Thanksgiving is a time for gathering with friends and family to enjoy a bountiful feast. However, for picky eaters or those with dietary restrictions, it can be challenging to find healthy side dishes that everyone will enjoy. Fear not, as we have compiled a list of healthy Thanksgiving side dishes that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
1. Roasted Vegetables
Roasted vegetables are a delicious and healthy side dish that can be customized to suit any taste preference. Simply toss your favorite vegetables (such as Brussels sprouts, carrots, and sweet potatoes) with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in the oven until tender and caramelized. For an added kick of flavor, you can also add garlic, herbs, or a splash of balsamic vinegar.
2. Quinoa Stuffing
For a healthier take on traditional stuffing, try making quinoa stuffing instead. Simply cook quinoa according to package instructions and toss with sautéed onions, garlic, and celery, along with herbs like sage and thyme. You can also add chopped apples, cranberries, or nuts for added texture and flavor.
3. Cauliflower Mash
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes, try making cauliflower mash instead. Simply steam or boil cauliflower until tender, then blend in a food processor with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. For added flavor, you can also add garlic, herbs, or grated Parmesan cheese.
4. Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole is a classic Thanksgiving side dish, but it can often be loaded with unhealthy ingredients like canned soup and fried onions. For a healthier version, try making your own cream sauce using Greek yogurt or cashew cream, and top with sautéed onions or crispy roasted chickpeas instead.
5. Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce is a staple on many Thanksgiving tables, but it can also be high in sugar. To make a healthier version, try simmering fresh cranberries with orange juice, honey, and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. You can also add chopped apples or pears for added sweetness and texture.
6. Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet potato casserole is a classic Thanksgiving dish, but it can also be loaded with sugar and butter. For a healthier version, try using mashed sweet potatoes mixed with a bit of maple syrup or honey, along with some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Top with a sprinkle of chopped nuts or granola for added crunch.
7. Brussels Sprouts Salad
Brussels sprouts are a healthy and flavorful vegetable that can be enjoyed raw in a salad. Simply shred or thinly slice Brussels sprouts, then toss with a vinaigrette made from olive oil, vinegar, and Dijon mustard. You can also add chopped nuts, dried cranberries, or crumbled cheese for added flavor and texture.
8. Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash soup is a cozy and comforting dish that is perfect for a chilly Thanksgiving evening. Simply roast or sauté butternut squash with onions and garlic, then blend with vegetable broth and a bit of cream or coconut milk. Season with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and garnish with fresh herbs or croutons.
9. Roasted Root Vegetables
Roasted root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and turnips are a healthy and satisfying side dish that pairs well with roasted meats or turkey. Simply toss with olive oil and spices like thyme and rosemary, then roast in the oven until tender and caramelized. You can also add a drizzle of honey or balsamic vinegar for added sweetness.
10. Grilled Asparagus
Grilled asparagus is a simple and flavorful side dish that is easy to prepare. Simply toss asparagus spears with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then grill until tender and slightly charred. You can also sprinkle it with lemon juice or Parmesan cheese for added flavor.
There you have it – ten healthy Thanksgiving side dishes that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. By incorporating fresh, wholesome ingredients and simple preparation methods, you can create delicious and nutritious dishes that everyone will love. So, this year, why not try something new and give these healthy side dishes a try? Your taste buds (and your waistline) will thank you!