Low-Fat Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Ideas

You can serve a healthy Thanksgiving dinner menu that will still taste scrumptious and convey indulgence just by using low-fat cooking techniques.

Substitutions for traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu items
Try these low-fat cooking suggestions for a great Thanksgiving dinner!

  • Instead of heavy appetizers, serve shrimp with cocktail sauce. Shrimp with cocktail sauce is high in protein and virtually fat-free, yet deliciously tangy. Make sure to keep the shrimp on ice to keep it fresh. Consider serving the shrimp in ice-filled cocktail glasses with a wedge of lemon and a sprig of parsley.
  • Instead of a whole turkey, cook a turkey breast. You'll still want to cook the turkey breast with the skin on, but you and your guests will have the option of removing the fatty skin, and everyone will get white meat, which is lower in fat than dark meat.
  • Instead of candied sweet potatoes, bake sweet potatoes. Split open each baked sweet potato and sprinkle ground cinnamon onto the exposed orange flesh for an aromatic and satisfying sweet but low-fat holiday treat.
  • If you must have mashed potatoes, use skim milk and half the butter. Or try whipping your potatoes with fat free sour cream and skip the butter altogether. The sour cream lends a creamy consistency and provides a rich flavor-without the fat.
  • Instead of corn drenched in butter, steam a side of green vegetables. Choose your favorite green vegetable and either steam it or sauté it with olive oil and shallots.
  • Instead of gravy, offer fresh cranberry sauce. Make fresh cranberry sauce using whole berries and serve this instead of gravy.
  • In place of pumpkin pie, whip up this light orange-pumpkin custard. This dessert eliminates the fat and calories from the crust and will win over any pumpkin pie fans in an instant.

Orange-Pumpkin Custard Recipe
Ingredients You Will Need:
16 ounces pumpkin (canned)
½ cup prunes, chopped
¼ cup apple juice concentrate
¼ cup orange juice concentrate
2 teaspoons butter
1 cup evaporated skim milk
½ cup fat-free egg substitute
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine pumpkin, prunes, apple juice concentrate, orange juice concentrate and butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Stirring occasionally, simmer for fifteen minutes. Pour mixture into a food processor or blender and add remaining ingredients. Blend in processor until smooth.

Fill custard cups with pumpkin custard. Fill a baking dish with one inch of water and place custard cups in baking dish. Cook in oven for 30-40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center of each individual custard comes out clean. Serve warm or cold, with whipped cream topping if desired.

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