Healthy Turkey Dinner Side Dishes: Celebrate the Healthy Way

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Healthy Turkey Dinner Side Dishes

Whether it’s an extravagant Thanksgiving feast or a simple family gathering, a turkey dinner is many people’s idea of comfort food. If you’re watching your waist or are simply health-conscious, sides like green bean casserole or marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole can cause problems. Fortunately, there are other options. Read on to learn about healthy turkey dinner side dishes to serve alongside a roast bird.

Roasted Green Beans

Green beans are good source of vitamin K they taste great on a winter night. To make low-fat roasted green beans, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray, or rub the inside with one-half tsp of high-heat oil, such as canola oil. Sprinkle the inside of the bowl with one-half tsp salt. Add the beans and toss until well coated. Transfer to a heavy baking sheet and roast at 450 degrees F for 16 to 20 minutes, or until light brown, tossing with tongs halfway through.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, and you don’t have to slather them in butter or top them with marshmallows to enjoy them. One easy way to cook sweet potatoes is to peel them, cut them into inch-sized chunks, and steam them using a stovetop steamer or a steamer bag until very tender before mashing them. Include a little healthy fat, such as olive oil, to help your body absorb the vitamin A.

Better Mashed Potatoes

If sweet potatoes aren’t your thing, you can lighten up regular mashed potatoes. To ensure that the potatoes retain their rich, starchy flavor, wash them, pierce them with a paring knife and boil them whole in their skins. Once the potatoes are tender, mash the skins, which are a good source of potassium into the potatoes. Mix with a one-quarter cup of low-fat sour cream and 1 cup skim milk. Continue mashing until desired consistency.

Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving just isn’t complete without cranberry sauce. Cranberries are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants and vitamin C, and you don’t have to load your sauce up with lots of sugar to make it good. The Mayo Clinic’s healthy recipe database recommends chopping one cup of fresh cranberries and simmering them with two-thirds cup unsweetened orange juice, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tsp sugar until thick. The natural pectin in the cranberries gives the sauce its characteristic thick consistency.

For Further Reading

You can find great ideas for healthy side dishes right here on Bright Hub. Check out these great articles.


The Doctors Book of Food Remedies; Selene Yeager; 2006.

Mayo Clinic: Cranberry Orange Glaze recipe.

Roasted Green Beans; Cooks Illustrated Magazine; November 2005

World’s Healthiest Foods : Sweet Potatoes.