We all know that turkey is the main feature when it comes to holiday feasts but what about healthy Thanksgiving side dishes? Check out my top 30 Thanksgiving sides that will go perfectly with your holiday meal this year.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
How to Turn Traditional Thanksgiving Side Dishes Healthier
Remember, typically Thanksgiving main courses can be super healthy (thanksgiving classic, turkey is a lean protein, roasted potatoes are a delicious way to get in a starchy carbohydrate, salads and roasted vegetables are always a win).
If you have a traditional recipe that is high in fat, sugar, etc but you want to lighten it up for Thanksgiving dinner here are some tips:
- Cut the sugar. If grandma’s cranberry sauce recipe calls for 1-2 cups of sugar, start with half. Taste and adjust as you go. Even if you cut 1/4 of the sugar, that’s still a difference. You could also try to use a sugar alternative such as Swerve.
Note: I always recommend trying it ahead of time. I haven’t found a recipe that Swerve doesn’t work in, but I don’t want the first one to be the recipe you’re cooking for a group of people.
- Reduce the fat. Instead of heavy whipping cream in the scalloped potatoes, could you try half and half? Or can you use less? Instead of 2 cups of shredded cheese over the casserole, how about one? Can you sneak in another vegetable in the stuffing? I’m not talking about huge changes here, just little swaps.
- Add flavor with herbs and spices. Fresh herbs like rosemary, sage, and thyme bring out the Thanksgiving aromas we love to walk into the kitchen for. Why not add them to your dish to add more flavor without the excess calories and sodium?
- Don’t dress the salad. Instead of pouring the vinaigrette or dressing overtop of the salad, serve it on the side so you and your guests can have control over how much you want to add.
Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes
I sectioned off these Thanksgiving side dish recipes into the following:
- Vegetable side dishes
- Potato side dishes
- Squash side dishes
- Casserole recipes for Thanksgiving
- Thanksgiving Salads
- Stuffing recipes
Vegetable Side Dishes
If we’re going to talk about healthy sides for Thanksgiving, then we need to share some vegetable sides.
This can be as simple as a veggie tray from the grocery store (my rule for clients is, when in doubt a veggie tray is the answer).
Or you can serve up some delicious roasted vegetables as an easy thanksgiving side dish like these Roasted Rainbow Carrots.
Potato Side Dishes (Both Regular and Sweet Potato)
Squash Side Dishes for Thanksgiving
Since squash is in season it’s one of the best healthy sides for Thanksgiving.
Here are some colorful (and flavorful) autumn squash side dishes.
Healthy Thanksgiving Casserole Side Dishes
Is it even Thanksgiving without a casserole of something on the table?
Here are a few to try.
Salads for Thanksgiving
One of the easiest side dishes for Thanksgiving is salads. It’s my personal go to and you don’t have to put yourself out. A simple bagged salad from the grocery store is more than enough (in my opinion, it’s one of the best thanksgiving sides), but if you want to throw something unique together here are some delicious ideas.
Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipes
When it comes to homemade stuffing recipes for Thanksgiving, everyone has a different preference so I wanted to give a few options.
Yes, stuffing can be considered healthy as long as you eat it in moderation. Don’t for 1-2 cups on your plate (although it’s tempting), take a serving, enjoy it, and move on.
Enjoy these healthy Thanksgiving recipes with your family and let me know in the comments what ones you chose for your Thanksgiving menu.