Food & Drink

Healthy Sides to Bring Balance to Thanksgiving

Published On 11/21/2016 Published On 11/21/2016

Thanksgiving is a time of thanks and lots and lots (and lots and lots) of food. It often reminds people of the famous Louis C.K. quote: "The meal is not over when I'm full, the meal is over when I hate myself." This Thanksgiving rid yourself of the self-hate and get a head start on your New Year's resolution. These recipes from Pinterest have all the flavor of your traditional Thanksgiving dishes, but with healthy substitutions that make for half the guilt.


Cauliflower rice stuffing

Stuffing that doesn't make you feel stuffed? Yes please! If you haven't noticed, cauliflower rice is all the rage lately. It's faster too cook and much, much more nutritious, too. Add in some garlic, onions, pecans, celery, and mushrooms and your guests will be begging for a second helping. Recipe here.


Fall harvest salad with apple cider vinaigrette

Salad is the best digestive, and Thanksgiving is a meal that you miiiiight need a little help digesting. Plus, apple cider is just about as seasonally appropriate as you can get. Mix in roasted butternut squash, wild rice, pepitas, apples, and kale for a salad worth talking about. Recipe here

Maple cinnamon-roasted butternut squash

Add some color to the table with this maple cinnamon-roasted butternut squash recipe. When cooked right, the butternut squash will turn out tender, and that caramelized maple syrup really ties the meal together. Plus, if you have any Canadian friends, this will make them feel right at home. Recipe here.


Green bean casserole

If you're hosting a crowd this Thanksgiving, chances are you have at least one person that is gluten intolerant. And a Midwesterner. Either way, this recipe is perfect for low-carb diets/people who pronounce the letter "a" funny. The cashews are the real secret -- blending them with almond milk makes for a rich, creamy, heavenly dish. Recipe here.


Roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts often get a bad rap, but when cooked right they can be incredibly delicious. Add some garlic, olive oil, cumin, salt, and red wine vinegar and you will begin to wonder why you haven't been eating them your whole life. Recipe here


Garlic green beans

The traditional Thanksgiving table is packed with a lot of brown stuff, a lot of fat, and a lot of future regret. This green bean dish is super-quick, flavorful, and guaranteed to brighten up the table with something that's not loaded with lipids. Recipe here.


Asiago-roasted broccoli

Start a new Thanksgiving tradition with these crunchy, thinly sliced broccoli florets baked with Asiago cheese. They're so thin and crispy they're basically chips. We won't judge if you negate their healthy attributes by dipping them in ranch. Recipe here


Corn casserole

You can never have enough casseroles on the table. Don't leave out this guilt-free casserole that tastes similar to corn pudding. It will taste like an indulgence, but it's really not. So go ahead and grab more pie! Recipe here.


Roasted butternut squash quinoa salad

This quinoa salad is basically fall in a bowl. With pumpkin seeds, butternut squash, pomegranate, and dried cranberries it pairs perfectly with turkey and the other dishes. Pro tip: Buy a package of pre-seeded pomegranates because no one has the damn time to deal with the mess of seeding pomegranates. Recipe here.

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Alex Seclow is a social media coordinator at Thrillist. She was born and raised in the SF Bay Area, but is now a proud Brooklyn resident. She has dog treats at her desk even though she doesn't own a dog.



Learn More