Hosting a healthy and delicious Thanksgiving meal for your friends or family can be pretty simple and stress free, though it does require some work. To make things easier, I prepare a menu plan and print my recipes and a shopping list ahead of time so that I can make most of the dishes in the days before. Then, on Thanksgiving, I just have to cook the turkey, roast some veggies and re-heat the dishes I’ve made.
This year, I’m sharing my menu plan, recipes, and shopping list in hopes that it will be useful to you. I’d love to hear your thoughts, traditions you’ve made, or your game plan below in the comments!
The Menu Plan:
Turkey (of course)- I prepare by quartering an onion and a lemon and placing inside the cavity before tying. Then, I rub butter on the outside and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, and basil. I brown at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes to seal in the juices. Then, I roast according to the instructions for the size bird.
Bread Free Stuffing- Made with roasted turnips and sweet potatoes and flavored with apples, celery, and onions. This is a much healthier alternative to the processed bagged versions. The hints of sage and thyme give it the taste of the stuffing you are used to without the artificial ingredients.
Green Bean Casserole- Green beans topped with a homemade (real) cream sauce and topped with pan fried onions in a coconut flour batter. This recipe has all the flavor (and more) of the traditional version without the mystery-soup-in-a-can.
Sweet Potato Casserole - At our house, we much prefer sweet potatoes baked and topped with real butter and sea salt, but if you like the marshmallow topped version, this is a good alternative. It is topped with a homemade egg and honey based “marshmallow” that is very similar in taste and texture… its just missing that high fructose corn syrup aftertaste…
Mashed “Fauxtatoes”- Instead of all the starch of white potatoes (because, really, you are getting plenty of starch on Thanksgiving!), try this cauliflower version that uses pureed cauliflower and all the seasonings of regular mashed potatoes for a delicious (and healthy) substitute.
Cranberry Sauce – A slightly sweet recipe that leaves out the “equal parts sugar” in traditional recipes. Hints of orange and pineapple sweeten it naturally. Great as a garnish on leftover turkey sandwiches.
Bacon and Sea Salt Roasted Brussels Sprouts – Who says kids (or adults) have to dislike Brussels Sprouts. When roasted and topped with bacon and sea salt, Brussels Sprouts can become a side to fight over!
Butternut Squash Soup - If you want to serve a soup course, I recommend this one. We love this slightly sweet soup that tastes like Fall in a bowl.
Parmesan and Sea Salt Asparagus – A delicious side that is equally delicious when the leftovers are used in omelets the next morning. Even the kids like asparagus this way, and we usually serve it with Hollandaise sauce.
Pumpkin Pie- The typical Thanksgiving dessert but this version gets a makeover without the added sugar and a almond and pecan based crust. (Also equally good for breakfast the next day)
Pumpkin Cheesecake - If you aren’t much of a pumpkin fan or need to feed a bigger group, this recipe has a subtle pumpkin taste rolled into a cheesecake.
Carrot Cake- A healthy version make with coconut flour, lots of eggs (protein!), and spices. Optional cream cheese frosting.
Pecan Pie- This one isn’t my recipe but comes highly recommended. Lea at Paleospirit.com posted this and since I haven’t had time to experiment with this one yet, I thought I’d post it for anyone looking for a healthy pecan pie recipe.
The shopping list is referenced with how much of each item you need and the names of the dishes it is used in. It is designed for a group of 8-10 with minimal leftovers, so increase up or down based on your group size and if you want leftovers. Don’t forget to add anything you need for the rest of the day and any drinks (I suggest Spiced Pumpkin Lattes or Crock Pot Chai Tea)
What does your family do on Thanksgiving? What are your favorite traditions? Will you use my shopping list or any of my recipes? If you find it helpful, please share!