Healthy Holiday Recipes – Cleveland Clinic

Let’s not lie to ourselves — a part of the holiday season is indulging. But it’s also no secret that holiday eating can sometimes leave us feeling crummy afterward. So, how do we find this balance between festive foods and maintaining a healthy diet? 

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Luckily, there are more than enough recipes to go around, each of them more flavorful than the last.

Here are some dietitian-approved recipes that will let you cruise through the holidays feeling great.

Easy Artichoke Dip and Crudites

A bowl of artichoke dip surrounded by sliced carrots, peppers, cucumbers and potato chips

Invited to a party (or hosting) and stumped for a tasty yet healthy appetizer? Try this easy artichoke dip and crudites recipe. It’s super simple — though it doesn’t taste like it! But that can be our little secret!

Sweet Potato Hummus

Sweet potato hummus in a terra cota bowl on a wooden table.

Yes, a sweet potato really can do it all! Even turn into a delicious, fall-inspired hummus dip by mixing it with garlic, cumin, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. 

Roast Chicken Raspberry and Walnut Salad

Here’s a festive, healthy twist on classic chicken salad. Roast the chicken a few days ahead to make assembly faster, or use leftover roast chicken or rotisserie chicken from the store.

Braised Chicken With Cashew Gravy

recipe braised chicken with cashew gravy

Cashew butter gives this gravy an amazingly smooth richness. It’s a delicious accompaniment to the crisp-skinned chicken breast. Save the extra gravy for another chicken dish!

Turkey Meatloaf With Baked Root Vegetables

A log of sliced turkey meatloaf with baked root vegetables

A colorful dish is a favorite at Thanksgiving, but simple enough to try any time of year! It takes just 15 minutes to prep for the oven and can serve four people. 

Slow-Cooked Brisket With Fennel and Onions

A plate of brisket topped with cooked onions with a fork and knife nearby

Start preparing this zero-fuss meal Sunday night. Then, before you leave for work on Monday, turn on your slow cooker, and let the aroma of herbs, spices and savory meat permeate your home!

Spicy Lamb and Veggie Shepherd’s Pie

A plate of shepherd's pie with mashed potatoes, lamb and vegetables

This easy casserole features spiced ground lamb, but works with beef and bison, too. The top may look like high-carb mashed potatoes, but we use pureed cauliflower instead. You’ll love the switch!

Herb-Roasted Butternut Squash With Shallots and Garlic

recipe Herb-Roasted Butternut Squash with Shallots and Garlic

This easy, tasty side is great with turkey, braised chicken or baked fish. The squash cooks soft in the center and slightly crispy on the outside, creating an earthy, satisfying dish. The sweet roasted garlic pairs well with the squash and shallots, too.

Rosemary Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes

When you’re incorporating starchy vegetables into your diet, try this sweet and tasty side dish. It’s a great addition to any holiday meal.

Baked Cinnamon Apples

Baked cinnamon apples in a brown bowl on a grey wooden tabletop.

Especially if it’s apple-picking season, this cozy, autumnal recipe is a great way to make use of a healthy and delicious fruit. With only 100 calories in each serving, this is a simple dish to serve as a dessert or evening snack.

Pomegranate Citrus Cranberry Sauce

A clear jar of dark-red pomegranate citrus cranberry relish

Ready to kick that jellied cranberry sauce to the curb? Here’s a perfect substitute that’s bursting with flavor, but won’t keep you in the kitchen long.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Pumpkin spice muffin

Don’t reserve pumpkin just for your pumpkin spice lattes and pie! These easy and delicious muffins are a great way to spread the pumpkin love throughout the season. Plus, these treats have all of the flavor, with less of the saturated fat. 

Pumpkin Pie

healthy pumpkin pie

Staying healthy doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sacrifice the signature desert of the Thanksgiving season: pumpkin pie! Try this healthy version on for size by using fat-free condensed milk, flavorful spices like cinnamon and, of course, plenty of pumpkin that’s full of antioxidants. 

Ginger Spice Smoothie

ginger smoothie

This creamy, low-carb smoothie is a fabulous way to start your day and get into fat-burning mode! As an added benefit, ginger is great for your digestion.

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