Thanksgiving is a day of eating with loved ones, but typically you’re eating high-carb sides, sugary desserts, and fried foods. So, you could easily at 1,000 calories or more from just Thanksgiving dinner alone! And if you’re on the keto diet or you’re simply trying to lower carbohydrate intake, you’ll want to go with sides that are lower in carbs and higher in good fats and protein, instead.
It can be hard to know which ones to pick though, and if they’re even available. Here are the best low carb sides to choose from—and if you aren’t sure if you’ll have them at your Thanksgiving table this year, feel free to make them yourself to guarantee you have plenty of low carb options to enjoy.
Roasted Green Veggies
You can often find roasted Brussels sprouts (yum!) or string beans as a Thanksgiving side. And if you load up on greens along with the turkey, rather than mashed potatoes or casserole, both of which are high in carbs, you’ll be able to have a low carb and low calorie side that offers good nutrition to fill you up.
Make sure the veggies are not glazed or drenched in sweet or high-carb sauces (like maple syrup or honey, for example) and just roast them simply with some olive oil and fresh lemon or herbs, as well sprinkled cheese, like Parmesan, and some slivered nuts, like almonds, if desired.
You cannot go wrong with a side salad that has a bed of greens (romaine, kale, spinach or arugula, for example) with some good fats and drizzled olive oil or a green goddess dressing made with avocado and Greek yogurt. Add nuts for good fats and protein, like almonds or pistachios, and some cheese if you like. You can also add seeds for fall, like pumpkin, for extra crunch and good nutrients!
Ditch mashed potatoes smothered in butter for a healthier option that is made with low carb veggies, like cauliflower. The cauliflower rice saves calories and carbs, so you won’t get kicked out of ketosis.
Plus, you can enjoy it in many ways by adding in different herbs or spices, along with butter, cheese, or something rich to add a rich, creamier texture for that “mashed” appeal. You can use butter, cheese like parmesan, or sour cream, for example—you will still have a silky, delicious side to pair with turkey.
Low Carb Stuffing
You may need to do some digging online, but you can totally find low carb versions of traditional Thanksgiving sides so you don’t feel deprived. For instance, you can look up keto approved low carb stuffing that’s made with cauliflower to cut back on carbs. You can even try a stuffing with sausage in it for that meaty flavor.
Doing a little research or asking friends and family for recommendations on low carb makeovers is easy and you won’t need to give up your favorite classic dishes to keep your carb count in check.