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5 Thanksgiving Classics, Made Lighter

From the main course to dessert, enjoy these delicious, low-cal recipes.

Medically reviewed in May 2022

Updated on May 24, 2022

A healthy thanksgiving feast full of nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
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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 pie!), served up with healthier twists.

A healthy, well-baked turkey on a bed of vegetables.
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Roast a perfect bird

You can’t go wrong with roasted turkey at Thanksgiving—or any other day of the year, for that matter. If you’re cooking for a small party, looking to make your kitchen time more efficient, or just want to go for the leanest cut, consider buying a turkey breast rather than a whole bird. Low in fat and high in protein, white turkey meat is a good source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and B vitamins.

A pan of rosemary and healthy roasted potatoes.
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Flavor-boosted potatoes

Give your potatoes a reboot with a dish that combines colorful baby potatoes with fresh herbs, aromatic spices, and spinach for an extra kick of fiber and vitamins. You won’t miss your butter-drenched mashed potatoes

A pan of spicy seasoned squash.
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Spicy seasoned squash

Winter squash—such as acorn and butternut varieties—are loaded with disease-fighting beta carotene and potassium, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Baked squash is easy to prepare and pairs nicely with savory paprika and heart-healthy olive oil.

A cast iron filled with healthy roasted Brussel sprouts.
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Simple Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts can be tough to get just right. Undercook them and they’re a chore to chew; overcook them and they can be mushy and unappetizing. By sautéing in olive oil and onion, then simmering in vegetable broth and citrus, you can make a batch of Brussels sprouts that are zesty, flavorful, and perfectly crisp-tender.

A healthy apple pie with a real apple on the side.
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No-crust apple crumble

Apples are the quintessential fall fruit, and nothing brings out their flavor quite like warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Finish your Thanksgiving feast with fewer calories but all the sweetness and flavor by ditching the crust with a simple apple crumble. Round out the zesty-sweet dish with tart lemon, plus sweet vanilla and maple syrup.

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