Thanksgiving Menu

Hosting a healthy and delicious Thanksgiving meal for your family or friends 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.

For convenience, you can download my printable shopping list for all of these recipes here.

The Thanksgiving 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.

savory grain free stuffing paleo primalBread 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.


healthy paleo primal green bean casseroleGreen 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 crock pot recipe easy 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…

healthy substitute for potatoesMashed “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.


healthy cranberry sauce recipeCranberry 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.


wellness mama paleo primal braised brussel sprouts with cranberriesBacon 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!


creamy butternut-squash soupButternut 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.


roasted asparagus paleo primalParmesan 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.


Dessert Options:

healthy pumpkin pie paleo primalPumpkin 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)


healthy pumpkin cheesecake recipePumpkin 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.


coconut flour grain free carrot cake paleo primalCarrot Cake- A healthy version make with coconut flour, lots of eggs (protein!), and spices. Optional cream cheese frosting.


Pecan Pie- This is one of my favorite grain free dessert recipes. With no refined sugar and lots of eggs for protein, it is a relatively healthy dessert for special occasions.


What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? Will you use my shopping list or recipes? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Allison says

    Wow sounds fabulous!   What time should we be there :-)    I love all your great ideas.   I’m cooking a turkey for the first time ever this Thanksgiving and need all the help I can get!   I’m also making some yummy roasted root veggies for those of us who don’t want the mashed potatoes and stuffing.

  2. monalisa says

    Thx so very much on all your hard work putting this out there for all of us:) I am using some of your recipes for my family dinner:)

  3. Jody C says

    Great recipes and alternatives to the traditionals. Since hubby and I are eating better now, we will forgo the green bean casserole for fresh, sauteed green beans with a wee bit of bacon, slivered almonds, and onions, totally skipping the cream sauce. I love sweet potatoes just like you describe (hold the marshmallows). I’m going to try your cranberries since in the past I’ve always made the cup for cup recipe on the back — WAY too much sugar. Oh! sharing one more cranberry idea for you. Chocolate dipped FRESH cranberries. Wash, dry, then dip individual cranberries in dark chocolate. THE BEST THING EVER!

  4. Conni Stock says

    Wow! What a hit the thanksgiving meal was this year! All credit to the #WellnessMama for the wonderful healthy dishes in this post! I printed the shopping list and recipes and went headed straight to the stores to prepare for my first HEALTHY thanksgiving feast. I feel so good that we exercised, ate and enjoyed the time spent with my family and friends more than ever… my children have been very supportive of my paleo lifestye but have not really eaten the foods… NOW… they are believers. Leftovers were divided up fairly! Brussel sprouts and asparagus were the favorite new sides! We enjoyed our meal so much that we did not feel the need for the dessert. Looking forward to watching this meal and what it represented grow into a healthier life for my family. Thanks again.

      • Conni Stock says

        It was very rewarding to witness the benefits from your sharing.
        My daughter has a new home and I am trying to put together healthy living survival kit to get her off on the right foot. Suggestions? … Would love to read your spin on what to include.

  5. Dana says

    Katie, I am so thankful for you. Not only have I gained so much from your posts regarding healthy eating, but I’m so pleased that I learned of the Catholic parenting book on your blog. I still, for the life of me, can’t figure out how you get so much done each day. I think I need to spend a few days with you ;-)

  6. Alice says

    Wow, thanks so much for this–looks delicious! We’re a shaving company called Dorco and we think every girl should be able to afford high quality razors. That’s why we provide quality razor systems, disposables, and cartridges for 30-70% less than leading brands. Check out our prices for yourself by Googling us! Thanks again for this great post!

  7. Christina Misuraca says

    I just found wellness mamma and iI am thankfull because now maybe I can get an understanding of why after all the dieting and aerobics Ive been doing arnt making even the slightest difference.

  8. Jessica French says

    Thanks for sharing! I made the sweet potato dish and it was a huge HIT!! I was a little skeptical initially, but it had great flavoring and everyone raved about it! Thanks again!

  9. Leslie says

    Katie – what are your thoughts on using cream cheese that forms after making whey from yogurt for the pumpkin cheesecake? Thanks!!

  10. Rebecca Knight says

    Any suggestions for stuffing for someone needing gluten free. This is what I miss the most about not eating gluten.

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