Rosemary-Orange Roast Turkey
We like to give the bird a pretty finishing sheen by brushing on savory-sweet marmalade glaze. If you don't like the slightly bitter flavor of marmalade, you can substitute currant jelly for tart, bright flavor. Fresh rosemary brings the flavors of the turkey to life and will make your kitchen smell amazing. With a splash of citrus, this turkey is anything but bland, without being doused in high calorie glazes and sauces.
Brown Sugar-Spiced Nut Mix
This recipe comes from the kitchen of Cooking Light Senior Food Editor Cheryl Slocum who said a bowl of nuts in their shells was a coffee table staple for Thanksgiving snacks when she was young. "Operating the nutcracker was a real draw for us little kids," she says, "but our tastes have evolved to this sweet-hot crispy mix." Achieve a bronzelike patina on these candied nuts by keeping a close watch near the end of their roasting time. Too long and they'll overdarken and take on a bitter flavor.
Broiled Shrimp with Buttermilk Rémoulade
If preboiled shrimp and cocktail sauce is a standard starter at your holiday gathering, try these quick broiled shrimp with a spicy rémoulade dipping sauce—a homemade alternative that takes minutes, tastes much better, and is much lower in sodium. Like cocktail sauce, the rémoulade gets a pungent kick from prepared horseradish, though you could also try Creole mustard. We leave the tails on the shrimp for easy handling. Keep a small bowl next to the serving plate for discarded shrimp tails.
Gram's Clam Dip
Your guests can snack on this dip, while you put the final touches on your inspiring dishes. There's plenty for a crowd as this recipe serves 18. This lower-fat version uses reduced-fat Greek yogurt and cream cheese for a creamy result that does this dish justice. Precut crudités will hold up well if you'd like to prep them the day before. Wrap trimmed and cut veggies in a damp paper towel and refrigerate in a zip-top plastic bag for the crispiest texture.
Cauliflower "Caviar" with Frizzled Prosciutto
Before the turkey, lose the fork and knife for these healthy handheld bites with only 4.8g of carbs, 205mg sodium, and 3g of fat. Smoky prosciutto and cauliflower fill bitter endive leaves in this light appetizer that serves 12. An enticing mix of flavors and a colorful presentation makes for a perfect starter fit for any meal or occasion. For a low-carb swap for traditional mashed potatoes, see our Roasted Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes.
Date, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Ball
The sweet-savory combo of dates, walnuts, and blue cheese, topped with the earthiness of fresh flat-leaf parsley, brings your regular cheese ball up a notch. Prepare this retro-chic snack up to two days ahead, and serve with crackers, bread, or veggies. Rolled in minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, this cheese ball is festive enough for the most discerning of holiday crowds and with 5.3g of carbs, 229mg of sodium, and 4.8g fat, it's just right for diabetic diets.
Caramelized Onion, Gruyère, and Bacon Spread
This incredibly creamy 5-star spread looks rich and indulgent, but it's diabetic-friendly with 5.3g carbs and 236mg sodium. While it's super easy to make, it does take some time to prepare. Don't skip caramelizing the onions though, as they give the dish a depth of flavor and are well worth the effort. Serve this savory caramelized onion, Gruyère, and bacon spread with crackers or bread slices. If you can't find Gruyère, substitute raclette, fontina, or Swiss cheese.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Pomegranate and Pine Nuts
This staff favorite adds color and texture to your buffet and makes a splash on the Thanksgiving table. For a bit of showmanship, bring the whole cauliflower to the table, and then "carve" and dress with the vinaigrette, pomegranate arils, pine nuts, and parsley. While most holiday dishes are designed to be delicious warm or at room temperature, this is one dish that's worth saving until the end of your prep and serving straight out of the oven.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Garlic, and Shallots
When did the lowly sprout become a side dish superstar? This was a happy turn of events: It's a flavor-packed veggie that is both meaty and pleasingly bitter when sautéed or roasted, perfect for pairing with smoky bacon. Garlic, bacon, shallots, and just over 15 minutes are all you need to create this easy, 5-ingredient side dish with intense flavor. To trim Brussels sprouts, simply cut off the stem end and halve. If they're large, you can quarter them, just making sure the Brussels sprouts are cut into uniform pieces so that they'll cook evenly. If you don't want to discard the leftover bacon drippings, carefully transfer to a heatproof container, cool, and store in the fridge. You can use it as a replacement for any other cooking oil or fat.
Roasted Turkey with Rosemary-Garlic Butter Rub and Pan Gravy
For making a show of the carving: This classic whole-roasted turkey is rubbed with butter and bright-tasting herbs. It's an addictive combination that earned five stars from reviewers who hail it as "moist and delicious" and "the best turkey we've ever had." We use the drippings to create a gravy that takes this turkey—but not carbs—to a whole new level. When all is said and done, you'll have a Thanksgiving entrée worth raving about with just 2.6g carbs, 486mg sodium, 304 calories, and 8.4g fat. For that, we're thankful.
They'll be no leftovers when you serve your family these delicious carrots. This easy three-ingredient side dish is a great option when for the busiest cooking day of the year. Ready in just 20 minutes, you can pop these into the oven while you're putting the finishing touches on the rest of the meal. Our reviewers swear they'll please even the pickiest eater, and they're so simple, we're sure they'll make it to your weekly dinner rotation in no time.
Spicy Sautéed Broccoli Rabe with Garlic
Bring some bold Italian flavor to your holiday table with this quick and easy side. The recipe, which serves six, doubles easily if serving a larger crowd. Red onion, garlic, and crushed red flavor complement the slightly bitter flavor of nutrient-rich broccoli rabe. Packed with dietary fiber, broccoli rabe packs your Thanksgiving plate full of vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, iron, and calcium. Ready in just 25 minutes, this speedy stovetop dish gets on the table fast and frees up the oven on the day that you need it most.
Macadamia Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries
We love these thick, satisfying cookies as humble as peanut butter cookies but not as crumbly. Dried cranberries provide a slightly tart counterpoint to the macadamia nuts' richness. The dough is somewhat sticky; chilling it briefly makes handling easier. Swap in dried cherries, strawberries, or blueberries for the cranberries to suit your taste. They may look like old-fashioned peanut butter cookies, even down to the crosshatch pattern pressed in with a fork, but these treats are completely unique.