8 Healthy Thanksgiving Sides

Expert Advice, Food, Nutrition

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // November 23, 2022

Thanksgiving is fast approaching! The day we give thanks for family and friends, health, and food! Even though my super delicious grilled turkey tends to be the star of my holiday meal, these healthy Thanksgiving sides leave my guest happy, full, and feeling good!

Many Americans consume an additional 2,500 calories on Thanksgiving based on food alone. That doesn’t even include a glass of wine! That’s why I’ve collected some delicious recipes that swap out the fat, not the flavor, of some of our favorite thanksgiving side dishes.

And no, these don’t diet foods or fat-free dishes, just lighter, more nutritious versions of your favorites!

Cheers from my family to yours. I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving with these delicious recipes surrounded by those you love!


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    Healthy Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

    Cranberry sauce is an absolute classic on a Thanksgiving (and often Christmas) table. And we’re going to be pretty honest here: we are very much team homemade versus team canned. And to take it even one step further, we’re team low-sugar cranberry sauce, which is why our healthy version is naturally sweetened with real maple

    Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Kale Salad with Apples, Gorgonzola & Candied Pecans

    We are so obsessed with this shredded Brussels sprouts & kale salad with apples, gorgonzola and candied pecans at Get Healthy U that it’s all we’re talking about. This salad is incredible! If you aren’t a huge Brussels sprout or kale fan this healthy salad loaded with goodies will change your mind.


    The typical sweet potato casserole with marshmallow topping that gets passed around every year is usually made with canned sweet potatoes in a heavy syrup, filled with additives and tons of tasteless calories. Both our mashed sweet potato recipe with goat cheese and chives and our roasted sweet potato recipes will blow your socks off and are actually good for you. Sweet potatoes are naturally scrumptious, rich in beta-carotene, and loaded with vitamins! So try something new and see those faces light up when they taste this dish.

    Roasted Smashed Garlic Potatoes

    A fun twist on your basic baked potato these roasted smashed garlic potatoes are simple and delicious! Potatoes are actually low in fat and calories so they make for a healthy side dish. These smashed garlic potatoes are seasoned and have a slight crunch from being roasted.

    Butternut Squash Quinoa Patties with Cranberry Orange Sauce

    Aren’t these butternut squash quinoa patties gorgeous?! Ambitious Kitchen has done it again – this time inspired by her mom’s Thanksgiving cranberry orange sauce with just a touch of bourbon. These tasty gluten-free and vegetarian patties are perfect for a healthy dinner or as a side to a meal.

    Chili-Maple Roasted Butternut Squash & Brussels Sprouts

    This recipe screams Christmas to me!  Maybe it’s the popping festive colors of red, white, and green among pomegranate seeds, brussels sprouts, and gorgonzola.  Regardless, this is totally on our Christmas feast menu.  The glaze on the veggies is the perfect balance of spicy and sweet, and they roast up to crispy edges. yum!

    Air Fryer Sweet Potatoes

    Making sweet potato fries in the air fryer is a healthier alternative than deep frying. You’ll get a nice crispy final product with half the calories. And of course, a quick and easy cleanup at the end.

    Ever tried substituting cauliflower for your potatoes? This cauliflower mash recipe will have you convinced.

    Mashed Cauliflower

    Need a healthy side dish? We all loved mashed potatoes, but this twist is a welcome alternative. This mashed cauliflower recipe is so easy and delicious, you’ll want to make it all the time! Really, my family and friends were skeptical on this one but everyone agrees that it’s a creamy and incredibly tasty side dish!

    Bonus: Swap Fried Turkey for Grilled Turkey.

    Tender, delicious turkey with no cleanup? Yes – I’m in! I always grill my turkey on our gas grill. This turkey will turn out fork-tender and amazingly juicy and moist. No need for messy, greasy pans, and the best part is you have your oven space for the other side dishes! Get the recipe here!


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      1 Comment

      on Reply

      Thank you for all your delicious recipes and exercise lessons.In Jamaica we do a lot of exercise and eat plenty,so when the pounds are packed on, we run up hills,run on the beach and go to the gym and THEN back to normal.Thank God for food and exercise:-)

      (This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
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