Our best healthy Thanksgiving recipes
Celebrate the harvest season with these healthier takes on traditional Thanksgiving foods
Healthy Thanksgiving recipes: Mains
Golden-Roasted Chicken with Old-Fashioned Stuffing
Always an impressive dish, a whole chicken provides plenty of protein, little saturated fat, and good amounts of B vitamins and zinc.
Brined, Roasted Holiday Turkey
Heirloom turkeys are becoming more popular these days. Last year, Chef Bruce served his family a Bourbon Red. It has a richer meat than do the traditional varieties.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Adding sweet potatoes to a gnocchi recipe makes it a little easier for the home cook to pull off, because sweet potatoes have less starch than potatoes, and a high starch content can make gnocchi dense and tough. The combination of sage and sweet potatoes is one for the ages.
Healthy Thanksgiving recipes: Soups and side dishes
Squash and Apple Soup
You can garnish this autumnal squash and apple pureed soup with very thin, unpeeled apple slices or with sliced green onion.
Butternut Squash and Leek Tarts with Pancetta
Cut the tarts for an appetizer, serve one per person for a great first course or accompany with a salad for a wonderful brunch or lunch.
Creamy Sweet Potato Soup
This healthy, creamy, mildly spicy sweet potato soup can be served as a main course with toasted baguette slices or in smaller portions as a first course before an elegant dinner.
Roasted Cherry Butternut Squash
Rehydrated dried cherries turn simple roasted butternut squash into a special side dish.
For a beautiful presentation, cut the roasted carrots in long pieces and arrange on bed of parsley.
Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Arugula
Try serving these colourful, flavour-rich Brussels sprouts with walnuts and arugula alongside your next turkey dinner.
Orange-Maple Sweet Potatoes
Try this method of cooking sweet potatoes and you’ll discover how subtly delicious they are. Here, they are glossed with an orange-maple glaze. Beta carotene and fibre are the sweet potato’s secret weapons against heart disease.
Roast Root Vegetables with Herbs
Use this recipe as a basic guide for roasting single vegetables, such as potatoes or parsnips, as well as for a superb dish of mixed root vegetables. Serve these roast root vegetables with herbs in generous quantities with roast poultry or meat.
Here’s a chef-worthy accompaniment you can do yourself. This vivid three-vegetable mash is based on mashed potatoes tinted and flavoured three different ways—with health-giving sweet potatoes, spinach and beets.
Butternut Squash Gratin
Hiding inside a butternut squash’s skin is dense, mildly sweet orange flesh that’s an excellent source of disease-battling beta carotene. Butternut squash gratin is a tasty way to enjoy this healthy vegetable. A big butternut can be a bit tricky to cut up; you’ll do best with a large, sturdy chef’s knife.
Honey-Roasted Squash with Crumbled Feta and Walnuts
This is a wonderful autumn salad that’s a snap to put together. If I roast the squash a day ahead I can assemble the salad in 10 minutes—the time it takes to warm the squash in a 350°F oven.
Parmesan Brussels Sprouts
This Brussels sprouts dish can be prepared ahead of time and is a yummy addition to traditional turkey dinner.
Amanda's Ginger Yam Mash
Grated fresh ginger adds warmth and depth of flavour to classic mashed yams.
Roasted Fennel and Potato Soup
If you have never tried fennel soup, you are really missing out on something unique. It’s like a leek and potato soup with a bit more interest and a great silky texture that just begs for a roaring fire on a wintry day.
Orange cauliflower—a natural variation—has up to 25 more beta-carotene than white cauliflower, and tastes great in a simple mash.
Healthy Thanksgiving recipes: Drinks and dessert
Mulled Cider and Cranberry
This recipe brings together the two festive flavours of apples and cranberries into a delicious warm drink.
Red Rustic Cherry and Apple Tart
This freeform apple and cherry tart makes a nice change from classic pie. Use your favourite pie crust recipe if you have the extra time.
Sparkling Red Cherry Punch
Sweeten your parties with this festive punch made of cherry juice, orange juice and your favourite sparkling wine or champagne. Use sparkling water to make it alcohol free.
Cranberry Semifreddo with Toasted Almond Meringue
This almond-based dessert consists of 3 layers—a cranberry semifreddo, cranberry sorbet and crunchy toasted almond meringue.
Apple Cranberry Sangria
To make this apple cranberry sangria recipe truly local, make sure to adapt the ingredients depending on what is available in your area.
Flambéed Apple and Walnut Salad
This delicious cold-weather dessert of flambéed apple and walnuts is still light on calories.
Baked Apples with Currants
This simple dessert will fill your home with the aroma of baking apples. Serve the baked apples and currants with plain yogurt, or with whipped cream for a more decadent touch.
Whole Grain Crusted Apple Pie
Even when you're baking a treat you can make healthy choices. This apple pie is full of whole grain goodness, and as an added bonus you'll find that the oat and whole wheat crust is easier to make than a normal pie crust.
Dried-Fruit and Apple Strudel
Phyllo pastry may seem decadent, but this is a great way to get healthy dried fruits, nuts and spices into your day—think of it as a healthy treat. This simple but elegant dessert will wow any guest. (And swapping the butter for low-fat vegetable oil spray will help to reduce the guilt factor!)
Baby Pumpkin Puddings with Cinnamon Whipped Cream and Pecan Brittle
These delicate baby puddings scented with a touch of rum and orange zest started life as the filling for my mother’s pumpkin pie. But since I don’t have Devin’s deft hand in the pastry department, I decided to skip the crust and make these sweet little desserts instead.
Roasted Autumn Fruits with Torched Sabayon
When you try this recipe, make sure your fruit pieces are all about the same size. This will allow you to roast it all at the same time. Also, when choosing apples and pears, look for firm green varieties.
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