Thanksgiving Low-Calorie Recipes

Find healthy, delicious low-calorie Thanksgiving recipes. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Onions

Rating: 4.93 stars 11
Fresh herbs, onion and bacon sauté alongside Brussels sprouts in this easy vegetable side dish recipe. This savory dish is delicious in the fall and winter months, when Brussels sprouts are in season. If you can find them still attached to the stalk, don't be intimidated--buy them, as they're likely more fresh. Recipe adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Rating: 4.86 stars 15
In this easy vegetable side dish recipe, sweet potatoes are tossed with maple syrup, butter and lemon juice and are roasted until tender and golden brown. The delicious glaze that forms on these maple-roasted sweet potatoes transform this ultra-simple dish into something sublime.

Lemon-&-Fennel-Rubbed Turkey with Homemade Giblet Gravy

Rating: 5 stars 1
Fennel has sweet flavor notes that pair vibrantly with tart lemon in this juicy Thanksgiving turkey recipe. A rub of herbs mixed with olive oil and lemon juice infuses the meat with flavor without all of the space needed to soak the turkey in a liquid brine. Making the giblet gravy in a large saucepan rather than in the unwieldy turkey roasting pan is way easier to manage on the stovetop--plus it frees up a burner.

Meringue-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole

Rating: 4.83 stars 9
This lightened-up take on the classic Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole is spiked with crushed pineapple and toasted pecans. We top it with an airy, slightly sweet meringue. You can pipe the meringue to make it look fancy or simply spread it neatly with a rubber spatula.

Chile-Lime Peanuts

Rating: 3 stars 4
These spicy nuts were inspired by ones sold by street vendors across Mexico. If you can only find salted peanuts, omit the added salt. Add the maximum amount of cayenne pepper if you want an extra hit of spice.

Leftover Turkey Stew

Rating: 5 stars 1
This hearty and healthy turkey stew recipe is just about the best use of Thanksgiving leftovers we can think of. And we don't just mean the turkey. The stew is packed with leftover roasted vegetables--use whatever vegetables you have on hand, such as Brussels sprouts, parsnips, sweet potatoes and green beans. And leftover gravy is used to add depth of flavor and body. Possibly the best part of this stew recipe? It comes together really quickly--because don't we all need a 20-minute dinner after the craziness of Thanksgiving? Add some leftover bread or rolls and dinner is done. This recipe is equally delicious with leftover cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken, and we've included instructions for making a quick gravy in case you don't have leftovers, so you can serve this Thanksgiving-in-a-pot year-round.

Chicken & Stuffing Casserole

Rating: 5 stars 3
Stuffing is not just for Thanksgiving with this easy chicken and stuffing casserole. And speaking of Thanksgiving, if you have leftover turkey, feel free to substitute it for the chicken in this comforting and healthy recipe. It's also a great use for extra carrots, celery, onions and day-old bread you might have on hand around the holidays. There's no boxed stuffing mix or canned soup in this lighter take on the comfort-food casserole, but it's still super-easy to make. Poultry seasoning helps humble bread to taste like stuffing, while thickened chicken broth takes the place of canned soup. There are plenty of veggies in this one, too, making this a healthy casserole you can feel good about serving year-round.

Roasted Honeynut Squash

Rating: 5 stars 6
Honeynut squash looks just like mini butternut squash, but on the inside you'll find an even sweeter, deeper orange flesh. This winter squash has only been available at farmers' markets and in select grocery stores for a few years. If you see it, grab a few to try! This simple roasting method enhances the natural flavor of the squash with butter and spices.

Dill Mustard Sauce

Rating: 5 stars 1
This tangy mustard-dill sauce recipe is delicious served with smoked salmon, used as a vegetable dip or spread on a sandwich.

Balsamic Berry Vinaigrette Winter Salad

Rating: 4.75 stars 6
This festive salad features colorful greens, fruit and cheese tossed with a light and zesty dressing.

Roasted Pears with Brie & Pistachios

Rating: 4.33 stars 2
Roasted pears with Brie and pistachios is delicious as a first course or a side with roast pork or lamb. Leave the stems on for the prettiest presentation.

Balsamic Roasted Carrots

Rating: 5 stars 1
Roasting carrots brings out their sweetness, which is enhanced further with a tangy balsamic and maple glaze. Serve them straight-up for an easy weeknight side dish or garnish with chopped hazelnuts for holiday meals and dinner parties.
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Inspiration and Ideas

How to Cut Calories at Thanksgiving
Our version of the big meal has less than half the calories and a quarter of the fat of a traditional Thanksgiving meal!
Healthy Green Bean Casserole
Our healthier version saves about 160 calories and 12 grams of saturated fat compared to a traditional recipe.
Braised Brisket & Roots
Rating: 4.5 stars
3

This braised brisket gets a decidedly wintery feel from the earthy-sweet flavors of carrots, parsnips and rutabaga.