15 (Mostly) Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes That Don’t Suck


We’ve rounded up 15 of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Most of them are healthy, opting for vegan, sugar-free, or wheat-free alternatives to traditional ingredients. Regardless of whom you invite over for this year’s Thanksgiving feast, everyone will leave raving about these dishes.

15 EcoSalon-Approved Thanksgiving Recipes

1. Vegan Apple Pie

Forget the butter, white flour, white sugar, and milk. This vegan apple pie recipe is entirely vegan and uses healthier alternatives to traditional apple pie ingredients, including whole-wheat pastry flour, coconut oil, nut milk, and turbinado sugar.

2. Heirloom Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread with Pecan Streusel

When it comes to Thanksgiving, regular bread and butter just won’t cut it. This heirloom pumpkin cream cheese bread with pecan streusel recipe speaks for itself.

3. Duck in Port

Getting bored of turkey, year after year? Why not spice things up with none other than duck? Duck is fattier than turkey and rarely dries out, so you are practically promised to have a melt-in-your-mouth centerpiece. This duck in Port recipe is lightly seasoned and stuffed with prunes, dried figs, Port, and thyme.

4. Whole-Grain Vegan Stuffing Recipe with Fresh Herbs and Olive Oil

If it’s not the side dishes that are weighing you down, it most certainly is the stuffing. Lighten the butter load with this delicious vegan stuffing recipe.

5. Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie Recipe with Chickpeas and Currants

Load up on the good stuff with this sweet potato shepherd’s pie recipe. Lentils, chickpeas, and veggies join forces to create a textured and an earthy shepherd’s pie. Topped with a sweet potato mash that is infused with coconut milk, cumin, and garlic, the pie’s flavors will explode in your mouth and fill you up without weighing you down.

6. Light Green Bean Casserole

Regular green bean casserole includes the likes of condensed cream of mushroom soup and French-fried onions. Nix the hard-to-digest, processed, and packaged ingredients in favor of all-natural, made-from-scratch ones. This green bean casserole recipe makes for a delicious vegetarian side dish at the Thanksgiving table, using nutritional yeast and just a tad of butter for extra richness. You can transform this recipe into a vegan one by replacing the butter component with a vegan version, such as Earth Balance’s vegan butter.

7. Escarole Salad with Oranges and Spiced Pecans

Don’t just serve any ol’ tossed salad at the Thanksgiving table. Instead, incorporate seasonal ingredients into the mix. This escarole salad with oranges and spiced pecans is a testament to autumn.

8. Vegan Pumpkin Pie

You can achieve the decadent and creamy texture of pumpkin pie without all the animal-based ingredients. This vegan pumpkin pie recipe retains the buttery flavors of regular pastry crust (only without the butter) and the warm spicy aromas and dense texture of classic pumpkin pie filling, all without compromising your dietary goals.

9. Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes

Who said Thanksgiving was just about the evening meal? These vegan pumpkin pancakes bring some of the festivities to your morning meal. They are completely vegan, sweetened with coconut palm sugar, and textured with almond milk and coconut oil.

10. Sweet Corn Recipe with Miso Butter and Scallions

Butter and corn is a match made in heaven. This recipe takes sweet corn to a whole new level with the addition of miso and scallions.

11. Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake

Thanksgiving dessert can, in fact, be healthy. With this raw pumpkin cheesecake recipe, you can make sure you and your kids are following up on the Thanksgiving feast with the right kind of stuff: dates, coconut oil, coconut meat, carrots, pumpkin, dried fruit, and nuts.

12. Vegan Scalloped Sweet Potato Gratin

A cashew sauce is the perfect creamy complement to this sweet potato gratin recipe, forcing you to wonder why dairy was ever necessary. Fresh sage, garlic, and thyme bring added depth to this mellow, warm dish.

13. Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Za’atar Spiced Almonds

Brussels sprouts are low in calories but high in bulk, making you feel fuller, faster, so you don’t overindulge in other Thanksgiving treats. This caramelized Brussels sprouts with lemon and Za’atar spiced almonds recipe brings Middle Eastern notes to an otherwise simple side dish.

14. Butternut Squash Coconut Curry

Pair traditional with exotic in this butternut squash coconut curry recipe. The flavors are intense, invigorating, and inviting. There’s no better way to start a Thanksgiving meal than with a soup like this!

15. Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

If you’re itching for the dinner bells to ring, it’s a good idea to have something light to nosh on while you wait so you don’t spoil your appetite too soon. These pumpkin oatmeal cookies are a tease, but a comforting and satisfying tease at that.

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Thanksgiving table image from Shutterstock