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

Broccoli Casserole

Rating: 4.46 stars
13
The lightened-up luscious sauce elevates this easy casserole recipe over standard broccoli and cheese side dishes.

Fall Chopped Salad with Spinach, Butternut Squash, Apples & Cheddar

Rating: 5 stars
2
Who says spinach salads are only for spring? Use autumn's tender crop of fresh spinach and other seasonal vegetables to make this fall salad with roasted butternut squash, apples, cheddar and pecans. This colorful and healthy salad would be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving menu, but there's no reason to save it for holidays--serve it along with chicken or pork for a healthy weeknight dinner, or turn it into a main course by adding some chickpeas or chopped chicken or turkey.

Roasted Brussels Sprout & Butternut Squash Salad

Rating: 5 stars
1
Serve this hearty and healthy fall salad with roasted pork tenderloin, chicken or salmon, or with your Thanksgiving meal. All of the vegetables are roasted on the same pan, so this recipe is easy to prep, and it tastes great warm or at room temperature so it's perfect for holiday buffet tables and potlucks. Cranberries add a sweet-tart edge, while the maple-tahini dressing provides depth.

Melting Sweet Potatoes with Maple Butter

Rating: 5 stars
1
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 Honeynut Squash

Rating: 5 stars
2
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.

Slow-Cooker Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Rating: 4.5 stars
4
Skip the roasting in this butternut squash soup recipe and let your slow cooker do the work instead. Just load up all the ingredients into the crock pot, set it and forget it for an easy, healthy dinner or packable lunches.

Diabetic Carrot Cake

Rating: 3.67 stars
3
With this luscious take on an all-time favorite, you can fit this low-sugar cake into a diabetic meal plan with style.

Kahlua Cocoa

Rating: 4 stars
1
While regular hot cocoa is lovely and warming, sometimes something a bit more spirited is in order. Some other tasty additions to hot chocolate: bourbon, creme de menthe, Galliano, creme de cassis, Chambord.

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.

Healthy Banana Bread

Rating: 4.8 stars
5
Got leftover bananas? Give everyone's favorite baked good recipe a healthy whole-wheat spin with this easy banana bread recipe.

Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

Rating: 5 stars
1
This stunning winter salad gets its sweet, earthy flavor from roasted beets and balsamic vinegar. Creamy goat cheese and peppery arugula add color and balance, while toasted walnuts add crunch. A mandoline is the best way to get thin, even slices from the roasted beets.

Slow-Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

Rating: 5 stars
1
This creamy, crowd-pleasing dip comes together with ease in your crock pot. Leave it in the slow cooker all party long to keep it warm for serving with perfect, melty cheese in every bite. Whole-wheat bread and raw veggie dippers allow you to dig in without the guilt.
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Inspiration and Ideas

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.
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.

Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Loaf Bread

Chocolate and pumpkin flavors pair perfectly together in this diabetic-friendly loaf bread recipe.