This Thanksgiving, consider healthy recipe ideas for Thanksgiving sides. Presented here are healthy alternate recipes to replace those fattening Thanksgiving favorites!

1.) Mashed Cauliflower

Anyone watching carb content knows to avoid potatoes and starches. Staying away from mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner is difficult. One solution is to boil and mash cauliflower instead of potatoes. After adding butter, milk, cream, and salt and pepper, the family's taste buds will never miss those potatoes. Save the carb count for the rest of the meal.

2.) Pumpkin Hummus

To lower the amount of fattening cream in traditional mashed potatoes, try mixing in a favorite hummus recipe such as pumpkin hummus. A rich, flavorful combination like pumpkin, red pepper, or wasabi hummus will add spice to mashed potatoes without all the extra calories in fattening creams.

3.) Homemade Cranberry Sauce

To avoid eating processed, high sodium cranberry sauce from a can, consider making a homemade version with fresh cranberries, lemon juice, and cranberry juice. Add maple syrup or orange juice for a sweet kick that still beats the processed sugar found in the can. Use leftover cranberry sauce as jam on toast, or mix it in a post-Thanksgiving morning oatmeal.

4.) Butternut Squash

Consider butternut squash as a low-fat side dish. Butternut squash is high in vitamin A, antioxidants and dietary fiber. Roasting is simple and can be done with just a drizzle of olive oil or balsamic vinegar. Or jazz that squash up with cinnamon and a pinch of brown sugar.

5.) Fresh Green Beans

The canned creamy soup and fried onions in traditional green bean casserole makes a fattening side dish high in sodium. Substituting fresh green beans is a simple, easy way to lower calories and salt content in a meal. Green beans contain high levels of vitamins K, A, and C. They are also high in manganese and fiber.


Drizzle green beans with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake in the oven for fifteen minutes. Top with parmesan cheese before serving, or toss green beans in with other high-antioxidant ingredients like cranberries and almonds. Soak the cranberries in hot water for ten minutes. Stir-fry the green beans for three minutes or until bright green. Add the cranberries and stir until the water evaporates. Add the almonds and cook for one minute. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

7.) Sweet Potatoe Casserole (Healthy Version)

Sweet potatoes topped with butter, marshmallows, and brown sugar are another Thanksgiving recipe high in fats and sugars. In this alternative recipe, sweet potatoes are topped with apples, pecans and cranberries for a twist on the holiday classic. Cinnamon, applesauce, and two tablespoons of maple syrup top it all off for a natural sweet flavor. Mix butter, maple syrup, applesauce and cinnamon to form the sauce that will bond the sweet potatoes together. Feel free to substitute other favorite nuts and mix and match flavors in this recipe.

Replace apples with pears and pecans with walnuts. Consider using raisins or chopped figs in place of cranberries. Use honey or agave nectar to replace the sugar in maple syrup. Whatever ingredients used, place the stuffing between slices cut in the sweet potato. Extra stuffing gets poured on top. Drizzle the remaining liquid over the sweet potatoes as well. Cover with foil and back for forty minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional ten minutes.

There are many healthy options available this Thanksgiving. Enjoy twists on classics and make new favorites from all the heart-healthy recipes.