12 Classic Thanksgiving Side Dishes with a Healthy Twist - Healthy recipes and cooking tips for a healthier lifestyle

12 Classic Thanksgiving Side Dishes with a Healthy Twist

November 13, 2022
12 Classic Thanksgiving Side Dishes with a Healthy Twist

Side dishes are the true star of Thanksgiving, and thanks to a few tweaks that make these appetizing recipes healthier, everyone can indulge on turkey day. Our healthy holiday side dishes range from hearty Southern-style cornbread to a wonderfully acidic arugula salad. Add these Thanksgiving recipes to your arsenal to create new memories at the table.

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Homemade Breads 

Corn Bread

Many people can’t imagine Thanksgiving without cornbread, and thanks to this deliciously sweet, lower-fat recipe, no one has to! This classic, Southern-inspired cornbread is moist and flavorful, making it the perfect partner for traditional Thanksgiving fare. It also pairs well with autumn soups, stews, and chili.

Cranberry Nut Bread

Serve soft, fragrant citrus and cranberry bread for an irresistible treat on Thanksgiving Day. Whole wheat flour and fresh (or frozen) cranberries add deliciously hearty flavor to the holiday table - and the bread looks so festive!

Jalapeño Corn Muffins

Sharp cheddar and jalapeño peppers add bold, creamy goodness to every bite of these 5-star muffins. Bake up these savory, golden-brown muffins for a tasty treat at your Thanksgiving table. If you love hearty, spicy, and ultra-comforting flavors, you’ll love this recipe.

The Fixins

Caramelized Onion Gravy

Indulge your senses in a rich, fragrant gravy made with beautifully caramelized onions, fresh thyme, and a touch of butter. This thick but heart-healthy gravy is the perfect way to smother holiday favorites, like turkey and mashed potatoes. It's sure to receive top marks from hungry guests.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Make this sparkling side dish with fresh cranberries and a short list of pantry staples. Classic cranberry sauce is the crown jewel of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and although many recipes are loaded with sugar, this diabetic-friendly version is sure to please.

Turkey Stuffing

Our healthy turkey stuffing recipe gets its terrific flavor from fresh herbs and cubed whole-wheat bread. Chopped celery and carrots adds a savory edge and burst of color that makes this homemade dish one you’ll be making year after year.


Sweet Potato Bake

Dig into a velvety sweet potato casserole dotted with toasted pecans. Whether you’re serving roasted turkey or prime rib, this low-sugar but flavor-filled dish is the way to go. The deliciously crisp topping takes this easy recipe to the next level.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Bring everyone to the table with a homemade bowl of classic mashed potatoes. Our gluten-free recipe boasts the creamy goodness of butter and sour cream, without all the fat. The addition of minced garlic delivers a mouthwatering finish, without the need for loads of salt, making it a heart-healthy favorite.

Creamed Cauliflower

Create rich, holiday-worthy flavor with just 6 ingredients and a blender. It looks and tastes like mashed potatoes but with far fewer calories or carbs. “This is an easy-to-make cauliflower recipe,” says reviewer Toni. “It's creamy, light, and fluffy. The kids thought it was mashed potatoes!”

Autumn Salads

Warm Roasted Sweet Potato, Farro and Greens Salad

Lively mixed greens act as the base for this healthy Thanksgiving salad that’s bursting with garden-fresh ingredients and protein-rich add-ins. Crumbled feta and fresh thyme add brightness, while sweet potatoes and radishes bump up the salad's star appeal.

Apple Gorgonzola Salad

Diced apples and crumbled Gorgonzola give this heart-healthy salad its one-of-a-kind creaminess and crunch. Chopped pecans and an irresistibly good mustard vinaigrette add depth to this 5-star favorite. The colors and flavors pair perfectly with Thanksgiving favorites.

Arugula, Beet and Radish Salad

Vibrant colors and delightfully tangy taste make this roasted beet salad a standout at your holiday table. The presentation of this salad is sure to draw rave reviews, but it's the taste that will keep guests coming back for more.

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