Healthy Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

Spicy Cranberry Sauce
Thanksgiving dinner is the ultimate meal of the year, but that doesn't mean you have to waddle away from the table feeling so stuffed it hurts. We took some classic sides and lightened them so you can enjoy the food holiday and still have room for dessert! We promise, we kept all the flavor in these healthy Thanksgiving side dishes so no one will know you're serving better-for-you recipes.

Four-Cheese Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese

Healthy mac and cheese? Yes, it's possible. This lightened-up version of a classic swaps in whole grain macaroni, fat-free milk, and four flavorful cheeses—but butternut squash is the dish's true star. The squash is roasted, then mashed in with the sauce, for a low-calorie burst of fall flavor. 

Creamy Green Beans with Crispy Shallots

Green bean casserole is a Thanksgiving favorite. But salty condensed soup and caloric fried onions make the dish a no-no for those watching their waistlines—until now. This casserole makeover smothers fresh green beans, onions, and mushrooms in a seasoned roux, while lightly fried shallots top the dish. One serving has only 126 calories—roughly 100 calories less than the classic. 

Gluten-Free Harvest Rice Stuffing

Gluten free friends, you no longer have to pass on the stuffing. This healthy Thanksgiving stuffing is packed with sausage, butternut squash, apples, walnuts, and dried cranberries. The trick is subbing in basmati rice for bread cubes to keep the dish gluten-free and low in calories. 

Blue Cheese-Garlic Potatoes

These simple spuds are no more difficult than regular mashed potatoes, but they pack a much more intense flavor. Blue cheese, sliced garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes give the potatoes a spunky kick, while olive oil in lieu of butter makes them better for you.

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

Start your Thanksgiving feast with a light, flavorful soup. Packed with harvest veggies like butternut squash, carrots, and leeks, you'll get your daily intake of vitamins in before the main course. A dash of creme fraiche adds just the right amount of richness to the dish. 

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

Taste all the flavors of fall in one healthy bite. These twice-baked sweet potatoes are packed with cranberry and walnuts yet still clock in under 160 calories per serving. Plus, they can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Easy and healthy Thanksgiving sides? Yes, please. 

Two-Tone Green Bean Salad with Hazelnuts and Parmesan

Buh-bye, boring beans! This fresh bean salad is where it's at. So easy to make but so full of flavor, the only hint this recipe is healthy is that it's primarily vegetables. The kick of tang from lemon juice and Dijon mustard paired with olive oil and garlic creates a dressing that elevates this side dish recipe to holiday heights.

Cranberry-Pear Chutney-Topped Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pears—it doesn't get any more Thanksgiving-y than this! We roast the sweet potatoes to enhance their sweetness and top them with a naturally sweet-tart chutney for loads of flavor and fiber in under 170 calories!

Winter Slaw with Kale and Cabbage

A beautiful salad will steal the spotlight on your Thanksgiving table. This one stars trendy kale, classic cabbage, and a flavor-packed homemade dressing. Lower the fat by swapping in reduced-fat mayo and sour cream for the full-fat versions.

Double Cranberry Sauce

With the natural sweetness of cranberries, dried fruit, pomegranate juice, and molasses, there's no need for added sugar in this Thanksgiving classic. Hints of orange peel and cinnamon balance the holiday flavors.

Brussels sprouts are all the rage! We'll show you how to cook brussels sprouts using our two favorite methods. Watch how to roast brussels sprouts and how to boil brussels sprouts and you can whip up a healthy side dish anytime!

Easy Side Dish Idea: Brussels Sprouts

See our top two ways to cook up some Brussels sprouts to round out your Thanksgiving menu!

Brussels Sprouts with Frizzled Prosciutto

A healthy Thanksgiving just got easier thanks to this make-ahead side dish. Precook the nutrition-packed sprouts a day ahead, then finish off the recipe just before serving.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Mushrooms and Bacon

The combo of sweet and salty never goes out of style. Here, silky sweet potatoes combine with savory mushrooms, salty bacon, and just a sprinkling of golden raisins to make a memorable Thanksgiving side dish that's full of vitamin A, fiber, and other healthy nutrients—but that tastes indulgent.

Honey-Flax Sourdough Bread

Looking for something to soak up the remaining gravy on your Thanksgiving plate? This healthy bread is just the thing! We'll admit, this homemade bread takes some effort, but the mouthwatering aroma and delicate honey flavor make it all worthwhile.

Herbed Bread and Cherry Cranberry Stuffing

There are no healthy cooking tricks in this Thanksgiving side dish—just loads of veggies, fresh herbs, and nutrition-packed nuts. Add that to classic bread cubes and you get a healthy stuffing recipe that will wow holiday guests.

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Slather this jewel-color cranberry sauce on your Thanksgiving turkey, on a cracker, or heck, on your sweet potatoes. Fresh cranberries, jalapeno jelly, and undertones of orange make this fruit sauce irresistible.

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