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.
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.
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!
- Healthy Vegetable Sides for Thanksgiving
- Healthy Thanksgiving Side Salads
- Low-Calorie Thanksgiving Sides
- High-Protein Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- Healthy Casserole Side Dishes
- Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Sides
- Healthy Thanksgiving Sides in Instant Pot
- Crowd-Pleasing Thanksgiving Sides
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.
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
- 2-Quart Casserole Dish. Essential for many of these Thanksgiving sides.
- Mandoline. To ensure uniform slices for scalloped potatoes.
- Instant Pot. I own this one and love it. It’s a great way to free up space in your oven.
- All-Purpose Liquid Measuring Cups. My essential tools for measuring liquids.
- Programmable Slow Cooker. This one will help deter overcooking.
- Sharp Chef’s Knife. A helpful tool when chopping ingredients.
Now, let’s get to those healthy Thanksgiving sides!
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.
- Scalloped Potatoes
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- Roasted Potatoes and Carrots
- Easy Roasted Butternut Squash Parmesan
- Baked Acorn Squash Slices with Brown Sugar and Pecans
- Oven Roasted Vegetables with Mustard and Warm Lentils
- Spicy Braised Green Beans with Feta
- Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Honey Whiskey Pecans
Salad recipes this flavorful can hold their own at a table full of other tantalizing sides. They bring beautiful color and freshness.
- Winter Slaw
- Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad
- Caesar Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Crispy Chickpea Croutons
- Broccoli Cranberry Salad
- Winter Salad with Kale and Pomegranate
- Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Freekeh Salad with Kale
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.
- Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Sautéed Cabbage
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic
These hearty, protein-packed side dishes are anything but flimsy.
- Pea Salad
- Brussels Sprouts Mac and Cheese
- Brussels Sprouts Gratin
- Parmesan Cheesy Broccoli Casserole with Crispy Breadcrumbs
- Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Maple, Walnuts and Feta
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!
- Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Cauliflower Casserole
- Healthy Green Bean Casserole
- Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
- Healthy Butternut Squash Casserole with Sausage and Sage Breadcrumbs
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!
- Crockpot Applesauce
- Crock Pot Creamed Corn
- Crockpot Stuffing
- Slow Cooker Stuffing with Apples Cranberries and Pecans
- Crock Pot Baked Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Risotto with Butternut Squash
- Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup, Cranberries and Feta
Enjoy cozy and comforting side dishes you love with the ease of your Instant Pot. It makes cleanup a breeze!
- Instant Pot Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice Cranberries and Chickpeas
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
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!
- Easy Drop Biscuits
- Baked Shrimp Scampi
- Stuffing Muffins with Sausage and Apples
- Rosemary Bacon Mushroom Stuffing
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Honey
- Roasted Garlic Potato Rolls
- Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
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♥