Between the flaky dinner rolls, the marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, and the buttery pies, Thanksgiving is, hands down, the most indulgent of all food holidays. Now, at the risk of you abandoning this article in search of a list of deliciously starchy recipes, we're just going to come out and say it: Not every dish on your table needs to be so rich and decadent that it puts you in a carb-induced Netflix coma.
Lighten up your holiday spread with these nine low-carb Thanksgiving recipes that don't compromise on flavor. Spanning a fall harvest salad that's bursting with fresh produce to a showstopping soup served in roasted acorn squash bowls, these are the deliciously light side dishes that will have your guests getting up for seconds (and thirds). Now all that's missing is a generous glass of low-carb wine to go along with them.
Harvest Cranberry, Persimmon, and Burrata Salad
The Recipe: Traditional Thanksgiving sides are quite hearty, so a seasonal salad is a great way to lighten up your table. This Harvest Cranberry, Persimmon, and Burrata Salad is bursting with fresh fall flavors.
The Pro Tip: "If you're totally not into the persimmons, you could always use crisp honeycrisp apples or pears instead," suggests recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest.
Pesto Cream Stuffed Mushrooms
The Recipe: For a fuss-free, low-carb Thanksgiving appetizer, look no further than these Pesto Cream Stuffed Mushrooms. To make day-of assembly super easy, make the pesto cream filling ahead of time.
Za'atar-Roasted Cauliflower With Herb Whipped Feta
The Recipe: The herb whipped feta made with fresh dill, cream cheese, za'atar spices, and lemon juice makes this Za'atar-Roasted Cauliflower With Herb Whipped Feta a standout low-carb side dish.
The Pro Tip: If you prefer your vegetables on the crispier side, roast the cauliflower florets for an extra 15 minutes, notes recipe creator Natalie of The Modern Proper.
Creamy Fall Soup in Acorn Squash Bowls
The Recipe: Festive, colorful, and comforting this Creamy Fall Soup is made with a nutrient-rich sweet potato, carrot, and butternut squash base. Plus, it looks picture-perfect when served in roasted acorn squash bowls.
The Pro Tip: "If squash bowls seem a little too over the top for you, you can totally skip this part and the recipe would become a 1-pot, 45-minute wonder," notes recipe creator Dana of Minimalist Baker.
Pomegranate Avocado Salad With Candied Walnuts
The Recipe: Although this Pomegranate Avocado Salad With Candied Walnuts calls for candied walnuts, you can simply swap in roughly chopped raw nuts to lower the carb count.
The Pro Tip: "I know blue cheese is not for everyone, so if you'd like use to another cheese, I think crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese would both be delicious," offers recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest.
Stuffed Squash With Broccoli Rabe and Quinoa
The Recipe: Boasting protein-rich, low-carb quinoa and loads of aromatic spices like garlic, rosemary, and sage, this Stuffed Squash With Broccoli Rabe and Quinoa recipe is a surefire crowd-pleaser for vegetarians and staunch carnivores alike.
The Pro Tip: "I used the fancy, truffled marcona almonds from Trader Joe's for the garnish here and it was spectacular," confesses recipe creator Laura of The First Mess.
Kale Salad With Pumpkin Seed Clusters
The Recipe: This Kale Salad With Pumpkin Seed Clusters is equal parts sweet and tangy. If you're strictly counting carbs, toss in toasted pumpkin seeds rather than the sugary pumpkin seed clusters.
The Pro Tip: "Using your hands, squeeze or 'massage' the kale while dressing it," advises recipe creator Holly of The Modern Proper. "This will make the kale more tender," she promises.
Creamy Brussels Sprouts With Wild Mushrooms
The Recipe: Mushrooms and brussels sprouts are a winning combination in this Creamy Brussels Sprouts With Wild Mushrooms side dish. Topped with fried shallots, it's decadent without being too rich (or high in carbs).
The Pro Tip: "Season [brussels sprouts] to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately topped with fried shallots," recommends recipe creator Natalie of The Modern Proper.
Curried Beet Soup With Tandoori Chickpeas
The Recipe: Filled with good-for-you ingredients like ginger and garlic, this spicy Curried Beet Soup With Tandoori Chickpeas is as healthy as it is hearty. Its bright red hue also makes it a Thanksgiving Day showstopper.
The Pro Tip: "Serve with an extra drizzle of coconut milk, a generous amount of tandoori chickpea, and a sprinkle of cilantro," offers recipe creator Dana of Minimalist Baker.