This Thanksgiving, prepare a healthy dinner for your family with these recipes

Make this year’s Thanksgiving your greatest ever! Think about roasted turkey, nutritious green bean casserole, and luscious desserts that make the holiday perfect. Are you on a restricted diet? No need to worry since we’ve got gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and diabetic-friendly recipes that will look great on your holiday table.

Photo by: Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

It’s already that time of year, yep, we’re talking about Thanksgiving. It’s time to get together with your family and enjoy pleasant moments together as well as exquisite Thanksgiving dinners — turkeys. Even just thinking about Thanksgiving dinners made my stomach feel craving. Should we spice things up this year? Instead of making dishes that are overly fatty, greasy, or unhealthy, Illume offers you these recipes to prepare a healthy Thanksgiving dinner for your family!

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Photo by: Jim Wilson/The New York Times


  • 2 pounds all-purpose potatoes, ideally Yukon Gold (about 6 medium potatoes), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Freshly ground white or black pepper


Step 1: In a big heavy saucepan, add the potatoes and garlic. Season with salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until potatoes are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 2: Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and swirl it around until it becomes a nutty brown, about 1 minute. Stir in the buttermilk and heat until just warm. (Do not overheat or it will curdle.)

Step 3: When the potatoes are cooked, drain them in a colander and return them to the pan. Shake the pan over low heat for about 1 minute to dry the potatoes.

Step 4: Mash the potatoes and garlic together using a potato masher, an electric hand-held mixer, or a ricer. Pour in enough buttermilk mixture to form a smooth purée. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Nutrition Facts:

Per serving: 145 calories; protein 4.6g; carbs 29.5g; dietary fiber 2.1g; sugars 3g; fat 1.7g; saturated fat 1g; cholesterol 5mg; vitamin A iu 58.9IU; vitamin C 28.9mg; folate 2.2mcg; calcium 73.8mg; iron 1.2mg; magnesium 5.3mg; potassium 707.5mg; sodium 126.7mg.

Cucumber Turkey Sub Sandwich

Photo by: NikkiDinkiCooking


  • 1 large peeled cucumber
  • 2 teaspoons deli mustard (yellow or brown)
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 2 ounces sliced deli turkey breast
  • 1 slice Cheddar or Swiss cheese (about 1/2 ounce)
  • 3 thin tomato slices
  • 1 thin slice red or white onion
  • Ground pepper


Step 1: Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.

Step 2: Place the cucumber halves cut-side up on a work surface. Spread mustard and mayonnaise on the cut side of the cucumber halves.

Step 3: Layer the cucumber with turkey and cheese. Top with tomato and onion, and season with pepper.

Step 4: Close the sandwich and cut it in half before serving.

Nutrition Facts:

2 sandwich halves per serving: 323 calories per serving; protein 26.4g; carbs 15.2g; dietary fiber 2.7g; sugars 6.9g; fat 18.2g; saturated fat 6.8g; cholesterol 76.9mg; vitamin A iu 1063.5IU; folate 44mcg; calcium 266.9mg; iron 1.6mg; magnesium 76.1mg; potassium 745.6mg; sodium 416.5mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

Photo by: Anna Glover


  • 2 ½ pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • A quarter teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white or black pepper
  • 2 ½ cups low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly made whole-wheat breadcrumbs or 1/2 cup shredded or crumbled cheese


Step 1: Place racks in the upper and lower third of the oven; preheat to 425 degrees F.

Step 2: Toss green beans with 1 tablespoon oil in a large mixing bowl until completely coated. Divide between 2 baking sheets and spread in an even layer. Roast, stirring once and rotating the pans top to bottom halfway through, until tender and starting to brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Step 3: Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion and cook, stirring constantly, until very soft and golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in the milk, scraping away any browned pieces as you go. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes, or until the sauce bubbles and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Take the pan off the heat (Refrigerate for up to 1 day, covered; reheat gently until steaming before mixing with the green beans).

Step 4: Remove the green beans from the oven once they are done. Preheat the broiler.

Step 5: Half of the green beans should be placed in a 2-quart broiler-safe baking dish. Spread half the sauce over the green beans. Top with the remaining green beans and sauce.

Step 6: In a small mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil (skip this step if you are topping with cheese).

Step 7: Sprinkle the breadcrumb (or cheese) mixture over the gratin. Place under the broiler and broil, watching carefully, until the gratin is bubbling and starting to brown on top, 1 to 5 minutes, depending on your broiler. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: about 1 cup Per Serving: 188 calories; protein 8g; carbs 25.4g; dietary fiber 5.3g; sugars 9.9g; fat 7g; saturated fat 1.4g; cholesterol 3.8mg; vitamin A iu 1128.4IU; vitamin C 18.3mg; folate 69.8mcg; calcium 182.5mg; iron 2.1mg; magnesium 60.3mg; potassium 485.4mg; sodium 347.8mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

Vegan Mushroom Gravy

Photo by: fabeveryday


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups sliced mixed mushrooms, such as button, cremini, oyster and/or shiitake caps (8 ounces)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 big shallot, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cup mushroom stock
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped


Step 1: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook, without stirring until the mushrooms are golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes.

Step 2: Stir and simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until they’ve released most of their liquid. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn the heat down to medium.

Step 3: Add sherry and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 1 minute. To coat the mushrooms, sprinkle with flour and stir.

Step 4: Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until slightly thickened and reduced. Add the thyme and mix well.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 1/4 cup Per Serving: 109 calories; protein 1.4g; carbohydrates 3.6g; dietary fiber 0.6g; sugars 1g; fat 5.4g; saturated fat 0.8g; vitamin A iu 5.3IU; vitamin C 1.2mg; folate 10.9mcg; calcium 3.5mg; iron 0.3mg; magnesium 4.7mg; potassium 127.5mg; sodium 171.1mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

No-Sugar-Added Cranberry Sauce

Photo by: Priscilla Chamessian


  • 18 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Zest from ½ orange
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger


Step 1: In a pot, add the cranberries and water and boil over medium heat.

Step 2: Add the applesauce, orange juice, honey, and orange zest.

Step 3: When the saucepan reaches a boil, turn to a low heat and mix in the ground cloves, ginger, and cinnamon.

Step 4: Allow the sauce to simmer for about 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until it reaches the desired consistency. Taste the sauce from time to time and adjust the sweetness to your liking.

Step 5: Serve this cranberry sauce with your favorite meat or as part of a holiday meal. When paired with a little coconut cream, dark chocolate, or fresh whipped cream, it’s also a fantastic low-sugar sweet alternative.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 1/4 cup Per Serving: 56 calories; protein 0.3g; carbs 14.2g; dietary fiber 2g; sugars 10.2g; fat 0.1g; vitamin A iu 37.3IU; vitamin C 6.4mg; folate 1.5mcg; calcium 8mg; iron 0.2mg; magnesium 6.4mg; potassium 84.1mg; sodium 1mg.

Slow-Cooker Turkey Thighs with Herb Gravy

Photo by: Taste of home


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 skinless bone-in turkey thighs (about 3 pounds)
  • A quarter teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallots (from 1 large shallot)
  • 2 tablespoons sliced garlic (from 6 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


Step 1: In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the turkey with pepper and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cook the turkey in batches in the skillet, turning once, until nicely browned, 4 minutes per side. Transfer the turkey to a slow cooker with a capacity of 5 to 6 quarts. (Do not wipe the skillet clean.)

Step 2: Add the shallots, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of thyme to the skillet; cook over medium-high, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add the stock to the skillet and bring to a boil, swirling and scraping to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Pour the stock mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and simmer on LOW for 4 hours and 30 minutes, or until the turkey is extremely soft and falls off the bones. Transfer the turkey to a chopping board and separate the meat from the bones, discarding the bones. To keep the turkey warm, place it on a serving plate and cover it with aluminum foil.

Step 3: Using a wire-mesh strainer, drain the cooking liquid from the slow cooker into a 2-quart saucepan, discarding the solids. In a small bowl, blend the flour and butter to make a smooth paste; gradually whisk the flour mixture into the cooking liquid in the saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, over medium-high heat; boil, whisking frequently, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the parsley, 1 tablespoon thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve the turkey with the gravy on the side.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 3 ounces turkey, 1/3 cup gravy Per Serving: 325 calories; protein 48g; carbs 5g; dietary fiber 1g; sugars 1g; fat 13g; saturated fat 3g; sodium 525mg.

Brown Butter Apple Pie

Photo by: Helena Saadeh


  • 2 Master Pie Dough Recipes
  • 8 cups sliced peeled firm pie apples (5-7 medium), such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and/or Braeburn
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar or sanding sugar


Step 1: Roll one disk of dough between sheets of parchment paper into a 12-inch circle. Remove the top sheet and invert the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Press the dough into the pan’s bottom and up the sides. Remove the paper. While you make the filling, place it in the refrigerator. (If you only want a plain top crust without decoration, roll and refrigerate the second batch of dough.)

Step 2: Roll the second disk of dough into a 12-inch circle between sheets of parchment paper for a decorative top crust. Place the top sheet on a plate after peeling it off. Working from the outside edge of the dough inward. While you make the filling, place it in the refrigerator.

Step 3: In a large bowl, combine the apples, brown sugar, and salt. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Add half the apple mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and the liquid is bubbling and thickened, 4 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining apple mixture, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside for 30 minutes to cool.

Step 4: Place a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 425 degrees F.

Step 5: Fill the prepared crust with the apple filling. Trim the extra dough so it’s flush with the pan if using cutouts. Brush some milk along the edge of the dough. Arrange the cutouts over the filling, going from the outside edge inward and slightly overlapping. Allow for venting by leaving a small hole in the center. Brush the cutouts lightly with the remaining milk, then sprinkle with sanding (or turbinado) sugar. (Alternatively, peel the top piece of paper off the top crust and invert it into the filling. Remove the paper. Tuck the top crust’s edge beneath the lower crust’s edge to seal the two together. Crimp or flute the edge. Make many slits in the top, brush with the remaining milk, and dust with sanding or turbinado sugar).

Step 6: Bake the pie for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Cover the crust’s edges with foil. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes more, or until the top crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour on a wire rack before slicing.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 1 slice Per Serving: 257 calories; protein 3.1g; carbs 36.8g; dietary fiber 2.3g; sugars 19.3g; fat 11.2g; saturated fat 6.9g; cholesterol 25.8mg; vitamin A iu 367.8IU; vitamin C 2.9mg; folate 32mcg; calcium 28.7mg; iron 0.6mg; magnesium 6.7mg; potassium 105.4mg; sodium 161.9mg; added sugar 11g.

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