6 Healthy Recipes for Thanksgiving

Besides being the one day a year everyone eats Turkey, Thanksgiving is a day filled with delicious food, family and gratitude. The roast turkey may claim all the glory, but we’re sharing 6 healthy recipes for side dishes that are sure to bring something new to the table and impress your guests.

PHOTOS & RECIPES BY BON APPÉTIT MAGAZINE + HEALTHYISH

SEARED RADICCHIO AND ROASTED BEETS

8 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 medium beets, scrubbed

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 small heads of radicchio, cut into large wedges through root end

  • 1 cup pomegranate juice

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds

  • Flaky sea salt (for serving)

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 450°. Toss beets with 1 Tbsp. oil on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet; season with kosher salt. Roast, tossing once, until skins are charred and beets are tender, 40–50 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook radicchio wedges on cut sides until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter.

Add pomegranate juice to skillet; bring to a boil and cook until thickened and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar; season with kosher salt.

Tear beets open and place around radicchio; spoon dressing over. Top salad with pomegranate seeds, sprinkle with sea salt, and drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil.

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TWICE-ROASTED SQUASH WITH PARMESAN BUTTER AND GRAINS

4–6 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS:

Squash

  • 1 3–4-lb. kabocha, buttercup, or kuri squash

  • 3 oz. Parmesan, coarsely grated

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • ½ tsp. finely grated lemon zest

  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Dressing and Assembly

  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

  • 3 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar

  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp. honey

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1½ cups cooked whole grains (such as barley, farro, and/or black or red quinoa)

  • ⅓ cup unsalted, roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

  • 3 Tbsp. golden raisins

  • Shaved Parmesan (for serving)

PREPARATION:

Squash

Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 300°. Prick squash all over with the point of a sharp paring knife and arrange on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast until very tender (knife should slide easily through the flesh), about 3 hours. (For quicker cooking, roast at 425° for 1 hour.) Tear or cut squash in half and let sit until cool enough to handle.

Remove seeds from squash; discard. Scoop flesh into a medium bowl. Tear skin into 6 large (about 4x4") pieces and set aside on same baking sheet to be refilled later; discard any excess skin. Add Parmesan, butter, and lemon zest to bowl with flesh and mash together to combine; season with salt and pepper.

Carefully move rack to upper third of oven and increase oven temperature to 450°. Divide mashed squash mixture among reserved pieces of skin and roast until top of flesh is beginning to brown, 10–12 minutes.

Do Ahead: Whole squash can be roasted 4 days ahead. Keep intact and chill.

Dressing and Assembly

While squash is roasting, whisk lemon juice, vinegar, oil, and honey in a large bowl. Add scallions, grains, pumpkin seeds, and raisins to dressing and toss to coat.

Arrange squash on a platter and spoon grain mixture and dressing over. Top with shaved Parmesan.

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ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

4 TO 6 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1½-inch pieces

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 450°. Toss potatoes, oil, salt, and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and browned, 35–45 minutes.

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CRANBERRY AND WALNUT RELISH

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds

  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped

  • 1 Fresno chile, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons dried currants

  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more

  • ½ cup walnuts

  • 12 ounces fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries

  • ⅓ cup chopped parsley

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast mustard seeds in a dry small saucepan over medium-low heat, rolling around in pan often, until seeds start to pop, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add shallot, chile, currants, maple syrup, vinegar, allspice, and ½ tsp. salt (mixture will sputter a bit). Stir well to dissolve salt. Let sit until currants are plumped and mixture is cool, 15–20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool.

Pulse walnuts and cranberries in a food processor until very coarsely chopped but with a few whole cranberries in the mix, about 5 short pulses. Transfer to a large bowl and work in shallot mixture. Cover and let sit at least 30 minutes.

Just before serving, taste and season relish with more salt; stir in parsley.

Do Ahead: Relish (without parsley) can be made 4 days ahead. Chill.

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GREEN BEANS WITH MUSHROOM XO SAUCE

8 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds green beans, divided

  • Kosher salt

  • 5 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce or 3 tablespoons regular soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons black (Chinkiang) vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  • 4 ounces king trumpet or maitake mushrooms, caps sliced, stalks coarsely chopped

  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced

  • ¼ cup brandy

  • 1 shallot, very thinly sliced

  • 1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons small dried shrimp or a splash of fish sauce

  • 4 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced on a diagonal, divided

  • 1 tablespoon chili oil

Ingredient Info

Black (Chinkiang) vinegar is an aged vinegar made from glutinous rice and malt. It can be found at Asian markets.

PREPARATION:

Working in batches, cook three-quarters of green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to a bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain and pat dry; trim stem ends.

Combine mushroom soy sauce, black vinegar, rice vinegar, and sugar in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve sugar. Set mushroom XO sauce aside.

Trim stem ends of remaining uncooked green beans. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook beans, tossing occasionally, until blistered in spots and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to same skillet and cook king trumpet and shiitake mushrooms, tossing occasionally, until browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and carefully add brandy away from heat source. Return skillet to heat and tilt to ignite brandy. Once flames have subsided, add shallot, chile, garlic, dried shrimp, half of scallions, and reserved XO sauce. Cook, tossing occasionally, just until aromatics have softened, about 3 minutes (there should still be some liquid in the pan). Add chili oil and all of the green beans and toss well to combine. Serve topped with remaining scallions.

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SPICED MARINATED BEETS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds red beets (about 6 medium), scrubbed

  • ⅓ cup olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons coriander, mustard, fennel, caraway, and/or cumin seeds

  • 2 dried bay leaves

  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar

  • Kosher salt

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 425°. Place beets in a shallow baking dish and add water until it reaches about ½" up the sides of the beets. Cover with foil, crimping edges to make a tight seal. Bake beets until a skewer poked through foil easily pierces flesh, 65–75 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, and let sit until cool enough to handle.

Using paper towels (if you have gloves, wear them to keep your hands stain-free), rub skins to remove; discard. Lightly crush beets with the flat side of a chef’s knife, then tear into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl.

Heat oil, spices, and bay leaves in a small skillet over medium and cook, swirling often, until oil is sizzling around spices and spices are fragrant, about 3 minutes. Pour over beets, add vinegar, and toss to combine. Season with salt. Let cool.

Do Ahead: Beets can be marinated 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Anna Cecilia