Healthy Thanksgiving Sides

Looking to make your Thanksgiving feast healthier without sacrificing flavor? Look no further! We’ve rounded up some delicious, nutritious side dishes that will have your guests begging for seconds.

From roasted Brussels sprouts to quinoa stuffed acorn squash, these dishes are packed with vitamins and minerals to keep you feeling satisfied and nourished.

So, forget the guilt and indulge in these tasty alternatives. Your taste buds and your waistline will thank you!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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You should frequently roast Brussels sprouts for a healthy Thanksgiving side dish. Not only are they delicious, but they also offer numerous nutritional benefits. Brussels sprouts are packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. These nutrients are essential for maintaining a strong immune system, promoting healthy blood clotting, and supporting cell growth and development.

When it comes to cooking techniques, roasting Brussels sprouts is a great option. It helps to bring out their natural sweetness and enhances their flavor. To prepare them, start by preheating your oven to 425°F (220°C). Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and remove any loose or discolored leaves. Toss them in a bowl with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast them for about 20-25 minutes until they’re tender and lightly browned, flipping them halfway through for even cooking.

Roasted Brussels sprouts make a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving feast. They provide a healthy and flavorful alternative to traditional side dishes. So, why not give them a try this year? Your taste buds and your body will thank you.

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

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To continue exploring nutritious options for your Thanksgiving spread, consider adding quinoa stuffed acorn squash to your menu. This delicious dish combines the protein-packed goodness of quinoa with the savory sweetness of acorn squash, creating a satisfying and healthy side dish that your guests will love.

Quinoa is a nutrient-dense grain that is rich in protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. It is gluten-free and has a low glycemic index, making it a great choice for those with dietary restrictions or who are watching their blood sugar levels. The combination of quinoa and acorn squash provides a well-rounded source of nutrients, including antioxidants, which can help support a healthy immune system.

Here is a simple and flavorful acorn squash recipe that incorporates quinoa:

Ingredients Instructions
2 acorn squash Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash halves on a baking sheet, cut side down, and bake for 30 minutes, or until tender.
1 cup cooked quinoa While the squash is baking, prepare the quinoa according to package instructions.
1/2 cup diced onion In a large skillet, sauté the diced onion in olive oil until translucent.
1/2 cup diced bell pepper Add the diced bell pepper to the skillet and cook until softened.
1/2 cup diced zucchini Stir in the diced zucchini and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the cooked quinoa and fresh parsley.
Salt and pepper to taste Season with salt and pepper to taste.
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese Fill each acorn squash half with the quinoa mixture and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden. Serve warm.

This quinoa stuffed acorn squash recipe is not only packed with nutrition but also bursts with flavor. It is a great addition to your Thanksgiving spread, offering a healthy and satisfying alternative to traditional side dishes. Enjoy!

Balsamic Glazed Carrots

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For this healthy Thanksgiving side, start by gathering the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound of carrots, peeled and cut into thick diagonal slices
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

To make the balsamic glazed carrots, preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). In a large bowl, toss the sliced carrots with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper until well coated. Spread the carrots in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Roast the carrots in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until they’re tender and caramelized. Make sure to toss them once or twice during cooking to ensure even browning.

Carrots aren’t only delicious but also packed with health benefits. They’re an excellent source of beta-carotene, a compound that’s converted into vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy vision, boosting the immune system, and promoting skin health. Carrots are also rich in fiber, which aids digestion and helps maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, they contain antioxidants that can protect against chronic diseases.

Serve these balsamic glazed carrots as a colorful and nutritious addition to your Thanksgiving feast. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

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Continuing with our healthy Thanksgiving sides, let’s now turn our attention to a delicious alternative to traditional mashed potatoes – cauliflower mashed potatoes. Cauliflower isn’t only low in calories and carbohydrates, but it’s also packed with essential nutrients. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, which are important for immune function, blood clotting, and cell growth. Additionally, cauliflower contains compounds called glucosinolates, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties.

When it comes to creative cauliflower recipes, cauliflower mashed potatoes are a popular choice. Here are a couple of ways to make this dish even more flavorful and nutritious:

  • Add roasted garlic: Roasting garlic before mixing it with the cauliflower adds a rich and savory flavor. Simply wrap a head of garlic in foil, drizzle with olive oil, and roast in the oven until soft and golden brown. Then, squeeze the roasted cloves into the mashed cauliflower and mix well.

  • Try different seasonings: Instead of using just salt and pepper, experiment with different herbs and spices to enhance the flavor. Some great options include rosemary, thyme, Parmesan cheese, or even a pinch of nutmeg for a touch of warmth.

Green Bean Almondine

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To create a flavorful and nutritious side dish for Thanksgiving, try making Green Bean Almondine. This classic dish combines fresh green beans with the nutty crunch of almonds, resulting in a delightful combination of textures and flavors. Green beans are a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber, while almonds provide healthy fats and protein.

When it comes to green bean recipes, almondine variations are popular for their simplicity and elegance. To make Green Bean Almondine, start by blanching the green beans in boiling water for a few minutes until they’re crisp-tender. Then, sauté the beans in a pan with butter, garlic, and sliced almonds until they’re lightly browned and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and your dish is ready to serve.

This dish isn’t only delicious but also a healthier alternative to traditional casseroles or creamy side dishes. The combination of green beans and almonds provides a satisfying crunch and a burst of flavor. Plus, it’s a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your Thanksgiving spread.

Cranberry Pecan Brussels Sprout Salad

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To add a burst of flavor and crunch to your Thanksgiving spread, try making the Cranberry Pecan Brussels Sprout Salad. This delightful salad offers a refreshing twist on traditional Thanksgiving sides, combining the earthy taste of Brussels sprouts with the sweetness of cranberries and the nutty crunch of pecans.

Here are some alternatives and variations of this delicious salad that you can explore:

  • Cranberry Apple Brussels Sprout Salad: For a fruity twist, add diced apples to the salad. The sweetness and tartness of the apples complement the other ingredients perfectly, creating a well-balanced dish that’s both refreshing and satisfying.

  • Maple Glazed Brussels Sprout Salad: To add a touch of sweetness and depth of flavor, try glazing the Brussels sprouts with a drizzle of maple syrup before roasting them. This variation adds a delightful caramelized taste to the salad, making it even more irresistible.

Incorporating these cranberry pecan salad alternatives and variations of Brussels sprout salad into your Thanksgiving menu won’t only add excitement to your spread but also provide a nutritious and balanced option. Remember to always consider your guests’ dietary restrictions and preferences, and feel free to experiment with other ingredients to make the salad uniquely yours.

Enjoy a healthy and satisfying Thanksgiving meal!

Sweet Potato Casserole With Pecan Crumble

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What are some ways you can make a delicious and healthier Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble for your Thanksgiving meal?

Sweet potato casserole is a classic Thanksgiving side dish that can be made in various ways to suit different dietary preferences. To make a healthier version, consider using alternative ingredients and toppings.

One variation of sweet potato casserole is to replace the traditional marshmallow topping with a pecan crumble. This adds a crunchy texture and enhances the flavors of the dish. To make the pecan crumble, combine chopped pecans with a small amount of brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter. Sprinkle the crumble over the sweet potato mixture before baking.

Another option is to experiment with different sweet potato casserole variations. For instance, you can add a touch of maple syrup for natural sweetness or substitute regular potatoes with sweet potatoes for a twist. Additionally, you can use coconut milk instead of heavy cream to make it dairy-free and healthier.

When it comes to alternative pecan toppings, you can try using crushed gingersnap cookies or shredded coconut mixed with pecans. These options provide unique flavors and textures that can elevate your sweet potato casserole.

Remember to bake the casserole until the sweet potatoes are tender and the pecan crumble is golden brown. By making these simple swaps and exploring different variations, you can create a delicious and healthier sweet potato casserole that will be a hit among your Thanksgiving guests.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

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For a flavorful and nutritious addition to your Thanksgiving meal, try making Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli as a healthy side dish option. This delicious and easy-to-make dish isn’t only packed with nutrients but also adds a pop of color to your roasted vegetable medley.

Here are two reasons why you should consider adding this broccoli parmesan bake to your Thanksgiving spread:

  • Nutritional Powerhouse: Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It contains antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene, which help support a healthy immune system. Roasting the broccoli enhances its natural flavors while retaining its nutritional value.

  • Flavorful Twist: The combination of garlic and parmesan adds a savory and cheesy flavor to the roasted broccoli. Garlic is known for its potential health benefits, including boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation. Parmesan cheese provides a rich umami taste while adding a dose of calcium to the dish.

Maple Glazed Roasted Butternut Squash

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Now let’s move on to a mouthwatering dish that will complement your Thanksgiving meal – indulge in the irresistible flavors of Maple Glazed Roasted Butternut Squash. Roasted butternut squash recipes are not only delicious, but they also offer numerous health benefits. Butternut squash is packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, as well as potassium and fiber. These nutrients support a healthy immune system, promote good vision, and aid in digestion.

To make Maple Glazed Roasted Butternut Squash, simply follow this easy recipe:

Ingredients Instructions
Butternut squash Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Maple syrup Peel and dice the butternut squash into bite-sized cubes.
Olive oil Toss the squash with olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
Salt and pepper Spread the squash on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes.
Cinnamon (optional) Optional: sprinkle cinnamon on top for added flavor.
Enjoy the sweet and savory flavors of this delightful side dish!

This recipe is not only delicious but also easy to prepare. The natural sweetness of the butternut squash combined with the rich flavor of maple syrup creates a perfect balance of taste. Plus, the roasting process brings out the squash’s natural nutty flavors.

Herb Roasted Root Vegetables

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Indulge in the flavorful combination of herbs and roasted root vegetables for a delicious and nutritious addition to your Thanksgiving feast. Root vegetables aren’t only tasty but also packed with essential nutrients. Here are some reasons why you should consider adding herb roasted root vegetables to your alternative Thanksgiving sides:

  • Nutrient-rich: Root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They provide a wide range of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants, which are beneficial for your overall health.

  • Versatility: Root vegetables can be prepared in various ways, making them a versatile ingredient for different dishes. Roasting them with a combination of herbs like rosemary, thyme, and garlic enhances their natural flavors and creates a delicious side dish that complements your Thanksgiving turkey perfectly.

  • Easy to make: Root vegetable recipes are generally simple and require minimal effort. All you need to do is peel and chop the vegetables, toss them with herbs and olive oil, and roast them in the oven until they’re tender and golden brown.

  • Health benefits: Consuming root vegetables has been linked to numerous health benefits, including improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and enhanced immune function. Adding them to your Thanksgiving meal can help you maintain a balanced and nutritious diet during the holiday season.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should I Roast Brussels Sprouts For?

To roast Brussels sprouts, preheat the oven to 425°F. Toss the sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until they’re tender and slightly browned. Enjoy this delicious side dish!

Can I Substitute Quinoa With Another Grain for the Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe?

Sure, you can substitute quinoa with another grain for the stuffed acorn squash recipe. Try using brown rice, wild rice, or couscous. These grains will provide a similar texture and flavor to your dish. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

How Do I Make the Balsamic Glaze for the Glazed Carrots?

To make the balsamic glaze for the glazed carrots, start by reducing balsamic vinegar with a little honey or brown sugar until it thickens. Drizzle it over the carrots for a sweet and tangy flavor.

Can I Use Frozen Cauliflower for the Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes?

Yes, you can use frozen cauliflower for cauliflower mashed potatoes. Just be sure to thaw and drain the cauliflower well before mashing. For roasting brussels sprouts, try tossing them in olive oil and seasoning before baking at 400°F for 20-25 minutes.

What Other Nuts Can I Use in the Green Bean Almondine Recipe Instead of Almonds?

You can try using different nuts like walnuts or pecans for the green bean almondine recipe instead of almonds. They will add a delicious crunch and flavor to the dish. Enjoy!


In conclusion, these healthy Thanksgiving sides offer a delightful array of flavors and textures that will satisfy both your taste buds and your desire for nutritious options.

From the tender roasted Brussels sprouts to the creamy cauliflower mashed potatoes, each dish is packed with vitamins and minerals.

They’re like a symphony of flavors, adding a vibrant and wholesome touch to your Thanksgiving feast.

So go ahead and indulge guilt-free in these delicious and nourishing side dishes.

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About the Author: James Madison


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