It’s no secret that Thanksgiving is a day filled with food that’s a bit, well, heartier than your standard fare. And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with some indulgences, for most of us, it’s a full-blown day of gluttony. One that all too often leaves us feeling drowsy and in the mood for a sudden juice cleanse in the immediate aftermath. I’ve known people who literally can’t do anything but take an hour-long nap after the turkey and stuffing have been cleared away! But while it might be fun in the moment, I don’t think that most of us actually want to spend our Thanksgiving feeling this way.
Although I’m not a health nut, I’m all about scaling back on the pounds of butter and sugar that are found in traditional Thanksgiving recipes in favor of healthier items that don’t sacrifice one bit on taste. It’s all about knowing where to make adjustments without removing any of the rich flavors.
Scroll on for some healthy, healthier, and healthiest recipes to peruse as you’re planning your Thanksgiving menu this year — they’re all delicious, and just so happen to NOT be 1,000 calories per serving.
Healthy Traditional Stuffing. This recipe uses fresh ingredients, sprouted whole grain bread, and only 1.5 tablespoons of butter for a healthy version of the classic warm stuffing that we all love.
Healthier Cauliflower Stuffing. Who needs bread when you have cauliflower? Just kidding, I love bread, but this healthy twist on stuffing sounds just as warm and tasty! Plus, along with no gluten, it’s dairy free!
Healthiest Sweet Potato Unstuffing. This is a beautiful mix of all the best fall veggies and herbs and it will leave you feeling refreshed instead of heavy and weighed down.
Healthy Easy Gravy. With rutabaga, orange marmalade, and pomegranate juice in the ingredient list, this is not your traditional rich, fatty Thanksgiving gravy. It’s a little cleaner, but will still taste amazing drizzled over the turkey.
Healthier Paleo Gravy. Get traditional gravy flavor without gluten, grains, or flour of any kind! Surprise – it’s thickened with cauliflower.
Healthiest Paleo, Whole30 Gravy. Have you ever seen a gravy with only three ingredients? No? Well, here it is. Simple, clean, and perfect for Thanksgiving.
Healthy Herby Mashed Potatoes. What happens when you use greek yogurt and milk instead of whole milk? And 1/4 cup of butter instead of 1/2 cup? Lighter mashed potatoes.
Healthier Simple Mashed Potatoes. Potatoes, skim milk, a little butter, and a little olive oil and voila – mashed potatoes.
Healthiest Mashed Cauliflower. Cauliflower FTW again. Plus, there’s a little cheese in this recipe, so it’s extra yummy.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Healthy Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole. Skip the heaps of sugar and butter with this healthy version of the classic, must-have Sweet Potato Casserole.
Healthier Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes. Roasted sweet potatoes with a hint of cinnamon and pumpkin spice and an optional sweet meringue on top!
Healthiest Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples. The spice of the cinnamon and sweetness form the apples are a nod to the classic recipe, but won’t put you in a sugar coma.
Green Bean Casserole
Healthy Green Bean Casserole. With more health forward ingredients, this recipe is giving you all the traditional feels – just a little bit lighter.
Healthier Clean Green Bean Casserole. Cashews provide the creaminess and pumpkin seeds provide the crunch. It’s hard to get cleaner than this!
Healthiest Paleo, Vegan Green Bean Casserole. This recipe only has 9 ingredients and they’re all good for you, so eat as much as you want.
Healthy Homemade Cranberry Sauce. Sweet, tangy, and not in the shape of can, so that’s nice. Also, no corn syrup in this recipe!
Healthier Cranberry Grape Sauce. This recipe uses only orange and port to sweeten it and it’s packed with whole ingredients!
Healthiest 3-ingredient Cranberry Sauce. You read that right. 3 ingredients. And they’re all fruit. Cranberries, pineapple, and apples all working together to make our healthiest sauce. Yum!
Healthy Whole Grain Spelt Cornmeal Biscuits. Including whole grain flour, cornmeal, and low-fat buttermilk this biscuit recipe brings a level of healthy to your typical biscuit.
Healthier Flourless Cornbread. A healthy version of cornbread muffins and I’m not mad about it! Drizzle some honey on them or smother them in gravy – guaranteed to be amazing.
Healthiest Gluten Free Dinner Rolls. Gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free simple rolls. Yes please.
Healthy Pumpkin Bread. Applesauce, maple syrup, coconut oil, and greek yogurt make this recipe a bit more wholesome than your normal pumpkin bread.
Healthier Paleo Pumpkin Pie. A gluten and dairy free crust AND a gluten and dairy free filling? Plus, coconut sugar is used as sweetener instead of refined sugar.
Healthiest Vegan Pumpkin Mousse. Almost too easy to make – only a handful of whole ingredients and they all just go in the blender!