Includes 13 Favorite Low Carb Thanksgiving Recipes
Preparing a big Thanksgiving féte is fun, but a lot of work! For the low carb dieter, though, it presents a special challenge: how to create a festive menu that will please the palate without blowing the diet!
The core of the meal is, of course, usually turkey, which you can feel free to indulge to your heart’s content. But how about those trimmings? Here are some ideas and hints.
- Stuffing/dressing – cannot be based on bread, rice, cornbread, etc.
- Gravy – thickened without flour or cornstarch
- Vegetable side dishes – the main challenge is potatoes/sweet potatoes
- Cranberry sauce – sugar-free
- Appetizers and relish trays
- Desserts – sugar-free, no crusts, flour, etc.
That is a daunting list, but let’s take it up, one item at a time.
Turkey can be roasted or, for the brave soul with the right equipment, deep-fried! There are dozens of websites, from www.foodandwine.com to www.butterball.com that will guide you through the how-to’s of preparing your turkey.
Stuffings/Dressings will have to be based on vegetables, meats, or low carb bread substitutes. My personal favorite is actually based on pork rinds! Before you turn your nose up, though, do give it a dry-run; you will be very surprised at how much it tastes and looks like bread-based stuffing. Other options include mushrooms, cauliflower, sausage, nuts and seeds, onions, celery, chicken livers, tofu, and faux breads made from protein powder. CarbSmart has several bread mixes available that can be used for that, but allow yourself some time to make them ahead. (See the recipes below!)
Gravy can be thickened in any number of ways. The experienced cook can use tempered egg yolks and cream, or a pureéd mirepoix. But the simplest thing to do is use a low carb product called Konjac Glucomannan Powder.
Vegetable side dishes are pretty easy. Choose a low carb vegetable that you like, such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, creamed spinach, cabbage, green beans, etc.; serve it with a cheese or hollandaise sauce, if you want to get fancy. If your family likes that classic green beans/mushroom soup casserole, try it with a jar of Alfredo sauce with additional mushrooms added to the sauce instead of the cream of mushroom soup, and top it with crumbled pork rinds and dried onions.
But what about the carby veggie dishes? What is Thanksgiving without sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes? It’s actually quite easy to make acceptable substitutes for these carb-laden dishes. You can make a mashed cauliflower casserole instead of mashed potatoes or a Faux Sweet Potato casserole from pumpkin. The recipes are below.
Cranberry sauce is actually pretty easy to make. Substitute Splenda, stevia, or another heat-stable artificial sweetener for the sugar. This time of year, Jell-O has sugar free cranberry Jell-O, which is a real boon to the low carb cook.
Appetizers and relish trays can be stocked with low carb goodies, and most dips are actually quite low carb. Provide crudités, olives, and perhaps pork rinds for the low-carbers, crackers for everyone else. The classic Hot Artichoke Dip is a good choice, as well as other recipes for dips which contain spinach, cheese, shrimp, crabmeat (not surimi/fake crabmeat, which is surprisingly high in carbs), mayonnaise, sour cream, and so on.
Desserts are a challenge, due to not only the sugar but the flour! The simplest solution is to make your favorite cheesecake recipe, but with a ground-nut-based crust and substituting Splenda for the sugar. Pumpkin mousse or pumpkin pie with a nut-crust are other workable alternatives. And don’t forget that whipped cream, sweetened with artificial sweetener!
With a little forethought and planning, you CAN stay on your diet through the holidays!
Try These Awesome Low-Carb Thanksgiving Recipes
- Rani Meren’s Low-Carb Pork Rind Stuffing
- Low-Carb Stuffing – Better-Than-Bread Stuffing Recipe
- Low-Carb Twice-Baked Not-Potato Casserole
Smashed Cauliflower Fauxtatoes – Low-Carb Potato Substitute
- Low-Carb Faux Sweet Potatoes Recipe
- Low-Carb Green Bean Alfredo Casserole Recipe
- Low-Carb Rainbow Sauteed Broccoli Recipe
- Low-Carb Cranberry Sauce A La Magic Recipe
- Low-Carb Magic Cheese Rolls with Unflavored Protein Powder Recipe
- Rani’s Low-Carb Zucchini Dinner Muffins Recipe
Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes
Back to Rani’s article A Low-Carb Thanksgiving Something To Really Be Thankful For.