Special Diet Thanksgiving Recipes

Healthy, delicious Thanksgiving recipes for those who follow a diabetic, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan or low-calorie diet. Healthier recipes from the food and nutritious experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

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.

Broccoli, Cheese & Rice Casserole

Rating: 5 stars 4
Ditch the baking dish and make this easy skillet broccoli, cheese and rice casserole. Cooking the casserole in a skillet keeps the flavors and textures fresh--no mushy, sad broccoli! Serve this easy side with baked chicken for a family-pleasing healthy dinner that's ready in just 30 minutes. It would also be a great addition to your Thanksgiving spread or a party buffet.

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.

Sweet and Salty Roasted Nuts

Spicy seasonings add a bit of zing to roasted nuts for an appetizer that's perfect for any occasion.

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.

Broccoli Casserole

Rating: 4.46 stars 14
The lightened-up luscious sauce elevates this easy casserole recipe over standard broccoli and cheese side dishes.

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.

Melting Sweet Potatoes with Maple Butter

Rating: 5 stars 2
As the name implies, these sweet potatoes melt right in your mouth. After browning in a hot oven, thick slices of sweet potato simmer in broth and soak up the flavors of maple syrup and lemon. This simple dish is great alongside roasted chicken or pork and makes a great Thanksgiving side dish.

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.

Creamy Turnip Soup

Rating: 4.25 stars 2
In this recipe, the humble turnip is transformed into a rich turnip soup made creamy with just 1 tablespoon of butter. Serve it as a starter or side soup. The mini salad on top is optional, but we love the bit of texture from the greens and pop of flavor from the vinaigrette.

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.

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.
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Inspiration and Ideas

12 Diabetes-Friendly Thanksgiving Casseroles That the Whole Family Will Love
From stuffing and dressing to classic sweet potato and green bean casseroles, these delicious dishes are sure to add even more flavor to your Thanksgiving meal.
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.
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.