Thinking of throwing your hands up on Thanksgiving? If your plan is to eat whatever you want because a carb overload is inevitable, allow us to give you a few alternatives…14 to be exact. With the help of these low carb Thanksgiving recipes, you can enjoy it just as much as you always have. Stay on track with your healthy diet, continue to lose weight AND enjoy the holiday in all its deliciousness. Don’t let one meal set you back on your weight loss journey.
Enjoy these 14 low carb recipes for a healthier Thanksgiving:
The beauty of a salad is its versatility. Make it an appetizer. Serve it as a side. Make it ahead and bring it to your family’s Thanksgiving gathering—no reheating required. Or, make it your entrée by adding some roasted Thanksgiving turkey. In our seasonal salad, the sweet, autumn pears pair perfectly with creamy goat cheese, while the simple dressing requires only three ingredients.
Have a favorite spinach dip recipe? It’s probably delicious—but also loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Our recipe serves eight and calls for ricotta and grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese. No mayo, no mozzarella, no cream cheese, no problem! You’ll taste more garlic, more spinach and more artichoke. Your holiday guests will be begging for more!
According to Science Daily, Penn State researchers found that soup can help cut back on how many calories we eat at a meal. In fact, participants reduced their total calorie intake at lunch by 20 percent when they ate soup before their entrée. There’s no better time to serve this soup than at Thanksgiving when it’s so easy to overeat.
Don’t let “summer” fool you. This dish calls for yellow squash and green zucchini, which you can find virtually all year round. However, you can also use butternut, acorn or even spaghetti squash with the same delicious result. You’ll just need to simmer the squash longer in the broth since winter squash is much harder. Add additional broth, as needed.
Unlike your grandma’s recipe with fried onions, heavy cream, butter and cheese, this green bean casserole focuses on the best part; the healthy, tasty beans. Our version is still creamy, thanks to a whole milk-based sauce. We also add a crunch factor by making our own oven-baked onion rings. It’s a low carb version of the classic side, with all of the same delicious flavor.
Feel like you need a carb with dinner? You may have one if it fits into your daily net carbs. This almond rice is a hearty side. Because it’s made with whole grain brown rice, it’s a much healthier alternative to stuffing, candied yams or mashed potatoes. You’ll love the crunch of the toasted almonds!
Instead of stuffing and mashed potatoes with gravy (carbs with more carbs), try serving your poultry over a healthy bed of greens. Whether you enjoy classic turkey or switch things up with chicken, you can’t go wrong pairing it with low carb veggies. Drizzle on our simple, flavorful dressing made from onion, sherry vinegar and olive oil.
What if *gasp* you don’t like turkey? Or maybe you’re just plumb tired of it? Try making a seafood dinner for your low carb Thanksgiving! Succulent salmon is definitely something to be thankful for. Brussels sprouts and butternut squash soup serve as healthy, tasty fall compliments. You’ll have plenty of soup leftover for easy meals throughout the upcoming week.
Not hosting a crowd this year? Here’s your whole Thanksgiving meal in one simple recipe. Instead of wrestling with a turkey (and then figuring out what to do with all the leftovers), this dish starts with chicken breast. Sweet potatoes and Swiss chard round out the meal and fill you up with fiber. Total time in the kitchen? About 90 minutes including the prep.
If you decided to cook a big bird after all, here’s a great use-up-the-leftovers recipe. We took a traditional salad and freshened things up with salty pistachios and juicy grapes. Keeping the turkey in larger cubes also adds an interesting twist.
Here’s another not-your-average-chicken-salad recipe. It could also be a great way to use up that leftover turkey. This salad calls for fresh raspberries and a balsamic vinegar-based dressing. If you’re not a big raspberry fan, easily sub in blueberries or strawberries.
If you’re hosting family and friends for the entire holiday weekend, these low carb muffins are the perfect breakfast or an anytime snack for your guests. Plus, eating a healthy breakfast on Thanksgiving morning (and every day) may help prevent overeating. You’ll need Bosc pears—the same variety used in the Green Leaf, Pear and Goat Cheese Salad.
After you’ve enjoyed a healthy, low carb Thanksgiving dinner, the dessert table is calling your name. Enjoy a dessert that won’t set you off track. Whole grain pastry flour gives this dessert its spongy, cake-like texture. Olive oil and lemon add a decadent brightness that tastes anything but diet-friendly. Serve as suggested with fresh fruit and lemon zest.
Thanksgiving should be a little fancy. A holiday mocktail, like our Iced Pom-Mojito Spritzer, is a whole lot fancier than water. If your guests enjoy a stronger drink, have some white rum available. You, too, can indulge, as alcohol is permitted on the South Beach Diet in moderation. You and your guests will be feeling fancy, free of guilt!