Amazing Clean Eating Dishes for Your Thanksgiving Meal

If you're looking for a healthier spin on the holidays, you'll want to check out these amazing clean eating dishes for yout Thanksgiving meal!

I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. I wait all year for the weather, the colors, the decorations, and all of the yummy dishes. What I have truly found interesting is that everyone’s Thanksgiving meal is a little bit different. Most of the dishes remain the same and then every family has a bit of a twist that they put on their own meal.


Unfortunately, over the years, especially now having children, I have come to dread visiting family for the holidays because I know everything is being fried in vegetable oil, processed soups, refined sugar and flour, and all kinds of other horrible things are being used to prepare the dishes. I have tried to convince them to let me make some of the dishes myself and show them how delicious, and healthy Thanksgiving can be, but no one has ever let me.

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We just end up making our own meal at home to have for leftovers later. But THIS year (Yea!) I’ve finally been in the family for 10 years, and they have asked me to cook!! I can’t wait to make some of the dishes for Thanksgiving this year and share some of the amazing recipes I’ve had all of these years with my husband’s family.

As it turns out, others in my life are also trying to cook healthier, tastier meals for their families as well. I sure hope that this collection of clean-eating traditional recipes really hits the spot with everyone this year.

Let’s look at some of the healthier, simpler twists I use for my own meal below.

If you're looking for a healthier spin on the holidays, you'll want to check out these amazing clean eating dishes for yout Thanksgiving meal!
Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash

Clean Eating Honey Thanksgiving Turkey

Yes, I make a honey turkey! We are real fans of sweet dishes in our house, so this honey turkey melds just perfectly with all of our other dishes. But instead of using store-bought honey that’s mostly water or corn syrup, I buy ours locally from an apiary that raises their own bees. Look for a honey store in your area, and you may just find a gold mine that you’ll love and appreciate like I do.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Thanksgiving turkey (about 1.5lbs per person)
  • Raw honey
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Pink Himalayan salt

Instructions:

  1. You’ll likely buy your turkey from the grocery store with a meat thermometer already included, and directions on how to cook it. But just in case…
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a large roasting pan (big enough for your turkey) with coconut oil.
  3. Remove the packaging on your turkey, and the neck and bag of giblets from the inside.
  4. Place your turkey breast down (yes that’s right) in your roasting pan. This will keep the moisture and flavor in the turkey breasts.
  5. Season it generously with your salt, garlic powder and onion powder, and then generously drizzle honey over the entire thing.
  6. Slide it into the oven and bake it about 20 minutes per pound of turkey. (See chart below.)
  7. Every hour to half hour, baste it with turkey drippings and drizzle more honey if necessary.
  8. About 20 minutes until it’s done, flip your turkey back over, breast side up, so it can brown and be beautiful for your guests.

If you're looking for a healthier spin on the holidays, you'll want to check out these amazing clean eating dishes for yout Thanksgiving meal!

If you're looking for a healthier spin on the holidays, you'll want to check out these amazing clean eating dishes for yout Thanksgiving meal!

Cornbread Dressing

Yum! And you thought the turkey was supposed to be the Thanksgiving table feature, didn’t you. Well, one bite of this dressing and you’ll know that this cornbread dressing really is the main dish. Soft, fluffy cornbread, crunchy onions and celery, all mixed with a flavorful chicken broth and baked to a crunch in the oven. My mouth is watering.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups organic cornmeal
  • 2 cups coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pink Himalayan salt
  • 7 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole organic milk
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 cups chicken broth, homemade preferred
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 bunch celery stalks

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Prepare two pie dishes by greasing them with some coconut oil.
  2. You’re essentially going to simply be making cornbread twice. Two bowls, two pie dishes, but baking them both at the same time. Only then will you combine them. Two is just too much to cook together at the same time.
  3. So in two large bowls, mixing half of each ingredient in each bowl, add all of your dry ingredients.
  4. Now start mixing all of your wet ingredients in: eggs, milk and melted coconut oil.
  5. Mix each thoroughly and them pour them into your prepared pie dishes, one mixture per pie dish.
  6. Bake for 40-45 inutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted into the middle of each comes out clean and the top of each is golden brown.
  7. While these are cooking, chop your onions and celery, and prepare a large 9×13 inch casserole by greasing it with coconut oil.
  8. When your cornbread is done, and cooled, crumble it into your large dish. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F.
  9. Pour your celery and onion evenly over the top and mix it in with your hands.
  10. Finally, pour your chicken broth over the top of all of it and mix it in thoroughly with your hands, distributing the liquid throughout your dressing.
  11. If you wish, season it with salt and pepper. Bake for about 30 minutes more, until golden brown on top.
If you're looking for a healthier spin on the holidays, you'll want to check out these amazing clean eating dishes for yout Thanksgiving meal!
Smile Sandwich

Green Bean Casserole

I’ve always loved green bean casserole. It’s simple, packed full of yummy green beans, and doesn’t take a heck of a lot of effort to make. Is it the star of the show? Well, no. But it’s definitely a welcome part of our Thanksgiving meal. give it a try with this healthier version this year, and you’ll understand.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds green beans, chopped into smaller pieces
  • 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup organic whole milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons half and half
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Onion Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon real butter
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced into circles
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 9×9 casserole dish with some coconut oil.
  2. Bring your water to a boil in a large pot. Boil the green beans until almost done, about 5-6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a separate pan, saute your onions in 1 tablespoon butter until they’re nice and brown. Remove and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add your mushrooms and saute until soft. Add in enough flour to coat the mushrooms. Next, pour in the milk, whisking as you pour. Add water, half and half, Parmesan, salt and pepper, and whisk until combined. Add the green beans into the mushroom sauce and stir to combine.
  5. In a bowl, mix your onions with the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and water and stir to combine.
  6. Pour the green bean mixture into your prepared casserole dish. Top it with the onions and bake uncovered for about 25 minutes.
If you're looking for a healthier spin on the holidays, you'll want to check out these amazing clean eating dishes for yout Thanksgiving meal!
The Gracious Pantry

Sweet Potato Casserole

Oh man! This has to be my all-time favorite Thanksgiving dish. So many people muck it up with tons of brown sugar and marshmallows, when the really trick is letting the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes themselves be the star of the show. Don’t hide them behind tons of fake sweetness this year. let them shine with some yummy pecan accents instead!

Ingredients:

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 inch rectangular casserole with some coconut oil. You have many options for cooking your sweet potatoes. Personally I would wash and peel them. Chop them into pieces and boil them for 20-30 minutes, until soft.
  2. You could also bake them in the oven at 400 degrees F for about an hour or cook them in the microwave with 2 presses of the baked potato button, and then peel the skin off before dumping it into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix the filling ingredients and pour them into your prepared casserole. Mix your topping and sprinkle it over the top. Bake for 30 minutes.

If you're looking for a healthier spin on the holidays, you'll want to check out these amazing clean eating dishes for yout Thanksgiving meal!

Mashed Potatoes

Of course, you could just make regular old mashed potatoes for your family. They’re not that exciting unless you have a good gravy. But try these mashed potatoes with cauliflower, and your family will be over the moon. (The trick with regular mashed potatoes is to add a huge dollop of sour cream while mixing.)

Ingredients:

  • 6 small potatoes
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, grass-fed preferred

Instructions:

  1. I used my Instant Pot for this recipe because it’s so quick and easy, and that’s what I need around here. You could always boil the potatoes and cauliflower instead, drain it, and mix in all of the other ingredients.
  2. I started by washing and chopping my potatoes and adding them to my Instant Pot. Then I chopped and added in my cauliflower.
  3. Next I dumped in the milk, garlic and salt and locked the lid closed.
  4. I set the Instant Pot for 10 minutes, let it naturally release for 10 minutes when done and then released the rest of the pressure myself manually.
  5. I waited and added in the butter at the end and used my hand mixer to blend them all together smooth.
If you're looking for a healthier spin on the holidays, you'll want to check out these amazing clean eating dishes for yout Thanksgiving meal!
Paleo Scaleo

Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are one of those treats that I make best without numbers. I mix in a little mayo, a little mustard, and a little pickle relish (of course tasting it the entire time), until I get it just right. But it’s a little trickier when you’re trying to do it without using store-bought ingredients. You’re going to love this homemade mayo recipe, and I just make my own easy pickle relish!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Start by boiling your eggs. Put a medium pot 3/4 full of water on the stove to boil. Slide your eggs in one at a time with a large spoon, or set with gently into the bottom of the pot with your fingers.
  2. When they start to boil, set your timer to 20 minutes and lower the heat to just above medium.
  3. When they are finished, pour out the hot water and start filling your pot with cold water to cool the eggs off. Then fill your pot with ice and about half a pot of col water. Let sit to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  4. This is the tricky part. Peel each egg under water carefully, not to damage the outside of the eggs.
  5. Cut them each in half, laying the white on a nice serving tray and dumping the yolks into a small mixing bowl.
  6. Add a nice heaping tablespoon of mayo and mix in. Add more until it’s smooth and creamy.
  7. Then add in a squirt or two of mustard. This will give your eggs a nice flavor and make them bright yellow.
  8. Finally, chop a few tablespoons of bread and butter pickles to make your relish. Mix in and taste.
  9. Too thick, add mayo. A little bland, add a little mustard. Not sweet enough, add more relish.
  10. Scoop your mixture into each of your halved egg whites. Don’t worry about heaping the filling in high. There will be tons more than you started with.
  11. Refrigerate until needed.

If you're looking for a healthier spin on the holidays, you'll want to check out these amazing clean eating dishes for yout Thanksgiving meal!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

When I learned a couple of years ago that you could make your own homemade cranberry sauce, I just had to try it. I was used to the same old cranberry canned-shaped jelly that everyone serves every year and needed something healthier. You’re going to love just how easy it really is to make on your own, and I bet you never go back to the old stuff.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

Instructions:

  1. Begin by washing your fresh cranberries and removing the stems, straining out all extra water in a strainer in the sink.
  2. In a large sauce pot, bring your 1 cup of water to boiling over medium heat. Add in your 1 cup of honey and stir until fully dissolved.
  3. Add in your strained, cleaned fresh cranberries, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.
  4. Your cranberries will start bursting and your sauce will begin to turn red and thicken. Once your cranberry sauce has been cooking for about 10 minutes, take off of the heat to cool.
  5. Your cranberry sauce will thicken even more while cooling. You may serve it as is or add any extras you would like. Many people add orange zest, lemon or lime zest, or even chopped pecans.
  6. For those of you who do not like chunky cranberry sauce, you can even make it transparent and chunk free. To do this, place a large bowl in your sink with a small-holed strainer over the top. (You cannot use a typical pasta strainer for this to work.)
  7. Pour your finished cranberry sauce into your strainer. Push the juice through with a wooden spoon, smashing out everything that will fit through the strainer sans seeds, skins, etc.

If you're looking for a healthier spin on the holidays, you'll want to check out these amazing clean eating dishes for yout Thanksgiving meal!

Turkey Gravy

I know homemade gravy has a bad rap for being really hard to make and get to taste just right. Truly the trick is using the drippings from the turkey, straight out of the pan. That’s where all of the yummy flavor is.  If you don’t have turkey drippings though, try your hand at some homemade chicken broth instead.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons real butter, (grass-fed)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • Up to 4 cups turkey drippings
  • At least 2-4 cups broth, just in case
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded turkey meat, (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Before you do anything else, I’m assuming you have cooked your turkey and taken it out of the oven, you will want to take a turkey baster and a large measuring cup, and squeeze out as much of the turkey drippings as possible.
  2. You want as close to four cups as possible. Don’t worry about picking up fat, skin, caramelized pieces, meat, etc. They will only make your gravy that much better.
  3. On the side, you will want to have enough broth to supplement your turkey drippings. For instance, if you were only able to pull out two cups, you’ll want about two more cups of broth.
  4. TIP: If you do not have any turkey drippings, you can always use chicken, beef or vegetable broth. I always keep plenty on hand to use all year round.
  5. Set your stove to low heat and melt your butter in a large saucepan.
  6. Once your butter has melted down, add your flour. With a whisk, mix it quickly to get rid of all bumps and lumps. You will not want to move further in the process until all of the lumps are out of your gravy base.
  7. Once you’ve got a smooth base, in a minute or two, start adding in your turkey drippings a little at a time and whisking it in after each portion you put in. If you needed to use it, now’s the time to add in your broth and whisk it in well.
  8. With all of your basic ingredients in, turn up the heat to medium until your gravy reaches boiling, stirring all the while.
  9. Immediately lower the temperature to low and simmer for about 5 to 10 more minutes, until it has thickened up for you.
  10. Taste it. Obviously you will want to make sure you’re putting out a good product, and this allows you to see if anything needs to be added.
  11. TIP: You most likely will not want to add salt, because the turkey drippings should have added enough for you. But you may decide to add more turkey drippings, or broth.
  12. Right before you are ready to serve your gravy, tear off about a 1/2 cup of turkey and shred it well.
  13. Add your shredded turkey into your gravy, if you desire, and mix it well.

If you're looking for a healthier spin on the holidays, you'll want to check out these amazing clean eating dishes for yout Thanksgiving meal!

Pumpkin Pie

We eat a lot of pumpkin pie in our house. This has to be THE favorite desserts in our family. In fact, we’ve already made four pies and finished them off. I’m positive you’re going to love this classic recipe with better ingredients!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree, homemade preferred
  • 1/2 cup raw honey, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, homemade preferred
  • 1 1/2 cups organic full-fat milk

Pie Crust:

  • 2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or butter)
  • 1/2 cup milk

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and grease two pie pans with a little bit of coconut oil.
  2. Go ahead and make your pie crusts. Start by mixing your flour and salt and then cutting in your coconut oil, by pressing it through the flour mixture with a fork until crumbly.
  3. Add in your milk slowly until a dough forms. (If the dough doesn’t come together, it may need a tad bit more milk.)
  4. Separate your dough into three pieces. Roll each one out individually into a bigger shape than your pie pan.
  5. Lay each over its pie pan by folding each in half before trying to transfer it. Press them into your pie pans cutting any excess hanging over the edge. Set in the refrigerator until needed.
  6. Now for your pies. Add in one ingredient at a time, starting with your pumpkin puree.
  7. Then add in your honey, melted first so it mixes easily, and your 4 eggs.
  8. Finally, pour in your milk and pumpkin pie spice.
  9. Mix everything together well and then pour into your prepared pie crusts.
  10. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, and then lower your oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for another 45 minutes.

Trust me! With this traditional Thanksgiving line up, you’ll have this meal nailed, and you can know that you are feeding your family truly healthy food. Depending on your family, you may not want to share all of your tips and tricks. haha Some people just like being left in the dark when it comes to their food.

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This is enough of a meal to keep anyone super busy cooking on Thanksgiving morning, but if you’d like some additional dishes that may inspire you to repeat them year after year, some dishes that may not be so traditional, you’ll want to check out my next recipe article on some fantastic non-traditional Thanksgiving dishes that I’ve had the pleasure of trying over the years.

I truly love this holiday! Enjoy!

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If you're looking for a healthier spin on the holidays, you'll want to check out these amazing clean eating dishes for yout Thanksgiving meal!

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