It’s almost Thanksgiving! Time to reflect on all the things we’re grateful for, gather together with all of our loved ones and eat lots and lots of carbs.
Wait — is that last one really necessary?
Not at all!
Here are all our favorite tips, tricks, and recipes for a delicious Keto Thanksgiving.
A Keto Thanksgiving
Are you thinking about doing a Keto Thanksgiving this year? We are here to encourage you! It may be easier than you think to have a successful Keto-friendly Thanksgiving feast.
Is It Possible?
It’s more than possible. In fact, Thanksgiving is one of the easiest holidays for staying Keto. Think about some of our favorite traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Turkey and deviled eggs are naturally low in carbs, and most classic Thanksgiving side dishes (like stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole) are really easy to transform into a Keto Thanksgiving meal. Buttery mashed cauliflower, anyone?
What Are the Benefits?
There are several benefits to sticking it out on Keto for Thanksgiving. Here are a few:
- You stay in ketosis. In ketosis, your body burns fat for fuel rather than carbs. This is where most of the benefits of Keto come from. However, to stay in this state you need to maintain a low carb intake. A major benefit of sticking to Keto through the holidays is that you’ll stay in ketosis, and you won’t have to go through the trouble of getting back into this state.
- You keep your momentum going. Getting back on the bandwagon after straying off course can be really hard. If you skip getting off track altogether, you can keep your positive momentum toward your health goals going without the difficult starts and stops.
- You make it easier to stay Keto next time. Staying Keto through a holiday is a workout for your self–discipline muscle. The more you practice self-discipline, the easier it will be to exercise it in the future.
- You feel better. If you’ve been on Keto for a while, you probably know exactly how terrible it can feel when you get way off track. Bloating, breakouts, and fatigue are common complaints from Keto eaters who overindulge on carbs. But you don’t have to go overboard, and you might feel better for it.
What If You Mess Up?
Don’t worry about it. Really! Thanksgiving is one day out of the year. One day will not undo all of your progress. Just be sure to get right back on the wagon the day after. For many people, that’s the hard part. Be sure that you have plenty of Keto food options (and a plan to get rid of carb-rich leftovers) so that you’re fully prepared to jump back into Keto the next day.
Top Five Tips for a Keto Thanksgiving
Here are our top five tips for a Keto Thanksgiving:
- Offer to host. If you want to make it really easy to stick with Keto, offer to host Thanksgiving at your home. Traditionally, the host prepares the turkey and several other key dishes — although this isn’t the case for every family or friend group. Regardless, hosting Thanksgiving gives you much more control over the carb content of many dishes. You can even make a totally Keto feast and allow other guests to bring the carb sources if you’d like.
- Work with what’s in season. Late fall is an ideal opportunity to highlight some beautiful, seasonal, low-carb vegetables — like brussels sprouts, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, kale, and mustard greens. These veggies will be a welcome addition to your Thanksgiving spread, and they taste best with simple preparations that keep the carbs low.
- Practice intermittent fasting. Many people naturally do this on Thanksgiving and in fact, practice “one meal a day” (OMAD) intermittent fasting — which involves eating only one meal per day. Fasting until the main Thanksgiving meal may be a good idea if you plan to eat to your heart’s content.
- Get a workout in. Working out is a great way to work off any excess carbs if you want to indulge without getting kicked out of ketosis. Plan to carb cycle around the holiday, and use this energy to fuel a workout. Thanksgiving morning is a popular day for 5K runs — check to see if there are any “Turkey Trots” in your area. This could be a fun family tradition, too.
- Fill up on animal foods. Turkey, deviled eggs, and shrimp cocktail — one or more of them likely have a place on your Thanksgiving table, and they’re all extremely low in carbs (or totally carb-free). To ensure that your carbs stay low, make these foods the focal point of your plate and then add in smaller portions of veggies and other sides.
Our Favorite Keto Thanksgiving Recipes
Below is a collection of our favorite Keto Thanksgiving recipes — spanning everything from the star of the show (the turkey) to the sides and some tantalizing desserts. Looking for more low-carb options? Simply search ‘Thanksgiving’ in the Carb Manager recipe database in app or on the website.
Low Carb Thanksgiving Mushroom Pot Roast
Net carbs: 9 grams per 4.7 oz (133 gram) serving
If you’re following a low-carb vegan diet, this pot roast (made with mushrooms) is the perfect centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table. Mushrooms have a meaty texture and savory flavor that make them a great vegan entree.
Keto Thanksgiving Roasted Tomatoes with Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese
Net carbs: 1 gram per piece (0.7 oz)
For a flavorful, Italian-inspired side dish or appetizer (with no pasta carbs), try these roasted tomatoes with cheese. For people who are eating carbs, you can serve with toasted bread slices or crackers.
Keto Thanksgiving Pumpkin Individual Pudding Cakes
Net carbs: 4 grams per 3.4 ounces (95 grams)
While a traditional pumpkin pie may be off the menu if you’re on Keto, you can still enjoy all those classic flavors with these pudding cakes. They’re also a great alternative to sugary desserts for kids, too — just don’t forget the whipped cream!
Keto Thanksgiving Roasted Broccoli and Acorn Squash Salad
Net carbs: 5 grams per 1.8 ounce (50 gram) serving
Nothing brightens up a Thanksgiving table full of rich food like a fresh, colorful salad. This one highlights some of our favorite fall veggies and ingredients, like broccoli, acorn squash, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. With the addition of crumbled bacon and a sugar-free maple-citrus dressing, this salad might be the runaway hit of your Thanksgiving get-together.
Keto Thanksgiving Gravy
Net carbs: 1 gram per ¼ cup (62 grams)
Gravy is a “sneaky” carb. A lot of people don’t realize that regular gravy is actually thickened with flour, so it can be very high in carbs. This Keto-friendly option is made with traditional turkey gravy ingredients but thickened with xanthan gum instead of flour — and just waiting to be ladled over your turkey and mashed cauliflower.
Keto Thanksgiving Asparagus Casserole
Net carbs: 3 grams per 2.8 ounce (80 gram) serving
This creamy, cheesy casserole is so good, you won’t miss the carbs. Want something more traditional? Swap out the asparagus for green beans, and you’ve got a Keto-friendly green bean casserole.
Keto Thanksgiving Butter Basted Turkey Thigh
Net carbs: 1 gram per 13.1 ounce (370 gram) piece
For a small Thanksgiving celebration, you may not need a whole turkey. With a few sides, this rich, roasted turkey thigh will be an impressive centerpiece for your cozy and intimate meal. There’s also tons of wiggle room in this recipe, so you can experiment with different herbs and spices to suit your tastes.
Keto Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce
Net carbs: 2 grams per 0.5 ounce (15 gram) serving
Cranberry sauce is the perfect sweet and tangy condiment to cut through all of the richness on your Thanksgiving plate. However, canned cranberry sauce (and most homemade versions) are full of sugar. This simple Keto-friendly version is made with simple ingredients and sweetened with stevia.
Keto Cornbread Thanksgiving Dressing
Net carbs: 5 grams per 6 ounce (170 gram) serving
Whether you come from a stuffing family or a dressing family, the dish is a must-have at Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, it’s typically loaded with carbs. This low-carb adaptation is prepared with a Keto “cornbread” made from almond flour, which provides a similar texture and all the classic dressing/stuffing flavors.
Keto Thanksgiving Spiced Ricotta Cake
Net carbs: 5 grams per 3.2 ounce (90 gram) slice
After all of that rich, savory food (and a nap), it’s time for dessert. This warm, inviting, pillowy-soft spice cake is the sugar-free cherry on top of a great Thanksgiving meal. It’s great with a cup of coffee, too.
We at Carb Manager are thankful for the opportunity to share our favorite recipes with you this holiday season and to be your go-to resource for all things Keto. Happy Thanksgiving!