Thanksgiving has become the beginning of indulgence season, and it doesn’t really seem to end until a few hours after New Year’s Eve, which can be a long and treacherous six week stretch of eating too many unhealthy things. If your Thanksgiving is on the smaller side this year, it’s entirely doable to have a healthier Thanksgiving that doesn’t require days or even all that many hours in the kitchen.
Downsizing Thanksgiving gives you the opportunity to combine side dishes, make bite-size beautiful desserts, prepare a gravy without turkey drippings, or even forego a whole turkey all together. A Thanksgiving dinner for two can be elegant as well as nutritious, so use our guide to 12 healthy Thanksgiving recipes for two to get you in the healthy holiday spirit.
Sweet Potato Rounds with Herbed Ricotta and Walnuts
Instead of the traditional bruschetta, try these loaded sweet potato rounds instead. Topped with a creamy, herby ricotta and crunchy walnuts, these sweet and savory bites are ideal one-bite pre-dinner snacks for two.
50 minutes 175 calories Easy
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
This quick dish works as a side dish for turkey or an appetizer – just wrap your asparagus in prosciutto and fry in sizzling hot ghee until brown and crispy.
20 minutes 80 calories Easy
Herbed Wild Rice and Quinoa Stuffing
This quinoa and rice-based stuffing works as a tasty side dish on the Thanksgiving table or can double as your main dish if you’re skipping the labor-intensive turkey all together.
1h 30m 200 calories Easy
Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
Garlicky smooth cauliflower mash is far healthier than its traditional potato counterpart but doesn’t skimp on the flavor, meaning you don’t have to feel bad about taking that second or third scoop during dinner.
20 minutes 100 calories Easy
Cranberry Quinoa Salad with Orange, Mint, and Kale
If traditional cranberry sauce isn’t your thing, perhaps a nutritious and unique cranberry salad is more up your alley. While still sweetened from cranberries and orange slices, this colorful side dish isn’t nearly as sweet as most cranberry sauces.
45 minutes 210 calories Easy
Vegetarian Wild Mushroom Gravy
A Thanksgiving for two means going all out with a giant turkey could be out of the question, which means a traditional gravy may not be as easy to create. This mushroom gravy doesn’t require any turkey drippings, so you can still create that rich, luscious gravy without the big turkey, or any meat at all.
35 minutes 85 calories Easy
Roasted Vegetable Galette
Rather than make multiple veggie side dishes like you would for a large group, a galette combines all your favorites in one savory, crispy crust to divide up for just the two of you.
2h 00m 250 calories Easy
Stuffed Butternut Squash with Tempeh
If you’re going for a meat-free Thanksgiving this year, this stuffed squash is the perfect way to get your main course and side dish in the same pan. A meaty version can also be made by substituting ground turkey for the tempeh.
50 minutes 110 calories Easy
Roasted Turkey Breast
A whole turkey isn’t necessary for a Thanksgiving for two, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have turkey at all. This roasted turkey breast sits in a flavorful marinade overnight before slowly roasting in the oven, delivering a moist, juicy turkey you’ll want to make every year.
1h 00m 310 calories Easy
Apple Rose Pastries
Bite-size desserts are the ideal way to get something sweet on your dinner table for two without slaving over multiple pies and cakes this Thanksgiving. Plus, the rose design on top will certainly impress your Thanksgiving dinner partner.
40 minutes 80 calories Easy
Apple Cranberry Crisp with White Wine and Olive Oil
This not-too-sweet crisp is easy to make and not overly time consuming, giving you the opportunity to focus on the rest of your Thanksgiving dishes.
1h 00m 250 calories Easy
Gluten Free Pecan Pie
The almond butter crust used for this pecan pie is plenty buttery and flaky and every bite is sweet, warm and gooey, but without any refined sugar or corn syrup you won’t feel bad about serving this after dinner.
50 minutes 460 calories Easy