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10 Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

10 Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

All holiday celebrations are difficult to navigate when you’re trying to eat healthier and Thanksgiving is no exception. With mountains of mashed potatoes, tons of turkey, and pies on pies on pies, the average Thanksgiving dinner packs in somewhere between 2,500 and 4,500 calories. But don’t fear the festive feast! There are plenty of ways to indulge in the flavors of fall without feeling as stuffed as the bird after dinner. You and your guests can feel good about gobbling up these healthier side dishes that we’ve rounded up from around the web!

Roasted Butternut Squash

1. Roasted Butternut Squash
Packed with antioxidants, dietary fiber and vitamin A, butternut squash is also delightfully low in fat. This simple recipe shows you exactly how to cut up the pear-shaped squash. Drizzle your roasted squash with balsamic vinegar or glaze for crowd-pleasing presentation. Photo: Kent Cameron; Recipe: Sally Cameron / A Food Centric Life



2. Honey Mustard Brussels Sprout Slaw
Impress your gluten-free guests with this tasty dish that can be served as a salad or side dish. Use a food processor to shred the sprouts, and then toss them with an easy honey mustard dressing that requires zero mayo. Photo and Recipe: Kate / Cookie and Kate


3. Farro, Cranberry and Goat Cheese Salad
With four times as much fiber as brown rice, farro is an extra-filling way to gobble up some grains. Its roasted, nutty flavor shines in this tasty salad. Bonus: This recipe takes only 15 minutes to make! Prepare it ahead of time and serve at room temperature. Photo and Recipe: Des / Life’s Ambrosia

 Cranberry Chicken Meatballs_PS_2

4. Chicken Meatballs
Hidden inside these lean chicken meatballs is a tangy cranberry filling! At only 190 calories and 7.5 grams fat per two meatballs, these are a healthy alternative to fatty, dark meat turkey. Simplify your Thanksgiving prep by making them up to 48 hours in advance. Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by DailyBurn


5. Spiced Orange Cranberry Sauce
Step aside, canned cranberry sauce! Vegan, gluten-free, and requiring just five ingredients, this recipe is chock-full of vitamin C-rich cranberries. If you have leftovers (though we doubt it with sauce this tasty!), use it like jam or mix it into your morning oatmeal. Photo and Recipe: Sonnet / In Sonnet’s Kitchen


6. Pumpkin Asiago Rolls
If your Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without bread to soak up turkey gravy, use healthier whole-wheat flour to make these pumpkin-flavored rolls. Make sure to prepare the dough in advance since needs to rise in the fridge overnight or all day. Photo and Recipe: Katherine Huysman / Country Spoon


7. Hummus Mashed Potatoes
Soft, fluffy mashed potatoes without the heavy cream? You got it. This genius recipe uses protein-packed hummus, which contains much less fat than sour cream or heavy cream. To make a batch that’s vegan-friendly, substitute olive oil for butter. These spuds certainly won’t be dinner duds! Photo and Recipe: Ali / Gimme Some Oven

Butternut Squash Soup

8. Butternut Squash Soup
Start off your feast with a warm, light soup that’s rich in beta-carotene, which keeps the eyes and immune system healthy! This soup has a creamy flavor sans dairy thanks to coconut milk. Use frozen pureed butternut squash if you don’t have time to roast the fresh kind. Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by DailyBurn


9. Roasted Parmesan Green Beans
With canned creamy soup and fried onion topping, most green bean casseroles are high in sodium and fat. Try making these roasted green beans as a veggie side instead. Bake them for 15 minutes and serve immediately with grated Parmesan. Rich in manganese, fiber and vitamins K, A and C, these healthier beans can help you stay lean! Photo and Recipe: Gina / Skinnytaste


10. Cauliflower Risotto
Hello, comfort food! Though it’s a bit untraditional, cauliflower risotto is a great choice for a Thanksgiving side dish because it has a creamy texture and cheesy flavor without the unhealthy heavy cream and carbs. Plus, adding hearty quinoa will give you additional protein and a fluffy texture. Photo and Recipe: Ayşegül / Foolproof Living