Like me on Facebook for updates on delicious recipes!  

Healthy Thanksgiving Ideas

Pin It!

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:


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!)


Roast “Candy” Veggies

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


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:


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.


Bug-a-Boo Bulgur Pilaf

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


Vegan Polenta Casserole

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



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).


Chocolate-Pumpkin Pie

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


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:


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—> 
Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  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. Everything looks so good. Wanna cook for me?? Haha. Happy thanksgiving eve!

  11. 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!!!

  12. I’m so impressed with your non-dessert ideas!

  13. 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…

  14. 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. 😉

  15. 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.

  16. Yum! Everything looks great!! Hahah I wish it was still Thanksgiving in Canada :)

  17. 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 😉

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

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

  21. Love this post, thanks for the interesting ideas. I”m thankful to have a day to rest and relax. And rest and relax whilst eating, instead of mowing down snacks on-the-go, like I usually do!

  22. 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.

  23. 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! :-)

  24. I’m looking forward to family and food! And anything that works for Chandler works for me :)

  25. Emilia says:

    I’m not a huge fan of thanksgiving, but I love watching the parade on tv! Of course, I’m abroad right now which means I just have to youtube clips of the parade :_

  26. Sarah says:

    Ah, i love Thanksgiving! Friends, food, family, and more food. The only downside is waking up the next morning and trying to fit into your brand new skinny jeans… that look like tights now! My favorite dish (and a huge contributing factor to my skinny jean problem) is the stuffing. Man, oh man. And i eat the leftovers for breakfast, dont judge! :) Sorry Katie, but i just couldn’t have my stuffing without bread! I dont mean to sound rude by that though. If you can eat breadless stuffing, let me tell ya somethin’, you are gonna have no problem with your skinny jeans come Friday morning! Mmmm… i smell something really good downstairs so i’m going to go dash off. Wait is that stuffing i smell?!? Oh for the love of Pete, here we go again…

  27. Moni'sMeals says:

    Hey, this is great! Switching things up is always good in my book. :)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Katie!

  28. Megan E. says:

    What great ideas! Here’s some of the stuff we did:

    Baked butternut squash/cranberries/walnuts/apples (topped with brown sugar and spices, if desired) – I did add butter to the top, but you don’t have to

    Winter Risotto – mushrooms, sweet potato, cranberries

    Baked Apple Chips

    Spinach Artichoke dip (yeah this one had cheese, I love cheese)

    For your ranch dip -veggies, bagel chips, cheese sticks, etc would all be good -just think dippy stuff!

    I think I’ll add the “candy veggies” to the list for next year!

    1. Sarah says:

      we are going to do spinach artichoke as well! we will serve it with crackers and chips. where did you get your recipe from? got mine from southern living. Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

      1. Megan E. says:

        Sarah – I made mine from a few recipes.

        I use more artichokes and spinach than usual (I like the taste). I use sour cream + cream cheese instead of mayo. I add tomatoes as well. Then for cheese, I use feta, mozzarella, and parmesan. Crackers and chips are a great way to serve it – but if you haven’t tried bagels, they are fantastic! Either make bagel chips (thin cut, brush with butter or spray with butter, bake) or bagel wedges (cut whole bagel up into wedges, bake & spice as desired).

        I love southern living though, being originally from Georgia 😉

        1. Sarah says:

          Awesome- almost exactly like the SL recipe, and i am definitely gonna try the bagel idea!

  29. I just flew in this morning, so I am looking forward to just spending time with my family!

  30. Ellen says:

    So funny, I am hosting Thanksgiving for the first time and was thinking I’d make your ranch dip to put out with crudités so people would have nibbles upon arriving! It is super-delicious, therefore in my book that makes it a Thanksgiving-appropriate food:)

  31. I celebrated a few nigths ago because I’m off traveling in Europe. We had all the classics and feasted on leftovers today and yesterday, it was wonderful! I hope you have a wonderful holiday!!

  32. Alyssa says:

    So much yumminess…
    Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!

  33. I’m most looking forward to making food for my family and seeing their joy when they eat it. I won’t be eating the turkey, but they are excited, and that’s what excites me…to see them happy. As a mom and wife, making my family happy is my #1 priority and that’s what I am looking forward to.

    Happy TGiving to you and yours, Katie!

  34. Rachel says:

    if you ever want to make a vegan loaf, there is a magical website that allows you to pick whatever ingredients you have on hand and then spits out a personalized vegan loaf recipe for you! You can mix and match like crazy. The results are always incredible.

  35. Rachel says:

    ps: love the savory recipe posts! are you ever going to do a “what’s in my pantry / fridge / staples I always buy” post?

    1. I tried to start one… but I just buy so many different things and different brands that it just got confusing!

  36. Your recipes look so delicious! I look forward to spending time with my family and eating a lot!! And of course shopping the next day!! I go with my family… we’ve kind of turned it into a tradition.

  37. Lena says:

    Oh, please do give pecan pie another shot! I don’t know if I’ll ever get to make it since I never buy pecans (although I love them so very much), but I would drool all over the pictures and recipe for ages. And Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated where I live but hope you (and everyone who reads this) have a wonderful one!

  38. What am I looking forward to? The extra days off! Boy, that sounds selfish. Ok, spending the day with loved ones. And the extra days off :)

  39. Tina M says:

    I am looking forward to spending time with family & trying out a few of your pumpkin recipes. Our daughter is on a special diet & your recipes have been a big help! Thanks! Happy Thanksgiving :)

  40. Melissa E says:

    I would love to see your take on Pecan Pie!!! I would be so happy if I could make a healthy one to take to a part that still tasted like the original!!

  41. Tara says:

    I really hope you give the pecan pie another shot!! I’d love to try a healthier, vegan version! Maybe try making tartlets or something? I don’t know why, but that sounds easier to me! Actually, you should try making coconut pecan pie. We had that two thanksgivings ago, and it was so good that I still remember it!
    I’m looking forward to stuffing. That’s my favorite part!

  42. esmemerrie says:

    it was funny to see non-desserts at first… I laughed at myself since I had to think it through 😉 I almost forgot you have to eat ‘real’ food too!

  43. Ann says:

    I want to thank you for all your excellent recipes! They are always easy and delicious. Ive had to go on a strict anti yeast diet and knew the holidays would be hard, but I’ve adapted some of your recipes and am still enjoying them. The no-bread stuffing was great and I made the chocolate pumpkin pudding ACD friendly by subbing carob for chocolate, adding a little pie spice for extra flavor and eating it crustless like a pudding and it was still yummy. This yr with all my dietary challenges I am very thankful for all your inspiration.

  44. I just made your deep dish cookie pie for a dinner part and they loved it! I just didn’t have the heart to tell them there was beans in it. I’l save that for next time. 😉

  45. jackie says:

    Hey Katie. I just wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. I found your website about a month ago and love it. I’m a regular old carnivore but am most often trying to eat healthy and you’ve helped in that area. I even eat oatmeal much more often and don’t even complain about it anymore (it’s historically been something that I’ve only choked down). Anyway…just wanted to say thanks, have a great day, and keep up the great work!

    1. Awww happy Thanksgiving, Jackie!! :)

  46. LizAshlee says:

    I love your dessert recipes..they always make me wish I had more time to experiment in the kitchen…like those apple crumble bars or the deep dish cookie…YUM!! Happy Thanksgiving!! :)

  47. Great combo of dishes. The polenta looks especially tasty! Happy Thanksgiving!

  48. Megan says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a wonderful time with family and enjoy delicious vegan delights! I just made my first vegan pumpkin pie and I am super excited! This is my first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian and I plan on making tempeh sauteed with red onion, rosemary, and sage with some fresh cranberry sauce. Hooray! Oh, and I am thankful for your blog!
    P.S. In Veg Times this month, they mentioned a website where you can create your own chocolate bar and I thought of you! It is

  49. Carli says:

    OMG! You are a lifesaver! My husband is chronically ill and due to diet restrictions can’t have dairy, eggs, well not much of anything. With your recipes I’ll be able to make him his favorite treats. Thank you, thank you! I’ll be baking tomorrow.

  50. wingraclaire says:

    I used your recipe to make the pumpkin brownies. I made them gluten-free as 3 of my 16 guests are on a gluten-free diet. They LOVED it, and I gave them extras to take home. I can always make more!!!

  51. Alexis says:

    I just wanted to say, I made your chocolate pie for one of the thanksgiving deserts, and it was SO SO SO SO AMAZING!!! I have never tasted something with such a perfect richness of chocolate. No wonder it’s your favorite dessert! I am definitely making it again in a month for christmas.

    I hope you had a happy thanksgiving.

  52. –Stunning side dishes, but the desserts are to drool over… X WOW

  53. cameron Battle says:

    chandler bing, friends reference, this blog receives my personal seal of approval.