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Healthy Thanksgiving Ideas

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Ooh look, it’s a post that’s not about desserts!

A lot of y’all have been asking if I’ll ever do a non-dessert post again. The answer is yes, I do actually have plans for some savory recipes—hopefully soon.

Many readers have also asked what savory dishes I’m planning to make for Thanksgiving. I still haven’t figured that one out yet; I thought about making some kind of loaf, but I don’t have a recipe. So maybe it’ll be a stuffed butternut squash. In the meantime, here are some recipes I found on my blog that could make nice additions to any Thanksgiving table.  

Starting with side dishes:

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Creamy Polenta

(If you click on the link above, you’ll also find a really great chili recipe. It’s not listed on this page because I don’t think chili is exactly a Thanksgiving recipe. Then again, neither is macaroni and cheese, but it worked for Chandler Bing!)

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Roast “Candy” Veggies

This method might turn even the pickiest eaters into veggie lovers!

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Crazy-Good Ranch Dressing

I don’t know how you’d serve this on Thanksgiving, but I’m obsessed with the recipe and am therefore including it! (Maybe put it out as an appetizer with raw veggies.)

Main Dishes:

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Bread-free Vegan Stuffing

This makes a nice main course, especially when stuffed in a pumpkin or butternut squash. However, it can also be served as a side dish.

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Bug-a-Boo Bulgur Pilaf

Once again, good for stuffing inside a pumpkin or butternut squash, or even bell peppers.

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Vegan Polenta Casserole

I made this for Christmas last year, but no one says it can’t be a Thanksgiving recipe, too.

Dessert:

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Hot Apple Crumble Bars

Bite-sized pieces of sweet and crumbly deliciousness. The perfect compliment to pecan pie (preferably not a burnt pecan pie… I’m still debating whether or not to give pecan pie another shot this year).

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Chocolate-Pumpkin Pie

Ridiculously easy. And it’s chocolate and pumpkin, so how can you go wrong?

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Deep-Dish Cookie Pie

If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you might be sick of seeing this photo! But it truly is one of my “go to” recipes for any party, because it always gets rave reviews. As does the recipe below:

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Magic Chocolate Pie

If you served me this pie–and only this pie–for every single holiday party I ever attended, I would be a happy girl. For it is my favorite dessert in the whole wide world. And maybe beyond.

Other Desserts:

Any on this page: Eight uses for Canned Pumpkin.

I feel like I’ve already bombarded you with links, so I won’t go and re-list all the pumpkin dessert recipes—including brownies, cream cheese bars, and pizookie pie—on this page. I do try not to link so much, especially in comparison to how much I used to link when I first started blogging! (The reason I link back to old posts is that I work really hard on all my recipe posts, and I hate to think no one will ever see them again the day after they’re published!)

Question of the Day:

What are you most looking forward to this Thanksgiving?

A favorite food? A certain tradition? (If you’re not in America, please still feel free to answer the question about your own country’s Thanksgiving, if you have one.) I’m most looking forward to getting to see my sister and my old college roommate, both of whom are flying in for Thanksgiving.

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. I’m making a vegetarian stuffing for my main dish. Have a great T-day! 🙂

  2. Its the same for me regarding linking! And don’t worry Katie, your recipes are so good no one will not notice them! 😀 I haven’t tried your ranch dressing yet but I will soon!

  3. David says:

    Thanks for the non-dessert blog post! I know you run a top shelf dessert blog — but some of your non-desserts are my favorites. Your crazy good ranch dressing rocks — For T-day, I will have it as a dip for veggies, dressing and green bean casserole. Probably could serve in shot glasses too!

    1. Thanks, David! Haha I love your idea on the shot glasses… usually I can’t even get the darn stuff out of the blender. I just stick my spoon right in! 🙂

  4. I’m looking forward to sharing some homemade vegan dishes with my family who hasn’t had a chance to taste how delicious plant-based eating is! 🙂

  5. Dalai Lina says:

    Leftover pie for breakfast the next day!

  6. All these recipes look delicious! Hard to believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Enjoy celebrating with loved ones, Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. I just have always loved the buzz around the kitchen getting everything ready. My mom makes amazing stuffing and pumpkin rolls – which are unreal straight out of the oven with melted butter on top. Can’t wait to be with everyone this year!

  8. That bread-free stuffing looks delicious!! I’m most looking forward to all of the food!! I eat pretty good and healthy when I’m on my own–Thanksgiving is my time to have some fun 😀

  9. I’ll never get sick of seeing the photo for your deep-dish cookie pie. I’ve made it like, 5 times now and it’s always a hit with everyone…if I get around to sharing it 😀
    We already had our Thanksgiving (this year, I got to host it, all-vegan!!), but my favourite part is definitely the stuffing, bread and all. Gravy is pretty awesome, too, as are roasted yams, potatoes, brussels sprouts, Tofurky coated in homemade cranberry sauce & gravy…k, now I want Thanksgiving dinner all over again!

  10. I took note of the chocolate mousse pie a few months ago and it has been in my Thanksgiving plans ever since. I love chocolate mousse pie and this gave me a healthier alternative to the regular version. Usually I just make pies for other people but this year I will have one I enjoy as well. Thanks so much for that and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

  11. Dakota says:

    I’m looking forward to running in the Berbee Derby (a 10K TGiving run) in the morning with my best friend who’s flying in from grad school, my Boyfriend, as well as my family. It’s a tradition I got them into last year! You feel so worthy of the warm, comforting meal (and a day of relaxation) after a long run (or walk in my parent’s case) in the cold WI weather.

    I also got my mom to spontaneously decide to make a vegan pumpkin pie for me (from Kathy at TheLunchoboxBunch’s recipe. Cashews are miraculous =D)…

    And I can’t forget to mention my favorite tradition of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. It’s something about all the pomp and circumstance…

  12. Amanda says:

    I appreciate all of the links, especially as a new(ish) reader of your blog.

    I’m most looking forward to just relaxing with family. Thanksgiving is one of the few times during the year that all of my extended family gets together. And the pumpkin pie doesn’t hurt, either. 😉

  13. Teresa says:

    So glad I found your site. While I do not follow a Vegan diet , we try and eat healthy with little or no animal product. I have made about 1/2 dozen of your recipes and every single one has been outstanding, I especially love the chocolate pie and I don’t even like pie! Thanks so much for sharing.

  14. Yum! Everything looks great!! Hahah I wish it was still Thanksgiving in Canada 🙂

  15. I live in Canada now so our Thanksgiving was back in October, but as I’m from the Cayman Islands and only moved to Canada recently, I don’t really get ‘into’ Thanksgiving like people do who have grown up with it. In Cayman we have no Thanksgiving…but we do have Pirates Week each year :). That’s a pretty awesome holiday 😉

  16. You had me at deep dish. Oooo la la

  17. In Germany we have a holiday to be thankful for the crop but no one celebrates it. But I really like the idea behind Thanksgiving!

  18. Amber K says:

    I never look forward to Thankgiving. I can only eat stuff that I make myself, and I have never really liked traditional Thanksgiving foods anyway. I always use to look forward to the rolls, mashed potatoes, and any vegetables that no one ruined with weird sauces or dressings. But now I have to be even better about not getting contaminated! It certainly makes eating outside of my own house difficult!

  19. Aja says:

    I expect this year’s thanksgiving to be very interesting since I won’t be eating any turkey. It will be interesting hearing people’s reactions (even though I was a vegetarian for most of my life and only ate meat the past 2 years) and see what I can and cannot eat. I love the ideas. I wish I had more time to make something like that stuff myself.

  20. Kit-Kat says:

    The yams!
    My mom cuts the yams in circles, layers them in a baking dish, and squeezes juice of lemons on the yams. Then she bakes it in the oven until tender. YUM!
    I hope to try your breadless stuffing this Thanksgiving, too. It looks really yummy, and sure to please! 🙂