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Healthy Holiday: 8 Thanksgiving Classics, Made Lighter

From the main course to dessert—delicious, low-cal recipes that won’t blow your diet.

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By Olivia DeLong 

Looking for new recipes to add to old family favorites, or just a few ways to cut down on holiday calories? Relax. We’ve done the work for you. Here’s a classic Thanksgiving menu (that even includes two kinds of pie!), served up with healthier twists.

Roast a Perfect Bird

2 / 9 Roast a Perfect Bird

You can’t go wrong with roasted turkey at Thanksgiving, or any other day of the year, for that matter. Low in fat and high in protein, white turkey meat is a good source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins.

Related: Healthy roasting tips
Related: Holiday stuffing ideas

 

Yummy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

3 / 9 Yummy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Give your mashed potatoes a makeover with a few simple, healthy swaps. Prepping potatoes with olive oil instead of butter or plain yogurt instead of sour cream, will give your spuds some extra favor, but save on the fat content.

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Stuffed Acorn Squash With Apples and Cranberries

4 / 9 Stuffed Acorn Squash With Apples and Cranberries

Packed with cranberries and chopped apples, this festive dish is loaded with nutrition: Squash contains disease-fighting beta carotene, while the cranberries and apples add powerful antioxidants. Want to amp up the protein content? Add your favorite meat alternative for some plant-based protein and extra flavor.

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Brussels Sprouts With Bacon and Sunflower Seeds

5 / 9 Brussels Sprouts With Bacon and Sunflower Seeds

Even the pickiest eaters will be begging for more of this flavorful, nutrient-rich side dish. Crunchy, salty bacon complements the brussels sprouts beautifully, while the sunflower seeds add extra texture and lots of heart-healthy vitamin E.

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Cajun Deviled Eggs

6 / 9 Cajun Deviled Eggs

Looking for an easy-to-make, carb-free appetizer? These spicy deviled eggs fit the bill. This simple recipe uses mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and cayenne to make a creamy filling with a bit of a bite. For an even healthier version, swap the mayonnaise for protein-packed, plain Greek yogurt or heart-healthy mashed avocado.

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Green Beans Amandine

7 / 9 Green Beans Amandine

Green beans are full of vitamin C, a natural antioxidant, and almonds are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and disease-fighting vitamin E. This dish is light and refreshing, so it’ll pair well with denser Thanksgiving dishes, like stuffing or mashed potatoes.

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Perfect Pumpkin Pie

8 / 9 Perfect Pumpkin Pie

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. And fortunately, this pie isn’t just tasty—it’s good for you, too. Loaded with vitamin A, pumpkin is an excellent source of potassium, beta-carotene and immunity-boosting zinc. Whole wheat flour, oat bran and silken tofu up the nutrition in this recipe even more.

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Apple Pie With Oatmeal Cookie Crust

9 / 9 Apple Pie With Oatmeal Cookie Crust

A tasty twist on a classic apple pie, this recipe pairs juicy, in-season apples with the indulgent, cinnamon flavor of oatmeal cookies. Plus, topping your pie crust with fiber-filled oatmeal gives this pie an even healthier boost.

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more from this guide

Healthy Holiday: 8 Holiday Side Dishes That Won’t Derail Your Diet
Healthy Holiday Dessert Recipes
Healthy Holiday: 7 Tips for Healthy Holiday Eats
Healthy Holiday: Eat This, Not That