Feeling mild COVID-19 symptoms? For the safety of our community, you do NOT need to visit the emergency department unless critical symptoms are experienced. Visit our COVID-19 hub to learn more. Visit the COVID-19 Hub

Thanksgiving beyond the turkey

Published: Nov 21, 2017

By Lisa Greene


At every family Thanksgiving table, some traditions never change. You’ll always have turkey and Aunt Sally’s stuffing and Grandpa’s apple pie. It wouldn’t be the same without them.

But even so, there’s room for a few new additions. And there’s no better – or healthier – way to innovate at your Thanksgiving meal than with fresh vegetables. They add color, a variety of textures and all kinds of nutrients that you won’t get anywhere else.

That’s why we asked Jamie Vespa, our chief TGH Healthy Recipes author, for some of her favorite new Thanksgiving sides.

“You can’t go wrong with the staples, but it’s fun to step out of the box and try something new,” said Vespa, MS, RD, LD/N, a former TGH dietitian who is now assistant nutrition editor at Cooking Light Magazine.

Vespa suggested trying a dish that features kale or shredded brussels sprouts to offer a counterpoint to the more traditional Thanksgiving casseroles.

“I think folks always appreciate a crunchy, fresh element on the table,” she said.

And, of course, she also gave us dishes with some great seasonal vegetables, such as butternut squash, mushrooms, and, of course, pumpkin. Some of her recipes are hearty enough to serve as a main course for those planning on a vegetarian Thanksgiving. Then there are lighter versions of traditionally heavy dishes – like this lighter take on potato salad.

And yes, we may also have sneaked in a few dessert recipes.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wild Rice and Mixed Mushroom Soup

5 Ingredient Roasted Parsnip and Garlic Soup


Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pear Salad with Manchego

Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Salad with Tarragon Tahini

Autumn Delicata Squash Salad

Sweet Potato Kale Salad with Almond Butter Dressing


Roasted Butternut Squash with Candied Walnuts and Sage

One Pot Autumn Vegetable Farrotto

Mushroom and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Whole Wheat Butternut Gnocchi with Pea Pesto

Pasta with Butternut Sauce and Mushrooms

Spaghetti Sauce Casserole with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese


Whole Grain Pumpkin Pecan Blondies

Slow Cooker Gingerbread Apple Pie Crumble

Raw Pumpkin Pie Bars

Big Cluster Pumpkin Oat Bran Granola

You can find more of Vespa's recipes on TGH Health News and her blog, Dishing Out Health.