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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Nicole RDN

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Updated: Nov 24, 2019

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It involves my two favorite things -family and cooking! Growing up, we would often travel to Philadelphia for Thanksgiving. My Aunt Debbie would make the most delicious Thanksgiving dinner, and I always was so excited to try everything. It's nice to look forward to the same family passed down recipes each year. Recently, I've been helping to prepare Thanksgiving dinner with my mom. We always have a fun time cooking together. My mom and I started recipe testing for Thanksgiving early this year to present to everyone what we will be making on Thanksgiving day. We are making some of my Aunt Debbie's family passed down recipes and added some healthy sides.

I've included vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free recipes too! Look for a V* for vegan, GF* for gluten-free, and DF* for dairy-free on the recipes. We hope everyone enjoys these recipes and has a healthy and happy holiday!

Soups and Salad

Creamy Carrot Soup V*, GF*, DF*

Serves 4-6


  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 lbs (about 5 cups) carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tsp ginger, peeled and chopped

  • 2 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper

  • 3 cups vegetable stock

  • 1/2 canned unsweetened coconut milk

  • Garnish: raw pumpkin seeds


  1. Heat a large soup pot with olive oil.

  2. Add onion and carrots, cooking on medium heat. Cook until onions are slightly browned, about 10 minutes.

  3. Add garlic, ginger, tumeric, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir for 1 minute.

  4. Add vegetable stock and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Then reduce to medium-low heat and cover the pot with a lid- cook for 15-20 minutes (cook until carrots are tender).

  5. Add to blender or food processor and puree until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.

  6. Add coconut milk and blend until combined.

  7. Serve with pumpkin seeds on top.

Butternut Squash Tumeric Soup V*, GF*, DF*

Serves 4-6


  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 4 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper

  • 1 tbsp turmeric

  • 4 cups of water

  • 8 springs of thyme

  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg


  1. Heat a soup pot olive oil.

  2. Add butternut squash, onion, and garlic -season with salt and pepper. Cook and cover with a lid on medium heat occasionally stirring for 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in turmeric and cook and cover with a lid for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Add water and thyme. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes (until vegetables are tender).

  5. Discard thyme and stir in nutmeg.

  6. Pour ingredients into a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth, for 2-3 minutes.

Roasted Vegetable Salad V*, GF*, DF*

Serves 4-6


  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets

  • 3 cups butternut squash, cubed

  • 2 red onion, sliced thick

  • Avocado Spray

  • Dash of salt and pepper

  • 1 bunch Tuscan Kale, stems removed and sliced

  • 3 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.

  2. On a baking sheet toss broccoli, butternut squash, and red onion with salt, pepper, and a spray of avocado oil- cook for 20 minutes.

  3. In a bowl, massage the kale to make it softer to eat.

  4. Prepare the dressing by adding the garlic to a small bowl. Mix the garlic with salt and pepper. Add lemon juice and olive oil. Combine well and set aside.

  5. After 20 minutes, remove vegetables from the oven and add the vegetables to the bowl with kale. Toss with dressing.

  6. Top with sliced almonds.

Vegetable Side Dishes

Mashed Cauliflower GF*

Serves 8


  • 1 large head of cauliflower (about 3lbs)

  • 3 tbsps ghee

  • 1 tbsp milk or dairy-free milk

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • Dash of salt and pepper


  1. Steam cauliflower over a large pot of boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender.

  2. In another pot, add cauliflower, ghee, and milk.

  3. Mash with a potato masher or a hand blender.

  4. Season with salt and pepper.

Sauteed Green Beans V*, GF*, DF*

Serve 4


  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 lb green beans

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 red onion, diced

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • Dash salt and pepper

  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds


  1. In a large pan, add 1/4 cup water and green beans. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes.

  2. Discard water and remove green beans.

  3. Pat pan dry and add olive oil to the pan.

  4. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.

  5. Add green beans and cook for another 5 minutes.

  6. Season with salt and pepper.

  7. Toss green beans with almonds.

Roasted Vegetable Medley V*, GF*, DF*

Serve 4-6


  • Avocado spray

  • 1 cup Brussel sprouts, sliced in halves

  • Dash of salt and pepper.

  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into cubes

  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/3 cup Pecans

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds.


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.

  2. Grease a baking sheet with avocado spray.

  3. Season Brussel sprouts with salt and pepper. Place Brussel sprouts on one side of the baking sheet.

  4. Toss sweet potatoes with maple syrup and cinnamon. Place on the other half of the baking sheet.

  5. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes.

  6. Heat a pan on medium-low. Add pecans occasionally stirring for 5 minutes to toast them.

  7. In a bowl, toss together Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, pecans, and pomegranate seeds.

Protein Dishes

Tempeh With Cranberries V*, DF*

Serves 3


  • 1 package of tempeh, sliced

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 1/2 onion, peeled and diced

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tbsp cranberries


  1. In a bowl, mix soy sauce and mustard together.

  2. Add tempeh and coat evenly. Set aside.

  3. Heat pan with olive oil.

  4. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes on medium-high.

  5. Mix in garlic.

  6. Add tempeh to pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.

  7. Serve with cranberries on top.

Brisket DF* GF*



  • 6lbs brisket

  • Dash of salt and pepper

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 whole garlic bulb, peeled

  • 1 onion, peeled and diced

  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 1 whole container unsweetened ketchup (I used Primal Kitchen)


  1. Season brisket with salt and pepper.

  2. Heat a large deep saute pan with olive oil.

  3. Over medium-high heat, brown both sides of the brisket for 2-3 minutes on each side.

  4. Remove the brisket. Add the onion, garlic, and 1 1/2 cup of carrots to the pan. Place the brisket on top of vegetables. Cover brisket with the ketchup. Place 1/2 cup carrots on top of brisket. Cover Brisket with cold water.

  5. Simmer on medium-low heat for 6 hours.

Turkey GF*

Serves 8


  • 12lb fresh turkey

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme

  • 1 lemon, halved

  • 1 onion, cut into quarters

  • 1 head of garlic, peeled

  • 4 tbsp ghee, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Prepare turkey by washing it inside and out. Remove excess fat and pat dry. Place turkey in a large roasting pan- season with salt and pepper as desired inside and out.

  3. Stuff turkey with thyme, lemon, onion, and garlic.

  4. Brush the outsides of the turkey with ghee.

  5. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wings under the turkey.

  6. Roast turkey for 2 1/2 hours, basting from time to time.

  7. Turkey will be finished cooking when the juice runs clear between the leg and thigh or once it reaches an internal temperature of 165F.

  8. Remove turkey from the pan and let sit for 20 minutes with foil on top.

  9. Slice and serve hot.

*Recipe Credit:


Healthy Pumpkin Pie *GF

Serves 8-10



  • Coconut oil spray

  • 10 dates

  • 1 cup almond flour

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon


  • 1 can pumpkin puree

  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese

  • 1/2 cup cashew butter

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Grease a pie pan with coconut oil spray.

  3. In a food processor, pulse dates, almonds, and cinnamon together.

  4. Remove from the food processor and add the pie pan. Patting a thin layer of crust around the pan.

  5. In a mixing bowl, add all of the filling ingredients and mix well.

  6. Pour filling over crust.

  7. Bake for 45 minutes.

Apple Crisp

Serves 4-5



  • 3 fuji apples, diced

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • 1/3 cup almond flour

  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped

  • 1/4 cup dried oats

  • 1 tsp maple syrup

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven 400F.

  2. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the filling. Pour filling into a pie pan.

  3. In another bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the topping. Evenly sprinkle the topping over the filling.

  4. Bake for 30 minutes.

  5. Serve Hot.

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