Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Health Professional, Medical Reviewer

Looking for something different to take to your Thanksgiving dinner this year? Try one of these healthier alternatives to traditional favorites.

Pumpkin Pie Dip

Love pumpkin pie?  This low-fat dip can be served as an appetizer or dessert. Pair it with sliced apples, pears, or your favorite fruit. The pumpkin is full of vitamin A and the agave nectar provides natural sweetness, making it a tasty treat that is low in calories and fat and packed with nutrition.


  • 6 ounces reduced fat cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pureed pumpkin (no sugar added)
  • 2 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt


With an electric mixer, blend cream cheese and Greek yogurt until smooth.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Cranberry Oatmeal Quinoa Bake


This dessert is not only gluten-free, but it has no added sugar and it is vegan-friendly.  If you have any leftovers, this dish makes a great high-protein, high-fiber breakfast!


  • 3 large red apples, sliced and cored
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons uncooked quinoa
  • ½ cup water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x9 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Spread half of the cranberries on the bottom of the pan, then top with the apple slices. Sprinkle cinnamon over apples. Top with the sunflower seeds and remaining cranberries.  Sprinkle the uncooked quinoa over top. Pour water into one corner of the pan (do not pour over top of the apples). Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Apple Pumpkin Salad


Pumpkin seeds used in this salad add heart-healthy fat and fiber. The dried cranberries give you a serving of cancer-fighting antioxidants. The agave nectar used produces a less-sweet flavor and is a good alternative to regular sugar.


  • 5 ounces baby spinach1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, roasted and shelled
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste


Assemble salad ingredients. Prepare vinaigrette in separate bowl and toss with salad greens right before serving.

See more helpful articles

Weighing In: How Can I Avoid Blowing My Diet on Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving Holiday Recipes: Wild Rice and Cranberry Salad

10 Ways to Avoid Weight Gain During Thanksgiving