15 Healthy Side Dishes Perfect for Turkey Day

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Thanksgiving side dishes

Holidays that are centered around food, such as Thanksgiving, can feel like a roadblock to your healthy lifestyle. But they don’t have to be! There are so many healthy Thanksgiving side dishes that are also incredibly delicious. You won’t even feel like you’re missing out in any way.

We recently shared a list of 21 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes on The Leaf, but that’s not the end to the possibilities. Thanksgiving side dishes are a chance to showoff your creativity in enhancing an already delicious meal, and we’ve got you covered in ensuring those creative sides keep you on track with your weight loss!

Here are 15 more Thanksgiving side dishes that you can whip up and serve with your Turkey Day meal:

 1. Fall Spinach Salad with Apple Vinaigrette >

apple spinach salad

From crunchy apples, to crisp leaves of spinach and even creamy goat cheese, this healthy fall salad has so many delicious flavors it will fully satisfy you. Another great part about this salad? It’s also super healthy. With fiber-rich apples and vitamin-packed spinach, it’s full of good nutrition and perfect to add to your tasty turkey meal.

2. Roasted Rosemary Beets and Carrots >

carrots and beets

Nothing makes veggies more delicious than roasting them in olive oil. In this recipe, which combines roasted beets and carrots with tangy red onion, fresh rosemary really ups the ante when it comes to flavor. And with this healthy side dish, you’ll get a big helping of vitamin C on top of all of that bursting flavor.

3. Farro Roasted Vegetable Salad >

Farro roasted veggie salad

In addition to carrots and beets, this salad adds two more superfoods to the lineup—brussels sprouts and kale, both of which are a great source of fiber and can help aid in digestion. Tossed with farro, an ancient whole grain, and drizzled with a healthy homemade vinaigrette, this vegetable salad makes a delicious Thanksgiving side.

4. Cinnamon Raisin Carrot Muffins >

Cinnamon Raisin Carrot Muffins

Pass on the white rolls or biscuits and instead opt for these hearty carrot raisin muffins as your side of bread. Made with healthy ingredients like whole wheat flour, nonfat Greek yogurt, unsweetened applesauce, and of course, carrots and raisins, these muffins are a baked good you can feel good about!

5. Black Bean Quinoa Pumpkin Soup >

black bean quinoa pumpkin soup

There’s nothing quite like a hearty bowl of soup to fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied—and this soup will not disappoint. With healthy and filling ingredients like pumpkin, carrots, quinoa, black beans and kale, this soup is a great choice to kick off your meal. And if you fill up on this healthy soup, you’ll be less inclined to reach for other less-healthy sides.

6. Cauliflower Sweet Potato Soup >


With sweet potatoes and cauliflower at the heart of this dish, you’re making a nutritious choice by starting your meal off with this fall soup. It’s packed with flavor without being packed with a ton of fat and calories. And because cauliflower and sweet potatoes provide high levels of vitamins and minerals, you can feel good that you’re getting lots of excellent nutritional benefits as well.

7. Italian Chicken and Fall Veggie Soup >


This soup combines yummy fall veggies with Italian seasonings and fresh chicken breast for a flavorful side dish that is a great way to kick off your Thanksgiving meal. With carrots, butternut squash, turnips, and kale, grab a hearty bowl of this soup and you’ll fill up on nutritional goodness before you even have the chance to eat anything else. And because it’s so flavorful and delicious, you won’t feel the least bit cheated by filling up on soup.

8. Air Fryer Apple Chips >


Besides pumpkins, nothing screams “fall” like apple dishes. Of course, many times apples are prepared in a way that their health benefits are overshadowed by so much added sugar. But not in this recipe! The only ingredients in this delicious side dish are apples, cinnamon and nutmeg. Once they are air fried and crisped, these chips taste like dessert—but without any guilt.

9. Roasted Balsamic Fig and Brussels Sprouts >

roasted balsamic fig and brussels sprouts

Figs, which are high in fiber and a good source of several essential minerals, haven’t always gotten the credit they deserve. Their honey-like taste is sweet and combines deliciously with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and Brussels sprouts in this tasty side. With Brussels sprouts being so rich in a variety of valuable nutrients, this dish is undoubtedly a nutritional powerhouse.

10. Pumpkin Cranberry Crackers >


Another excellent alternative to the traditional bread basket are these homemade crackers that are easy to bake and full of flavor. Using whole wheat flour, along with the flavors of pureed pumpkin and dried cranberries, these crisps make a great substitute to white dinner rolls or biscuits.

11. Mashed Potato Pancakes >


Traditional mashed potatoes are often a Thanksgiving staple. But when prepared with butter and whole milk—as they typically are—they’re not exactly a healthy side. Our mashed potato pancakes, however, are made using a package of Nutrisystem Loaded Potatoes and egg whites—as well as the added flavors of baby spinach, chives, garlic, and pepper. Even though they lack all of the extra calories and fat of traditional mashed potatoes, they don’t lack any flavor.

12. Simple Pumpkin Soup >

pumpkin soup

Pumpkin recipes are the quintessential choice of the Thanksgiving table, but many traditional dishes have a lot of unhealthy ingredients added in. That’s not the case for this simple soup which uses a healthy, low-calorie base of broth and non-fat milk and adds in delicious pumpkin puree and a variety of seasonings. It’s a cozy fall soup that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

13. Cinnamon Streusel Muffins >

cinnamon muffins

This soft and delicious muffin has ingredients like applesauce, cinnamon and rolled oats. It would make a nice healthy bread basket option. You might even choose to opt for one of these wholesome muffins in place of a slice of pie at dessert.

14. Savory Mediterranean Muffins >

mediterranean muffins

If you’re looking for a filling side that is easy to make, look no further than these vegetable-stuffed muffins. Packed with baby spinach, sundried tomatoes, and onions, and flavored with Italian seasoning, these savory muffins deliver a ton of taste. They would make a filling side and a healthy addition to Turkey Day.

15. Crab Stuffed Cucumber Cups >

crab stuffed cucumber cups

Looking to try something totally different for a Thanksgiving side? These crab-stuffed cucumber cups are incredibly easy to make and with 17 grams of protein and just 150 calories, they also won’t do any damage to your diet. These cups would make an excellent appetizer to kick off your Thanksgiving meal. And when you fill up on the healthy options, you leave less room for the diet traps.