Thanksgiving is a time of year where we come together with family and friends and celebrate the things that we are grateful for. But it is also, of course, about the food that we eat, and if you’re following a Paleo diet, holidays may feel extra restricting. But I’ve rounded up 65 of the best Paleo Thanksgiving recipes that exist, and frankly, are every bit as delicious as their gluten and dairy-filled counterparts.
I hosted an all-Paleo Thanksgiving a few years back, and while I eat Paleo as a necessity for several food allergies and autoimmune disorders, many of them aren’t Paleo eaters and are, in fact, very choosy about their holiday food. But to this day, I still get compliments on that meal, proving that you don’t have to sacrifice taste at all even if you’re on an allergy-friendly, Paleo diet.
I’ve broken the recipes down into categories so that you can easily sift through the list and find that perfect one you’re looking for to make your Paleo Thanksgiving a smashing success. I know that the turkey, and the mashed potatoes, and the gravy, and the pumpkin stuff are the collective stars of Thanksgiving day. But really, this list contains so many classic (and delicious!) dishes that will add color and extra pops of flavor to your feast, and with Paleo options for all of them, why not take your Thanksgiving meal to the next level? I don’t know about you, but I’m going to have a hard time choosing just a few of these.
Paleo Turkey Recipes
Whole Citrus Roasted Turkey
If you want a fresh twist on the Thanksgiving bird, then throwing in the zesty, juicy surprise of citrus is an excellent option. While most wouldn’t pair citrus flavors with savory turkey, the results of this recipe yield an extra juicy, extra bold turkey flavor that will have your Thanksgiving guests coming back for seconds (and thirds).
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Whole Citrus Roasted Turkey
Free-Range Pastured Whole Turkey
The turkey is always the “big deal” of the Thanksgiving feast, yet many worry that it’s too hard to roast their own whole turkey. This Free-Range Pastured Whole Turkey recipe yields delicious, juicy results without a ton of headache. Pastured turkeys are generally smaller in size, but this whole turkey recipe also works with free-range, organic, or conventional turkey just as well. You’ll be sure to delight the palates of your guests with this exceptionally mouth-watering bird that is anything but dry. You may want to brine your turkey overnight or for a few hours before popping it in the oven, to help retain moisture in the meat during cooking.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Free Range Pastured Whole Turkey
Slow-Cooker Whole Turkey
If you want a turkey that’s going to be extra simple, let your slow cooker do the heavy lifting. While this won’t work for larger birds, it’s perfect for smaller ones, and can even be used to prep your bird a day or two ahead.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Slow-Cooker Whole Turkey
Turmeric and Honey Roast Turkey
Up your turkey game by adding turmeric, everyone’s favorite anti-inflammatory superfood. Not only will you be indulging in Thanksgiving’s most famous dish, but you’ll be partaking of a dish with nourishing benefits that keep on giving. Plus, you won’t have to worry about a bland or boring turkey. This one is sweet and spicy, and juicy in all the right places.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Turmeric and Honey Roast Turkey
Bacon Wrapped Turkey
A bacon-wrapped turkey? Does it get more Paleo than that? The recipe includes a super helpful tutorial slideshow in case it’s your first time making a bacon sweater for the Thanksgiving bird. The results of this show-stealing turkey? You’ll probably be asked to bring it every year.
Recipe: The Kitchn | Bacon Wrapped Turkey
Turkey brine adds flavor and moisture to your Thanksgiving turkey, making you less likely to end up with dry turkey meat. This Paleo turkey brine recipe makes enough to brine up to an 18 pound turkey. If you have a very large turkey, add ½ cup sea salt for every additional gallon of water needed to fully submerge your bird. To save room in your refrigerator, you can brine your turkey in doubled up turkey size oven bags or brining bags. You’ll probably require less brine for this as tying the bags tightly around the turkey brings less brine in contact with more bird.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Turkey Brine
Paleo Gravy Recipes
Garlic Apple Turkey Gravy
This Garlic Apple Turkey Gravy recipe is a delicious topping for mashed potatoes, Thanksgiving turkey, or just about any other food that would taste better smothered in gravy! Unlike traditional gravy recipes, this Paleo Garlic Apple Turkey Gravy is actually healthy with good fats that come from the turkey drippings. This gluten-free gravy is thickened with arrowroot or tapioca powder (flour), but potato starch or cassava flour and other Paleo-friendly thickeners would work just as well.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Garlic Apple Turkey Gravy
The Best Gravy
This Paleo, grain-free, gluten-free gravy is as simple as it is delish! With just a few simple ingredients, you can be on your way to the savoriest Thanksgiving gravy you’ve ever had. And no, you don’t need turkey drippings, any stock will do!
Recipe: PaleoHacks | The Best Gravy
Paleo Turkey Gravy
You just can’t have turkey without gravy! Well you can, but why would you when you can have this delicious, creamy, slightly sweet and very savory Paleo turkey gravy? It’s painless to make, and tastes delicious with the turkey and the rolls, and pretty much everything else on your Thanksgiving plate.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Paleo Turkey Gravy
Paleo Cranberry Sauce Recipes
Tart Cranberry Sauce
This beloved Thanksgiving staple is jazzed up in this recipe with the addition of orange juice, making it more palatable for those who aren’t a fan of cranberries on their own.
Recipe: Primal Palate | Tart Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Sauce Two Ways
Whether you prefer jellied cranberry sauce, or whole cranberries, you can have your sauce and eat it too with this double whammy of cranberry goodness. Make the one that suits your preferences, or make both to appeal to both cranberry sauce camps.
Recipe: Predominantly Paleo | Cranberry Sauce Two Ways
Paleo Mashed Potato Recipes
Traditional Paleo Mashed Potatoes
Since real potatoes are Paleo, why not enjoy this traditional Thanksgiving staple? This Traditional Mashed Potatoes recipe prepares them without milk, yet still gives them a creamy texture that will have dinner guests going back for seconds (and thirds!). Top them with gravy, or enjoy them on their own for a rich, filling comfort food that you’ll want to enjoy all winter long!
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Traditional Mashed Potatoes
Can’t do potatoes or other nightshades? Cauliflower to the rescue! And the way that this dish is prepped will fool even your pickiest of potato fans into believing that it’s a spud-worthy dish. For another twist, try combining half cauliflower with half potatoes.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Cauliflower Mashers
Duck Fat Roasted Garlic Sweet Potatoes
This dish uses white sweet potatoes to achieve the classic look of mashed potatoes but it has a hidden, gold-star ingredient: duck fat. Okay, it’s not really hidden when it’s in the title of the recipe, but when your guests see this dish, they’ll think “delicious mashed potatoes.” When they taste it, however, their mouths will explode with a symphony of rich, savory, and melt-in-the-mouth perfection. It doesn’t get more Thanksgiving than that.
Recipe: Sarah Fragoso | Duck Fat Roasted Garlic Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Celery Root Mash
Not a fan of plain mashed cauliflower? This recipe pairs it with garlic, celery root, and ghee to produce an over the top creamy dish that will make you say, “Potatoes who?”
Recipe: Cook Eat Paleo | Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Celery Root Mash
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Maple Ghee and Pecans
Skip the marshmallows and keep it Paleo by using this unique blend of maple, ghee, and pecans to form the perfect sweet topping for these traditional orange potatoes.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Maple Ghee and Pecans
Paleo Thanksgiving Side Recipes
Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash
Dessert or side dish—or both? This perfect autumnal dish pairs fall ingredients with favorite warming spices that will be sure to please both seasoned and picky palates.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash
Green Bean Casserole
Some would argue (me!) that it isn’t Thanksgiving unless you have the green bean casserole. Frankly, I can go back for seconds and thirds of this just as much as I can for potatoes and turkey. While the Paleo diet doesn’t allow for the use of traditional canned cream of mushroom soup, this does not mean that you have to miss out on this classic dish during the holidays! Every element of the classic green bean casserole is here, Paleo-styled, since I know your meal wouldn’t be complete without the creamy, comforting goodness of this casserole dish.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Green Bean Casserole
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate
This is, hands down, one of my favorite holiday-themed dishes. The red and green play nicely off each other, but more importantly, the delightful bitterness of the Brussels sprouts soars to new heights with the addition of pomegranate. Not only does it look pretty, it’s also a superfood dish—why not give your Thanksgiving meal a hefty boost of antioxidants and vitamins?
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate
Brown Butter and Herb Skillet Potatoes
Juli Bauer has outdone herself with this recipe, and I’m pretty sure this is going to become my go to potato recipe, Thanksgiving or not. Not quite Hasselback, and super easy, these potatoes are thinly sliced and roasted to buttery perfection. You might actually cry if you don’t try this recipe.
Recipe: PaleOMG | Brown Butter and Herb Skillet Potatoes
No potatoes here! Our Vegetable Trinity recipe is an elegant and impressive side dish to serve your guests when you need to impress. This winter-root inspired dish is a stunning accompaniment to any holiday meal. Dazzle your guests with this festive medley of seasonal vegetables—including cauliflower, celeriac, yam, and beets—each imparting a unique flavor that perfectly complements one another. Serve this beautiful side dish in a martini glass or get creative with the presentation to accentuate the delicious trinity of colors.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Vegetable Trinity
Rosemary Delicata Squash with Maple Cream Drizzle
Dazzle your guests with this unique, gorgeous side dish that pairs the mild flavor of squash with the sweet and creamy blend of coconut and maple.
Recipe: Autoimmune Wellness | Rosemary Delicata Squash with Maple Cream Drizzle
Caramelized Baked Butternut Squash
If you want a unique Thanksgiving side dish that still melds well with the autumnal flavors, then give squash a try. But this isn’t just any old squash—it’s baked with chili flakes, giving a punch of warmth and spice to the earthy texture.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Caramelized Baked Butternut Squash
Paleo Stuffing Recipes
Coconut Bread Stuffing
What is a Thanksgiving meal without stuffing? Have no fear, devoted grain-free eaters. You can still enjoy delicious bread stuffing on the holidays (or anytime of year that you want!) by using this easy Paleo Coconut Bread Stuffing recipe.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Coconut Bread Stuffing
Apple-Cranberry Holiday Stuffing
Need an AIP stuffing recipe? This one is not only pro gut health and anti-inflammatory, but it includes bacon and bone broth—two popular Paleo ingredients that are sure to convert even stuffing haters.
Recipe: Autoimmune Wellness | Apple-Cranberry Holiday Stuffing
Gluten-Free Apple Sausage Stuffing
This stuffing combines the sweet and salty blend of apples with sausage for a perfect Paleo, grain-free result that will fit perfectly whether you stuff your bird with it or not.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Gluten-Free Apple Sausage Stuffing
Paleo Bread and Roll Recipes
One of the things I love the most about Paleo eating is that it can be inclusive for almost everyone. This bread recipe is not only grain free, but is also free from almonds and other nuts that can sometimes be problematic. With only five ingredients, this bread recipe is tasty and friendly for even the most food-allergy plagued diners at your Thanksgiving meal.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Plantain Bread
Baked Paleo Dinner Rolls
These rolls can be prepped and baked from start to finish in just 30 minutes, meaning it’s truly possible to have fresh from the oven rolls on your Thanksgiving table! Utilizing coconut flour and tapioca, they have that real bread texture that is easy to miss on a grain-free diet.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Baked Paleo Dinner Rolls
Paleo Pumpkin Cornbread
While this recipe doesn’t actually contain corn (because corn isn’t Paleo), it perfectly mimics that satisfying, bready texture of legitimate cornbread. Since Thanksgiving is big on images of ears of corn, this might round out your perfect turkey day feast, without compromising your grain-free diet.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Paleo Pumpkin Cornbread
Paleo Pumpkin Recipes
Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bars
This Paleo pumpkin pie bar recipe is a fabulous Paleo-friendly replacement for traditional pumpkin pie recipes. Top these pumpkin pie bars with a dollop of coconut whipped cream to create the perfect end to Thanksgiving dinner that everyone will enjoy, even without the crust! If you’re eating low-carb or are otherwise trying to cut down on the amount of sweetener in your life, you can easily exclude or reduce the sweetener in this recipe.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bars
If you want to embrace the pumpkiny nature of Thanksgiving, but making a pie seems too daunting, then this pumpkin custard recipe is the perfect easy dessert that will delight your diners with both presentation and flavor! It can be prepared in individual serving glasses, or in one large glass dish, with the same, festive results.
Recipe: PaleoPlan | Pumpkin Custard
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Miss dairy on the Paleo diet? You won’t with this dairy-free recipe that pairs pumpkin with the addictively popular cheesecake concept. Prep this dessert the day before to save time, although I have serious doubts that you’ll be able to keep your hands off of it before the big meal.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Mini Stuffed Pumpkins with Caramelized Cinnamon Apples
You don’t see stuffed pumpkins at every Thanksgiving, but these will certainly be the talk of the dessert table. Pairing pumpkins with apples and cinnamon is a trifecta of Thanksgiving perfection. Add a dollop of coconut whipped cream, and you’re going to be in a Paleo dreamland.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Mini Stuffed Pumpkins with Caramelized Cinnamon Apples
Pumpkin Spice Cake with Gingersnap Crust
In less than an hour you could have this delicious, AIP-friendly pumpkin pie (with frosting!) on your Thanksgiving table. Folks who don’t need allergy-friendly diets won’t even know how good-for-them it is, and there’s no need to tell! Unless, of course, you want to save more for yourself.
Recipe: Autoimmune Wellness | Pumpkin Spice Cake with Gingersnap Crust
Grain Free Pumpkin Pie
If you can’t imagine Thanksgiving without real pumpkin pie, then fear not! This completely Paleo but completely delicious recipe will convert all classic pumpkin pie lovers. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if you don’t tell anyone that it’s grain-free, then they probably won’t be asking—unless, of course, they’re asking for seconds.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Grain Free Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Bars with Coconut Buttercream Frosting
Want that pumpkin feel, but simpler? These pumpkin bars will be a hit with kids, and are perfect for before and after dinner grazing. You don’t even need a fork!
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Pumpkin Bars with Coconut Buttercream Frosting
Paleo Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes
The Best Apple Crumble
Apples are some of autumn’s best offerings, and no Thanksgiving could be complete without a dessert featuring their sweet aroma and melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | The Best Apple Crumble
Paleo Fried Apple Pies
I know “Paleo” and “fried” don’t often go in the same sentence, but when you combine the perfection of apple pies fried in avocado oil (which is heart healthy and stands up to the high cooking temp), you really can’t lose. The only way you can be winning more is if you pair this with some kind of Paleo ice cream perfection. You’re welcome.
Recipe: Predominantly Paleo | Paleo Fried Apple Pies
Maple Roasted Walnuts
Part appetizer, part dessert that appeals to the weird ones who don’t like apples or pumpkins, these roasted walnuts can be served on their own, or can be added as topping for carrot cake, spice cake, pumpkin pie, or any apple dessert.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Maple Roasted Walnuts
Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
Pecan pie is one of those desserts that seems to show up right around Thanksgiving, and there’s no need to skip it even if you’re Paleo. This recipe is a nice complement to any dessert table that also includes pumpkin, apple, and all things cinnamon.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
Okay, seriously: have you indulged in the Hasselback food phenomenon yet? The internet proves that you can Hasselback anything, but this is hands down my favorite.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Hasselback Apples
Mini Paleo Apple Pies
Miniature pies are not only adorable, but they’re easier to pull off if you happen to have hands that ruin every pie crust they touch (I do). The only downside to these is that you won’t be able to stop with just one, but really, is that a problem?
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Mini Paleo Apple Pies