9 Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes (2024)

Ketogenic Diet

You don’t have to stress about staying on track with your keto diet this Thanksgiving, thanks to these low-carb recipe alternatives to traditional holiday foods.

9 Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes (1)


Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCES, LDN

9 Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes (2)


Kelly Kennedy, RDN

Updated on November 18, 2022

9 Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes (3)

Good news for turkey lovers: This holiday staple is naturally keto-friendly.

For most people, Thanksgiving is all about reflecting on what you’re grateful for while spending time with friends and family. But if you’re trying to stay on track with a ketogenic diet, this holiday can bring on an added layer of stress. “It's tough to head into social gatherings without knowing what will be served and whether you'll have enough options that fit into a keto diet,” explains Christy Brissette, RD, of 80 Twenty Nutrition in Chicago. But staying on track with your meal plan goals can be done, even during the holiday season. It just requires a little bit of planning.

First, What Beginners Need to Know About Keto

The ketogenic diet came about as a way to help control seizure disorders almost 100 years ago. Today, it has become a popular way to shed pounds and inches rapidly. “Research points to some potential benefits of the ketogenic diet, including a few studies that have shown it may promote weight loss, lower blood sugar, and increase insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes,” says Keri Glassman, RD, of Nutritious Life in New York City. But the keto diet is not without a few downsides. “As your body adjusts, you may experience symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, and nausea for a few weeks,” Glassman says.

That’s not all. “Side effects from this form of dieting may lead to constipation, electrolyte imbalances, and headaches,” adds Brissette.

Not to mention, dramatically reducing your carb intake for the long haul can be challenging, Brissette says. Also, the keto diet may pose health risks long term, and some studies have pointed out that keto is no more effective for weight loss than other diets.

Is the Ketogenic Diet Right for You, or Could It Be Unsafe for Your Health?

No diet is one-size-fits-all, including keto. Long-term studies on the health effects of keto are limited, but some research has found that low-carb dieters may be at a higher risk of early death, possibly because low-carb diets, including keto, tend to decrease consumption of fiber and fruit and don’t mandate limiting intake of fats that are unhealthy in excess, such as that in red meat.

Suffice to say, the keto diet may pose health dangers for some people. “The safety of the keto diet hasn't been studied in people with kidney or liver problems, pregnant women, or anyone with an eating disorder history or chronic constipation. If you have bone health concerns, you may also want to steer clear of the keto diet. It can be low in calcium and vitamin D,” adds Brissette.

Making the Keto Diet Work for You During the Holiday Season

If you plan to follow the keto diet during the holidays, there are a few simple tricks that can help you to stay on track. First, make sure you’re not arriving at a Thanksgiving celebration with an empty stomach. Having ahealthy breakfast or snack can go a long way toward preventing the excessive hunger that can lead you to reach for the wrong foods during the main meal.

And don’t be shy about sharing your dietary needs with others. “Talk to your host and let him or her know you're on a keto diet and you'd like to bring a couple of dishes to share with everyone,” suggests Brissette.

Need ideas? Give some of these delicious, keto-friendly Thanksgiving recipes a try:


Low-Carb Thanksgiving Appetizer Platter

9 Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes (4)

One of the best ways to avoid going overboard at Thanksgiving is to eat a small snack ahead of time to help curb your appetite. Creating this adorable Thanksgiving platter as a crowd-pleasing appetizer is a great solution. The blend of cheeses and meats provides a rich source of protein and fat without the carbs, helping to fight against excess hunger before the meal is served.

Get the recipe atStep Away From the Carbs.

Nutrition per serving (serves 6; serving size: 1 oz cheese and 1 oz meat): 189 calories, 14g total fat (7.3g saturated fat), 14g protein, 0.4g carbohydrates, 0g fiber, 0g sugar (0g added sugar), 761mg sodium


Low-Sugar Cranberry Sauce

9 Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes (5)

What’s Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce? Traditional versions are often packed full of added sugar, but this sugar-free alternative contains only 4 grams (g) of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber). With just four ingredients, making cranberry sauce has never been easier — and with a few ingredient swaps, it can be healthier, too. Just be aware of the sugar alcohol erythritol, which may cause digestive issues, especially in kids, when eaten in excess.

Get the recipe atWholesome Yum.

Nutrition per serving (serves 6): 27 calories, 0.1g total fat (0g saturated fat), 0.3g protein, 39g carbohydrates*, 2g fiber, 2.5g sugar (0g added sugar), 1.2mg sodium

*Allulose is an alternative sweetener that contains carbs that are not digested, so they do not count toward your net carb count.


Baked Sausage and Pumpkin Bites

9 Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes (6)

These bite-sized sausage and pumpkin combos make a great starter, and with only 4 g of net carbs per serving, you don’t have to feel guilty about reaching for more than one. Be aware this recipe also contains erythritol, which, as mentioned above, may cause tummy trouble if you overdo it! And it can be on the high side for calories, fat, and sodium, so you’ll want to keep your portions to appetizer-size — two each.

Get the recipe atStep Away From the Carbs.

Nutrition per serving (serves 4; 4 bites per serving): 431 calories, 38g total fat (15g saturated fat), 16g protein, 5g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 1g sugar, 1,127mg sodium


Keto-Friendly Dijon Cauliflower Mash

9 Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes (7)

Mashed potatoes are a staple at the Thanksgiving table, but for those limiting their carbohydrate intake, adding these to your plate can eat up your whole day’s allotment. Instead, swap out the mashed potatoes, which traditionally contain more than 30 g of carbohydrate per cup, for this equally delicious mashed cauliflower recipe. By swapping out potatoes for cauliflower, you can enjoy a similar taste and texture, with fewer calories and only 5 g of net carbs per serving.

Get the recipe atWholesome Yum.

Nutrition per serving (serves 4; ½ cup per serving): 123 calories, 9.5g total fat, 3.5g protein, 8.3g carbohydrates, 3.1g fiber, 3.1g sugar


Roasted Bacon Green Beans

9 Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes (8)

Nonstarchy vegetable sides are the perfect keto-friendly addition to your Thanksgiving spread. And when you add in bacon, who can resist? The blend of green beans, almonds, and bacon makes this dish so indulgent you’ll never miss the carbs.

Get the recipe atHungry Hobby.

Nutrition per serving (serves 4): 268 calories, 22g total fat (4g saturated fat), 7g protein, 11g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 4g sugar, 734mg sodium


Roasted Brussels Sprouts

9 Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes (9)

One of the best ways to make sure you can stick to your keto plan on Thanksgiving is to offer a variety of nonstarchy vegetable-based dishes. When you can fill your plate with multiple servings of vegetables, passing on the high-carbohydrate options gets a lot easier. This roasted Brussels sprouts recipe couldn’t be simpler to make and will be a hit with all of your guests.

Get the recipe at80 Twenty Nutrition.

Nutrition per serving (serves 8): 88 calories, 4g total fat (1g saturated fat), 5g protein, 11g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 3g sugar, 60mg sodium


Roasted Turkey Breast

9 Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes (10)

Thanksgiving dinner revolves around the turkey, and lucky for you, this meat is naturally keto-friendly. Roasted turkey breast without the skin has 0 g of net carbs per 3-ounce serving, according todata from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which makes it the perfect complement to your Thanksgiving plate. Pair it with a side of roasted vegetables, cauliflower mash, and sugar-free cranberry sauce, and you’re set for a traditional yet low-carb Thanksgiving meal.

Get the recipe atNutritious Life.

Nutrition per serving (serves 20): 371 calories, 15g total fat (3.8g saturated fat), 56g protein, 1g carbohydrates, 0.2g fiber, 0.3g sugar (0g added sugar), 537mg sodium


Pumpkin Cheesecake

9 Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes (11)

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without dessert, and with this delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe, you can enjoy cake even while following a keto diet. By making just a few simple ingredient swaps from the standard cheesecake recipe, you can enjoy all of the same great taste with only 5 g of net carbs per slice.

Get the recipe atWholesome Yum.

Nutrition per serving (serves 16): 284 calories, 24g total fat (11.6g saturated fat), 11g protein, 21g carbohydrates*, 1.3g fiber, 3g sugar (0.1g added sugar), 157mg sodium

*Allulose is an alternative sweetener that contains carbs that are not digested, so they do not count toward your net carb count.


Chocolate Mint Avocado Pudding

9 Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes (12)

You can’t have dessert without chocolate, right? And now you don’t have to, thanks to this easy Chocolate Mint Avocado Pudding recipe. The texture and neutral flavor of the avocado pair perfectly with the cocoa powder, for a rich, indulgent dessert with only 2 g of net carbs per serving.

Get the recipe at80 Twenty Nutrition.

Nutrition per serving (serves 2): 164 calories, 15g total fat (2g saturated fat), 2g protein, 9g carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 1g sugar, 77mg sodium

9 Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Van Hayes

Last Updated:

Views: 5962

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Van Hayes

Birthday: 1994-06-07

Address: 2004 Kling Rapid, New Destiny, MT 64658-2367

Phone: +512425013758

Job: National Farming Director

Hobby: Reading, Polo, Genealogy, amateur radio, Scouting, Stand-up comedy, Cryptography

Introduction: My name is Van Hayes, I am a thankful, friendly, smiling, calm, powerful, fine, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.