A Healthy Thanksgiving Plate For The 5 Most Common Diets

Keto, paleo, vegan, Whole30, gluten-free? We have you covered.

By: Rebecca Jacobs

Thanksgiving is just about here, and if you’re stressed about what you’re going to eat, we’re here to hopefully help make Thanksgiving a little less stressful and a whole lot more delicious. We’re sharing what a healthy Thanksgiving plate may look like based on some of the most popular diet trends — because let’s face it — if you’re following a specific healthy eating plan, Thanksgiving and the holiday season isn’t always easy. It can be difficult to make everything from scratch and swap out all of the sugary ingredients for healthier alternatives. 

Let’s make things simple, shall we?

Here’s what a healthy Thanksgiving plate could look like for the following diet plans: Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Whole30, Gluten-free. 

A Healthy Keto Thanksgiving Plate 

The keto diet has boomed in popularity over the last couple of years, and whether you’re keto yourself or you have some dinner guests that would appreciate some keto-friendly Thanksgiving dish options, here’s a sample healthy Thanksgiving plate for the low carb eaters. 

Protein: Turkey or turkey casserole made with spaghetti squash and cheese.

Sides: Mashed cauliflower (made with ghee), asparagus wrapped in bacon, brussels sprouts, green beans. 

Dessert: Enjoy this Dairy-free Pumpkin Pie Parfait but without the granola and swap out the maple syrup for your favorite low-carb sweetener of choice (like monk fruit), and make coconut whipped cream with unsweetened coconut cream. 

A Healthy Paleo Thanksgiving Plate 

A Paleo Thanksgiving dinner plate is super easy to put together. The key here is to steer clear of added dairy, sweeteners, gluten, and grains. That may sound like a lot of off the table items, but you’d be surprised at how many Thanksgiving staples can be made paleo-friendly. 

Protein: Turkey 

Sides: Mashed cauliflower (made with ghee or coconut cream), brussel sprouts with crumbled bacon, mashed sweet potatoes (made with coconut oil, coconut cream, or ghee), homemade cranberry sauce, homemade gravy (use bone broth & arrowroot starch vs. flour to thicken). 

Dessert: Paleo-friendly pumpkin pie (using grain-free pie crust and made with coconut cream and pure maple syrup), baked apples or pears with cinnamon, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

A Healthy Vegan Thanksgiving Plate 

While eating vegan may sound difficult this time of year, there are so many delicious plant-based options available. You can easily make a yummy vegan dish in place of the traditional turkey and load your plate up with delicious and nourishing veggies. Serve with some roasted sweet potatoes or dairy-free mash potatoes for that comfort we all crave in our Thanksgiving meal. 

Protein: Homemade Vegan “Tofurkey,” or lentil stir-fry with onions, garlic, and herbs, topped with mashed sweet potato.

Sides: Mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes (use coconut cream), roasted sweet potatoes with olive oil, garlic, and onion, vegan stuffing, brussel sprouts or asparagus, green beans, homemade cranberry sauce (swap out the honey and use freshly squeezed orange juice), vegan gravy. 

Dessert: Vegan pumpkin or apple pie, baked apples or pears with cinnamon, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

A Healthy Whole30 Thanksgiving Plate 

When it comes to putting together your Whole30 Thanksgiving plate, it will look pretty similar to what a Paleo dieter would eat. The focus here is going to be on selecting the highest quality food options possible and steering clear of all sweeteners. 

The trickiest thing about eating Whole30 during Thanksgiving is dessert! We got a little creative and are sharing a real food, sugar-free dessert idea below. 

Protein: Organic turkey 

Sides: Mashed cauliflower made with ghee and garlic, roasted sweet potato cubes with cranberries, brussel sprouts, asparagus, homemade cranberry sauce (swap out the honey for a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice), homemade gravy (use bone broth & arrowroot starch vs. flour to thicken).  

Dessert:  Baked apples or pears with a sprinkle of cinnamon, a baked sweet potato with a dollop of ghee, and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, topped with crushed pecans or walnuts. 

A Healthy Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Plate 

Eating gluten-free is so much easier than it was even just a few years ago. There are so many gluten-free alternatives that you can find at almost any grocery store. Or better yet, stick to real, whole foods that are naturally gluten-free for your Thanksgiving feast. 

Here are some ideas of what you can add to your gluten-free Thanksgiving plate. 

Protein: Turkey 

Sides: Mashed cauliflower made with ghee and garlic, roasted sweet potato cubes with cranberries, brussel sprouts, or asparagus, homemade cranberry sauce, homemade gravy (use arrowroot starch vs. flour to thicken)  

Dessert  Pumpkin or apple pie made with gluten-free pie crust, Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie Parfait, Mini Sticky Date Pudding.

Have a Healthy & Happy Thanksgiving No Matter What Your Eating Style 

While we often think about comfort foods and heavy carbs when it comes to Thanksgiving, there are so many yummy ways to enjoy this holiday, no matter what your dietary preference or your dietary restrictions may be. 

A lot of this also comes down to mindset — it’s about thinking about all the foods we can have and not so much about the foods we can’t. This mindset shift is huge and can be a total game-changer when it comes to helping you create your healthy Thanksgiving plate and enjoying every bite of it!