Blog image: Low-carb comfort foods you can enjoy this ThanksgivingOne of the best parts of Thanksgiving is enjoying our favorite comfort foods. Many of us have grown up on these comfort foods and think of them fondly. From buttery mashed potatoes to classic green bean casserole, these hearty dishes are holiday trademarks.

A Low-Carb Twist on the Classics

However, if you’re working on changing your lifestyle habits and want to stay on track through the holidays, navigating food on Thanksgiving can be tough. You should enjoy what you’re eating or else you won’t have any fun at all!

One solution is to lighten up some of your favorite Thanksgiving classics by making them low-carb. With a little creativity and fun, you can enjoy delicious comfort foods that hit the spot but won’t derail you from your goals. Here are some recipes you might enjoy.

Cranberry Relish

 Cranberry relishCalories: 20 | Fat: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fiber: 1g | Net Carbs: 3g
Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 15 mins | Serves 12

Shopping List:

  • 1 cup bulk sugar substitute
  • 1 cup of water
  • 12 oz. cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated orange zest

Preparation: 

  • Combine the sugar substitute and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil on the stove.
  • Add the cranberries and orange zest and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 mins, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove sauce from heat and let it cool before covering (plastic wrap works fine) and placing it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Mock Mashed Potatoes

Low-carb comfort foods: Mock mashed potatoesCalories: 140 | Fat: 11g | Protein: 5g | Fiber: 3g | Net Carbs: 4g
Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 6 mins | Serves 4

Shopping List:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. chicken base or bouillon
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. chives for garnish, chopped fresh or dried
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, if desired

Preparation:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
  • Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Add to the pot and boil for about 6 mins until well done.
  • Drain well but do not let cool. Pat the cooked cauliflower between several layers of paper towels OR place cauliflower in a colander and use a heavy bowl to press down on it, removing excess water.
  • Using a food processor or hand blender, pulse the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base, and pepper until almost smooth.
  • Garnish with chives and serve hot with pats of butter, if desired.

Praline Pumpkin Pie

Praline pumpkin pieCalories: 130 | Fat: 11.5g | Protein: 3g | Fiber: 1.5g | Net Carbs: 2.5g
Prep Time: 25 mins | Cook Time: 75 mins | Serves 12

Shopping List:

For the Crust:

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup bulk sugar substitute
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the Filling:

  • 1 (15-oz.) can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3/4 cup bulk sugar substitute
  • 1 tbsp. plush a dash more pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 4 large eggs

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • To make the crust, melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave and mix all the crust ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • While the mixture is still warm, press it down evenly over the bottom of a 10-inch deep pie pan. Bake for about 5 mins, until browned, and remove the crust from the oven.
  • Turn up the oven to 425°F.
  • To make the filling, place all filling ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together.
  • Pour the filling into the crust. Bake for 15 mins, then reduce heat to 350°F. Continue to bake for an additional 50 to 55 mins until done (To test for doneness, stick a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, the pie is done). Cool on the counter for at least 30 mins and then let chill for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator before serving. Try serving with a dollop of sugar-free whipped cream.

Sausage and Herb Stuffing

Low-carb comfort foods: Sausage and herb stuffingCalories: 120 | Fat: 2g | Protein: 3g | Fiber: 1g | Net Carbs: 2g
Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 35 mins | Serves 8

Shopping List:

  • 3/4 lb. turkey sausage (you may use pork breakfast sausage)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley leaves
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Equipment:

  • 8 by 8-inch square baking dish

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Remove sausage from casing and crumble it into a pan over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook, stirring, until browned. Drain fat if necessary.
  • Beat the eggs in a bowl. Using a spoon, mix the sausage mixture and all the remaining ingredients.
  • Pour the stuffing into the baking dish and bake until it is hot and browned, which will take about 30 mins. Serve hot.

Wild Mushroom Turkey Gravy

Low-carb comfort foods: Wild mushroom turkey gravyCalories: 113 | Fat: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fiber: 0.5g | Net Carbs: 2.5g
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 15 mins | Serves 8

Shopping List:

  • 2 cups defatted turkey juices from turkey roasting pan or homemade turkey or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 10 oz. shiitake mushrooms, rinsed, stemmed, and diced
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

  • Collect the turkey juices from the roasting pan. Remove the fat by skimming off the fat that rises to the top. Discard the fat.
  • Transfer the juices to a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and cook until reduced by half.
  • Add the cream. Continue to cook until the gravy is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately about 8 mins.
  • Heat the butter in a separate saucepan. Add the mushrooms, thyme, garlic, and sherry, and saute over medium-high heat until tender.
  • Combine the sauteed mushrooms with the reduced gravy.
  • Finish the gravy by seasoning it with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer it to a gravy boat and keep warm until serving.

Happy Holidays and Bon Appetit!