8+ Fantastic and Healthy Thanksgiving Sides to Try

8+ Fantastic and Healthy Thanksgiving Sides to Try

8+ fantastic and healthy Thanksgiving sides to try + tips

Thanksgiving is upon us and is the official start to the holiday party season here in North America.  Most of us gain an extra 1-3 pounds each holiday season.  Here are some healthy vegetable side dishes and tips for Thanksgiving that won’t make you holiday weight.

What is the most popular side dish at Thanksgiving?

The most popular side dish at Thanksgiving depends on where you live.  A recent poll was published by Zippia showing the most popular side dishes by state.  Not all of these favorites are healthy Thanksgiving sides.

map of favorite thanksgiving sides by state
Map of favorite Thanksgiving sides by state from Zippia Study. Source: Zippia

What do you serve with Thanksgiving dinner?

You probably consider the star of Thanksgiving to be turkey.  But do not worry, if you are not a meat eater or a turkey lover, there are many things you can serve with Thanksgiving dinner that are not turkey, nor contain meat or animal products.

Examples of the most favorite Thanksgiving sides include (again note, not all of these are healthy Thanksgiving sides):

  1. Potatoes – Either White or Sweet potatoes.  Roasted, mashed or in a casserole
  2. Green Vegetables: Collard greens, Brussel sprouts, green beans and green peas.  They can be both alone or in a casserole.  For example, green bean casserole is extremely popular.
  3. Macaroni and cheese  
  4. Bread – Cornbread, Rolls and biscuits are common
  5. Cranberry sauce
  6. Other vegetables such as corn or squash
  7. Gravy – some may consider this a condiment, while other a side.  Regardless, according to the Zippia survey gravy is the most popular side in 2 states!
  8. Deviled Eggs – not holiday is complete without deviled eggs in my humble opinion

Delicious, Healthy Vegetable Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

Here are some healthy Thanksgiving sides that are delicious and are sure to impress.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

These easy Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes are naturally vegan and dairy-free thanks to a light and magical cauliflower purée! 

Sautéed Green Beans and Mushrooms

Try this classic Sautéed Green Beans and Mushroom dish is a delicious and crunchy combination.  Green beans and mushrooms are sautéed in olive oil and spiced with red peppers. It makes an excellent side dish for a simple meal at home or a holiday gathering!  If you do not have coconut aminos, try substituting something like soy sauce in its place.

Roasted Green Beans and Potatoes

Plain green beans or potatoes can be a bit boring for the holidays.  These Roasted Green Beans and Potatoes will make a great addition to your holiday meal. They are the perfect side to add to any meal since they are simple and delicious.

Happy Thanksgiving Pumpkin
Take care of yourself by celebrating Thanksgiving with healthy choices

Tomato Mushroom Spaghetti Squash

Tomato, Mushroom and Spaghetti Squash is the perfect vegan side dish to serve at your Thanksgiving or holiday.  Spaghetti squash is not typical for the holidays, so it is sure to impress.  To make this even healthier reduce the olive oil by at least half. 

Silky Vegan Mac and Cheese     

You will love this Silky and Cheesy Vegan Mac and Cheese because it is a delicious vegan take on an ultimate comfort food classic.  This dish is packed with veggies and easy to make.  You may find this recipe becoming your family favorite.

Cauliflower Rice Thanksgiving Stuffing

You cannot have Thanksgiving without stuffing.  This Cauliflower Rice Thanksgiving Vegan Stuffing is so delicious you will not miss traditional stuffing.  Prepared with just a few ingredients, while bursting with flavor!

Lentil Mushroom Loaf   

Are you worried about what you will eat if you cannot have turkey?  This firm, savory, satisfying Lentil Mushroom Loaf is the perfect main dish to enjoy instead of meat.  Make it for Thanksgiving, Christmas, a dinner party or any occasion. The recipe is a winner because it combines classic sweet and smoky flavors.

Plant-Based Mushroom Gravy  

I already mentioned that I do not necessarily think that gravy is a side dish. I know some of you disagree, so I left it on the list.  This Plant-based Mushroom Gravy will satisfy your need for gravy without meat.  If you don’t have coconut aminos, try substituting something like soy sauce in its place.

Classic Crispy Brussel Sprouts

Classic Crispy Brussels Sprouts is not your typical brussels sprouts recipes.  This dish is beautiful, nutritious as well as easy and quick to prepare.  Pomegranate seeds at a burst of flavor and color, while basil really adds a creative, delicious

include healthy thanksgiving sides like these fruits pictured on the table
Include healthy Thanksgiving sides like these fruits pictured on the table

Final Thoughts

Thanksgiving for me is all about the sides.  You can make these delicious, healthy Thanksgiving sides and you will not be missing meat. 

Thanksgiving for me is all about the sides.  You can make these delicious, healthy vegetable side dishes for Thanksgiving and you will not be missing meat. 

Plant based options are an excellent addition to your celebrations as the holiday season is a big time for weight gain. 


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