Diabetic Thanksgiving Recipes
Diabetic Thanksgiving Recipes
Herb, Lemon, and Garlic Turkey
Instead of a wet brine, this bird uses an overnight dry salt and sugar cure, which concentrates flavor. If you want to leave the skin on, it will add 25 calories and 1g of sat fat per serving. Hard herbs (fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme) hold up beautifully while roasting, imparting a woodsy, savory note to the meat. Soft herbs (parsley and chives) garnish the turkey and perk up the finished gravy. The wine in the roasting pan will keep the bird moist as it roasts and flavor the pan drippings used for the gravy.
Spiralized Cinnamon Apples with Greek Yogurt
We’re kind of obsessed with spiralizing, so naturally we had to give it a try with apples. The result? A perfectly twirlable treat. Top with Greek yogurt and homemade granola, and you have a sweet little snack, size, or dessert for less than 150 calories per serving. With just 10.5g of carbs and 33mg sodium, you can indulge in this seasonal treat sans guilt. For more low-carb options, see 10 Smart Diabetic Swaps for the Holidays.
Protein-Packed Cheese Board
Enjoy this spread as an appetizer or dessert. Nuts and cheese pack in the protein while the fruit and chocolate add just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy your cravings. Not only does this cheese board pack in protein, there is more than 390mg of calcium per serving thanks to the cheese, almonds, and chocolate. Guests will love this lighter alternative to traditional Thanksgiving desserts. With 10 servings per cheese board, there's plenty for friends and family, but the recipe is easy to double if you need more.
A simple side of perfectly roasted carrots is the breather a crowded Thanksgiving table needs—a bit of palate relief (and ease for the cook) that still looks elegant. Sweet, slightly firm, and tossed with fresh parsley and cilantro, these carrots would fit here and all season long.
Gram's Clam Dip
Your guests can snack on this dip, while you put the final touches on your inspiring dishes. There's plenty for a crowd as this recipe serves 18. This lower-fat version uses reduced-fat Greek yogurt and cream cheese for a creamy result that does this dish justice. Precut crudités will hold up well if you'd like to prep them the day before. Wrap trimmed and cut veggies in a damp paper towel and refrigerate in a zip-top plastic bag for the crispiest texture.
Broiled Shrimp with Buttermilk Rémoulade
If preboiled shrimp and cocktail sauce is a standard starter at your holiday gathering, try these quick broiled shrimp with a spicy rémoulade dipping sauce—a homemade alternative that takes minutes, tastes much better, and is much lower in sodium. Like cocktail sauce, the rémoulade gets a pungent kick from prepared horseradish, though you could also try Creole mustard. We leave the tails on the shrimp for easy handling. Keep a small bowl next to the serving plate for discarded shrimp tails.
Potato and Leek Gratin
A mandoline will slice the potatoes quickly and to the same thickness, though a sharp knife will also work. Instead of being buried in cream, the potatoes and leeks are simmered in and drizzled with milk so the potatoes get wonderfully crisp and tender and the cheeses form a melty, golden crust. The result is a rich, rustic potato side with contrasting flavors and textures—a bit of crunch to round out the stuffing, sauces, and mashes on the plate. Reheat leftovers in the oven until crisped and warmed through, and then serve with eggs and a side of fruit for breakfast.
Date, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Ball
The sweet-savory combo of dates, walnuts, and blue cheese, topped with the earthiness of fresh flat-leaf parsley, brings your regular cheese ball up a notch. Prepare this retro-chic snack up to two days ahead, and serve with crackers, bread, or veggies. Rolled in minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, this cheese ball is festive enough for the most discerning of holiday crowds and with 5.3g of carbs, 229mg of sodium, and 4.8g fat, it's just right for diabetic diets.
Fennel and Blood Orange Salad
This salad is a feast for the eyes, and a welcome relief from the brown and gold tones on the Thanksgiving table. Sweet-tart blood oranges and a honey vinaigrette offset the bitter edge of the endive and radicchio (you can also use milder romaine lettuce hearts). If you can’t find blood oranges, try ruby red grapefruit or pretty pink Cara Cara oranges.
Monday: Thai Turkey Lettuce Cups
A little sugar balances the vinegar tang in the turkey mixture and helps develop wonderful crispy bits in the pan. Delicate butter lettuce leaves have a nice cup shape for filling; you could also use romaine.
Ginger-Chile Roasted Acorn Squash
Fresh ginger, red Fresno chile, and pomegranate don’t usually appear on the Thanksgiving table, but we love how they transform simply roasted squash into a dish with tingly heat and pops of color. Leave the sheet pan in the oven as it preheats to jump-start browning, saving roasting time in the oven.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Pomegranate and Pine Nuts
This staff favorite adds color and texture to your buffet and makes a splash on the Thanksgiving table. For a bit of showmanship, bring the whole cauliflower to the table, and then "carve" and dress with the vinaigrette, pomegranate arils, pine nuts, and parsley. While most holiday dishes are designed to be delicious warm or at room temperature, this is one dish that's worth saving until the end of your prep and serving straight out of the oven.
Maple-Caraway Brussels Sprouts
Layer upon layer of bold flavor earned these Brussels sprouts our test kitchen’s highest rating. The sprouts get deeply caramelized in toasted caraway and browned butter, then are quickly finished with a sweet and pungent mixture of maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and sherry vinegar. Caraway has an anise-like flavor similar to fennel seed. Add to roasted carrots or parsnips, or sprinkle over whole-grain rolls or crackers. Start the caraway and thyme in a cold pan so they can infuse the butter as it browns.
For a twist on cranberry sauce this year, try this sweet, tart, and earthy beet-and-cranberry condiment. Toasted whole coriander and brown mustard seeds add warmth and take the chutney into savory territory. The chunky texture is part of the charm here, a great contrast to the mashes and casseroles on the table.
Crunchy Greens with Radish
Letting the raw shallot stand with the salt and vinegar pickles it slightly and mellows the harshness. Long spears of romaine make for a dramatic presentation. Once it’s brought to the table, you can coarsely chop the lettuce for easier serving.
Paprika-Rubbed Sheet-Tray Chicken
Roman also uses this paprika rub to smear on pork roasts or to marinate chicken. It’s her go-to seasoning that makes everything taste like really great sausage. The low and slow oven heat ensures none of the spices or bits of garlic burns, while giving the chicken fat plenty of time to render out slowly and evenly.
Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Orange and Caraway
These slow-roasted wedges will make a cabbage convert out of anyone and are a beautiful first source sub for the usual appetizer salad. Leave the core intact so the wedges hold their shape. Caraway has an earthy, anise-like flavor, almost like a combination of cumin and fennel seed. Use a mortar and pestle or small heavy skillet to crush the caraway seeds, or pulse in a spice grinder.
Raw and Roasted Carrots and Fennel
This salad demonstrates the magic that happens when you showcase both the raw and cooked sides of ingredients. If using carrots without tops, substitute 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, or dill for the chopped carrot tops. Caramelized, tender bits of carrots and fennel mingle with fresh slices of their raw, crunchy counterparts.