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The Lazy Guide to Cooking a Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner

The Lazy Guide to Cooking a Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner


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When time is cut short and you are in charge of Thanksgiving, following these healthy hacks may help you

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The Lazy Guide to Cooking a Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner

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On the other hand, Thanksgiving not only calls for a ton of food, but a lot of dishes that take a long time — sometimes all day — to make. Unfortunately, these dishes are not necessarily the healthiest. Swapping out the ever popular ingredients, such as potatoes and fried appetizers, for vegetable-based foods will not only keep you from getting the dreaded food coma, but it will also help your waistline.

A Little Alcohol Goes a Long Way

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If you want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, but don’t want to end the night completely dehydrated, offer wine spritzers to your guests. Fill a wine glass with half sparkling water and half wine. This way, you will use less alcohol and can enjoy delicious drinks with half the calories, sugar, and alcohol content.

Bake Make-Ahead Savory Muffins

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Savory muffins are the perfect appetizer or side dish for Thanksgiving. Not only can you make these the day before, but they will give you and your guest an extra serving of vegetables. You can make anything from spinach to zucchini muffins, which will help control your appetite and prevent overindulging during the big meal.

Brine The Turkey in a Cooler

If you want to save time and get ahead of the game, you will need to cook most of your sides the day before, which means that you won’t have space in your refrigerator for a turkey. Luckily, you can whip out your cooler, fill it with ice, and brine your turkey.

Cook Your Turkey Overnight

It may sound too good to be true, but you can be productive while you sleep. Roasting your turkey at a lower temperature for a long period of time will give it the juicy and crispy character that you know and love. Get a good night sleep before Thanksgiving and cook a delicious turkey while doing so.

Quick Appetizers: Greek Yogurt Dip with Vegetables

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Appetizers that you don’t have to cook are a great way to make the pre-dinner work a cinch. You can always put out bowls of unsalted nuts to give your guests a dose of healthy fats, but you can also make your own Greek yogurt dip to serve with sliced vegetables.

Roast Your Vegetables

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Everything tastes better roasted and your guests will be more likely to enjoy vegetables if they are delicious. All you need to do is chop your Brussels sprouts, carrots, green beans, or peppers and cover them with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Pop them in the oven for 30 minutes and they are ready to go.

Start with Soup

Instead of your favorite fried appetizers, have you ever thought about serving pumpkin soup at Thanksgiving? This recipe can be cooked in a slow-cooker and made throughout the course of the day to save time.

Stuffing That Doesn’t Leave You Stuffed

We are all about healthy swaps and, besides mac and cheese, stuffing tends to be one of the heaviest dishes we eat at Thanksgiving. Instead of using refined white flour and breadcrumbs, substitute with whole-grain quinoa. This will lighten your load and allow you to enjoy with zero guilt.

Swap Mashed Potatoes with Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

There is no need to peel, boil, and mash potatoes when you can make a quicker and healthier version with cauliflower. Cauliflower mashed potatoes are the perfect alternative and a great side to your lean slice of turkey.


Healthy dinner recipes

Discover BBC Good Food's best ever healthy dinner ideas. Get inspired by our nutritious, triple-tested recipes including vegetarian, vegan and meat options.

Tandoori trout

Oily fish such as trout is a great source of vitamin D, so why not serve up this spicy fillet with a cooling chutney? A healthy main meal the whole family can enjoy

Chicken & lemon skewers

These chicken skewers in flatbreads taste great as well as being healthy and an easy-to-make dinner for hectic weeknights

Speedy butternut squash barley ‘risotto’

Swap rice for barley to make this easy squash 'risotto' with spinach and sage. It's healthy and low in calories and fat – perfect for a quick supper

Veggie yaki udon

Pack in the veg with our flavour-packed Japanese-inspired yaki udon. It takes just 25 minutes to make and is healthy and low in fat and calories to boot

Tuna, caper & chilli spaghetti

Throw together tuna, capers and rocket with garlic, chilli and spaghetti to make this easy and healthy supper. It takes just 25 minutes to make

Meatball & tomato soup

Get three of your 5-a-day in one serving with this healthy, low-calorie tomato soup. The addition of meatballs and giant couscous means it's filling, too

Chicken with crushed harissa chickpeas

Need something speedy for dinner? Try this chicken, coated in flavourful za'atar and served with spiced chickpeas. It's simple, but seriously delicious

Broccoli pesto & pancetta pasta

Serve this healthy bowl of pasta topped with cherry tomatoes for a quick and easy midweek meal. It's tossed with broccoli pesto, and takes just 25 minutes to make

Carrot pilaf with coriander chutney

Try this healthy pilaf filled for an easy midweek meal. With cashew nuts, veg and spices, it's not only tasty but budget-friendly too. Top with coriander chutney

Chicken & sweetcorn tacos

Serve up these healthy chicken and sweetcorn tacos for an easy midweek meal that's full of flavour. You'll also have leftovers to make chicken and sweetcorn wraps for lunch tomorrow


Healthy dinner recipes

Discover BBC Good Food's best ever healthy dinner ideas. Get inspired by our nutritious, triple-tested recipes including vegetarian, vegan and meat options.

Tandoori trout

Oily fish such as trout is a great source of vitamin D, so why not serve up this spicy fillet with a cooling chutney? A healthy main meal the whole family can enjoy

Chicken & lemon skewers

These chicken skewers in flatbreads taste great as well as being healthy and an easy-to-make dinner for hectic weeknights

Speedy butternut squash barley ‘risotto’

Swap rice for barley to make this easy squash 'risotto' with spinach and sage. It's healthy and low in calories and fat – perfect for a quick supper

Veggie yaki udon

Pack in the veg with our flavour-packed Japanese-inspired yaki udon. It takes just 25 minutes to make and is healthy and low in fat and calories to boot

Tuna, caper & chilli spaghetti

Throw together tuna, capers and rocket with garlic, chilli and spaghetti to make this easy and healthy supper. It takes just 25 minutes to make

Meatball & tomato soup

Get three of your 5-a-day in one serving with this healthy, low-calorie tomato soup. The addition of meatballs and giant couscous means it's filling, too

Chicken with crushed harissa chickpeas

Need something speedy for dinner? Try this chicken, coated in flavourful za'atar and served with spiced chickpeas. It's simple, but seriously delicious

Broccoli pesto & pancetta pasta

Serve this healthy bowl of pasta topped with cherry tomatoes for a quick and easy midweek meal. It's tossed with broccoli pesto, and takes just 25 minutes to make

Carrot pilaf with coriander chutney

Try this healthy pilaf filled for an easy midweek meal. With cashew nuts, veg and spices, it's not only tasty but budget-friendly too. Top with coriander chutney

Chicken & sweetcorn tacos

Serve up these healthy chicken and sweetcorn tacos for an easy midweek meal that's full of flavour. You'll also have leftovers to make chicken and sweetcorn wraps for lunch tomorrow


Healthy dinner recipes

Discover BBC Good Food's best ever healthy dinner ideas. Get inspired by our nutritious, triple-tested recipes including vegetarian, vegan and meat options.

Tandoori trout

Oily fish such as trout is a great source of vitamin D, so why not serve up this spicy fillet with a cooling chutney? A healthy main meal the whole family can enjoy

Chicken & lemon skewers

These chicken skewers in flatbreads taste great as well as being healthy and an easy-to-make dinner for hectic weeknights

Speedy butternut squash barley ‘risotto’

Swap rice for barley to make this easy squash 'risotto' with spinach and sage. It's healthy and low in calories and fat – perfect for a quick supper

Veggie yaki udon

Pack in the veg with our flavour-packed Japanese-inspired yaki udon. It takes just 25 minutes to make and is healthy and low in fat and calories to boot

Tuna, caper & chilli spaghetti

Throw together tuna, capers and rocket with garlic, chilli and spaghetti to make this easy and healthy supper. It takes just 25 minutes to make

Meatball & tomato soup

Get three of your 5-a-day in one serving with this healthy, low-calorie tomato soup. The addition of meatballs and giant couscous means it's filling, too

Chicken with crushed harissa chickpeas

Need something speedy for dinner? Try this chicken, coated in flavourful za'atar and served with spiced chickpeas. It's simple, but seriously delicious

Broccoli pesto & pancetta pasta

Serve this healthy bowl of pasta topped with cherry tomatoes for a quick and easy midweek meal. It's tossed with broccoli pesto, and takes just 25 minutes to make

Carrot pilaf with coriander chutney

Try this healthy pilaf filled for an easy midweek meal. With cashew nuts, veg and spices, it's not only tasty but budget-friendly too. Top with coriander chutney

Chicken & sweetcorn tacos

Serve up these healthy chicken and sweetcorn tacos for an easy midweek meal that's full of flavour. You'll also have leftovers to make chicken and sweetcorn wraps for lunch tomorrow


Healthy dinner recipes

Discover BBC Good Food's best ever healthy dinner ideas. Get inspired by our nutritious, triple-tested recipes including vegetarian, vegan and meat options.

Tandoori trout

Oily fish such as trout is a great source of vitamin D, so why not serve up this spicy fillet with a cooling chutney? A healthy main meal the whole family can enjoy

Chicken & lemon skewers

These chicken skewers in flatbreads taste great as well as being healthy and an easy-to-make dinner for hectic weeknights

Speedy butternut squash barley ‘risotto’

Swap rice for barley to make this easy squash 'risotto' with spinach and sage. It's healthy and low in calories and fat – perfect for a quick supper

Veggie yaki udon

Pack in the veg with our flavour-packed Japanese-inspired yaki udon. It takes just 25 minutes to make and is healthy and low in fat and calories to boot

Tuna, caper & chilli spaghetti

Throw together tuna, capers and rocket with garlic, chilli and spaghetti to make this easy and healthy supper. It takes just 25 minutes to make

Meatball & tomato soup

Get three of your 5-a-day in one serving with this healthy, low-calorie tomato soup. The addition of meatballs and giant couscous means it's filling, too

Chicken with crushed harissa chickpeas

Need something speedy for dinner? Try this chicken, coated in flavourful za'atar and served with spiced chickpeas. It's simple, but seriously delicious

Broccoli pesto & pancetta pasta

Serve this healthy bowl of pasta topped with cherry tomatoes for a quick and easy midweek meal. It's tossed with broccoli pesto, and takes just 25 minutes to make

Carrot pilaf with coriander chutney

Try this healthy pilaf filled for an easy midweek meal. With cashew nuts, veg and spices, it's not only tasty but budget-friendly too. Top with coriander chutney

Chicken & sweetcorn tacos

Serve up these healthy chicken and sweetcorn tacos for an easy midweek meal that's full of flavour. You'll also have leftovers to make chicken and sweetcorn wraps for lunch tomorrow


Healthy dinner recipes

Discover BBC Good Food's best ever healthy dinner ideas. Get inspired by our nutritious, triple-tested recipes including vegetarian, vegan and meat options.

Tandoori trout

Oily fish such as trout is a great source of vitamin D, so why not serve up this spicy fillet with a cooling chutney? A healthy main meal the whole family can enjoy

Chicken & lemon skewers

These chicken skewers in flatbreads taste great as well as being healthy and an easy-to-make dinner for hectic weeknights

Speedy butternut squash barley ‘risotto’

Swap rice for barley to make this easy squash 'risotto' with spinach and sage. It's healthy and low in calories and fat – perfect for a quick supper

Veggie yaki udon

Pack in the veg with our flavour-packed Japanese-inspired yaki udon. It takes just 25 minutes to make and is healthy and low in fat and calories to boot

Tuna, caper & chilli spaghetti

Throw together tuna, capers and rocket with garlic, chilli and spaghetti to make this easy and healthy supper. It takes just 25 minutes to make

Meatball & tomato soup

Get three of your 5-a-day in one serving with this healthy, low-calorie tomato soup. The addition of meatballs and giant couscous means it's filling, too

Chicken with crushed harissa chickpeas

Need something speedy for dinner? Try this chicken, coated in flavourful za'atar and served with spiced chickpeas. It's simple, but seriously delicious

Broccoli pesto & pancetta pasta

Serve this healthy bowl of pasta topped with cherry tomatoes for a quick and easy midweek meal. It's tossed with broccoli pesto, and takes just 25 minutes to make

Carrot pilaf with coriander chutney

Try this healthy pilaf filled for an easy midweek meal. With cashew nuts, veg and spices, it's not only tasty but budget-friendly too. Top with coriander chutney

Chicken & sweetcorn tacos

Serve up these healthy chicken and sweetcorn tacos for an easy midweek meal that's full of flavour. You'll also have leftovers to make chicken and sweetcorn wraps for lunch tomorrow


Healthy dinner recipes

Discover BBC Good Food's best ever healthy dinner ideas. Get inspired by our nutritious, triple-tested recipes including vegetarian, vegan and meat options.

Tandoori trout

Oily fish such as trout is a great source of vitamin D, so why not serve up this spicy fillet with a cooling chutney? A healthy main meal the whole family can enjoy

Chicken & lemon skewers

These chicken skewers in flatbreads taste great as well as being healthy and an easy-to-make dinner for hectic weeknights

Speedy butternut squash barley ‘risotto’

Swap rice for barley to make this easy squash 'risotto' with spinach and sage. It's healthy and low in calories and fat – perfect for a quick supper

Veggie yaki udon

Pack in the veg with our flavour-packed Japanese-inspired yaki udon. It takes just 25 minutes to make and is healthy and low in fat and calories to boot

Tuna, caper & chilli spaghetti

Throw together tuna, capers and rocket with garlic, chilli and spaghetti to make this easy and healthy supper. It takes just 25 minutes to make

Meatball & tomato soup

Get three of your 5-a-day in one serving with this healthy, low-calorie tomato soup. The addition of meatballs and giant couscous means it's filling, too

Chicken with crushed harissa chickpeas

Need something speedy for dinner? Try this chicken, coated in flavourful za'atar and served with spiced chickpeas. It's simple, but seriously delicious

Broccoli pesto & pancetta pasta

Serve this healthy bowl of pasta topped with cherry tomatoes for a quick and easy midweek meal. It's tossed with broccoli pesto, and takes just 25 minutes to make

Carrot pilaf with coriander chutney

Try this healthy pilaf filled for an easy midweek meal. With cashew nuts, veg and spices, it's not only tasty but budget-friendly too. Top with coriander chutney

Chicken & sweetcorn tacos

Serve up these healthy chicken and sweetcorn tacos for an easy midweek meal that's full of flavour. You'll also have leftovers to make chicken and sweetcorn wraps for lunch tomorrow


Healthy dinner recipes

Discover BBC Good Food's best ever healthy dinner ideas. Get inspired by our nutritious, triple-tested recipes including vegetarian, vegan and meat options.

Tandoori trout

Oily fish such as trout is a great source of vitamin D, so why not serve up this spicy fillet with a cooling chutney? A healthy main meal the whole family can enjoy

Chicken & lemon skewers

These chicken skewers in flatbreads taste great as well as being healthy and an easy-to-make dinner for hectic weeknights

Speedy butternut squash barley ‘risotto’

Swap rice for barley to make this easy squash 'risotto' with spinach and sage. It's healthy and low in calories and fat – perfect for a quick supper

Veggie yaki udon

Pack in the veg with our flavour-packed Japanese-inspired yaki udon. It takes just 25 minutes to make and is healthy and low in fat and calories to boot

Tuna, caper & chilli spaghetti

Throw together tuna, capers and rocket with garlic, chilli and spaghetti to make this easy and healthy supper. It takes just 25 minutes to make

Meatball & tomato soup

Get three of your 5-a-day in one serving with this healthy, low-calorie tomato soup. The addition of meatballs and giant couscous means it's filling, too

Chicken with crushed harissa chickpeas

Need something speedy for dinner? Try this chicken, coated in flavourful za'atar and served with spiced chickpeas. It's simple, but seriously delicious

Broccoli pesto & pancetta pasta

Serve this healthy bowl of pasta topped with cherry tomatoes for a quick and easy midweek meal. It's tossed with broccoli pesto, and takes just 25 minutes to make

Carrot pilaf with coriander chutney

Try this healthy pilaf filled for an easy midweek meal. With cashew nuts, veg and spices, it's not only tasty but budget-friendly too. Top with coriander chutney

Chicken & sweetcorn tacos

Serve up these healthy chicken and sweetcorn tacos for an easy midweek meal that's full of flavour. You'll also have leftovers to make chicken and sweetcorn wraps for lunch tomorrow


Healthy dinner recipes

Discover BBC Good Food's best ever healthy dinner ideas. Get inspired by our nutritious, triple-tested recipes including vegetarian, vegan and meat options.

Tandoori trout

Oily fish such as trout is a great source of vitamin D, so why not serve up this spicy fillet with a cooling chutney? A healthy main meal the whole family can enjoy

Chicken & lemon skewers

These chicken skewers in flatbreads taste great as well as being healthy and an easy-to-make dinner for hectic weeknights

Speedy butternut squash barley ‘risotto’

Swap rice for barley to make this easy squash 'risotto' with spinach and sage. It's healthy and low in calories and fat – perfect for a quick supper

Veggie yaki udon

Pack in the veg with our flavour-packed Japanese-inspired yaki udon. It takes just 25 minutes to make and is healthy and low in fat and calories to boot

Tuna, caper & chilli spaghetti

Throw together tuna, capers and rocket with garlic, chilli and spaghetti to make this easy and healthy supper. It takes just 25 minutes to make

Meatball & tomato soup

Get three of your 5-a-day in one serving with this healthy, low-calorie tomato soup. The addition of meatballs and giant couscous means it's filling, too

Chicken with crushed harissa chickpeas

Need something speedy for dinner? Try this chicken, coated in flavourful za'atar and served with spiced chickpeas. It's simple, but seriously delicious

Broccoli pesto & pancetta pasta

Serve this healthy bowl of pasta topped with cherry tomatoes for a quick and easy midweek meal. It's tossed with broccoli pesto, and takes just 25 minutes to make

Carrot pilaf with coriander chutney

Try this healthy pilaf filled for an easy midweek meal. With cashew nuts, veg and spices, it's not only tasty but budget-friendly too. Top with coriander chutney

Chicken & sweetcorn tacos

Serve up these healthy chicken and sweetcorn tacos for an easy midweek meal that's full of flavour. You'll also have leftovers to make chicken and sweetcorn wraps for lunch tomorrow


Healthy dinner recipes

Discover BBC Good Food's best ever healthy dinner ideas. Get inspired by our nutritious, triple-tested recipes including vegetarian, vegan and meat options.

Tandoori trout

Oily fish such as trout is a great source of vitamin D, so why not serve up this spicy fillet with a cooling chutney? A healthy main meal the whole family can enjoy

Chicken & lemon skewers

These chicken skewers in flatbreads taste great as well as being healthy and an easy-to-make dinner for hectic weeknights

Speedy butternut squash barley ‘risotto’

Swap rice for barley to make this easy squash 'risotto' with spinach and sage. It's healthy and low in calories and fat – perfect for a quick supper

Veggie yaki udon

Pack in the veg with our flavour-packed Japanese-inspired yaki udon. It takes just 25 minutes to make and is healthy and low in fat and calories to boot

Tuna, caper & chilli spaghetti

Throw together tuna, capers and rocket with garlic, chilli and spaghetti to make this easy and healthy supper. It takes just 25 minutes to make

Meatball & tomato soup

Get three of your 5-a-day in one serving with this healthy, low-calorie tomato soup. The addition of meatballs and giant couscous means it's filling, too

Chicken with crushed harissa chickpeas

Need something speedy for dinner? Try this chicken, coated in flavourful za'atar and served with spiced chickpeas. It's simple, but seriously delicious

Broccoli pesto & pancetta pasta

Serve this healthy bowl of pasta topped with cherry tomatoes for a quick and easy midweek meal. It's tossed with broccoli pesto, and takes just 25 minutes to make

Carrot pilaf with coriander chutney

Try this healthy pilaf filled for an easy midweek meal. With cashew nuts, veg and spices, it's not only tasty but budget-friendly too. Top with coriander chutney

Chicken & sweetcorn tacos

Serve up these healthy chicken and sweetcorn tacos for an easy midweek meal that's full of flavour. You'll also have leftovers to make chicken and sweetcorn wraps for lunch tomorrow


Healthy dinner recipes

Discover BBC Good Food's best ever healthy dinner ideas. Get inspired by our nutritious, triple-tested recipes including vegetarian, vegan and meat options.

Tandoori trout

Oily fish such as trout is a great source of vitamin D, so why not serve up this spicy fillet with a cooling chutney? A healthy main meal the whole family can enjoy

Chicken & lemon skewers

These chicken skewers in flatbreads taste great as well as being healthy and an easy-to-make dinner for hectic weeknights

Speedy butternut squash barley ‘risotto’

Swap rice for barley to make this easy squash 'risotto' with spinach and sage. It's healthy and low in calories and fat – perfect for a quick supper

Veggie yaki udon

Pack in the veg with our flavour-packed Japanese-inspired yaki udon. It takes just 25 minutes to make and is healthy and low in fat and calories to boot

Tuna, caper & chilli spaghetti

Throw together tuna, capers and rocket with garlic, chilli and spaghetti to make this easy and healthy supper. It takes just 25 minutes to make

Meatball & tomato soup

Get three of your 5-a-day in one serving with this healthy, low-calorie tomato soup. The addition of meatballs and giant couscous means it's filling, too

Chicken with crushed harissa chickpeas

Need something speedy for dinner? Try this chicken, coated in flavourful za'atar and served with spiced chickpeas. It's simple, but seriously delicious

Broccoli pesto & pancetta pasta

Serve this healthy bowl of pasta topped with cherry tomatoes for a quick and easy midweek meal. It's tossed with broccoli pesto, and takes just 25 minutes to make

Carrot pilaf with coriander chutney

Try this healthy pilaf filled for an easy midweek meal. With cashew nuts, veg and spices, it's not only tasty but budget-friendly too. Top with coriander chutney

Chicken & sweetcorn tacos

Serve up these healthy chicken and sweetcorn tacos for an easy midweek meal that's full of flavour. You'll also have leftovers to make chicken and sweetcorn wraps for lunch tomorrow


Watch the video: The Perfect Thanksgiving Meal  Tasty (July 2022).


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