Light Thanksgiving Menu

Hot Spiced Cider
You'd never guess that these filling Thanksgiving recipes are low in fat and calories. With main dishes less than 400 calories, these healthy recipes won't weigh you down so you can indulge in that extra slice of dessert without the holiday remorse.

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

At only 82 calories, this is one fall appetizer you can feel good about serving. The smooth texture of pureed butternut squash, leeks, and carrots will have you reaching for a second bowl. Garnish with creme fraiche, toasted pumpkin seeds, and tarragon.

Roasted Sweets and Greens

Trade candied sweet potatoes for more nutritious roasted spuds this Thanksgiving. For a potatoes-meets-salad side dish, roast spears of sweet potatoes with garlic and hazelnuts, then top with arugula and vinegar.


Harvest Fruit and Cheese Stuffing

Of course this stuffing has the usual crispy bread cubes, but we kept this recipe light by including celery, pears, cherries, and apricots. But don't worry: This lower-calorie stuffing still has a few cups of white cheddar cheese to make it ooey, gooey, and craveable.

Double-Cranberry Sauce

Fresh and dried cranberries combine for double the flavor in this classic Thanksgiving cranberry sauce. Serve warm and top with watercress, if desired.

Citrusy Mashed Squash with Toasted Pecans

Once you stir in butter and sour cream, you'll hardly know this dish is made with butternut squash rather than potatoes. Shredded orange and lemon peel give this side its fresh, citrusy flavor.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Just as rich and creamy as potato soup (but a little lower-calorie), this Thanksgiving side starts with garlic-roasted cauliflower and onions, and ends with your guests scraping the bottoms of their bowls for an extra taste of this luscious soup.

Green Bean Casserole

A holiday favorite, this green bean casserole recipe has all the creamy texture we love for only 120 calories. Golden bread crumbs add crunch to this colorful, pimiento-topped light Thanksgiving menu addition.

Homemade Giblet Gravy

Some classics are better left unchanged. This turkey gravy is so thick and flavorful, you'll hardly believe it's only 75 calories. 

Slow-Baked Tomatoes with Garlic and Mint

Simple ingredients star in this easy-to-make appetizer recipe. Roasted cherry tomatoes, garlic, and mint are perfect for slathering onto toasted bread with your favorite cheese. And at less than 200 calories, you won't feel guilty about splurging on a slice of holiday pie for dessert.

Carrot-Mushroom Stuffing

Despite its name, this dish won’t leave you feeling stuffed. Shredded carrots and fresh shiitake mushrooms combine for a Thanksgiving side dish that's low in fat but high in flavor. 

Rosemary Satin Dinner Rolls

Fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside, these rolls won't last long at the dinner table. Cottage cheese keeps the bread moist, while onion and rosemary provide simple, savory flavor.

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Add some heat to your cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving with jalapeno jelly. Spread onto toasted baguette slices for a quick appetizer, or serve with your Thanksgiving turkey for a nonfat relish.

Brussels Sprouts with Frizzled Prosciutto

Update everyday Brussels sprouts with pan-fried prosciutto and buttery shallots. This side-dish recipe can be made ahead of time to make more time for family and less time in the kitchen.

Wild Rice Dressing

This side dish ditches the bread typically used in Thanksgiving dressing for high-fiber wild and white rice. Port-soaked cherries and a celery, leek, and carrot mixture enhance its flavor. Top with toasted almonds for crunch.

Ginger-Orange-Glazed Turkey Breasts

Forget the turkey legs—guests will be fighting over juicy turkey breasts this Thanksgiving. Fresh ginger and chile peppers spice up an orange marmalade glaze for a holiday bird with big flavor.

Beer-Brined Turkey

You'll have to plan ahead so this turkey has time to brine in a mix of beer and spices for 24 hours, but the results are so worth it. Before roasting, rub with a bit of melted butter and a mix of spices for a light Thanksgiving turkey that doesn't skimp on flavor.

Ham with Five-Spice Cherry Sauce

For a holiday ham that is spicy yet sweet, add a dash of five-spice powder. Peach preserves, dried cherries, and pineapple juice enhance the aromatic blend of spices as they settle in the slow cooker.

Pumpkin-Almond Macarons

Wrap up your light Thanksgiving menu with a scrumptious fall treat that's as sweet as pie (but way better for your waistline). Pumpkin pie-spiced cookies serve as the "crust," and pumpkin butter makes the creamy filling for these almost-like-pie cookies.

Baked Pumpkin Pudding

Trade a pastry crust for rolled oats and toasted pumpkin seeds in this pie-flavored treat. Warm and silky, this baked pudding provides all the comfort of Thanksgiving dessert at half the calories.

Maple, Apple, and Date Fruit Crisp

The seasonal flavors of dates, maple syrup, and crisp apples pack this crunchy crisp with flavor and create a healthy dessert recipe. Pair with low-fat vanilla yogurt for an extra layer of deliciousness. The warm and cool combo is irresistible!

Pumpkin Icebox Pie with Pistachio-Gingersnap Crust

Icebox pies are an easy alternative to traditional pies. Just pop the smooth pumpkin cream cheese mixture into the refrigerator to create an airy filling, and combine with a crunchy gingersnap and pistachio crust. Top with a spoonful of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nuts.

Hot Spiced Cider

Warm up with this simple five-ingredient apple cider recipe that is ready in just 10 minutes. Take the recipe from simple to showstopping by creating apple mugs: Simply cut off the tops from large apples and scoop out the centers, leaving a 1/2-inch shell.

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