Every Thanksgiving, you’ll find grocery store shelves lined with predictable ingredients: canned green beans, canned cream of mushroom soup, and fried onions – a processed food complete with wheat flour and dextrose.
While green bean casserole is a Thanksgiving holdover, it’s by no means nutritious once canned green beans get doused with processed soup and onions. So, this year, nix the bean casserole in favor of healthy, warm and comforting side dishes.
We’re talking creamy, velvety mashed cauliflower and coconut bread stuffing layered with spices and flavorful meats. Make Paleo-friendly, candied pecan-topped sweet potatoes and cran-cherry sauce for your guests, and they’ll hardly realize they’re eating clean while indulging.
All of these sides are easy to whip up and many require minimal ingredients and time. This year, focus on eating good, nutritious and decadent food with the ones you love most, and skip the can of mushroom soup.
Butternut Squash with Cranberries
Combine seasonal produce in an unexpected way with this tangy, sweet, and warmly-spiced butternut squash with cranberries dish. Roasted butternut squash gets sautéed with cranberries and coconut milk, then spiced with cinnamon and curry powder.
Recipe: Paleo Plan | Butternut Squash with Cranberries
Healthy Cauliflower Mac n’ Cheese
Mac n’ cheese is a Thanksgiving staple, and this dairy-free, grain-free version delivers all the creamy comfort of a bowl of mac with none of the guilt.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Healthy Cauliflower Mac n’ Cheese
Give this low-carb take on mashed “potatoes” a go by subbing in cauliflower. Made creamy with coconut milk, these mashers are Paleo- and vegan-friendly. Pro tip: These are perfect for a keto Thanksgiving.
Recipe: Paleo Plan | Cauliflower Mashers
Roasted Honey-Glazed Carrots
These honey-glazed carrots couldn’t be easier to whip up. Simply toss carrots with honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast away.
Recipe: Delicious Meets Healthy | Roasted Honey-Glazed Carrots
Roasted Root Vegetable Ratatouille
Every Thanksgiving spread needs a vibrant, veggie-packed dish. This year, skip the green beans in favor of this colorful root vegetable ratatouille, filled with eggplant, zucchini, butternut squash, carrots, sweet potato and more.
Recipe: Paleo Plan | Roasted Root Vegetable Ratatouille
Bacon and Chive Sweet Potato Biscuits
Some people make cheddar biscuits for Thanksgiving; we’re willing to bet these are 100 times better with their sweet potato, bacon, garlic, and chive base.
Recipe: PaleOMG | Bacon and Chive Sweet Potato Biscuits
Crunchy Cauliflower Casserole
If you typically whip up potato casseroles on Thanksgiving, you’ll love this low-carb alternative. Packed with texture and crunch thanks to the almond topping, this dish is warm, comforting, and healthy!
Recipe: Paleo Plan | Crunchy Cauliflower Casserole
Easy Gravy Recipe
Want to know the secret to creamy, easy gravy? Hint: Save your turkey drippings.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Easy Gravy Recipe
Sweet Potato Casserole
Here’s a healthified version of a Thanksgiving classic: this sweet potato casserole nixes the marshmallows in favor of a crunchy, candied pecan topping.
Recipe: Paleo Plan | Sweet Potato Casserole
This recipe offers two different ways to achieve creamy, comforting greens, depending on your dietary needs. Go dairy-free with coconut milk (or omit that for a low-FODMAP version), or go primal with heavy cream.
Recipe: Fed and Fit | Creamed Spinach
Paleo Dinner Rolls
The Thanksgiving table wouldn’t be complete without warm dinner rolls fresh out of the oven. These freshly baked Paleo rolls are every bit as warm and satisfying as their gluten-laden counterparts.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Paleo Dinner Rolls
Maple Brussels Sprouts
All it takes to make these fall-inspired Brussels sprouts is bacon fat, maple syrup, salt, paprika, and, of course, your sprouts.
Recipe: Paleo Porn | Maple Brussels Sprouts
Serve up buttery mashed yams, spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, in individual ramekins for a side dish that wins in flavor and presentation.
Recipe: Real Simple Good | Thanksgiving Yams
Breadless Cauliflower Stuffing
If you’re trying to keep things gluten-free, give this cauliflower stuffing a try. It’s packed with flavor, thanks to spices and herbs like sage and rosemary.
Recipe: PaleoHacks | Breadless Cauliflower Stuffing
Coconut Bread Stuffing
Homemade coconut flour bread gets tossed with veggies, tons of spices, ground sausage, turkey gizzards and hearts. These organ meats add lots of flavor and tons of nutrition, including iron, protein, and B-vitamins.
Recipe: Paleo Plan | Coconut Bread Stuffing
Swiss Chard with Raisins, Pine Nuts and Porkitos
Vibrant, rainbow-stemmed Swiss chard is sautéed with raisins and pine nuts for a bright, refreshing side dish. Topped with crisped pork pieces, you can’t go wrong.
Recipe: Nom Nom Paleo | Swiss Chard with Raisins, Pine Nuts and Porkitos
Perfect Roasted Veggies
These colorful roasted vegetables might just steal the show from your turkey, they’re that gorgeous.
Recipe: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen | Perfect Roasted Veggies
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage, Apples, and Cranberries
Rethink “stuffing” and stuff an autumnal acorn squash with sausage, apples, and cranberries for a show-stopping side dish this Thanksgiving.
Recipe: Paleo Running Momma | Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage, Apples, and Cranberries
Sausage and Cranberry Stuffed Mushrooms with Sage
Filled with the flavors of fall, these poppable little stuffed mushrooms will be a hit at your Thanksgiving table.
Recipe: Wholesomelicious | Sausage and Cranberry Stuffed Mushrooms with Sage
Paleo Cran-Cherry Sauce
Add a touch more sweetness to your typical cranberry sauce with this sweet cherry version. Apple juice and honey add additional natural sweetness.
Recipe: Nom Nom Paleo | Paleo Cran-Cherry Sauce
Paleo Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples
Sweet, savory and herby come together in one bite with this fall-inspired Brussels sprouts dish. This dish requires only five ingredients and comes together in under 30 minutes, making it the perfect thing to whip up for a crowd on Thanksgiving.
Recipe: Paleo Running Momma | Paleo Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples
(You’ll Also Love: The Best Paleo Thanksgiving Recipes – Grain-Free, Dairy-Free)