When it comes to healthy Thanksgiving recipes, we sometimes have a little bit of trouble deciding what we should cut corners on…and what foods are the most caloric. So, here are a few tips that will help you formulate your own healthy Thanksgiving recipes. Keep in mind that these tips will depend on what you like the most as opposed to what you might make normally. Here are those tips, starting with the turkey.

Less is More

If you don’t have to buy the whole turkey—don’t. You can buy turkey breasts for a much better price and they’re healthier. The reason? Well, you have to consider where most of the dark meat comes from and the lean, light meat. It may not be quite as tender and juicy…but, with a little bit of work, it very well could be! The main thing is to remember that if you start right with your turkey, you can very well keep it going and make everything healthier. There are loads of other healthy Thanksgiving recipes… Another note regarding your turkey, however—avoid using the oil or butter to baste your turkey. Instead, stick to either basting it in its own juices or find a better alternative.

Gravy and Condiments

If possible, try to chill on the condiments. Not only is gravy filled with a lot of fat…but ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise all affect your sodium and your cholesterol as well.  Needless to say, you should definitely check into healthy Thanksgiving recipes for these condiments. Try to avoid the mayonnaise unless you’re able to find a vegan alternative…and check into alternatives for your healthy Thanksgiving recipes for gravy as well. It’s definitely worth it in the long run and you won’t feel guilty later on.

Cut Out The Butter

Butter is a big problem when it comes to healthy Thanksgiving recipes. Let’s face it—that’s one of the biggest calorie additions, especially when you’re making a larger batch of food. Your best bet is to kind of avoid making way too much and to also try to substitute the fatty parts of the food with something that’s healthier for you. There are many healthy Thanksgiving recipes that you can choose from that also teach you how to substitute things such as butter. You can also make rotmash (a Scandavian dish), which adds a rutabaga to the mix. It might sound a bit gross at first, but it’s really delicious once you get used to it and add a little bit of skim milk to it!


When it comes to healthy Thanksgiving recipes for dessert…well, you’re going to have to do a bit of soul searching to find a dessert that tastes exactly like whole-fat, full-sugar desserts. But, you can still find delicious healthy Thanksgiving recipes or desserts…or, at least better for you than other desserts. You will need to check into a few different artificial sweeteners first and foremost. Then check into substitutes for other things in the recipes and go from there. It may take a bit of tweaking, but in the long run, it’ll be worth it, especially when you’re trying to cut down on calories. Watch out for fillings on richer pies and watch out on the crusts for pies that aren’t quite as rich or have fresh fruit (assuming it’s not covered in syrup and sugar).


If you’ve ever sat down at Thanksgiving dinner, then you know just how much you can end up drinking. Don’t hesitate to pull out water if you’re worried about your caloric intake. Not only will this help you to equalize your sugar intake, but it will also help you to keep from going overboard. Try to stick to drinks that are low in calories and if you decide that you’re going to pull out the eggnog early…well, think again. There are plenty of healthy Thanksgiving recipes for food—but very few healthy Thanksgiving recipes for food.

What to Avoid

If you’re at a friends house and you don’t know if they’re a fan of healthy Thanksgiving recipes, it can be hard to determine just how healthy their food is. So, here are a few things that you can avoid to help cut down on your intake—without offending them, whether they used healthy Thanksgiving recipes or not!


Stuffing can be a calorie stuffer all right…There are a few different healthy Thanksgiving recipes for stuffing…but there’s also only so much that you can do. If it’s baked by itself instead of in the turkey, that helps a little bit. However, you have to keep in mind that the ingredients are still fairly fattening and artery-clogging. Opt for either a super small serving or none at all. Or, if you’re allowed to bring your own, bring one that you found with healthy Thanksgiving recipes.

Dark Meat

This is a tempting one alright…but you have to keep in mind that dark meat is often the enemy. When it comes to healthy Thanksgiving recipes, you can either buy a turkey breast to help cut down…or, if you absolutely cannot help it (such as when you’re at a friend’s house), don’t hesitate to just take light meat if you can help it.  Or, again, try to bring your own healthy Thanksgiving recipes if you would like. Keep in mind that oftentimes, you can also let your friends know that you’re watching what you’re eating in case they give you any odd looks.


These are just a few ways that you can avoid the calories and work them out of your food. You might need to check online for better substitutions or you might even want to buy a book—it’s up to you. However, do take the extra time to take care of  your healthy Thanksgiving recipes before you start cooking—make sure that you know what you want to cook and how you want it to taste. This helps to give you a little bit of time to tweak it as well. Not to mention that you also get to enjoy the healthy Thanksgiving recipes!