According to the Calorie Control Council, the average American will consume 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving – at dinner alone. Drinks, dessert, and appetizers can quickly bring that total to 4,500 calories (consider that a slice of pecan pie is roughly 450 calories). The meal below, which includes dessert, comes to 1,060 calories. The calorie content was calculated using full servings of each dish, rather than a tablespoon of stuffing or a 1” square of pie like some misleading articles that I’ve seen have done. This meal will also contribute 32 grams of fat, 147 grams of carbohydrate, 51 grams of protein, and 1,621 mg of sodium. As atrocious as that might sound to people who watch their diet carefully, it’s pretty much the best that the average person can achieve. I’ve even made your grocery list for you!
To burn 500 calories, you’d have to walk at a moderate pace for two hours. You absolutely can’t participate in a Turkey Trot and assume that you can eat whatever you want at the dinner table.
Honey-Bourbon Spatchcocked Turkey – “The brine is all you need for this fantastic bird. While the bourbon seems generous, it will impart a very subtle flavor in the meat once all the water is added.” Makes 16 servings.
5 oz = 131 calories, 2 grams fat, 1 gram carbohydrate, 25 grams protein, 230 mg sodium
Cranberry Sauce with Star Anise –“This cranberry sauce recipe is scented with star anise, which has a dynamic flavor – earthy, spicy, and sweet at the same time.” Makes 16 servings.
¼ cup = 89 calories, 0 grams fat, 23 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams protein, 1 mg sodium
Ellie’s Sweet Potato-Pecan Casserole– “This casserole is everything you want in a holiday dish: It’s satisfying, but won’t leave you stuffed. Whip sweet potatoes with an egg to make them creamy without butter, then top with pecans for a decadent yet healthy crunch.” Makes 8 servings
1/8 of the recipe =160 calories, 4 grams fat, 31 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams protein, 180 mg sodium
Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots– “Skip the soup in a can in this quintessential Thanksgiving side dish and make a creamy sauce using low-fat milk instead.” Makes 8 servings.
1/8 of the recipe = 186 calories, 9 grams fat, 19 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams protein, 264 mg sodium
Maple-Caraway Brussels Sprouts – “Layer upon layer of bold flavor earned these Brussels sprouts our test kitchen’s highest rating. The sprouts get deeply caramelized in toasted caraway and browned butter, then are quickly finished with a sweet and pungent mixture of maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and sherry vinegar.” Makes 6 servings.
½ cup = 129 calories, 4 grams fat, 21 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams protein, 203 mg sodium
Stuffing From the Slow-Cooker –“This recipe comes in handy when you run out of oven space at large family gatherings.” Makes 10 servings.
¾ cup – 178 calories, 7 grams fat, 23 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams protein, 635 mg sodium
Light and Luscious Pumpkin Pie –“If pumpkin pie is a must for the holidays, this version fulfills that holiday tradition without derailing your meal plan.” Makes 10 servings.
1/10thof the pie = 187 calories, 6 grams fat, 29 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams protein, 108 mg sodium
Get Your Grocery List: Thanksgiving Grocery List