Thanksgiving is just a few more days away… With all those busy preparations in place, putting together a perfect Thanksgiving menu takes away loads of your time. And, when it comes to side dish to accompany your meal, the efforts involved are quite intense. Choosing your side dish is now a simple task. Just check out these 20 delightful, yet healthy recipes that have been handpicked to meet your taste buds.
All the recipes outlined below come from experts. Just follow the instructions and get started…
The 20 Must Try Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes
1. Sweet Potato Pecan Casserole
Sweet potatoes are good for your health too. And, they deliver an awesome sweet note to this casserole. A winter veggie, it is the ideal choice to be paired with your favorite turkey. The pecans give that lovely crunch. You can opt out of brown sugar; instead add honey or molasses for a healthier casserole.
2. Bold Winter Green Salad
Winter is full of greens. You can now give your Thanksgiving table a fabulous touch of nature by including this winter green salad. Opt for the bitter greens for a dose of good health. You can avoid the sherry vinegar, if you wish to. Instead, opt for chili vinegar to give the dish an awesome spicy touch.
3. Lighter Green Bean Casserole
This is, perhaps, one side dish all of you would definitely include as it has been traditionally the most sought after delicacy for Thanksgiving. While the traditional version is a rich delicacy flavored with cream of mushroom soup and French Fried onions, this one is a lighter version. Hence, a healthier choice for your celebrations.
4. Herbed Whole Grain Muffins With Buttermilk
Make sure you bake them a day before to allow the flavors to steep in. This particular recipe calls for the use of white bread cubes as well. You can swap the white with whole grain cubes to ensure that these muffins are sources of pure health. A very versatile side dish, it goes well with a spicy main course. You can adjust the seasoning to meet your palette requirements.
5. Low Calorie Butternut Squash Soup
Squashes are available in plenty as Thanksgiving nears. And, it is one veggie that can render a luxurious touch to even a modestly set table for this special occasion. One look at this particular molten golden liquid is enough to fill your mouth with water. Opt for this low calorie version that does not compromise on taste from any angle.
6. Roasted Winter Squash Salad
This is not just healthy, but equally yummy as well. Topped with goat cheese with pine nuts added for that crunchiness, this makes a subtle side dish for any main course you are planning to include in your menu. Use a lesser quantity of cheese, if you are a little extra conscious about those calories that come along with the taste.
7. Garlic Mushroom Quinoa
This recipe from Damn Delicious is lip smacking. An ideal veggie laden delight, it easily helps you cut down your main course intake. No wonder it is a favorite side dish among the fitness freaks. You can add a quarter cup each of carrots and snow peas to enrich the dish. Saute ½ a cup of onions until golden brown in very less oil and sprinkle it atop the quinoa just before serving for a luxurious delicacy.
8. Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Let us forget out age old traditional and mouthwatering mashed potatoes here. Sweet potatoes can easily take the place. Add chipotle peppers in the place of cayenne to zest up the festive fervor. I just love these as it a blend of assorted flavors – sweet, spicy, salt, and a little tanginess.
9. Low Fat Three Cheese Mac and Cheese
You might be wondering how mac and cheese can be healthy? Isn’t it? This was the question that I also thought when I first read the recipe name, but it turned out really to be a low fat version. Do include this in your Thanksgiving menu, especially if you have those fussy guests and adorable kids to be entertained.
10. Marinated Kale, White Beans, and Tomato Salad
You can even include steamed French beans in the place of white beans. I love it that way. Opt for cherry tomatoes, the freshest available for a richer salad. Totally healthilicious and delicious, this makes an adorable accompaniment with a heavy main course.
11. Fennel and Spinach Soup with Roasted Pepper Yogurt
This is a simple, yet versatile soup that you can serve as a side dish or a starter. While it gives you the option of serving chilled, being winter, I would suggest you to serve this light soup hot. Use vegetable broth in the place of chicken broth to cut down the calories further. Ensure that you are using plain yogurt as flavored one could spoil the entire efforts you put in.
12. Winter Mexican Corn Soup
Warm up the cold Thanksgiving night with a delicious serving of this sizzling hot winter corn soup. Choose the fresh corn on cobs. This one makes use of sweet potatoes and potatoes to add that creamy luxuriousness to the soup. Use vegetable stock in the place of chicken stock; chuck out the potatoes. Instead, choose more baby sweet potatoes for a tasty side dish.
13. Spiced Winter Squash With Fennel
This one goes well with a main course of roasted lamb. Keep your flame on medium as you warm the spices so that you will not lose out the aroma as well as flavors they render to the side dish, transforming it from a simple to an elegant one. Add a handful of pomegranate seeds and sprinkle a little thyme to make it more colorful.
14. Roasted Celery Root and Carrots with Parsley and Dill
Celery root is not very popular, but it is as tasty as a sweet potato. Plus, it is healthier too! So, why not try this simple recipe this winter and enjoy a healthy twist on the classic Thanksgiving meal? Spice it up the way you want. You can even add a dash of tanginess to this awesome delicacy by mixing in a little lemon juice after take it out of the oven.
15. Warm Wheat Berry Salad with Dried Fruit
The hard winter wheat rich delight flavored with tangy, yet sweet cranberries and the delectable apricots are worth enjoying this Thanksgiving. Just make sure that the wheat berries are soaked at least 48 hours before preparing this mind boggling delicacy. You can experience a whole lot of flavors as you relish this dish.
16. Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallot Soup
A classic delicacy, this is very tasty. I would like to make a trade in this recipe – vegetable broth in the place of chicken broth. You can even add a tablespoon of mashed lentils to render a touch of protein to this lip smacking Thanksgiving side dish choice. Sprinkle generous amounts of cayenne pepper for those who are spice aficionados.
17. Honey Glazed Carrots and Parsnips
So simple, yet so versatile; so healthy, yet so delectable! That is the simplest way you can describe this fabulous Thanksgiving recipe. Use the purest honey available. Sprinkle a little thyme or assorted Italian seasoning atop this dish just before serving. And, ensure that your carrots are baby carrots as they are more tender.
18. Roasted Parsnip and Pear Soup
Yummy! This creamy soup is not just a dose of good health, but is the ultimate definition of luxurious indulgence. Make sure you cut the pears and parsnip just before you need them or else they will turn brown, hampering with the quality of the soup. Opt for using Greek yogurt in the place of whipping cream and vegetable broth against chicken broth.
19. Winter Plum Soup
Gluten free, low in fat, packed with vegetables, this plum soup put forth a sense of elegance. An added jewel on the Thanksgiving table, this one is a purely vegetarian soup. If you have kids in the party, then use orange juice in the place of liqueur or Cointreau. While the mint sprigs are optional, they do add a touch of festivity to the appeal of this side dish.
20. Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
This recipe from spoonforkbacon calls for the use of butter in the recipe. For a healthier twist, use any light cooking oil, in reduced quantity. Mash the partially cooked potatoes with milk and garlic initially and then mix in oil to maintain the smoothness. Serve them fresh from the oven sprinkled generously with spices of your choice.
Thanksgiving meal is a huge one; but that does not mean it needs to laden with unhealthy delights always. You can definitely try your hands at preparing some healthy Thanksgiving side dishes, and of course without compromising on their richness and taste. These 20 recipes are true treats to your taste buds and you are sure to enjoy the complements they are going to fetch you.
Praise the Lord! Happy Thanksgiving!