40 Fast and Easy Dishes for a Healthy Thanksgiving

Wild Rice and Cherry Pilaf There is a lot of great healthy alternatives for your Thanksgiving meal. You can eat as much as you want and… Trista - November 27, 2019
Don’t skip this wild rice dish on Thanksgiving. Woman’s Day/Chris Court.

Wild Rice and Cherry Pilaf

There is a lot of great healthy alternatives for your Thanksgiving meal. You can eat as much as you want and not worry about putting 3,000 calories into your body. This recipe is a staple when it comes to Thanksgiving because it gives you a delicious cherry taste with wild rice. 

Made in a little over an hour, you can place this dish on your Thanksgiving table in no time. Some of the ingredients include onion, dried cherries, wild rice blend, cinnamon stick, olive oil, and dry white wine. 

Don’t miss out on these sweet potatoes this holiday season. Delish/PARKER FEIERBACH.

Sweet Potato Salad

Can’t get enough of the sweet potato recipes, but want to make them a little healthier? This sweet potato salad is a great option. Eating it straight from the oven (of course, you want it to cool a bit, so you don’t burn yourself), you will never feel that regular potato salad tastes that great again. 

With six servings made in under 40 minutes, this salad will make your whole table wonder where this dish has been their entire lives. Other than sweet potatoes, you can add carrots, cranberries, onion, and crumbled feta. 

Skip the green salad and make this holiday roasted vegetable dish. Delish/PARKER FEIERBACH.

Holiday Roasted Vegetables

Not into placing a green salad on your Thanksgiving table because you want something unique, and you feel like you eat a salad all the time? Holiday roasted vegetables are a great treat to place on your table that will make people think they are eating a healthy and tasty salad. 

Made in under a half-hour, this four serving dish includes carrots, Brussel sprouts, balsamic vinegar. Olive oil, thyme, pecans, and no much more! You can even add in your own favorite vegetables and herbs to make the dish even better. 

This pecan pie tart is an excellent substitute for your regular Thanksgiving pies. Lexie’s Clean Kitchen.

Pecan Pie Tarts

This pecan pie tarts give you the same great flakey crust you love with your pies. It will also give you the same taste so that you won’t miss the sweets. Free of refined sugars, you are sure to get rave reviews from your guests about your excellent pecan pie tarts. 

Gluten-free pie dough is the best to use, but you can also use any other healthy pie dough. Other ingredients include coconut sugar, salt, butter, pecans, eggs, vanilla, salt, and maple syrup. To make the pie tart tastier, you will decorate the top with extra pecans. 

Make this rich butternut squash soup for your guests this holiday season. Food Network/Tara Donne.

Butternut Squash Soup

This soup has such a rich taste that people will think it is like any other soup and made with cream. However, it is a much healthier option as it uses squash and other great ingredients to give it a great taste. 

Made within an hour, your guests can eat this soup before or during the Thanksgiving meal. For six servings, you want a two to three-pound squash, six cups of chicken stock, one onion, nutmeg, two tablespoons of unsalted butter, and ground pepper. 

Gorgeous apple pastries are a perfect new addition to your Thanksgiving table. The Love Nerds.

Apple Rose Pastries

Show off your cooking skills and creativity with these apple rose pastries. Shaped like a rose, you will wow your guests with their taste and design. Another bonus includes getting the same great taste from other delicacies but eating something fit for your health. 

Spending 10 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to bake, you can make these pastries as a delicious and gorgeous dessert as you enjoy a meal with your guests. The ingredients include a sheet of puff pastry, apples, apple butter, cinnamon, and lemon juice. 

This herb-roasted turkey breast can be marinated overnight for a stronger taste. Food Network.

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

Some people simply need to have turkey for their Thanksgiving meal. If this sounds like you, this herb-roasted turkey breast is a healthy choice. The total time for this dish is 2 hours and 40 minutes, meaning you will not need to get up early to start your turkey. 

While you can use your favorite herbs as a seasoning, some of the most commonly used herbs are dry mustard, rosemary, sage, thyme, olive oil, lemon juice, and some white wine. No, the wine isn’t technically to drink, but I won’t tell if you pour yourself a little glass. 

Get your pumpkin pie filling with these delicious pumpkin pie cupcakes. My Whole Food Life.

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Don’t give up your pumpkin pie because you want to eat healthier. There are many ways to fulfill your pumpkin pie cravings with healthier options. Using bananas, spices, and coconut sugar, you will recreate the pumpkin flavor you desire. 

Not only does the pumpkin pie filling taste like regular pumpkin pie, but the same texture. You can create a yummy topping to go with the cupcakes and not have to work hard in a hot kitchen making your pie. Taking only five minutes to prepare and 25 minutes to bake, you do not need to make these ahead of time. 

Spice up your salad with a few little apples. Taste of Home.

Roasted Apple Salad with Spicy Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

Salads are always a great choice to have as the first course or a side to your meal. You can definitely spice up your salad with this recipe. The number of apples you use is up to you, but the more you add, the better they taste!

Other ingredients to use are maple syrup, Sriracha chili sauce, cider vinegar, crumbled goat cheese (or your favorite cheese), and chopped pecans. While pecans give the salad a distinctive added taste, you can also substitute these for a different nut. 

Let this spaghetti squash lasagna change the dishes you make for Thanksgiving. Fat Free Vegan.

Spaghetti Squash Pesto Lasagna

This spaghetti squash lasagna will make anyone wish they had placed it on their Thanksgiving table sooner. On the first bite, you will not believe that the dish isn’t filled with cheese or cream because of its texture and taste. 

You receive the richness from this lasagna from the cashew cheese sauce. The main ingredients you will need are spaghetti squash, mushrooms, low-fat spaghetti sauce, garlic, non-fat dairy milk, lemon juice, and dry mustard. If you want to cut the fat content, even more, you can leave out the cashews from the cheese sauce. 

Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like these four special words: cranberry, apple, maple, crisp. Woman’s Day/Chris Court.

Cranberry Apple Maple Crisp

Who doesn’t like the delightful taste of apple crisp or apple pie for a little dessert during Thanksgiving? For many people, it is sometimes one of the best dishes. This cranberry apple maple crisp doesn’t just give you the taste you desire, but it is a healthier option as well!

Made in about an hour from start to finish, you can create this last so your guests get to eat it warm or earlier so it can cool to room temperature. Either way, it is delicious! 

Keep your turkey by making this healthy marinade. Home Cooking Adventure.

Roasted Turkey

Turkey lovers are not forgotten. Many people simply need to eat their turkey at Thanksgiving but would love to have a healthy option. One of these options is making a healthy marinade for your turkey and then roasting the meat. 

No more than ten minutes to prepare the marinade, you will never want to turn your attention to the traditional ways of making a turkey again. Ingredients you use for the marinade include balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, your favorite dried herbs, garlic powder, and paprika. 

This alternative Thanksgiving side dish is beyond delicious. Home Cooking Adventure.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Best known as an appetizer, but you can also use it as a side because of the amount of protein it gives. Not only is this dish healthy, but it follows a lot of the current diet trends of today, such as the Paleo and Keto. 

Another great benefit is you can make this dish in under 15 minutes with only three ingredients! You need to have at least six prosciutto slices or strips, 12 asparagus spears, and a bit of ghee for pan-frying. If you want to make this dish even healthier, you can bake the asparagus. 

Stuff yourself with these tasty stuffed pumpkins. Whole Foods.

Mini Stuffed Pumpkins

Mini stuffed pumpkins will not only make your mouth water, but it will give your table a Thanksgiving and fall look. Known as a unique dish, your guests will be amazed by the creativity of your healthy holiday meal. All you need to do is cut the top off of four mini pumpkins, mix the ingredients, cook, and enjoy. 

While people usually have pumpkin for their Thanksgiving dessert, mini stuffed pumpkins make for a great entrée. Stuffed with honey, uncooked wild rice, dried cranberries, pecans, orange zest, and freshly squeezed orange juice, you will become stuffed as well. 


“How Many Calories Are in Thanksgiving Dinner?” Consumer Reports. November 2018. 

“18 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes Guests Will Want to Gobble Up.” Meghan Alfano. Brit Co. November 2015. 

“35 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes Made for Second Helpings.” Emily Racette Parulski. Taste of Home. 

“20 HEALTHY THANKSGIVING RECIPES” Taylor Stinson, The Girl on Bloor. 

“31 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes To Make Your Meal A Smidge Lighter.” Sienna Livermore and Madison Flager. November 2019. 

“17 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes To Gobble Up This Holiday Season”. Woman’s Day. November 2019.