Thanksgiving is more than just turkey and pumpkin pie. There are SO many side dishes that can add flavor and color to your holiday table. Instead of just relying on buttered rolls, potatoes, and overly sweet cranberries, add in a few healthy alternatives. Vegetables are not boring! You can affordably create family size portions for Thanksgiving quickly too.
Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Mashed potatoes are kind of a staple on our dinner table, but there is always room for cauliflower! Swap buttery potatoes loaded with sour cream or chives for mashed cauliflower. When you blend a cauliflower in a food processor, you can create almost the same consistency as your favorite mashed potatoes. However, it is healthier too. There are more nutrients in this vegetable, and it is low in fat too. You could season your cauliflower with a little bit of butter or olive oil along with salt and pepper. Roasted garlic is my favorite way to add flavor to this dish.
Green Bean Casserole
This is a given for many families, but this dish can be quite hearty. You can make simple swaps to share a healthier version of this casserole by skipping the French’s fried onions inside the casserole. Instead, sprinkle them on top when it is done as a garnish. You can also swap the soup for low-sodium or low-fat. Try using a fat-free milk as well. Add other vegetables for a different texture or flavor like shiitake mushrooms.
You knew that sweet potatoes would be on this list, right? Sweet potatoes can be delicious without all of that butter and brown sugar. Consider dicing sweet potatoes with apple butter. It’s a simple seasonal side with a lot of flavor. All you need to do is prepare your sweet potatoes with a bit of unsalted butter, apple butter, and a dash of salt. Since sweet potatoes are already sweet, you don’t need to add extra sugar!
Did you know that brussels sprouts are in season during the fall? It’s an amazing vegetable side dish that you can create since they are low in fat and EASY to cook! You can caramelize them with olive oil and salt. Try including bacon or pancetta for extra flavor.
While you might be thinking of bacon wrapped asparagus, swap it for a healthier item like turkey bacon or even chicken bacon (which I recently just discovered!). Roast asparagus in the oven with a little bit of olive oil and your favorite seasoning (I love 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe’s!).
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, it is easy to make a few healthy sides with these swaps. If potluck style is on the menu, encourage your guests to bring healthier side dishes to pair with these ideas. These dishes may be healthier, but they certainly don’t sacrifice on flavor!
What are your favorite holiday side dishes to share? Do you have any ideas for healthy swaps?