Diabetic-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes

Posted by Kristina Law on Nov 25, 2013

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Do any of your Thanksgiving guests have diabetes or pre-diabetes? It’s not easy to accommodate your health-oriented guests along with other family members who want everything swimming in butter. We're here to help you get through Thanksgiving without giving up on your diabetes control. Here's our collection of our best holiday recipes -read on to find appetizers, main dishes and desserts.

Green Bean Casserole


A great traditional side dish that includes a bonus of 4g fiber and a depth of flavor.


  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup half & half
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 medium white onion, sliced
  • 2 TBS olive oil, divided
  • Mrs. Dash seasoning to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a small casserole dish and set aside.
  3. Boil the green beans in salted water until bright green and softened.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the soup, yogurt, half & half and pepper in a medium bowl.
  5. When the green beans are done, add to the soup/yogurt mixture.
  6. Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a small skillet and cook the mushrooms until lightly browned. Remove from heat and add to the green beans.
  7. Toss together and pour into prepared casserole dish.
  8. In the same skillet, heat the remaining olive oil. Cook the onions until they're transparent and golden. Add to the top of the green beans.
  9. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes.
  11. Remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle with desired amount of Mrs. Dash.


Candied Yams


A great holiday recipe with reduced added sugar and great flavor.


  • 6 medium yams, boiled in skin until tender (about 20-30 minutes)
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp sugar substitute
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Ground cloves to taste
  • 1/3 cup low-calorie magarine
  • 1 cup cold water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cool yams, peel, and slice lengthwise. Place the yam slices in a covered baking dish. Sprinkle the raisins over the yams.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, sugar substitute, and spices; sprinkle over the yams. Dot with margarine and add water.
  3. Cover the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover, then bake another 15-20 minutes.


Low-Carb Stuffing


Begin this recipe by using your favorite low-carb bread. Made from scratch, you know this recipe will deliver traditional flavors without all the carbs.


  • 1 loaf low carb stuffing bread (see below) or low carb bread, crumbled or cut into cubes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6-7 cups chopped celery - about 2 small bunches
  • 1 green Bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 4 teaspoons poultry seasoning, such as Bells
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Salt - start with 1/2 teaspoon, or 1 T chicken or turkey soup base (see below)
  • 1 cup water or broth, plus more according to moisture needed
  • 1 - 3 eggs if baking it, and if desired (nutritional info includes 1 egg)
  • 1 T cooking oil


  1. Make low-carb stuffing bread, or use about 1 - 1½ lb loaf of low-carb bread. Different types of bread will bring different results, so you may have to adjust the amount of liquid, seasonings, etc. I based the nutritional information below on using my homemade stuffing bread. In any case, allow the bread to dry out for awhile, either on the counter on in a low oven. It doesn't have to be totally dry, just kind of stale-level dry.
  2. 2. Saute' onion, celery, and pepper until soft. Add parsley and cook for a minute or so, until wilted. Add seasonings. I include about a Tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon Soup Base at this point.
  3. 3. Mix together the vegetables and the bread. Add a cup of broth or water, stir, and taste. Adjust seasoning and moisture. If you're going to stuff poultry with it, leave it on the dry side because it will absorb a lot of juices during cooking. You can eat it just as it is, but if you bake it, the flavors will come together better. Adding egg will make it come together in more of a melded together form. I usually add one egg, but don't like it too melded. You can add 2, or even three eggs. Mix well and bake at 350 F. for about half an hour, or until browned on top.


Basic Turkey Gravy


Keep sodium, fat, and carbs low with this essential Thanksgiving staple.


  • 1 Package Neck, heart, gizzard from turkey giblets
  • 1 Medium carrot thickly sliced
  • 1 Medium onion thickly sliced
  • 1 Medium celery rib thickly sliced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 TURKEY liver
  • 3 Tablespoons fat from poultry drippings
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt


  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, over high heat, place neck, heart, gizzard, vegetables, and salt in enough water to cover. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 45 minutes.
  2. Add liver and cook 15 minutes longer. Strain both into a large bowl; cover and reserve broth in the refrigerator.
  3. To make gravy, remove the cooked turkey and roasting rack from the roasting pan. Pour poultry drippings through a sieve into a measuring cup.
  4. Add 1 cup giblet broth to the roasting pan and stir until the crusty brown bits are loosened; pour the deglazed liquid/broth into the 4-cup measure. Let the mixture stand a few minutes, until the fat rises to the top.
  5. Over medium heat, spoon 3 tablespoons fat from the poultry drippings into a 2-quart saucepan. Whisk flour and salt into the heated fat and continue to cook and stir until the flour turns golden.
  6. Meanwhile, skim and discard any fat that remains on top of the poultry drippings. Add remaining broth and enough water to the poultry drippings to equal 3-1/2 cups.
  7. Gradually whisk in warm poultry drippings/broth mixture. Cook and stir, until gravy boils and is slightly thick.


Orange Rosemary Turkey


This recipe will be the star of your Thanksgiving feast. Slipping orange slices under the skin infuses wonderful flavor and moisture into the turkey.


  • 12 lb. whole turkey
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 TBS minced garlic
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 TBS dried parsley
  • 2 TBS dried thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 orange, peeled and sliced


  1. Clean the turkey, pat dry, and gently massage to release the skin.
  2. Mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, parsley, thyme, pepper and salt. Rub all over the outside of the turkey, and gently lift the skin, careful not to tear it, and rub the mixture under the skin as well.
  3. Place orange slices under the skin of the turkey.
  4. Place the turkey in a roasting pan or in a turkey roaster and fill with water about 1/2 inch full.
  5. Cook at 325 degrees F for 3-4 hours, or time and temperature according to the turkey's package directions.
  6. Be sure to check the turkey every hour. If it is becoming too brown, cover gently with foil.
  7. Remove turkey and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
  8. Serving size is approximately 4 oz. of turkey.


Yogurt Cheesecake with Pomegranate Sauce


Walnuts replace the traditional graham cracker crust in this rich and decadent cheesecake. Pomegranate sauce gives it a wonderful "holiday" finish.


  • 1 cup finely ground walnuts
  • 1 TBS Splenda brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 TBS coconut oil, melted
  • 3 (8 oz.) pkgs. fat free cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TBS light sugar (sugar/stevia blend)
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp plain gelatin
  • 1 1/2 TBS cold water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 2 TBS light sugar (sugar/stevia blend)
  • Seeds of 1/2 pomegranate


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch cheesecake pan with removable sides. Cut out a circle of parchment paper to fit on the bottom, and set in the pan after it has been sprayed.
  3. In a food processor, process the walnuts, brown sugar, ginger and melted coconut oil together. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake the crust for about 10-15 minutes or until it begins turning a light golden brown. Remove and let cool.
  5. In a small heat proof bowl, mix the gelatin and cold water together and set aside to let gelatin get soft.
  6. Wash the food processor and then blend the cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla together until smooth.
  7. Heat about 1/2 inch of water in a small pan over medium heat. Place the bowl with the gelatin in the water and whisk until the gelatin has dissolved, when it is clear (about 3-4 minutes).
  8. With the food processor turned on, pour in the warm gelatin mixture and mix well.
  9. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5-6 hours.
  10. In a small sauce pan, add the juice and remaining sugar. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.
  11. Remove from heat and let cool.
  12. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Then add pomegranate seeds and drizzle over cheesecake slices.