Watching Your Waistline? Try These 5 Healthy Thanksgiving Alternatives

Watching Your Waistline? Try These 5 Healthy Thanksgiving Alternatives

Everyone loves Thanksgiving  — the food, the family, the festivities. But if you’re also trying to live a healthier lifestyle, it can also just be one big unwanted temptation.

Are you dreading the brimming Thanksgiving table that’s just around the corner? Want to enjoy the celebration without regretting it the next day?

These healthy Thanksgiving alternatives can help:

Instead of: Decadent pumpkin pie

Try: Ginger pumpkin souffle

Pumpkin pie is a staple of Thanksgiving, but it’s also pretty caloric — especially when topped with a sizable dose of whipped cream. Fortunately, there are plenty of other pumpkin-y options you can try without hurting your goals. This ginger pumpkin souffle is one such alternative or, if you’re dead-set on a pumpkin pie, try this skinnied-down recipe

Instead of: Cornbread stuffing

Try: Rice and mushroom stuffing

Stuffing is easily my favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal. If you’re watching your weight, though? It’s probably not the wisest choice. Full of butter, sodium, and plenty of carbs, there are definitely better side dishes you could tear into. One healthy Thanksgiving alternative is this zesty wild rice and mushroom stuffing. This paleo cauliflower stuffing is a good choice, too.

Instead of: Rich green bean casserole

Try: Green bean salad

You’d think green bean casserole would be a healthy choice, but often, it’s topped with fried onions, bacon, and filled with creamy soup and butter. A better option? That’d be this yummy green bean salad.

Instead of: Grandma’s apple pie

Try: Cinnamon baked apples

Don’t let grandma’s decadent apple pie tempt you. Instead, whip up a batch of these healthy baked apples. They’re easy, affordable, and much better for your health. And couldn’t we all use a good dose of fruit on Thanksgiving day? (No, cranberry sauce doesn’t count!) 

Instead of: Buttery mashed potatoes

Try: Cauliflower mash or scalloped sweet potatoes 

Mashed potatoes are a classic turkey side dish. Sadly, they also come loaded with butter, cream, and gravy — all things not so great for your waistline. Want a healthy Thanksgiving option? Try these scalloped sweet potatoes of this rosemary garlic cauliflower mash.

Get more healthy Thanksgiving inspiration

Need more help getting through the holidays? If you’re having people over, use these hosting tips and tablescape ideas. For more recipes, check out the Embrace team’s favorites, and, of course, to make use of those healthy Thanksgiving leftovers, try these creative ideas. 

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By Aly Yale / November 22nd, 2021 / Categories: / Tags: ,

Aly Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer focusing on real estate, mortgage, and the housing market. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Bankrate, The Motley Fool, Business Insider, The Balance, and more. Prior to freelancing, she served as an editor and reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She graduated from Texas Christian University's Bob Schieffer College of Communication with a major in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism. Connect with her at or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.