Healthier Side Dishes for Your Thanksgiving Table

Ingredients to make healthy Thanksgiving side dishes, cranberries, bread for stuffing, celery and mushrooms.

The turkey may get all the press, but it’s the sides that steal the show on Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy these healthy takes on everyone’s favorites. They’re lower in saturated fat and sugar than traditional dishes but still full of flavor.

Tips for a Less Stressful Holiday Dinner

There’s no way to guarantee there won’t be some drama preparing the big meal. But by following this turkey-day timeline, you can help ensure the holiday runs a bit more smoothly.

Remember, the most important part of the holiday is to enjoy time spent with friends and family!

  • 1 to 2 Weeks Before Thanksgiving Planning

    • Confirm the number of guests.
    • Plan the menu.
    • Read through all the recipes you’ll use, and make shopping lists.
    • Decide on decorations, table settings, and serving dishes
  • A Few Days Before Thanksgiving Prep

    • Make any food that can be prepared ahead (cranberry sauce, pie dough).
  • The Day Before the Thanksgiving Planning

    • Complete food shopping.
    • Prepare dishes that can be made in advance (soup, pie).
    • Chop veggies for side dishes. Refrigerate them in covered bowls or sealed plastic bags.
    • Set the table.
  • Thanksgiving Day Tasks

    • Prep turkey for roasting, and place it in the oven at a predetermined time.
    • Prepare stuffing and all other sides.
    • Once turkey has roasted, allow it to rest before carving. Make gravy and reheat side dishes.
    • Arrange food on a buffet table or dining table.
    • Carve turkey and serve guests.
Click to See Our Sources

The Best of Thanksgiving by Williams-Sonoma ($24.95, Weldon Owen, 2015)

Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes!

Elevate your health and your holiday table with these delicious recipes.


Lisa Fabian

Contributing Editor

Lisa Fabian is an award-winning freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience in the publishing industry. She's enjoyed covering topics as diverse as arts and crafts, boating, food, and health and wellness.