Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

by FitFormula Wellness on November 18, 2020
Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

Hey guys, it’s Carly here with FitFormula Wellness. Thanksgiving might look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving recipes. 

I have compiled some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Disclaimer: if you are looking for low calorie or low carb, these might not be the best options for you, but I did provide some healthy alternatives! And remember, you can always balance out the day with a healthy protein shake; it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. 

Thanksgiving Sides

Collard Greens

Collard greens are a traditional southern dish and prepared in a variety of different ways. We prefer ours with bacon and some extra spice! These are so delicious!

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 pack of bacon (you can cut back on this to your preference) 
  • 1 large onion
  • 3-5 garlic cloves  
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp of salt, pepper, and red pepper (or to taste)
  • 1lb of collard greens (cut into ~2in. pieces if not pre-chopped)


  1. Heat oil in a large pot on medium-high heat
  2. Cut the uncooked bacon into small pieces
  3. Cook chopped bacon in a separate pan, or you can cook it in the same pot that you plan to cook your collards - cook until desired crispness 
  4. Remove bacon from the pan to crumble 
  5. Add chopped onion and cook until tender/translucent 
  6. Next, add garlic and cook until fragrant ~30 sec. 
  7. Then add collard greens until they begin to wilt 
  8. Once greens have started to wilt, pour in chicken broth and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes 
  9. Finally, cover and reduce the heat to low, allowing the greens to simmer until they become tender ~45 minutes.

Green Bean Casserole

This side dish is a staple recipe in my Thanksgiving tradition. I always recommend going easy on this salt in this recipe as you don’t want it to turn out too salty!

Here is what you will need:

  • 2-4 slices bacon (optional) 
  • ¼ cup minced onion (optional) 
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp pepper or to taste
  • 4 cups of cooked green beans (for broccoli casserole lovers, substitute 4 cups of cooked florets)
  • 1-⅓ or to taste French’s Fried Onions, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Prepare a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish with butter or non-stick spray and set aside. 
  3. Saute the bacon and onion in a skillet until the onion is tender and bacon fat is rendered, which should take about 5 minutes. Pour off excess bacon drippings, reserving for another use.
  4. Stir in the soup, milk, soy sauce, and pepper until well blended. 
  5. Add the green beans and 1/4 of the French’s Fried Onions; turn out into the casserole dish.
  6. Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes or until bubbly. 
  7. Sprinkle top of casserole with remaining fried onions, using more or less as desired, and return to the oven for 5 minutes longer, or until onions are lightly browned.

**If using a 9x13 dish, double the recipe

Mashed Potatoes with Chives

For this Thanksgiving side, the chives really elevate the dish! Think traditional mashed potatoes with a twist! I’m also a big fan of adding sour cream to this recipe, but you really can’t go wrong.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered 
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ~3 tbsp butter (if you want to make sour cream and chive mashed potatoes, substitute ½ cup of sour cream for the butter here)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt and black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives or to taste


  1. Boil potatoes in a large pot over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender; drain.
  2. Over medium-high heat, combine milk and butter until the butter melts.
  3. Begin to mash the potatoes and then add milk/butter mixture halfway through and stir until well combined. 
  4. Stir in chives.

Looking for some healthier Thanksgiving side options? Consider these:

Turkey Dishes For Thanksgiving

Cajun Turkey

I love food that is packed with flavor, and if you can’t tell, I love southern cuisine! This turkey dish has a bit of a kick and is packed with delicious flavor.

Here is what you will need:

  • 12-14lb turkey
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • ½ cup cajun mix 
    • 5 tbsp Kosher salt
    • 2 tbsp each of cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and sweet paprika
    • 1 tbsp each of dried oregano, dried thyme, freshly ground black pepper, and onion powder
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup or more of olive or vegetable oil


  1. Set a rack inside a large, heavy roasting pan. Season turkey lightly inside and out with salt and pepper, then with spice mix, massaging it into the skin. Transfer turkey, breast side down, to prepared pan and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. This is a dry brine and arguably the most important step!
  2. Remove turkey from the refrigerator; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°. Mix celery, pepper, and onion in a medium bowl. 
  4. Fill the turkey cavity with vegetable mixture, scattering any remaining vegetables over the bottom of the roasting pan. 
  5. Brush turkey with oil.
  6. Roast turkey, occasionally basting, for 1 hour. 
  7. Using paper towels, flip turkey. Roast, occasionally basting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°, roast for 1–1 1/2 hours longer. 
  8. Transfer to a platter and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

Thanksgiving Desserts

Thanksgiving desserts are some of the best! Aside from traditional apple pie, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie, I like to have some fun with this part.

One of my favorite desserts is banana pudding, and it has turned into a fan favorite!

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 (12-oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream
  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 (5-oz) box instant French Vanilla pudding mix
  • 6 to 8 bananas, sliced
  • 2 bags chessmen cookies


  • Line the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
  • In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. 
  • Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk and mix until smooth. 
  • Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. 
  • Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.
  • Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. 
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Your family will be begging you to make this each year!

Looking for some healthy alternatives to Thanksgiving dessert? Give these a try:

Paleo, gluten-free pumpkin bars

Gluten-free apple crisps

Pumpkin pie overnight oats

The FitFormula team wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving!