There are a few things that everyone knows to avoid on Thanksgiving. It’s best not to talk about politics, or religion, or the merits of a questionable guest at the table. And even though it would be entertaining, it’s also wise not to mention the salacious social media posts your uncle shared not too long ago. But there is one thing you should consider telling the dinner host about if you’re not the one in charge of the festivities: your special diet.
Whether you’re new to the keto diet craze or you’ve been following it for months, this Thanksgiving feast should not stop you from maintaining the parameters of its high-fat, low-carb routine. All you have to do is let your host in on the plan—and share which dish you’re going to bring with you to help. We found nine keto-approved recipes that you can make for the holiday to smooth over any tensions with comforting, rich, and inviting flavors.
From beef stew and pumpkin cheesecake to cinnamon rolls and cauliflower cheddar dip, these recipes can keep you full all day and allow for others to dig in, too. And while everyone takes a bite of your creation, simply explain what keto is all about. That’s one topic that’s not off limits.
These pumpkin pie fat bombs from Root and Revel are not only on theme for the holiday, but they also can be made in advance—since we all know how frazzled Thanksgiving can be. Kate Kordsmeier makes this snack with organic canned pumpkin, grass-fed gelatin, coconut oil, coconut butter, and maple syrup, and then blends it all and places everything into ice molds. “To store, simply put the fat bombs into an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to seven days. You can also store them in the freezer for up to one month,” she notes.
Before the guests arrive and the table is fully set, whip up this heartwarming recipe from Joyful Healthy Eats to keep your energy high as the holiday gets underway. Krista Rollins prepares this dish with diced onion, cauliflower florets, kale, carrots, and coconut milk, and serves it up in about 30 minutes. “I intentionally added the kale after the pressure cooking stage because I think it helps keep the texture of the kale a little better,” she says. Have a bowl and a moment alone, and then you can get back to the festivities.
Beef stew may not exactly be a Thanksgiving staple, but this Root and Revel recipe proves that it still deserves a place on the buffet line. Wild mushrooms, onion, tomatoes, green beans, and carrots mix with organic beef and fresh herbs inside an Instant Pot, which delivers this steaming stew in about 40 minutes total. “Garnish with herbs and vinegar,” Kordsmeier says, and it’s ready to serve.
No matter how full everyone may be from the main course, you can easily convince them to have a slice (or two) of this healthy keto pumpkin cheesecake from Food Faith Fitness. Taylor Kiser first makes a gluten-free graham cracker crust and then adds a filling of canned pumpkin, vanilla extract, cream cheese, and eggs. “Once cooled, cover and refrigerate for at least eight hours, but best if overnight,” she advises. The wait will be worth it.
Food Faith Fitness also serves up this recipe from keto chili, which can be the perfect filling dish for those who can resist turkey and mashed potatoes. Kiser incorporates lean ground beef with celery, onion, garlic, and red pepper inside an Instant Pot, and also adds in spices like smoked paprika, cayenne, and allspice. “Once the steam is released, remove the lid and turn it to saute mode,” she says. “Cook for two to four minutes, stirring frequently, until some of the water is evaporated.”
If you’re looking to get Thanksgiving started on a healthy but holiday-friendly note, then opt for this recipe from Food Faith Fitness. Kiser’s gluten-free and vegan cinnamon rolls are made with pumpkin pie spice, oat flour, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and agave, while the frosting consists of dairy-free cream cheese and vanilla extract. “Bake the rolls for 20 to 22 minutes, until lightly golden brown,” she says. It’ll be a great way to start the day.
All guests are going to want to try this recipe from Hello Glow, which will taste as good as it looks. Gina Matsoukas combines cauliflower florets, garlic, white cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt, and jalapenos in a baking dish, and garnishes the golden brown finish with green onions. “Serve with raw veggies, pita chips, and crackers,” she says.
These fat bombs from Hello Glow will also be a welcome addition to your feast since there’s no such thing as an overcrowded dessert table. Roasted and unsalted macadamia nuts are mixed with chopped unsweetened chocolate, cocoa powder, and coconut oil. The mixture is divided into cups and refrigerated. “Then gently press a macadamia nut half into the top of each cup,” Kiersten Frase says. “Sprinkle lightly with flaked sea salt.”
If you’re looking for a healthy and showstopping side, this unexpected recipe from A Couple Cooks should definitely be a contender. Sonja Overhiser makes an almond crust with minced garlic, fresh thyme, and sea salt, and then adds a quiche filling of shallots, chard, white wine, and gruyère cheese. “If the edges of the crust begin to brown too quickly, place tin foil around the edges of the pan to prevent burning,” she says. “Allow the quiche to cool for a few minutes before serving.