Your Healthy Thanksgiving: 20 Veggie-Filled Sides
While that big bird seems to be the main event of a Thanksgiving spread, I'm always drawn to piling my plate high with a variety of delicious sides. Many of these dishes are lightened-up versions of comforting favorites, while others take a big twist on tradition, but their common denominator is big, bold flavor that all your guests are sure to enjoy.
— Additional reporting by Aemilia Madden and Jenny Sugar
Cumin-Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Made without any butter or butter substitutes, this savory sweet potato mash will please your vegan-loving friends as well as those trying to watch their waistline — it's only 157 calories per serving.
Low-Fat Scalloped Potatoes
For creamy, oh-so-cheesy scalloped potatoes, make this lower-in-fat version that tastes just as good.
Mashed Potatoes With White Beans
Skip the carb and high-fat overload and make these mashed potatoes that have white beans and garlic mixed in. One serving offers over six grams of protein.
Candied Acorn Squash Rings
Ditch the heavy candied yams for healthier candied acorn squash rings that are bursting with flavor and have the perfect hint of sweetness.
Red Pepper Lentil Bake
For a rich, filling side that will be sure to please those skipping the turkey, this red pepper lentil bake is a rich and delicious option.
Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese
Though pasta may not be a typical Thanksgiving option, this spaghetti squash mac and cheese is a comforting dish that will have guests ready to tuck in.
Roasted Pumpkin, Beet, Chickpea, and Barley Salad
For a salad that's totally cold-weather appropriate, whip up this roasted pumpkin, beet, chickpea, and barley salad. It's sure to be a hit!
Fresh Green Bean Casserole
In this fresh and tasty healthy green bean casserole from Bobby Deen's new show, Not My Momma's Meals, panko and parmesan cheese offer a healthier revamp of french-fried onions, and the addition of mushrooms ups the veg factor. The lightened-up version is even better than the original.
Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
In the past, you may have cooked up your sprouts with bacon or pancetta, but this recipe for balsamic brussels sprouts with walnuts offers a similar depth of flavor while providing a boost of healthy fat not found in those meaty options.
Sweet Potato-Pecan Casserole
Say goodbye the sugar-laden marshmallows, and welcome a pecan crumble to top off sweet potato casserole. Weighing in under 210 calories, it's a casserole you can enjoy guilt-free.
Provencal Kale and Cabbage Gratin
A beautiful piece of provencal kale and cabbage gratin helps you get the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables in a very elegant side dish.
Celery Root and Parsnip Puree
If you're looking to save more than 100 calories on your plate, swapping out the creamy side with something comparably delicious is in order. A lightened-up celery root and parsnip puree is an excellent lower-calorie and lower-fat substitute to mashed potatoes, with the addition of extra fiber and protein.
Kale and Chard Mix
Thanksgiving is a perfect time to get your green on with this nutrient-rich jewel-toned Winter greens salad. Kale and chard provide the hearty base, while pomegranate arils add some crunch and sweetness.
Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Yams
Delicious maple-roasted sweet potatoes and yams highlight the sweetness of the veggies, minus all the calories, fat, and sugar found in the classic. Using Yukon golds really makes all the difference here.
No-Cream "Creamed" Swiss Chard
Butter- and cream-free swiss chard tastes decadent and comforting. It's a perfect complement to all the rich and heavy food that will be at the scene.
Lower-Carb Mashed Potatoes
It's butter, cream, and more butter that traditionally give mashed potatoes their richness, but these ingredients are hardly necessary, as proven by these low-carb mashed potatoes that add Greek yogurt and cauliflower to the mix.
Maple Miso Brussels Sprouts
For those who want to serve up a less traditional version of sprouts, this maple miso brussels sprouts recipe pairs the bitterness of brussels sprouts with the sweetness of maple syrup and the saltiness of tamari, making for complex flavors. It's bound to convert more than a few to brussels sprout fandom. And it's vegan!
Creamy Cauliflower Mash
Lighten up your standard, starchy mashed potato side with this Paleo-friendly twist on tradition: creamy mashed cauliflower. This decadent-tasting dish has that texture you're craving, reminiscent of the classic, while the baked-potato toppings like scallions and diced bacon make the dish even more delicious.
Spicy Sweet Potato Salad
Cooking for a table of guests with dietary restrictions ranging from Paleo to gluten-free and all the way to vegan? This spicy sweet potato salad is the answer to your prayers. High-fiber sweet potatoes lay the base, while an antioxidant-rich red pepper and jalapeño dressing ties everything together. You're going to love these leftovers the day after Thanksgiving.