Because, balance.

By Betty Gold
Updated October 08, 2019
Greg DuPree

Thanksgiving is arguably the best food holiday of them all, which is to say, the entire day (not to mention the leftovers you'll be devouring all week) revolves around a rich, hearty homemade meal. And as much as we love roasted turkey drowning in gravy, macaroni and cheese, fresh-baked biscuits, pumpkin pie, and all the whipped cream, we all need a little something light-ish in the mix. That's where these healthy Thanksgiving side dishes come in. From baked sweet potato fries and kale-apple salad to spaghetti squash parm and shaved Brussels sprouts with almonds, we know you'll find delicious, nutritious recipe here that every one of your guests will love.

Christina Holmes


This healthy, hearty side salad is the ideal companion to Thanksgiving mains. To make, simply combine kale, roasted sweet potatoes, fresh-cut apples, and almonds in a large bowl and drizzle with a tangy mustard vinaigrette: the perfect sweet-savory combination of fresh fall produce.

Get the Recipe: Mustardy Kale Salad With Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple

Brie Passano


This seasonal flatbread feeds a crowd, which makes it a delicious, veggie-packed option for a Thanksgiving side or starter. It comes together quickly, but if you'd like to speed up the prep work even more, you can shave Brussels sprouts in your food processor or buy pre-packed shredded sprouts.

Get the recipe: Brussels Sprout Pizza With Lemon and Pecorino

Grace Elkus


If your guests didn't know better, they'd have no idea the main ingredient in these delicious pan-friend pancakes was cauliflower—meaning they're packed with Vitamin C and phytonutrients but taste just as good as fried potato latkes. We can keep the secret between us. Serve with a pesto dipping sauce, sour cream or Greek yogurt, or as-is.

Get the recipe: Cauliflower Rice Pancakes

Iain Bagwell


Here, you'll combine farro with crispy Brussels sprouts, sweet-tart pomegranate seeds, and ricotta salata to make a delicious, satisfying grain salad your Thanksgiving guests will love.

Get the recipe: Farro and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Greg DuPree


No one will miss white pasta noodles once they taste this creamy, cheesy, comforting plant-based rendition (after all, there will be plenty of refined carbs on the Thanksgiving table as-is). Don’t skip the breadcrumbs, which add a salty, crunchy finish.

Get the Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Parmesan

Greg DuPree


Making these sweet potatoes in the microwave cuts down on cook time, meaning you can have this fiber-packed meal on your Thanksgiving table in just 20 minutes. Guests will be grateful for the healthy addition of black beans and fresh zucchini—plus you can top them with sour cream or Greek yogurt, crunchy tortilla chips, and fresh herbs.

Get the recipe: Zucchini and Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Con Poulos


Maple is one of the biggest flavor trends this year, and we're here for it—even when paired with savory foods like green beans. Your guests will love this easy-to-make upgrade to a healthy traditional Thanksgiving side: simply toss beans with baked pecans, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and a touch of maple syrup.

Get the recipe: Green Beans With Pecans and Maple Vinaigrette

Danny Kim


These oven-baked sweet potato fries will outshine any basic French fry recipe. A quick drizzle of lime juice and sprinkle of cilantro gives them a flavorful (and refreshing) zing, which will taste delicious paired with all the rich, sweet Thanksgiving mains you'll be serving alongside.

Get the Recipe: Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Lime and Cilantro.

Roland Bello


This crunchy, veggie-packed salad is a welcome way to round out an otherwise rich meal. Bonus: It won’t hog oven time. Have some travel time ahead of you? Toss the Brussels sprouts with the dressing up to an hour in advance. The fibers will soften and the flavors will intensify.

Get the recipe: Shaved Brussels Sprouts With Manchego and Almonds