Healthy Thanksgiving Day Recipes - TLC The Littleton Clinic

Healthy Thanksgiving Day Recipes

Portrait of happy family sitting at festive table and looking at senior man during Thanksgiving dinner.

The holiday season has arrived. This time of year is a minefield of tempting, unhealthy food choices. To help, we have assembled a collection of traditional Thanksgiving recipes with a healthy twist.

Not only a Thanksgiving staple, but an excellent choice for a protein. Look for hormone and steroid free.

1 lb ground turkey breakfast sausage
5 pieces of bacon, diced or ½ cup real bacon bits
5 stalks of celery, diced
1 yellow sweet potato
1 yellow onion, diced
1 container of mushrooms, diced
2 apples, diced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pecans, chopped
⅓ cup chicken broth

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil, throw diced sweet potatoes/yams on it, sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender, then set aside.
  2. While those cook, pull out a large skillet, place it under medium-high heat and place chopped bacon in it to begin to cook down. When some of the fat has seeped out and bacon has begun to cook, add your chopped apples, celery, and onions.
  3. When onions begin to become translucent, add ground pork and mushrooms and your white wine vinegar. Let that cook down until pork is almost completely cooked through. You will be placing it in the oven so you want it close to done. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Once the sausage is all done, add mixture to a bowl to cool. Add your chicken broth, along with your sweet potatoes, pecans, and dried cranberries. Mix well.
  5. Put loosely in the turkey OR you can use a 9×13 baking dish to place your stuffing in OR place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Either way will work.
  6. If cooking separately, bake at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until everything is a bit

Cranberry Relish
2 cups raw cranberries;
2 apples, skinned and cored;
1 large seedless orange, cut into sections; (peel on or not)
Liquid vanilla stevia to taste

  1. Boil cranberries for 4 minutes and rinse in cold water.
  2. Using a blender or food processor, process the cranberries, apples, and orange. Make sure to only pulse rather gently in order to obtain a relish consistency instead of a purée.
  3. Alternatively, to make sure you get the right consistency, you can process each ingredient individually and then combine them in a bowl.
  4. Add the liquid stevia, if using, and combine well.
  5. Transfer to a bowl, refrigerate and serve when needed.

“Mashed Potato”
1 head of cauliflower
3 tablespoons cream
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
freshly ground black pepper
snipped chives

  1. Separate the cauliflower into florets and chop the core finely.
  2. Bring about 1 cup of water to a simmer in a pot, then add the cauliflower. Cover and turn the heat to medium. Cook the cauliflower for 12-15 minutes or until very tender.
  3. Drain and discard all the water (the drier the cauliflower is, the better) and add the milk, butter, salt and pepper and mash with blender until it looks like “mashed potatoes.” Top with chives.

Green bean casserole
For the Fried Onions:
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons white rice flour
¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper
1 medium onion, sliced into thin strips
3 tablespoons avocado oil

For the Casserole:
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems discarded, caps wiped clean and sliced ¼ inch thick
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon rice flour
1 ½ pounds green beans, ends trimmed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
¾ cup heavy cream
¾ cup chicken broth


  1. Toss the sliced onion with salt, pepper, cornstarch and white rice flour in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently until golden and crisp about 5 minutes. Transfer onions with oil to a baking sheet lined with a triple layer of paper towels.
  3. Wipe out the skillet and return it to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook stirring occasionally until browned about 8 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  5. Wipe out the skillet. Heat the butter in the skillet over medium heat. When the foaming subsides add the onions and cook stirring occasionally until the edges begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and remaining 1 tablespoon flour.
  6. Toss in the green beans, thyme and bay leaf. Add the cream and chicken broth, increase heat to medium-high, cover and cook until the beans are partly done but still crisp at the center, about 4 minutes.
  7. Return the reserved mushrooms to the skillet and continue to cook, uncovered, until the green beans are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 4 minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat, discard the bay leaves and thyme: Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle evenly with the reserved onions, and serve.

Pumpkin pie
1 gluten free pie crust
1 can (15 ounce) pure pumpkin or 2 cups fresh
1/2 cup milk
4 beaten eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice or mix together nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla liquid stevia


  1. Prepare your crust from the recipe above.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Lay aluminum foil over the pie crust and add pie weights or raw dry beans, about 2 pounds.
  4. Spread beans over the bottom of the pie on foil.
  5. Place pie plate onto a baking sheet. Bake the crust for 10 minutes then remove the foil and beans and bake another 10 minutes.
  6. While the crust is baking prepare your filling. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  7. Pour filling mixture into the crust.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes -1 hour or until center is set.
  9. Cool to room temperature on wire rack.
  10. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


  • Nancy G says:

    Exactly the menu my family usually uses I’ll have to see if I can convince my son that these would be good

  • Nancy G says:

    Recipe for the gluten free pie crust wasn’t there

  • Teresa says:

    Thank you for these recipes. Are potatos not OK? I just love potatos as I am Irish.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Teresa,
      We advise against potatoes due to the amount of simple carbs. The stuffing recipe has sweet potatoes which are a better choice than standard potatoes, and notice that the sweet potatoes are a relatively small part of the recipe. By mixing the sweet potatoes with other ingredients, it creates a more balanced food. It can be a challenge to change traditional holiday foods, but once the transition is complete, you’ll have new, healthy holiday foods to look forward to.

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