Healthy Thanksgiving dinner recipes include green beans tossed with a whole-grain mustard dressing, herb-roasted vegetables, and butternut squash soup. Other healthy options are spicy mashed sweet potatoes, whole-wheat stuffing, and brussels sprouts sautéed with a small amount of pancetta.
Many healthy Thanksgiving recipes use a base of vegetables. Vegetables tossed in oil and roasted with fresh herbs take on a rich, hearty flavor with minimal calories. Instead of mashed potatoes made with butter and cream, cooks can mash sweet potatoes with chipotle peppers for a mix of sweetness and spice. Twice-roasted sweet potatoes are another festive and healthy option. A light dressing or a sprinkling of cubed pancetta also adds flavor to a vegetable dish.
To transform classic recipes into healthier versions, home cooks can substitute whole-grain ingredients; stuffing is a prime candidate. Instead of bread, the cook might also choose to add a protein-packed whole grain such as quinoa, barley or bulgur. Fresh herbs also add flavor to dishes without extra fat or calories. Cooks can roast a turkey with herbs stuffed under the skin or add herbs to side dishes instead of salt.
Cranberry sauce is another opportunity to reduce calories and sugar. Instead of premade sauces, cooks can simmer fresh cranberries with other fruits. Oranges, blueberries and grapes can add sweetness without adding refined sugar.