No matter what you look forward to—time with family and friends, football games, the Thanksgiving Day parade—our holiday celebrations all have one thing in common: the FOOD! A whole lot of deliciousness, and a whole lot of it. Thanksgiving and Christmas are definitely days to indulge, and to give thanks for the fact that we can indulge. But, there are plenty of easy ways to make Thanksgiving & Christmas healthier, so we can indulge in a fuel-filled feast! With these 15 healthy Thanksgiving recipes & Christmas recipes, you can build a more wholesome holiday dinner menu for you and your family.
Have a Thanksgiving feast or a Christmas dinner that’s just as delicious and belly-stuffing, but made with ingredients your body will appreciate. Because, as much as I’m grateful for the food itself, I’m also grateful for my health! Food is something to enjoy, AND it’s meant to nourish our bodies. Luckily, these healthy Thanksgiving recipes and Christmas recipes have the perfect balance of nutritious ingredients and scrumptious flavors! I’m sharing healthy sides, entrees, and appetizers for Thanksgiving and Christmas, along with some healthy Thanksgiving leftover recipes!
These recipes are great if you’re hosting family and friends, or headed to a holiday potluck. And, if you’re a bit intimidated by the cooking and prep for a holiday feast, these healthy Thanksgiving recipes and Christmas recipes make things EASY. Learn how to make an easy roast turkey, simple soups that take just minutes to prep, and crave-able appetizers with only 3 ingredients! Plus, many of these healthy Thanksgiving recipes and Christmas recipes are vegan, paleo, gluten-free, and/or nut-free!
A classic appetizer! And, with just 3 ingredients, it’s SO easy to make. By using only half of the hard boiled egg yolks in your filling mixture, you can lighten up traditional deviled egg recipes! To replace those yolks, this recipe adds Greek yogurt (or hummus for dairy-free/paleo!) into the mix for a protein-packed appetizer. Dijon mustard adds a nice flavor boost, and a pinch of paprika gives these deviled eggs an extra kick!
Before the feast begins, let your guests nosh on this simple, fuel-filled snack! The savory flavors of the herbs and the tangy citrus are an irresistible combo. (You may need to make a few batches of the recipe…) Plus, olives are loaded with healthy antioxidants and nutritious fats! Those fats will help to keep everyone satiated until the feast, and this dish is just unbelievably easy to make.
Salty, sweet, savory, chewy, crunchy—this appetizer has it all. And, you only need 3 simple ingredients to make it! Just slice open your dates, remove the pit if they’re not pitted, and stuff a couple of almonds inside each. Then wrap each stuffed date with a half-slice of bacon and bake to perfection!. (If you’re not a fan of bacon or want a vegan option, you can just skip the bacon for even simpler salty-sweet treat.) These are definitely best served warm, just be sure to soak your toothpicks in water for about an hour before they go into the oven so they don’t burn!
All the deliciousness of a Southwestern bean salad, infused with holiday flavors! Dress this bean salad in olive oil and vinegar, along with fresh parsley and mint for a seasonal taste your guests will love. Bring it to a potluck, or offer it as a wholesome snack to hold everyone over until feasting time. Personally, I’m a big fan of serving this dish as a dip with chips!
This colorful and healthy Thanksgiving recipe looks pretty impressive, but it’s SO simple to make. Just layer your ingredients, one on top of the other, to make a tasty and nutritious start to your Thanksgiving feast! Ingredients like quinoa, red onion, apple, celery, feta cheese, and pecans pack tons of healthy fuel and flavor into this salad. But, you can really use any ingredients that you prefer to make your own lovely layered salad!
I love a warm and comforting soup with my Thanksgiving Day meal! This butternut squash soup can be a creamy and nutritious starter for your feast, or it’s the perfect addition to a vegan Thanksgiving meal. If cooking with butternut squash intimidates you, check out my How to Cook Butternut Squash: 4 Ways video! Feel free to change up the recipe to suit your taste—add in any ingredients or flavors that you enjoy! (If you’re looking for a different healthy Thanksgiving recipe for a creamy soup, try this vegan Sweet Potato Carrot Soup.)
Try this simple twist on a classic green bean casserole! You only need a few ingredients, and it’s a great, fresh side dish to complement the heartier dishes at your Thanksgiving feast. I only blanch my green beans for a few minutes because I love a cold green bean salad with a nice crunch! But, if you prefer them warm, just cook your green beans a bit longer until they’re tender. Slivered almonds are a tasty addition to this dish, or get creative with your favorite mix-ins!
Health-ify the stuffing you know and love by choosing healthy, whole-grain breads! (For some guidance, check out the How to Choose Healthy Bread and Make Homemade Breadcrumbs video!) It can be easy to overdo it on stuffing during a Thanksgiving meal, but baking your stuffing into muffin tins can help with portion control. And, you’ll have tasty stuffing muffins that are crisp on the outside, soft on the inside!
Sweet potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple in my house, and they’re delicious all on their own. But, roast sweet potatoes up with some maple syrup and cinnamon, and you’ve got a dish that’s bursting with Fall flavors! You only need a few, simple ingredients to make these, and it’s a healthy Thanksgiving recipe delicious enough to enjoy any time of year.
A cheese-less mac and cheese? And it’s low-fat?? How can it be possible?! Most vegan mac and cheese recipes use cashews as a base, which means they contain more fat. But, for a low-fat option, this recipe uses pumpkin puree for creaminess and nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor! The pumpkin also adds a nice Fall flavor, making this dairy-free mac perfect for your Thanksgiving feast. If I didn’t know this was a vegan recipe, I’d never know there’s no cheese in it! (Use gluten-free pasta for a gluten-free mac.)
Roasting a turkey doesn’t need to be intimidating! This method is easy and fool-proof, so you’re sure to have a tasty turkey on your Thanksgiving table. Plus, this recipe is flexible, so you can change up the ingredients and flavors based on your preferences! Personally, I think thyme, sage, and rosemary give a roast turkey that classic Thanksgiving taste. If you’re cooking a smaller turkey and looking for an even EASIER method, you can adapt this Slow Cooker Whole Roast Chicken recipe for your Thanksgiving turkey!
Thanksgiving isn’t all about the turkey. There are plenty of healthy Thanksgiving recipes for a vegetarian or vegan holiday, and this lentil meatloaf is one of them! Made with red lentils, quinoa, and tons of veggies, it’s a great vegan alternative for a hearty Thanksgiving meal. And, it’s a tasty option that family and friends can enjoy, even if they don’t follow a meat-less lifestyle. Classic meatloaf taste, but with NO meat!
There are SO many tasty Fall flavors packed into this chunky and nutritious soup! The wild rice and mushrooms make this soup a bit heartier, and the mushrooms soak up all of those great flavors. Serve this soup at your vegan Thanksgiving, or as a vegan-friendly option for friends or family! And, this is the perfect Thanksgiving leftover recipe—shred some of your leftover turkey and stir it into this comforting soup!
Take a pre-made, whole-wheat pizza crust and pile on your Thanksgiving leftovers! (Use a gluten-free crust for a gluten-free option.) You already know the flavors work well together, so build your pizza however you like! It’s a fun and easy way to use up those leftovers. The food doesn’t go to waste, and you won’t have to feel like you’re eating the same meals for a week! (You can also make your own pizza crust if you prefer! I love this easy 2 Ingredient Pizza Dough recipe.)
Make your hectic Thanksgiving Day prep easier with this simple slow cooker recipe! It’s loaded with nutritious veggies, and you could leave out the chicken for a healthy vegetable soup at your feast. The pumpkin puree and coconut milk make this curry so flavorful and creamy! And, this can be another great Thanksgiving leftover recipe—just shred leftover turkey and stir it into your veggie-packed pumpkin curry.
I hope you’ve found some inspiration in these healthy Thanksgiving recipes! Wholesome foods can be just as tasty, and a healthier Thanksgiving feast can still be belly-stuffing and finger-lickin’ good. This season, celebrate your family and friends, your bounty of good food, AND your health!
Check out the Healthy Holiday Desserts blog for the perfect ending to your healthy Thanksgiving feast! You’ll find recipes for healthy pumpkin pie, low fat pie crust, vegan cheesecake, low carb scones, & so much more!