Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes (Paleo & Vegan friendly)

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s time to start planning and preparing for the big feast. In case you’re like me, and still collecting recipes for next week, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite holiday sides– all of them made with easy, all-natural ingredients!

These dishes are so tasty, your family may not even realize they’re eating healthier. Hope you enjoy them!

Clean Green Bean Casserole

green bean casserole

Featuring fresh green beans and caramelized onions, this homemade green bean casserole is just about as clean as it gets. Rather than relying on a cream-based soup, it’s held together by a creamy puree of parsnips and mushrooms. It’s a definite crowd pleaser!

Grain-Free Stuffing

grain-free stuffing in a dish

Rather than relying on expensive gluten-free breads or flours, this grain-free stuffing is made with a bounty of fresh vegetables and herbs! It features all of the flavors you love in traditional stuffing, without leaving you feeling “stuffed” afterward.

Mashed Cauliflower “Potatoes”

mashed cauliflower potatoes in a bowl

Serving mashed cauliflower in lieu of potatoes is an easy way to lighten up your meal, and is a great solution for those of you who need to avoid starches. Thanks to the cauliflower base, this creamy mashed dish can be served with turkey and my grain-free stuffing for a properly combined Thanksgiving dinner!

Spiced Cranberry Sauce

jar of spiced cranberry sauce

Naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup and bursting with Fall spice, this cranberry sauce is quite an upgrade from the canned version, and will make a delicious addition to your feast.

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

balsamic roasted brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts can be a bit intimidating on their own, but when roasted with a splash of balsamic vinegar, they become a delectable treat! Tender on the inside, and crispy on the outside, these veggies are a quick and easy addition to any Fall meal.

Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes

dish of maple glazed sweet potatoes

Featuring pure maple syrup, fresh ginger and a touch of coconut milk, this naturally-sweetened dish will leave no one at the table missing their marshmallow-covered casserole.

No-Bake Pecan Pie Bars

no-bake pecan pie bars

With all of the work involved in preparing Thanksgiving dinner, we could all use a simple dessert recipe that doesn’t involve the oven. These pecan pie bars are easy to prepare, and taste like a decadent pecan pie– with a hefty dose of nutrients, and none of the refined sugar or butter!

Grain-free Pumpkin Bars

grain-free pumpkin bars with maple glaze and pecans on top

Pumpkin bars are my very favorite way to enjoy this seasonal squash. They have the taste and texture similar to pumpkin pie, but they bake faster and are much more portable! Whether you prefer almond butter or coconut flour recipes, I’ve got you covered!

No-Bake Pumpkin Tarts

no-bake pumpkin tarts

This is the pumpkin pie we’ll be enjoying this year. Featuring sweet pumpkin filling and a grain-free crust, these mini pumpkin tarts are a quick and easy seasonal dessert– perfect for when you don’t want to spend any more time in the kitchen. Naturally sweetened with fiber-rich dates, they can be whipped up in a blender in minutes!

Whatever you choose to serve this Thanksgiving, I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday!

Reader Feedback: What are your favorite holiday recipes? Feel free to share links!

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Comments

Vanessa

Apple pie is my all time favorite, but sweet potato casserole sans marshmallows is a new favorite!

bianca

Great recipes Megan !.

Buon Appetito, everyone

Heather

These are perfect! I love making healthy dressing too:) This recipe looks like a great one to try!;)

maryrose

great recipes thank you

Cadie

Thanks for putting these together in one place! This year I’m attending two Thanksgivings and I’m trying to eat a lot healthier. I think I’ll make two of these dishes and bring them to the dinners that way I at least know I can eat something nutritious and not full of gluten and hydrogenated oils, etc. Keep up the great work, girl!

Cookies n' Creme

Thanks for the recipes! I’ve been wanting to try the cauliflower mashed potatoes for awhile.
On a different topic, I had a question about peanuts. Are they that healthy? Are the organic ones healthy (or at least, not BAD for you in any way)? I just seem to think that something is bad with peanuts; maybe because there is SO MANY peanut allergies out there, it seems there must be something wrong with them or else there wouldn’t be such an allergy epidemic for them. If the pesticides and stuff are what makes them bad, then are organic peanuts OK??

Megan

I hadn’t thought of pureeing mushrooms and parsnips instead of cream – what a great idea!!

Marisa

I love all of these thanksgiving recipes. What do you think would be a good substitute for the shredded coconut, as in the pecan bars and pumpkin tarts? I’m not against using it, but the texture and flavor isn’t my favorite. Any thoughts?

Lisa

I made both the green bean and brussel sprout recipes for Thanksgiving. They were delicious! I have never had parsnips before, so I was particularly excited to use them as a mushroom soup substitute. Two things:

1. I make carmelized onions in a crockpot, based on a tip from a chef friend who said this is common in restaurants. I fill up a crock pot with sliced onions, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, and then cook it on low until they turn dark brown (8 – 10 hours). There will be a good amount of liquid in the pot—I pour it in a mug and it tastes just like onion soup. Sometimes I put portions of the onions in the freezer for later use, but these onions are so versatile. They can really dress up a frozen pizza, and are delicious in burritos, and all sandwiches, including a gooey vegan grilled cheese. Cooking the onions in bulk this way will save you some kitchen time, and is a good way to use up onions that are starting to sprout in the pantry. These are the onions I topped my green beans with…yummy!

2. I had plenty of leftover parsnip puree from the green bean recipe that I was tempted to just eat with a spoon. But instead I used it to make a squash casserole. I love squash casserole but haven’t had it in over 20 years, when I had to start avoided lactose. To make the casserole I just steamed yellow squash and a sliced onion until soft, with salt and pepper. Then I layered the steamed veggies in a pyrex dish with the parsnip puree and a few handfuls of shredded vegan cheese. (I used the Daiya chedder blend.) I crunched up some wheat crackers on top and baked it at 350 until bubbly. This may have been the BEST thing I ate in 2013….and I WILL be making it again this weekend!

Thank you for your beautiful website.

Brianna

I made the green bean casserole and the pumpkin pie tarts and both turned out phenomenal! thank you so much for these awesome healthy recipes!

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