sweeteners to try!
Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Fudge
For an equally indulgent yet more finger-friendly healthy Thanksgiving dessert than cheesecake, this pumpkin spice fudge is a great option. Make it ahead of time and chop it up into bite-sized pieces. When you’re ready for dessert just pop them out of the fridge and enjoy.
This recipe is full of healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, and mood-boosting cacao. Not only will this recipe not leave you with a sugar crash, but the mood-boosting theobromine from the chocolate will help liven up some post-meal conversation!
Grain Free Pumpkin Bars
Most pumpkin bars are high in grains and do not digest well for most people. This one is grain-free because it uses almond butter as the base. In addition to almond butter, it also contains coconut milk for added fats and blood-sugar stabilizing cinnamon.
These are another excellent option for healthy Thanksgiving desserts that can be made ahead of time and pulled out when the main course is finished.
Keto Maple Glaze
As an excellent companion for the grain free pumpkin bars above, try this maple glaze. Instead of being made with maple syrup, this recipe uses a keto alternative that is just as tasty. Using your favorite nut as the base also makes this one high in healthy fats.
If you are not watching your carb intake, you can always use raw maple syrup! All you do is combine the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Super simple, super tasty, and healthy for you.
Grain Free Apple Pie Filling
If you love apple pie but are trying to stick with a grain-free nutrition plan, just eat the filling! With this recipe, you get delicious apples, healthy fats, and delicious antioxidant-rich flavor-enhancers. Traditional apple pies have grains, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
With just a 40 minute total time to make, this one is simple, time-saving, and nourishing to the body. For a healthy Thanksgiving dessert trio, try combining some carrot cake, apple pie filling, and a scoop of ketogenic ice cream (keep reading)!
Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Ice cream is essentially cream and sugar. Unless you go out of your way, your ice cream is likely made with pasteurized cream and heavily processed sugar from GMO corn or sugar beets. Unfortunately, as tasty as it is, these ingredients are not friendly to your digestive tract or your body in general.
This recipe offers a high-fat, lower sugar alternative that actually promotes health and fat-burning! Really all you need is coconut milk, vanilla, and a keto sweetener of choice. There are many ways to personalize this by adding cacao for chocolate ice cream or even frozen strawberries.
Recipes for Leftovers
One of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving is getting to eat the leftovers after! Here are three recipes that you can use to repurpose your leftovers and make sure they all get used up.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
Did you know you can use mashed sweet potatoes to make grain-free pancakes? It’s actually pretty simple. This recipe calls for coconut flour, pastured eggs, and just a few other ingredients. You can even use pumpkin, yams, or butternut squash in place of the sweet potatoes.
Add in a couple scoops of bone broth protein powder to get the amazing benefits of bone broth in a pancake! Combine these with the next recipe and you’ve got one tasty day-after-Thanksgiving breakfast.
Turkey Breakfast Sausage
All that leftover turkey has got to go somewhere. You can keep eating turkey for lunch and dinner… or you can turn it into breakfast sausage! You can do this by throwing your pulled turkey in a food processor and mixing it with the other ingredients to make little turkey patties. If you have trouble getting them to stay together you can always mix in an egg yolk or two.
This particular recipe incorporates coconut oil, turmeric, garlic, onion, other Italian herbs for added anti-inflammatory benefits. The spices altogether create that distinct sausage flavor that is so satisfying in the morning.
If you cooked your turkey whole, set the bones aside and make your own gut-nourishing bone broth. Following this recipe will pull all of the collagenous elements from the bones and ensure you get every bit of nutrition from your Thanksgiving foods.
Collagen is great for the gut, skin, hair, nails, joints, and bones. It can be great to reset the digestive system by fasting from food for 3-5 days and consuming only water and bone broth instead. Either way, don’t let those bones go to waste!