10 of Our Healthiest Thanksgiving Recipes

10 of Our Healthiest Thanksgiving Recipes

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Sheela Fiorenzo
Nov 15, 2017
(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

As much as I could easily pile my Thanksgiving plate with creamy mashed potatoes and rich, sausage-studded stuffing and be more than content with my selection, I do find it nice to squeeze one or two more sides dishes on there that are a bit lighter and healthier. Something green or not so heavy is a nice contrast to the decadent favorites of the holiday and helps keep everything balanced, which is always my mantra at any meal — holiday or not. Here are 10 healthy Thanksgiving recipes to make room for at the table this year.

1. Thanksgiving Slaw

Something crisp and green is a welcome antidote to the heavy dishes that dot the Thanksgiving table. This green cabbage slaw is dressed in a sweet and tangy apple cider vinaigrette and filled with lots of fresh parsley, dried cranberries, and almonds.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

2. Thanksgiving Lentil Salad

This wholesome, hearty salad filled with lentils, kale, butternut squash, and red onion is a great choice for the vegetarians and vegans at the table, as well as those who want to add something plant-based to their plate.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

3. 15-Minute Parmesan-Thyme Mushrooms

This simple side comes together quickly and is a nice accompaniment to nearly everything on your plate — pile it next to your turkey and mashed potatoes and you won't regret it.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

4. How To Make the Creamiest Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed cauliflower is a nice alternative to mashed potatoes if you're looking to lighten up your Thanksgiving dinner. To ensure it's creamy and comforting, you'll want to purée it with an immersion or stand blender — and add some butter, for good measure.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

5. Broccoli Rabe and White Bean Gratin

This is another wholesome side that's rib-sticking enough to be a great choice for the vegetarians at the table. While most gratins are filled with cream and cheese, this one uses milk and just a small handful of grated Parmesan cheese to bring the flavor.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

6. Roasted Sweet Potato Slices with Cilantro Pesto

This colorful side dish is a vibrant and light way to bring sweet potatoes to the Thanksgiving table. The fragrant, spicy pesto adds a dose of sharp flavor in the midst of the more mild, traditional dishes.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

7. Honey-Mustard Brussels Sprouts

A simple side of roasted Brussels sprouts gets dressed up for the holiday when it's hit with a sweet and savory glaze made of vinegar, honey, mustard, and tamari or soy sauce.

(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

8. Shredded Cabbage and Sweet Potato Slaw

This is definitely the pop of color your Thanksgiving dinner needs. Like all slaws, this one holds up well so it can be made in advance and brought to the table without fuss.

(Image credit: Sara Kate Gillingham)

9. Kale and Potato Gratin

Like the white bean gratin above, this one is also a much more wholesome version than most, thanks to the usual cream being replaced with milk and it not being overloaded with cheese.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

10. Roasted Green Beans with Harissa

Swap out the decadent green bean casserole this year for something a little lighter. This side dish is made spicy with the chile paste and harissa, and finished with crunchy toasted almonds. Who knows? This spicy green bean dish could become a new classic.

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