Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve already started thinking about all the side dishes you want to make (and more importantly, eat!). This is why I’ve compiled my very extensive list of the ultimate Healthy Thanksgiving Sides! These sides are lighter than their traditional counterparts, but don’t skimp an ounce of flavor.

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with Oatmeal Topping. This will be your new favorite sweet potato recipe! Creamy, decadent, vegan, and gluten free!

Sticking to a healthy diet during the holidays is difficult. Over many years of countless recipe tests and inspiration, my list of healthy side dishes has grown, especially those for Thanksgiving. If you’re wondering what to eat on Thanksgiving that is a little bit better for you, these are the recipes for you.

I’ve taken many family-favorite, traditional side dishes and lightened them up with healthy swaps. The flavors are just as delicious, and the ingredients can all be found at any grocery store.

The best and most important part? These recipe taste INCREDIBLE! Holiday meals are special, and these recipes live up to the task. Every recipe on this list has received numerous stamps of approval from both adults and kids, and I know there will be fans at your Thanksgiving table too.

Apple Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing Muffins. The BEST classic Thanksgiving stuffing, baked in a muffin tin. Easy to make ahead and great leftover too! Recipe at | @wellplated

To make browsing these healthy Thanksgiving sides as easy as possible, I have organized them into categories for you. If you would like to jump to a specific section, simply click the appropriate link below. Otherwise, keep scrolling to see them all!

What Should I Cook for Thanksgiving?

What you choose to cook on Thanksgiving is completely up to you, which is part of the fun! For the spread at our house, I turn to my list of healthy Thanksgiving recipes for inspiration.

  • I start with a few of my healthy Thanksgiving appetizers, like Pumpkin Goat Cheese Crostini and Ham and Cheese Pinwheels.
  • Next, I’ll serve a hearty and delicious main dish with a handful of my healthy Thanksgiving sides from the list below. In our house, we stick to roasted turkey. Make your favorite, then surround it with any of the recipes on this list.
  • To finish, I add a spread of healthy Thanksgiving desserts. Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie or Pumpkin Pecan Pie are tried-and-true favorites.

A white plate with bacon wrapped asparagus

What is Considered a Side Dish?

A side dish is served as an accompaniment to your main dish.

  • Side dishes will typically complement the flavors in your entrée and add variety to your plate.
  • As the list below shows, a side dish can be anything from vegetables to salad to casserole to bread to pasta. There’s an option for everyone at your table!

Recommended Tools for Making Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Now, let’s get to those healthy Thanksgiving sides!

Healthy Vegetable Sides for Thanksgiving

Perfect Roasted Potatoes and Carrots with Rosemary on a white plate

No more skipping right past the bowl of vegetables at Thanksgiving. These vegetable sides are always well-received, and they’re good for you too.

Healthy Thanksgiving Side Salads

Maple Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with Cranberries. A healthy, gluten free recipe filled with fall flavors. Easy, filling and perfect for make ahead lunches and dinners! Recipe at | @wellplated

Salad recipes this flavorful can hold their own at a table full of other tantalizing sides. They bring beautiful color and freshness.

Low-Calorie Thanksgiving Sides

Roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic in a white bowl

Serve a couple of these low-calorie side dishes to balance some of the heavier items at your Thanksgiving meal. They taste just as decadent.

High-Protein Thanksgiving Side Dishes

A large skillet with Brussels sprouts mac and cheese topped with bacon

These hearty, protein-packed side dishes are anything but flimsy.

Healthy Casserole Side Dishes

Healthy green bean casserole in a baking dish

Have you ever found a delicious casserole recipe and wondered, “what do you serve with casseroles?” Well, I’m here to say that casseroles are DELISH with whatever main dish (turkey or not) you serve for Thanksgiving. We make these year-round!

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Sides

Crockpot Stuffing with Apples. Easy slow cooker method that frees up the oven on Thanksgiving and is perfect for a crowd.

While your oven may be occupied with numerous other recipes, you can make some incredibly tasty and easy Thanksgiving side dishes in your slow cooker. It’s so convenient, and your kitchen will smell amazing!

Healthy Thanksgiving Sides in Instant Pot

serving bowl filled with Instant Pot mashed potatoes, garnished with fresh herbs and melted butter

Enjoy cozy and comforting side dishes you love with the ease of your Instant Pot. It makes cleanup a breeze!

Crowd-Pleasing Thanksgiving Sides

Easy drop biscuits wrapped in a dish towel

You’ll find a way into the hearts (and stomachs!) of everyone at your table with these cozy and crowd-pleasing recipes. These will be gobbled up in minutes!

If you try one of these delicious healthy Thanksgiving side (or another Thanksgiving recipe from my site), I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. I always love hearing from you

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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