5 Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Ideas

The fourth Thursday in November is often considered a day when all bets are off. Rich gravy, buttery mashed potatoes, savory stuffing, sugary cranberry sauce, decadent pies, and more beckon you to overeat and, unfortunately, later regret the choices you’ve made. If you’re more interested in spending quality time with others, savoring holiday moments, and feeling thankful this Thanksgiving – versus overstuffed with unhealthy foods – consider the following healthy Thanksgiving dinner menu ideas to shake up your normal routine.

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Instead of cooking an entire turkey, leading to snacking for days on end after the holiday, consider preparing a large turkey breast that is naturally low in fat and high in protein. This Thanksgiving dinner recipe adds serious flavor by introducing several fresh and dried herbs that elevate your expectations of roasted turkey breast. Click here for the full recipe.

Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots

Traditional green bean casserole is often prepared with canned beans, fattening cream of mushroom soup, and deep fried onions as a topping. Instead, this recipe calls for fresh string beans, olive oil, shallots, a variety of herbs and spices, and low-fat milk for the base. It is decidedly healthier than what your grandmother made each year, and is quite simple to make. To learn how to make this incredible casserole, click here!

Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a perennial favorite on Thanksgiving, but the extreme amount of butter and salt combine to create a truly unhealthy dish. This variation takes beta carotene-packed sweet potatoes and combines them with a modest amount of butter and kosher salt, plus two slightly spicy chili ingredients to create a healthy and yummy side dish that is bright and inviting. Check out Alton Brown’s own recipe for Smashed Sweet Potatoes here!

Tart Cranberry Dipping Sauce

Cranberry sauce from a can is not only packed full of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, but it is also a rather uninspiring side dish. When preparing a special Thanksgiving dinner for guests, doesn’t it make sense to do a little more than open a can and have the cranberry concoction slide out onto a plate? This zesty sauce is super easy to make, takes almost no time to prepare, and will soon become the go-to side for any Thanksgiving-style dinner. Check out Rachel Ray’s version here!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies, on a healthy foods list? Yes, there is some butter and sugar in this recipe, but there is also a full cup of pumpkin puree that delivers a serious dose of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, and other healthy pumpkin health benefits. This easy recipe is a fun one to complete with someone else – heck, get the kids involved and they’ll have a blast making and eating these healthier versions of the traditional chocolate chip cookie. Here’s the easy recipe!

Don’t feel that you have to load up your guests with artery-clogging, ultra-fattening dishes this Thanksgiving. They won’t miss any of those traditional offerings when you set your table with these incredibly delicious and truly healthy Thanksgiving dinner menu alternatives. We’re changing the way you prepare your Thanksgiving dinner menu, for the better!

 

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