5 Low-Fat Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes
While typically known as being a holiday for over-indulgence, preparing one of 5 low-fat Thanksgiving dinner recipes is a great way to enjoy the day with family and friends without busting your belt. By making simple substitutions and wise choices, you can easily enjoy all the classic Thanksgiving dishes without the fat and calories.
- Wild Rice Stuffing Skip the bread or bagged stuffing and substitute rice in your stuffing recipe to provide a low-fat Thanksgiving dinner option. Boil two cups wild rice in 1 ½ cups turkey or vegetable stock until the rice is tender, then drain and set aside. Cook one large onion and ¾ pounds mushrooms in two tablespoons olive oil until translucent, then add a pinch of salt and four cloves of garlic. Saute for about 30 seconds before adding the rice, one cup dry sherry, two teaspoons fresh thyme, ½ cup fresh parsley, 1-2 tablespoons fresh sage, a pinch pepper and ¼ cup toasted almonds. Simmer until the sherry evaporates then transfer to a lightly greased baking dish and warm in a 350º F oven for about 30 minutes.
- Classic Mashed Potatoes A staple of Thanksgiving dinner, mashed potatoes are generally filled with butter and cream, loading up on fat. By reducing the butter and using buttermilk instead of cream, you can enjoy the traditional side dish with only two grams of fat per serving. Boil two pounds peeled and chopped potatoes in a large saucepan covered in water until tender, then drain. Melt one tablespoon butter and one cup non-fat buttermilk in a small saucepan over low heat just until warm. Mash the potatoes, stirring in enough of the buttermilk mixture to reach your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
- Thanksgiving Green Salad Salads are perfect side dishes for any meal, but often topped with high-calorie dressings and ingredients. Save fat and calories by preparing the salad and dressing yourself without skipping out on the flavor. Make the dressing by pureeing one cup raspberries, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and ¼ cup olive oil in a blender until smooth. In a large bowl, toss your choice of greens with two cups dried cranberries, two cups orange or clementine slices and one cup spiced pecans. Drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.
- Butternut Squash Instead of serving sugary sweet potatoes, substitute squash for a low-fat Thanksgiving side dish. Heat two ten-ounce boxes of butternut squash puree in ½ cup chicken stock until heated through. Add in two tablespoons fresh thyme, ½ cup Parmesan cheese and a dash each salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for about five minutes then serve.
- Low-Fat Pumpkin Pie By omitting the buttery crust, it's quite easy to enjoy the classic Thanksgiving dessert pumpkin pie without the fat and calories. Combine one 15-ounce can pumpkin puree with one 12-ounce can fat-free evaporated milk, three egg whites, ½ cup sugar and 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the mixture until smooth, then transfer to a casserole dish and bake in a preheated oven at 425º F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º F and bake for 40-50 minutes or until set. Cool completely and serve with low-fat whipped topping if desired.