Thanksgiving

Diabetes-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to gather and at the table and enjoy a homemade meal. However, for a diabetic, it can be a stressful day as they try to monitor what they eat, how much they eat, and whether or not they are eating too many carbs and sugar.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year and know there will be a diabetic sitting at the table, consider adding a few of these recipes to your menu. There are healthy appetizers, salads, sides, and desserts full of flavor, perfect for any diabetic’s Thanksgiving menu.

1. Turkey with Herb Gravy

Let’s start our recipe round-up with the main event, turkey! High in protein and flavor, no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without the bird. This diabetes-friendly recipe adds aromatic herbs like thyme, sage, and garlic to give flavor without adding carbs or sugar.

Pair this turkey with one of our stuffing recipes for a punch of flavor. You might want to be the first in line to grab a serving, this one is sure to be a hit!

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: PREVENTION

2. Baked Asparagus Fries

Asparagus is a staple Thanksgiving side dish that doesn’t garner enough attention. If you and your guests are looking for a crunchy side dish that isn’t fried, then this is the recipe for you.

Baked with panko bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, this vegetable will satisfy your salty and crunchy cravings. With no oil for frying, it is a great recipe for diabetics and it has a beautiful presentation as well.

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: DAMN DELICIOUS

3. Low Carb Green Bean Casserole

When most people hear green bean casserole, they have visions of canned beans and soup thrown together in their grandmother’s old casserole dish. This recipe takes that old, high carb recipe and twists it into a gratifying low carb Thanksgiving side dish.

Your glucose levels will thank you for the fresh green beans, low carb almond flour, and parmesan for added flavor. Your grandmother might even toss her old recipe for this one!

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: PEACE LOVE AND LOW CARB

4. Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

Traditional cranberry sauce is delicious, but it’s also filled with sugar. We came across one popular recipe that uses one cup of sugar per 12-ounces of cranberries! Yikes. That amount of sugar just won’t work for someone with diabetes.

Instead, try this naturally sweetened recipe that uses applesauce, orange juice, and agave syrup. When combined with cranberries, it ends up with a sweet and tart punch. If you manage to have some leftovers after Thanksgiving don’t forget to save this to use as a spread on top of bread for an after Thanksgiving sandwich.

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: THE FOODIE DIETITIAN

5. Protein Packed Cheese Board

With the stress of preparing and cooking so many dishes, it’s nice to have one that can be just thrown together. This beautiful cheese board uses multiple colors and textures to be both inviting to the eyes and taste buds.

Use this recipe as a guideline for your own creation. Start with a few different kinds of cheese and add grapes, strawberries, or your favorite fruit. Who knew diabetes-friendly recipes could be so easy?

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: COOKING LIGHT

6. Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than their white potato counterparts. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. This recipe uses yogurt to achieve that creamy consistency you crave with maple syrup to add sweetness and incredible flavor.

Make this recipe ahead of time and pop it in the oven or microwave to reheat it when your guests arrive. They’ll have no idea they are eating a side dish that has less fat and sugar than the typical Thanksgiving sweet potato creation. Despite its healthy attributes, people with diabetes should still use portion control with this tasty Thanksgiving recipe.

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: CHOCOLATE SLOPES

7. Low Carb Mashed Potatoes

We know Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without the standby mashed potatoes. This low carb mashed potato recipe uses cauliflower instead of white potatoes, but we promise you won’t miss your potatoes one bit.

By roasting cauliflower florets and pureeing them you’ll achieve that desired mashed potato consistency. No one will be able to taste the difference once you add in the garlic, butter, and salt. Pair this recipe with your favorite gravy and you’ll be all set!

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: DIABETES STRONG

8. Pecan Pie

Traditional pecan pie has sugar and corn syrup, not exactly something someone with diabetes should be eating. This lightened version uses Splenda and maple syrup to give that classic sweetness.

Desserts don’t have to be off limits if you have diabetes. Fill your plate with lots of vegetables and protein to fill yourself up and you’ll still be able to enjoy a portion of dessert without overindulging.

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: EVERYDAY DIABETIC RECIPES 

9. Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie

Cooler temperatures, falling leaves, it must be time for Thanksgiving and a piece of pumpkin pie. With this recipe, you can easily manage your diabetes and have a creamy pumpkin pie for dessert.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves will fill your kitchen while this pie bakes in your oven. Substitute an oat crust for the traditional pie crust to cut even more carbs. Top with whipped coconut cream instead of full-fat whipped cream for an added health bonus!

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: THE SPRUCE EATS

10. Apple Pie

It can be hard to stick to a diabetic diet during Thanksgiving, especially once it’s time for pie. Apple pie is one of the quintessential fall desserts and we want to make sure you can have a slice, even with diabetes.

Choose firm Granny Smith apples for this recipe. Add in aromatic cinnamon and nutmeg with a sugar substitute to create a diabetic-friendly apple pie. Serve warm or at room temperature with your favorite topping for a one of a kind treat.

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: DIABETIC GOURMET MAGAZINE

11. Low Carb Cornbread

This recipe uses six easy ingredients and bakes in a cast iron pan, giving you a low carb side for your Thanksgiving dinner. If you’re short on time or oven space, make this recipe up to four days beforehand and store it in the refrigerator.

Instead of using cornmeal, you’ll be using almond flour and flaxseed as your base. Mix that with apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and eggs to create a side dish that everyone will enjoy.

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: ELENA’S PANTRY

12. Roasted Brussel Sprouts Salad

This brussel sprouts salad is almost too beautiful to eat! It’s an autumn mix of colors with orange, green, and red. You might have to double the recipe for your guests, who will have no idea that this salad is also perfect for someone with diabetes.

You’ll need butternut squash, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and brussel sprouts for this dish. After a little bit of prep and roasting, you’ll be able to put this together in no time.

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: JULIA’S ALBUM

13. Almond Butter Chocolate Truffles

Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you have to give up treats. Made with almond butter, rolled oats, honey, coconut oil, and cacao it’s hard to even imagine these truffles could come together as a dessert.

These truffles will satisfy you with their 8-grams of protein and 5.1-grams of fiber. Roll them in coconut flakes, crushed nuts, sea salt, or any topping you’d like!

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: COOKING LIGHT

14. Flourless Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Safe for diabetics and those on a gluten-free diet, these cookies are the perfect after dinner treat. You might not want to tell anyone, but these tasty cookies contain garbanzo beans!

With unconventional ingredients like beans and avocado oil mixed with rolled oats and spices baked for 20- to 25-minutes, you’ll have the perfect Thanksgiving dessert. Top with a nut butter drizzle for a little something extra!

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: MILK & HONEY

15. Low Carb Cauliflower Stuffing

What’s a Thanksgiving dinner without the stuffing? Traditional stuffing is filled with bread and butter. Not exactly diabetic-friendly. This recipe swaps out bread for cauliflower and uses spices to recreate the carb heavy original.

Combine cauliflower with onion, chopped celery, garlic, and spices. After about 20-minutes of cooking, you’ll have a beautiful stuffing dish that is ready to pass around the table.

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: FOOD FAITH FITNESS

16. Shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad

Sometimes it’s a fresh salad like this one that really stands out during a meal. Shaved brussel sprouts as a crunchy base, tossed with chopped hazelnuts, broiled lemon, and pecorino romano cheese create a healthy salad perfect for any diabetic on Thanksgiving.

To make this salad in a hurry buy shaved brussel sprouts or use a food processor to get the job done fast. Parmesan can be substituted for pecorino romano, but the latter is typically less expensive.

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: PREVENTION

17. Butternut Squash Soup

Every diabetic should have a hearty soup in their recipe box. Butternut squash is a great source of vitamin A and fiber. Try this soup as an appetizer to prevent overeating during the main course.

You’ll need to prepare butternut squash and sweet potatoes as the soup base. Add in chicken broth, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices for a fragrant fall meal. Serve one of the salads from this list along with the soup and you’ll have a healthy start to your Thanksgiving day!

PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: PREVENTION

18. Wild Rice Stuffing

If you’ve never tried wild rice then you are in for a treat. It’s actually not rice but a grass that is commonly grown around the Great Lakes. Its nutty flavor is complemented by the firm rice texture and has a low glycemic index, perfect for a diabetic.

Try this recipe as a side or stuffing at your next Thanksgiving dinner. The beautiful colors and flavors will be a crowd favorite. On top of that, it’s gluten-free and vegan!

PHOTOS AND RECIPES HERE: TWO PEAS & THEIR POD

19. Sweet and Spicy Pecans

As a diabetic, it’s important to keep your glucose steady throughout the day. Quick snacks like these nuts will do just that and are an easy way to get a healthy dose of protein and fat without too many carbs.

Pecans baked with a little sugar and cayenne pepper bring out the sweet and spicy in this recipe. Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper for less or more spice. Have a dish of these at Thanksgiving for you and your guests to enjoy all day long.

PHOTOS AND RECIPES HERE: HOUSE OF YUMM

20. Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear casserole? I bet it’s a creamy dish filled with calories, sugar, and fat. Well, this recipe is nothing like that! Real sweet potatoes and a pecan topping make this casserole a healthy option for those with diabetes.

Bake your sweet potatoes ahead of time and let them cool in the refrigerator. On Thanksgiving day bring all the elements together to create this casserole filled with real, unprocessed ingredients.

PHOTOS AND RECIPES HERE: JOY FOOD SUNSHINE

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