Healthy Turkey Day Side Dishes You’ll Love!

Ever notice that turkey day starts off  healthy enough with a little white meat turkey breast and some fresh cranberries? But before you know it, you’re pouring on the gravy, scooping up your aunt’s famous marshmallow casserole, and finishing the job with a slice (or two) of pecan pie! Yikes! Without even meaning to, you’ve taken a trip to calorie city with a pit-stop at food coma town. But with all those indulgent side dishes right at your fingertips, what’s a girl to do?

We’ve got just the solution! This year, take the guilt out of the equation with simple, nutritious, and guilt-free side dishes your whole family will love!

Check out our list of delicious and healthy Turkey Day side dishes that will leave you feeling light as a feather, and not as stuffed as a Turkey!


Ginger-Roasted Winter Squash

At only 226 calories per serving, and boasting 5 grams of fiber, this healthy ginger-roasted winter squash recipe has notes of cinnamon and dried currant perfect for accompanying those more traditional Thanksgiving delights. Vegan? Ditch the crème fraîche and serve with Tofurkey!

Winter Squash

Recipe Via:


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 1/2 pounds thick-fleshed sugar pumpkin or acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and ground pepper
  • One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche


  1. Preheat the oven to 325. In a small saucepan, combine the water with the sugar, vinegar and cinnamon and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the currants and simmer for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Rub the squash with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Using a fine grater, grate the ginger over the cut sides of the squash and rub it into the flesh.
  3. Transfer the squash to the prepared baking sheet, cut side down, and roast for about 15 minutes, until the squash starts to soften. Turn the squash cut side up and roast for about 17 minutes longer, until tender; transfer to a work surface and let cool slightly.
  4. Increase the oven temperature to 425. Cut the squash into 1 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Lightly rub the foil with oil and arrange the squash on the baking sheet; roast for about 25 minutes, turning once halfway through, until golden and crisp along the edges.
  5. Arrange the squash on a platter. Discard the cinnamon stick from the currants and add the currants to the squash. Drizzle with the pickling liquid and crème fraîche and serve.


Sweet Potato Spoon Bread

If you haven’t heard of Spoon bread, you’re in for a real treat! This Southern classic is a cross between corn bread and souffle and it is not to be missed! Filled with healthy vitamin-rich sweet potatoes and warm spices ideal for fall, this unique side dish lets you satiate your craving for cornbread and still go back for seconds!

Spoon Bread

Recipe via:


  • 1 pound sweet potatoes
  • 2 1/4 cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mild honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • Scant 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. With a fork, pierce the sweet potatoes all over and set them directly on the oven rack. Bake the sweet potatoes for 1 hour, or until they are tender; let cool slightly. Slit the skins and scoop the potatoes into a large bowl. Mash until smooth. You should have 1 1/4 cups of mashed sweet potatoes. Increase the oven temperature to 425°.
  2. Meanwhile, lightly butter a shallow 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish and dust it with cornmeal, tapping out any excess. In another large bowl, whisk the cornmeal with the sugar, salt and baking soda. Melt the butter in the boiling water, then stir the butter-and-water mixture into the dry ingredients. Let cool slightly.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the buttermilk, honey, cumin, white pepper, cloves and cayenne into the mashed sweet potatoes until combined. At medium speed, beat in the cornmeal mixture.
  4. In a clean stainless steel bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold the beaten egg whites into the sweet-potato mixture until no white streaks remain. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden and risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve the sweet potato spoon bread warm or at room temperature.


Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed Potatoes are to Turkey, as Peanut Butter is to Jelly. So if the thought of skipping out on this Thanksgiving go-to is stressing you out, don’t you fret! With this delicious and creamy mashed cauliflower recipe, you’ll hardly notice the different (except for in your waistline!).

Mashed Cauliflower

Recipe via:


  • 8 cups bite-sized cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk (see Tip)
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Snipped fresh chives for garnish


  1. Place cauliflower florets and garlic in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover and steam until very tender, 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, place florets and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water, cover and microwave on High for 3 to 5 minutes.)
  1. Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add buttermilk, 2 teaspoons oil, butter, salt and pepper; pulse several times, then process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garnish with chives, if desired. Serve hot.
  1. Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk

Roasted Green Beans, Mushrooms, and Onions with Parmesan Breadcrumbs

Everyone loves a green bean casserole, but nobody loves all the calories and fat squeezed into just one tiny serving! For an awesome alternative to the Turkey Day classic, reach for this light and savory recipe filled with green beans, mushrooms, onions, and breadcrumbs, and get cookin’!


Roasted Green Beans

Recipe via:


  • 1 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced into rings
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 c. fresh breadcrumbs or panko
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan (1/2 oz.)
  • 1 lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On two rimmed baking sheets, arrange green beans, onions, and mushrooms. Toss each with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and deeply browned, 30 to 35 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium heat, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add breadcrumbs and oregano and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in Parmesan, and zest of lemon.
  3. Squeeze lemon juice over roasted vegetables and top with Parmesan breadcrumbs.

No-Bake Pumpkin Custard

Did someone say dessert? Just cause you’re staying on the lighter side of things this year, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on an after dinner sweet-treat! We’re not monsters! With this super easy and super light and fluffy no-bake pumpkin custard, a little goes a long way. The best part? No-bake literally means no bake and no hassle! Just toss the ingredients in a bowl, mix them up, chill, and enjoy!


Pumpkin Custard

Recipe Via:


  • 1 jar (10 ounces) pumpkin butter (or 1 can pumpkin puree mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped


  • Mix pumpkin butter, cream cheese, pumpkin puree, and yogurt until well combined. Top with pecans.
  • Place in a round serving bowl and chill for at least two hours.

Your turn! Tell us all about your favorite healthy recipes you’ll be enjoying this turkey day! Gobble Gobble!