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What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Is there a way to make healthier Thanksgiving side dishes?

Let’s be honest. The best part of Thanksgiving dinner is the side dishes.

And while I could fill my plate to the brim with the delicious Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, and Stuffing, those magnificent dishes don’t exactly equal healthy.

Let’s take those Thanksgiving side dishes and give them a healthy makeover.


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Everyone loves sweet potato casserole which often acts as more of a dessert than a side dish. All the added sugar and marshmallow topping makes it super sweet and unhealthy for those that need to watch their sugar intake.

By nature, sweet potatoes are, well, sweet. They don’t really need added sugar, but some spices can certainly give them a boost.

Here, we make a healthy version of a sweet potato casserole with no added sugar that still tastes scrumptious!

Bake your sweet potatoes until tender. Let cool and remove the skins. You can mash the sweet potatoes by hand with a masher for a rustic texture or add to your food processor for a smoother texture.

Add a little unsweetened applesauce to keep them moist. How much you add is up to you for taste and texture.

Add a few tablespoons of melted coconut oil, butter or ghee along with ground cinnamon and nutmeg and a smidge of salt, to taste.

Transfer to a greased baking dish and top with chopped pecans. Bake at 375 for approximately 30 minutes until the sweet potatoes begin to bubble slightly and the pecans are lightly browned.

You can make the sweet potato mixture ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to bake. If you do this, don’t add the pecans until you’re ready to slide it into the oven.


Skip the green bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup and crispy onion topping this year and try this healthy version instead.

Line a large sheet pan with foil or parchment paper and set aside. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

To a large mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup of softened unsalted butter, 6 cloves of chopped or minced garlic, 3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, and a dash of freshly ground pepper.

Mix with a large spoon to combine.

Add your washed and trimmed fresh green beans to the bowl and stir to coat with the buttery mixture.

Spread the coated beans on the prepared sheet pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes. About halfway through, stir the beans on the sheet pan so that all sides evenly roast. When done, serve immediately.

For a more tender bean, you can pre-boil the beans for a few minutes. Drain well, cool and let dry before adding to the butter mixture.


There’s no sausage in this dressing which will keep it vegan. You can also make this gluten-free; just use gluten-free cornbread and bread. If you love it super garlicky and highly seasoned, just add more of those ingredients. Taste as you go!

Make your cornbread the day before so that it has a chance to dry out a bit. You want it to be able to absorb all the awesome spices and liquid that you’ll be adding to it. Cube your bread and set aside overnight to dry out, as well.

Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking dish and set aside. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chop a large onion, 5 stalks of celery and 5 garlic cloves. Optionally, chop up some mushrooms.

Sauté the onions, garlic, celery and mushrooms until softened. Season with ground sage, salt and dried thyme. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl add the cubed bread. Crumble your cornbread into the bowl and add the sautéd veggies. Add 2-3 cups of vegetable broth, a cup at a time, and gently mix to combine.

If you like your dressing to be super moist after it bakes, add more broth to the mixture. If you tend to like it on the drier side, don’t add as much broth – totally up to you and how you like the texture.

Make sure to taste your dressing and see if you need to add more sage, salt or other spices.

Spread out the mixture into your prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for approximately 30 minutes and then remove the foil. Continue baking for another 30 minutes or until lightly browned on top and hot in the center.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Is there a way to make it a healthier Thanksgiving side dish?

You may also like this post with THANKSGIVING LEFTOVER RECIPES:

14 Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

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