27 Low-Carb, Diabetes-Friendly Thanksgiving Sides
Get ready for the holiday with these low-carb Thanksgiving side dish recipes. In addition to having no more than 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving, these side dishes are also appropriate for a diabetes-friendly diet. Each side dish is low in calories, saturated fat and sodium, so eating healthy on the holiday is easily doable. Recipes like Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese & Pomegranate are healthy and delicious.
In this garlic-Parmesan-crusted asparagus recipe, we combine Parmesan cheese, whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs and walnuts for a crispy topping that's baked over asparagus. Roasting the asparagus spears in a hot oven keeps them tender-crisp in this quick side dish!
Steamed Green Beans with Rosemary-Garlic Vinaigrette & Fried Shallots
Here's a new way to delight your green-bean-loving guests. The genius of this easy green bean recipe is in the dressing, which is made with savory oil that has also been used to fry shallots and garlic.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese & Pomegranate
This gorgeous warm salad with nutty roasted Brussels sprouts, sweet-tart pomegranate seeds and creamy goat cheese is perfect for any winter meal--from a weeknight dinner to Christmas dinner or any other holiday celebration. The recipe is easily doubled if you are entertaining a crowd: just be sure to spread the sprouts out (use 2 pans if necessary) so they roast instead of steaming.
Clementine, Date & Port Cranberry Relish
Cranberry sauce has a role beyond tradition at the T-day meal. The tart berry adds excitement to mild turkey, but it also provides balance by cutting through the richness in other dishes. For this easy relish recipe--which comes together in minutes--the earthy sweetness of dates and cinnamon, plus a touch of citrus, complement the zing of the berries to create a familiar holiday flavor profile.
Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Don't tell your kids, but we snuck a whole head of cauliflower into these garlic mashed potatoes. The cauliflower, garlic and potatoes are all cooked at the same time and mashed with butter and cream cheese. Your kids will love this side dish and the best part is you won't have to remind them to eat their vegetables!
Broccoli Rabe with Orange & Sesame
You can go without using oil if you are cooking broccoli rabe in the dry heat of a skillet. It adds a nice sear to the oranges as well. Seasoned with toasty sesame, this healthy vegetable side dish is an easy flavor upgrade.
Cheese-Topped Acorn Squash
Sage and nutmeg are the perfect seasoning pair for these acorn squash slices. Sprinkled with Parmesan just before serving, this vegetable side dish goes well with any main dish you're serving.
Easy Roasted Root Vegetables
There's nothing easier--or tastier!--than a pan of roasted root vegetables. Clean them, trim them, and season them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and let them roast to perfection in the oven while you focus on the rest of your meal.
Fig & Walnut Wild Rice Dressing
This gluten-free dressing (or stuffing, if you prefer) leans on a blend of brown and wild rice for a complex nutty flavor. Look for dried Mission figs in the bulk aisle or with the packaged dried fruit in your grocery store. You can swap in dried cherries or cranberries if you can't find dried figs.
Roasted Mushroom Medley
Mushroom lovers, beware! This savory mushroom side dish is hard to resist. Mixing mushroom varieties here is key--try cremini, stemmed shiitake, button, and porcini mushrooms.
Sautéed Green Beans with Tomatoes, Mushrooms & Garlic
This versatile and easy side dish is a tasty way to showcase green beans. We boil the beans briefly before sautéing for perfectly crisp-tender vegetables that don't get mushy.
Creamy Smashed Turnips
Rich in vitamin C, these mashed turnips are flavored with reduced-fat cream cheese and chives. A perfect side dish for any meal.
Crispy Asparagus with Creamy Tarragon Sauce
These crispy asparagus sticks are a fantastic side dish, but are also a great hand-held appetizer. They're served with a creamy lemon-tarragon dipping sauce. Consider passing them around at your next party!
Loaded Bread Stuffing
This bread stuffing has more than your basic celery and onion--you'll love the unexpected addition of mushrooms, red pepper, carrots and water chestnuts! And while it's the perfect addition to your holiday menu, it's also a great choice for serving with chicken or fish any night of the week.
Wilted Kale with Warm Shallot Dressing
Vinegar is the key to making this sautéed kale recipe special. Look for vinegar that's cloudy--it likely still has some of the mother in the bottle and will give you a sweet acidity rather than a harsh bite. Organic apple cider vinegar is usually your best bet. For the most eye-catching version of this side, use different colored varieties of kale.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Chef Michael Symon loves Brussels sprouts because they can be cooked so many different ways. In this healthy recipe, the rich flavor of the walnuts, Dijon and capers is perfection with roasted meats.
This fresh-tasting, 10-minute salad is a simple mixture of fresh baby spinach and dried cranberries. To save time, we use bottled Italian dressing, but with a few extra minutes you can easily switch up the flavor by making your own dressing--just try our All-Purpose Vinaigrette (see associated recipe).
Balsamic-Glazed Carrots & Parsnips
Instead of the typical glazed carrot side dish, try this version, with added parsnips and a tangy--but sweet--balsamic vinegar glaze.
Homemade stuffing tastes so much better than any mix you can buy at the grocery store, and this recipe is quick and easy. It takes just 25 minutes to prepare and goes well with grilled or roasted beef, pork, chicken, and fish.
Green Bean Casserole Salad
Trying to lighten up your green bean casserole? Try this quick and easy salad version, which combines fried shallots, croutons, mushrooms, green beans, and chopped chard leaves for a lighter take on a holiday classic.
Sweet & Spicy Steam-Fried Collard Greens
In a departure from typical Southern-style all-day stewed greens, these collards are sautéed first with a small amount of fat and then steamed, meaning tender-crisp healthy greens on the table in under a half hour.
Sweet Potato & Turnip Mash with Sage Butter
This sweet potato and turnip mash is fragrant with fresh sage.
Parmesan-Crusted Brussels Sprouts
Look for small Brussels sprouts for this quick and easy vegetarian recipe, which provide bite-size nibbles for your guests. If you can only find large sprouts, cut them in half for more manageable bites.
Simply French Green Beans
Thin green beans cook quickly, so rinsing them with cold water (or putting them into an ice water bath) is important if you want to keep them crisp. The beans in this side dish recipe take only 20 minutes to prepare, but taste their best after a couple hours in the fridge where they soak up the flavor of the shallot-thyme mixture.
Spiced Maple Cranberry Sauce
Most homemade cranberry sauces are made with sugar, but this one-- flavored with unsweetened applesauce and spices-- gets its sweetness from the maple syrup that's added in after cooking.
Garlicky Wilted Greens
Both kale and Swiss chard can be strong tasting but we've balanced out the flavor in this side dish by cooking them with garlic and tossing them in a vinegar, Dijon mustard and basil mixture.
Roasted Butternut Squash
Simple roasted butternut squash--just tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper--makes a classic fall side dish. This recipe is delicious with roasted meats, or toss the roasted squash into pasta or salad.