Healthy Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving Menu and Shopping List- Grain free, Paleo and healthy recipes

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 Thanksgiving 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 vegetable stuffingBread Free Stuffing– Made with roasted turnips and sweet potatoes and flavored with apples, celery, and onions. A great way to add some extra veggies to the meal and to try some delicious root vegetables. 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…

Mashed Cauliflower 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 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.


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!


Butternut Squash Soup RecipeButternut 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 Asparagus RecipeParmesan 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)


pumpkin cheesecakePumpkin 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 made with coconut flour, lots of eggs (protein!), and spices. Optional cream cheese frosting.



pecan piePecan 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. wow! thank you for putting all this together! i am going to make a few healthier options and bring it over to my folks house for thanksgiving!

  2. 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.

    • Just don’t forget to remove the neck and liver, etc. from the inside first! I did this the very first time I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my new husband and my parents…imagine my surprise at the table when I pulled this out!!!!!
      Talk about RED faced!

  3. 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:)

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

    • That’s wonderful! Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and let me know! 🙂

      • 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.

        • Hmmm…. Coconut Oil, coconut flour, almond flour, homemade lotion, soap, etc, some basic herbs and spices and maybe a little printed recipe book?

  6. Thanks again for doing my homework! 😉 You’re the best!! Can’t wait for the book!!

  7. 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 😉

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. This looks awesome! I’m going to use lots of these recipes! Thanks!

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

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

  14. You look a lot like Britney Spears to me. I love the Idea’s you gave me here. Family Thanksgiving has become my responsibility since mother and my wife have passed and my father turned 90 this year so he can’t help as much as he had before. Coming from a family of 12 kids that has blossomed into well over 100, I usually expect 70 to 80 for dinner. I have split the preparation of dishes and deserts between my relatives and I roast the Turkeys, Hams. and Rib-roasts, and Dressing. I’m looking forward to trying your turkey roasting tips and use some of the other tips you recommend for the dressing. I will let you know how we end-up satisfied later on after Thanksgiving.

  15. I am really looking forward to trying your recipes! While I don’t have my own Thanksgiving to cook for quite yet, I think I’ll make these within the next year! They look so delicious, thank you for healthier alternatives!

  16. My daughter and I just started a gluten free, sugar free diet so these recipes are so welcome! I’m having Thanksgiving at my house so I can make these healthy versions and see if my mom notices! 🙂

  17. Having Celiac disease has made me not enjoy the holidays or big family meals. Perhaps with a few of these recipes, I can contribute and have something to eat.

  18. Katie,
    My daughter is gluten and dairy averse. She just started college and is pregnant:( . She is very down. What can I do to encourage her to eat healthy for baby? She is wondering how gluten free and dairy free may affect breast feeding. She does not want to use formula. She is craving cake, gluten free ideas for strawberry flavored cake and cream cheese frosting?
    Thank you for the thanksgiving meal ideas I will make the “stuffing for her ” and potatoesbof cauliflower? What Essentials may she use first trimester? Also baby safe EO? Lavender augustifolia 1% dilution?

    • I personally avoid all EOs in first trimester unless there is a really specific reason to use one and I’ve checked with a doctor. That is so tough in early pregnancy too…. is she near a whole foods, they have a lot of pre-made gluten and dairy free treats that she may be ok with. They aren’t the best but better than regular gluten-filled ones.

  19. These recipes for Thanksgiving sound wonderful……Do you have a favorite one for healthy Turkey gravy for those faux potatoes and a grain-free one to replace croissants or rolls? I do prefer using coconut flour when there is a recipe choice between that or nut flours. Thank you for the great shopping list. It is extremely helpful since I plan to incorporate all my wanted items from your menu plan.

  20. I love the stuffing idea! Thanks for sharing.

  21. All this sounds fabulous. I did have question about the green beans. I was under the impression they were not ‘paleo’. Am I mistaken?

    • It depends on who you ask, but most people consider them fine. (FYI, my recipes are not specifically paleo, but a lot can be classified as so.)

  22. Yumm!! I cant wait to try a few of these recipes especially the pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes and butternut squash soup.
    Thanks for this post!

  23. I like several of your suggestions, and thank you for putting this list together, I have learned a lot from your posts. With much respect, I differ on the philosophy of not using grains, for they are a staff of life. Our bodies need them. Going without grains is a dangerous fad, just like not eating eggs was. We must be discerning of what is popular. I have seen many people heal from adding whole wheat to their diet. The most profound was a young man who was told from extended exray treatments, he could never father another child. In great distress, he prayed and prayed. The answer he received was “eat wheat”. 2 years later, he went to the hospital where he’d had the exrays and brought his new baby daughter to show the people there and tell them his story. Grains have needed fiber and nutrition, and wheat is called the KING of grains for a reason.

  24. I found your “Thanksgiving Meal Plan” in an email I received from a trusted source. I also know that my daughter is a regular follower of your site and has highly recommended you. So, I checked out this Plan! WOW! NOW! I am again looking forward to Thanksgiving. We are only 3 of us this year and it was going to be easier to just eliminate favorites as I was limited in what to vary for our present dietary needs. THANK YOU for such a great help, variety and print friendly guide for this Favorite Holiday! THANKSgiving is ALL about Giving Thanks! But, the food sure is a big part of enjoying the day with family and friends!

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