5 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes
We all have our favorite Thanksgiving recipes, from mom’s tried and true green bean casserole to grandma’s Dutch apple pie. At Red Leaf, we are big believers in upholding family traditions and that extends to the dishes that make us feel cozy and warm on special holidays. But as we look to stay healthy throughout the holiday season, sometimes big gatherings require a little extra planning. Try these 5 Thanksgiving recipes for a healthy alternative at this year’s big meal and don’t forget to subscribe to redleafnutrition.com for Healthy During the Holidays 2021! Receive weekly healthy recipes, at-home workouts, and special VIP savings from now through the end of the year when you subscribe here!
Trade in the classic, sugary cranberry jelly for this sweet, citrusy, spicy delight! Serve this healthy Thanksgiving alternative with turkey, ham, or as an appetizer with corn chips.
1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 bunch of cilantro, leaves only
1 jalapeño, chopped (remove seeds for less spice)
Juice of 2 limes
4 tbsp Splenda or raw cane sugar
1 pinch pink Himalayan salt
Using a food processor with a medium blade, combine cranberries, cilantro, and jalapeño until roughly chopped. Scoop contents into a large bowl and add lime juice, Splenda, and salt and stir until fully combined. If not using right away, cover and refrigerate. Allow the salsa to come to room temperature before serving.
Honey Maple Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato casserole is to die for and if it’s a staple in your family, don’t mess with the recipe! But if you’re looking to find a healthier alternative to this holiday favorite, look no further than this recipe for honey maple sweet potatoes. Recipe inspired by Two Peas & Their Pod!
2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Pink Himalayan salt
Drizzle of pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×13 baking sheet.
Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and salt, then place in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the potatoes halfway through so they bake evenly.
Remove the potatoes from the oven after 20 minutes and coat with syrup and ground cinnamon, then place them back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Turn the sweet potatoes halfway through to ensure an even bake.
Finally, remove the sweet potatoes and drizzle them lightly with honey until evenly coated. Add a pinch of pink Himalayan salt and serve warm.
Baked Apple Pie Filling
Personally, apple pie is one of my favorite holiday dishes and on Thanksgiving Day, I won’t sacrifice it for anything! But there are a lot of gatherings between now and New Year’s Eve, and sometimes the whole pie just doesn’t make the cut. That’s where this delicious baked apple pie filling comes in! Recipe inspired by Simply Recipes!
12 honey crisp apples, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp butter
Drizzle maple syrup
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, combine cubed apples with butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Continue to stir and flip for up to 10 minutes or until apples reach desired softness. Sprinkle with pink Himalayan salt and serve warm! Enjoy with a cup of black coffee or tea.
Sautéed Green Beans with Pancetta
Green bean casserole is a golden ticket Thanksgiving recipe, and one many cannot go without on the big day. And it’s no wonder why it’s a crowd favorite- it’s packed with all of the salty, fatty, savory goodness that we come to expect from a holiday meal. Don’t shoot the messenger! I’m not telling you to ditch your favorite casserole. If you’re looking to have a slightly healthier holiday meal this year, though, we recommend giving our sautéed green beans with pancetta a try (with a side of the OG, of course!). Recipe inspired by Simply Recipes.
2 lbs green beans
1 lb pancetta, chopped into pieces
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
Pepper to taste
Wash green beans and dry them with a paper towel.
Chop pancetta and yellow onion into small pieces and sauté in a large pan over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until the pancetta is browned and crispy and the onions are translucent. Remove from pan and set aside.
Cook the green beans in the same sauté pan with the remaining pancetta grease for 10 minutes, or drain the grease prior to cooking for a lower fat content. At 10 minutes, add back in the pancetta and onion and cover the pan with a vented lid for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the green beans reach your desired firmness.
Grilled Corn Salad
Creamed corn is a love it or hate it Thanksgiving dish, and if I’m being honest, it’s one I could do without. But my mom would never allow a Thanksgiving dinner without it, so a few years ago, I came up with an alternative. Give this grilled corn salad a try if you’re not a fan of creamed corn, but still want a corn dish on the dinner table!
8-10 ears of corn
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Oregano, basil, and thyme to taste
Red pepper chili flakes to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat grill on a high temperature with the lid closed for about 10 minutes. Then add corn to the grill and turn frequently for around 10 minutes or until your desired char is reached. Remove from grill and set aside.
Add olive oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat, then add chopped yellow onion and finely chopped garlic and stir frequently, keeping them spread out over the pan for an even cook. After 5-8 minutes, remove garlic and onions from the heat and add to a large mixing bowl.
If your corn is still hot, make sure to grab an oven mit or glove for this next step! Use a sharp knife to remove corn from the cob, and place into the large mixing bowl with garlic and onions. Add in spices (oregano, basil, thyme, red pepper chili flakes, salt, and pepper) and lightly mix ingredients until fully combined. This dish is best served warm.
When it comes to Thanksgiving Day, Friendsgiving gatherings, and the plethora of holiday celebrations this season, don’t feel like you have to avoid your favorite dishes to stay healthy! But, if you’re looking to provide healthier options at your gatherings so you at least have a choice, give some of these Thanksgiving recipes a try and let us know your feedback in the comments below!