Diabetes-Friendly Thanksgiving

By 10  pm on

The holidays may look a little different this year. Many are having smaller celebrations, and hoping to safely enjoy seeing a few friends and family. But no matter how you are celebrating, if you or your loved ones have diabetes, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy classic holiday foods with these healthy recipes.

Thanksgiving dinner features classic holiday foods like stuffing, turkey, and pie. For many with diabetes, common Thanksgiving recipes pose a problem – which is likely why November was chosen as Diabetes Awareness Month! Try these healthier recipes and keep your traditions alive.

Appetizer: Waldorf Salad


  • 2 Cups Crushed Pineapple
  • 2 Chopped Pears or Apples
  • ½ Cup Sliced Celery
  • ½ Cup Seedless Grapes (Halved)
  • 2 Sliced Kiwis
  • 1/3 Cup Fat-free Dressing
  • 1/3 Cup Fat-free Yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Toasted Walnut Pieces
  • Kale or Lettuce


  1. Toss all solid ingredients together.
  2. Stir together liquid ingredients separately.
  3. Fold solid mix into liquid blend.
  4. Chill for 6 hours and serve with kale or lettuce.

Entrée: Orange Rosemary Turkey


  • 12 lb Roaster Turkey (or large bone-in Whole Turkey Breast)
  • ¾ Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp Parsley
  • 2 Tbsp Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Orange Peeled and Sliced


  1. Clean and dry turkey before releasing skin.
  2. Mix all ingredients except for orange. Rub under and over turkey skin.
  3. Place orange slices under skin without tearing skin.
  4. Put turkey in pan and add water to a ½ inch depth.
  5. Roast turkey in oven at 325 degrees for 3-4 hours or according to package instructions.
  6. Cover the turkey if it is browning more than preferred.
  7. Let turkey sit 10 minutes before slicing.

Side Dish: Wild Rice Stuffing


  • ½ Cup Wild Rice
  • ¼ Cup Brown Rice
  • 1 ¾ Cup Water
  • 1 Tsp Chicken Bouillon Powder
  • ¼ Tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Cups Fresh Sliced Mushrooms
  • ½ Cup Chopped Celery
  • 1/3 Cup Sliced Onion
  • ½ Cup Pine Nuts


  1. Rinse uncooked rice in strainer. Place rice, water, bouillon, and nutmeg in pot.
  2. When rice pot boils, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add vegetables to rice pot. Cook covered over medium-low for 25 minutes.
  4. Stir frequently, adding nuts when vegetables are soft. Serve immediately.

Side Dish: Roasted Vegetables

Select an assortment of colorful winter vegetables such as butternut squash, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, red-skinned potatoes, and Brussels sprouts. Chop into 1-½ inch squares and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked to your preference.

Dessert: Sugar-Free Apple Pie


  • 12 oz Unsweetened Apple Juice Concentrate Thawed
  • 3 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 6 Cups Thinly Sliced Apples
  • 2 Pie Pastry Shells (9 Inch)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk 1/3 cup of juice with cornstarch and cinnamon.
  3. Simmer apple slices and remaining apple juice in saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in cornstarch mixture, cooking five more minutes.
  5. Set aside to cool and place pie pastry shell in baking dish.
  6. Add apple mixture and place second pie shell over top, cutting a few slits in the top crust piece.
  7. Bake 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Serve leftovers in a diabetic-friendly way by enjoying simple turkey sandwiches or salads.

Assisting Hands Home Care serving Cincinnati, OH caregivers work with our care managers and families to meet the dietary needs of their clients. Our caregivers also involve their clients in meal planning and meal preparation as much as they want to be involved. It’s a great way to keep seniors engaged and motivated to eat healthy. Get in touch if you or a loved one needs extra support at home.


Sources: ClearCare, Diabetic Living Online, Diabetic Connect