Diabetes-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes

Having diabetes doesn't mean you have to skip out on all the tasty treats of Thanksgiving. From Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes to Miniature Apple Galettes, these classic Thanksgiving recipes make for a decadent diabetes-friendly holiday. Recipes with our Diabetes-Appropriate tag are low in calories and are consistent with recommendations for average carbohydrate intake (about 3-4 carbohydrate servings per meal). They also meet our heart-healthy criteria for saturated fat and sodium. See our Diabetes Nutrition Parameters.

Editors' Picks

Crustless Pistachio-Topped Sweet Potato Pie

This no-crust sweet potato pie is a great addition to your holiday dessert table. Sweetened with honey and flavored with warm spices, it's topped with crunchy cereal and pistachios. Any leftover topping can be stored for up to a week and is delicious added on top of your breakfast yogurt.

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

Make this classic comfort food side dish in an electric pressure cooker, like the Instant Pot, to get the potatoes soft and tender in a jiff! This easy, 5-ingredient recipe is perfect for the holidays because it's all done in one pot and doesn't take up any extra oven or stove space.

Miniature Apple Galettes

There's no need to peel the apples for this easy apple galette recipe--the skins lend a touch of color and texture.

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast with Garlic

Bone-in, skin-on turkey breasts, also called split breasts, are inexpensive, flavorful, and nice for (just enough) leftovers. Try this any time of year!

Persian-Style Butternut Squash Soup

Rating: 5 stars 2
Swap out your basic butternut squash soup for this fragrant version that includes sweet potato and a medley of spices like cinnamon, cumin, coriander and saffron. A drizzle of maple syrup and a few drops of orange water brighten the flavors, while a sprinkle of sumac adds a pop of color and a tangy edge. This healthy butternut squash soup would be a wonderful starter for your Thanksgiving meal.

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.

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.

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

A slimmed-down white sauce makes this creamy green bean casserole side dish recipe low fat.

Our Best Traditional Pumpkin Pie

Get the classic creamy pumpkin taste but less saturated fat and sugar with this lightened-up recipe.

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.

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.

Diabetic Carrot Cake

Rating: 3.67 stars 5
With this luscious take on an all-time favorite, you can fit this low-sugar cake into a diabetic meal plan with style.
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Inspiration and Ideas

17 Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Desserts for Diabetes
Ease some of the Thanksgiving cooking stress with these make-ahead dessert recipes. You can make components of these desserts a few days in advance (or even the entire dessert!). Desserts like Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Cookies and Hasselback Pear Cake are low in calories, saturated fat and sodium, which is perfect if you're looking for a dessert that's diabetes-friendly.
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.
Steamed Butternut Squash
Rating: 5 stars
1

Butternut squash steams quickly, making this a great cooking technique to enjoy this fall vegetable as a weeknight side dish. For extra flavor, toss the steamed butternut squash with salt, pepper and a little bit of olive oil, butter or Parmesan cheese after cooking.