Photo: Mike Garten

Plain-Jane steamed broccoli has no place on an indulgent Thanksgiving table, but that doesn’t stop Oprah from sneaking nutritious foods into her spread. Inspired by her knack for swapping traditional ingredients with healthier, equally yummy alternatives, we created a menu of tempting turkey accompaniments that’ll leave you feeling satisfied, not stuffed. Now, that’s something to be grateful for.
kale chips

Photo: Mike Garten

Roasted Carrot Hummus with Kale Chips

Creamy, cheesy dips are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, but they can be a little hefty for a predinner snack, so we love this slightly sweet alternative from Ella Mills, author of Natural Feasts. It’s rich enough to quiet hunger pangs, yet light enough to leave room for the main event.

Get the recipe: Roasted Carrot Hummus with Kale Chips

Stealth health:
Kale chips are too fragile for scooping up hummus, but serving them alongside traditional chips gives guests a less processed (but still deliciously crunchy and salty) option to keep them from filling up on chipping and dipping.

Photo: Mike Garten

Pomegranate and Orange Peel Fizz

Here’s how to feel festive sans alcohol: a tart-sweet bubbly mocktail from Smitten Kitchen Every Day author Deb Perelman. The delightful drink has all the flavor and sophistication of a classic cocktail, minus the buzz.

Get the recipe: Pomegranate and Orange Peel Fizz

Stealth health
By going virgin, you eliminate empty alcohol calories; by opting for seltzer over tonic water, you cut down on added sugar.
Mushroom Bruschetta

Photo: Mike Garten

Mushroom Bruschetta

Meaty and savory without being heavy, mushrooms are one of Oprah’s go-to toppings for healthier bruschetta—and a simple way to tease guests’ taste buds before turkey time. “I use just a whiff of cooking spray in my skillet to prevent sticking,” Oprah says. “Then I sauté mushrooms with shallots, garlic, and the secret ingredient: sherry vinegar instead of oil.”

Get the recipe: Mushroom Bruschetta

Steal health:
Much lighter than oil or butter, sherry vinegar is slightly acidic, a little sweet, a tad nutty, and altogether complex.

Photo: Mike Garten

Stuffed Whole Butternut Squash

What’s better than bright, beautiful in-season produce? Bright, beautiful in-season produce stuffed with even more fresh goodies! Here, Wanderlust Find Your True Fork contributor Guy Turland fills slightly sweet butternut squash with a cornucopia of tastes and textures. If you stuff only your turkey, you’re missing out.

Get the recipe: Stuffed Whole Butternut Squash

Stealth health:
Quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain, and contains nearly double the filling protein of brown rice.

Photo: Mike Garten

Mashed Cauli-Potatoes

Pureed cauliflower is a fine substitute for mashed potatoes, but if you’re craving the true taste, add just a couple of spuds, à la Oprah. “The cauliflower takes on the flavor of the potato,” she notes in her cookbook, Food, Health and Happiness. “People have eaten it at my house, never even realizing the cauliflower was there.”

Get the recipe: Mashed Cauli-Potatoes

Stealth health:
Cauliflower’s mild flavor lets its fellow ingredients shine, and it has a nutritional edge over the potato: a subtler effect on your blood sugar levels, which staves off a carb coma.

Cranberry-Pecan Spinach Salad with Apple Cider Dressing
Bright greens and a simple dressing make this salad from Kenny Gilbert, owner of Florida hot spot Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen and occasional chef for Oprah, a welcome break from richer offerings. Fresh cranberries and other high-texture toppings rise to this special occasion.

Get the recipe: Cranberry-Pecan Spinach Salad with Apple Cider Dressing

Stealth health:
Dried cranberries are a go-to topping for fall salads, but most have added sugar. So opt for unsweetened varieties or—even better— the fabulously tart fresh ones.

Photo: Mike Garten

Greek Yogurt Fruit Parfait

Pies are expected on Thanksgiving— for good reason—but layering sweet fruit with velvety, nutritious vanilla Greek yogurt, as Oprah does, will lighten your baking load and surprise everyone at the table. “I like to do chunks of dragon fruit, berries, and finely chopped apple,” Oprah says. Her crowning glory? Whipped coconut cream.

Get the recipe: Greek Yogurt Fruit Parfait

Stealth health:
Greek yogurt gives you the cold, creamy goodness you love—plus, it has more satiating protein and less sugar than a similar serving of ice cream.

Photo: Mike Garten

Apricot and Pear Crisp

Fruity sweetness from coconut sugar and apricot jam, along with whole grains and nuts, make this chewy-gooey dessert from YumUniverse Pantry to Plate author Heather Crosby a treat you can feel pretty darn great about.

Get the recipe: Apricot and Pear Crisp

Stealth health:
Almond flour offers a lovely nutty flavor and triple the fiber of the white stuff.

Photo: Mike Garten

Pumpkin Tart with Chai Cream and Maple-Glazed Pumpkin Seeds

The subtle, cramel-y sweetness of maple syrup is an instant upgrade for a quintessential Thanksgiving dessert. And since your tongue won't be overwhelmed by sugar, you can actually taste the pumpkin in this almost-too-pretty-to-eat treat from Tieghan Gerard, blogger and author of Half Baked Harvest Cookbook.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin Tart with Chai Cream and Maple-Glazed Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

Stealth health:
Pecans are high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats—meaning they take longer to digest than a white-flour crust, warding off a post-dessert crash.