Delicious and Healthy Paleo Thanksgiving Recipes
When I was a child, Thanksgiving was a lovely holiday that meant lots of delicious, comforting food. My father, born and raised in the Northeastern US, made his homemade turkey stuffing and my mother, born and raised in the Southeastern US, made her homemade chicken and cornbread dressing.
Do you have any idea how much bread it takes to make stuffing and dressing? The answer is lots. Lots and lots of bread.
The stuffing and dressing combined with the delicious dinner rolls and pies meant we carbed it up at Thanksgiving. Oh, we ate turkey and plenty of veggies, but I preferred to fill my plate with the starchy stuff!
Who Wants a Real Food Holiday?
Fast forward to several years ago when my husband, my kids, and I began following a real food diet with a preference for paleo and primal eating. Suddenly Thanksgiving seemed impossible. If we couldn’t eat our traditional family favorites anymore because they were all grain and sugar filled, what on earth would we eat?
Each year since we’ve either gone strictly paleo for Thanksgiving, put the real food lifestyle to the side for the day so that we could enjoy Thanksgiving with family, or done some wonderful combination of real food Thanksgiving dishes and our old carb-heavy favorites.
The last choice has turned out to the be the healthiest for us since the other two options come with some degree of stress over what we’re eating.
Food Stress Isn’t Healthy Either
Look, you’ll never get me to agree that stressing over food is healthy. I love real food because it tastes amazing and makes me feel great. I never not eat a real food diet.
But, I keep it 80/20 which means I eat really well 80% of the time and don’t sweat the other 20%. That means I get to enjoy a traditional holiday meal each Thanksgiving. It’s worth it.
However . . .
A Paleo Thanksgiving Makes a Delicious Holiday Meal
If you prefer to have a strictly Paleo Thanksgiving it’s entirely possible and absolutely delicious. It doesn’t have to be a lackluster affair of meat with a side of meat, as some might assume.
There are plenty of Paleo Thanksgiving recipes available to replace your favorite high-carb, processed favorites. I think you’ll find it easy to make these paleo recipes part of your traditional Thanksgiving meal.
50 Paleo Thanksgiving Recipes – Main Dishes, Sides, and Desserts
Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a holiday filled with grain-laden, dairy-heavy comfort food dishes. I know the difficulty for someone living the Paleo lifestyle to find typical holiday recipes that are grain-free, dairy-free, and wholesome. It’s not impossible, however, to have a wonderful paleo Thanksgiving dinner with everything from turkey to pie.
I know you’ll enjoy this long list of paleo Thanksgiving recipes.
Paleo Thanksgiving Main Dishes
I chose three types of protein to include in this list of paleo Thanksgiving main dishes – turkey, ham, and pork loin.
Roasted Garlic Turkey Breast
This roasted turkey breast recipe sprinkled with thyme fits the theme of The Cozy Apron perfectly. In fact, as I write this I’m also in the middle of a cool, gray, fall-weather Sunday just like the creator of the recipe, Ingrid Beer.
Paleo Glazed Orange and Honey Ham
This updated classic holiday favorite will surely make your family’s taste buds sing this Thanksgiving. Don’t forget to save the bone for making ham stock.
Easy Maple Glazed Roasted Turkey Breast
This recipe combines one of my favorite real food sweeteners, maple syrup, with my favorite healthy fat, butter. The syrup and butter glaze creates a delicious, crispy skin on the moist, flavorful turkey. Yum!
Honey Apple Pork Loin
If you need a set-it-and-forget-it style holiday main dish check out this pork loin recipe. This one goes in the slow cooker and frees your time to focus on other parts of the meal.
Fresh Herb, Dry Brine Roast Turkey
Brining your turkey prevents it from becoming a dry turkey, which we all would like to avoid eating. If you don’t have space in your fridge for a large pot for brining, try this dry brining method instead.
Orange Glazed Ham
Maybe you’re watching your sugar intake this year and you want a glaze that doesn’t contain maple syrup or honey. This orange glazed ham recipe fits the bill.
The Best Roast Turkey
Yep, that’s actually the name of the recipe! My favorite thing about this turkey recipe is that it’s not only paleo but also Whole 30 and Keto. It covers several dietary preferences at once.
Maple Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
This delicious paleo Thanksgiving main dish would make a lovely weeknight dinner, as well. So, don’t keep this one for holidays only.
Citrus Herb Roasted Turkey
Rosemary, thyme, sage, and orange give this delicious turkey recipe so much flavor. You’ll impress your guests with this one!
Orange Bourbon Maple Glazed Ham
Here’s another paleo Thanksgiving main dish recipe that lets you get more done. This ham is cooked in the slow cooker instead of the oven for max juiciness and more time to spend on side dishes.
Paleo Thanksgiving Side Dishes
We all know who steals the show at Thanksgiving – the side dishes! It’s also the side dishes that leave the most to be desired when it comes to nutrition.
Fortunately, I’ve found twenty-five amazing paleo Thanksgiving side dishes to add your holiday menu this year.
Roasted Carrots and Maple Tahini
This beautiful side wows the eyes and the tastebuds. Pomegranate, maple, dijon, and tahini make ordinary carrots a special holiday treat in this recipe.
Roasted Squash and Kale Salad
The flavors of fall meld together in this salad, which serves as a perfect first course or light side for a lovely Thanksgiving meal.
Bacon Wrapped Spiced Pumpkin
The pumpkin creativity continues! There must be infinite ways to enjoy pumpkin and wrapping it in bacon is one of the tastiest ways I’ve ever seen.
Cauliflower Alfredo Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
This beautiful dish ticks the box for paleo, Whole 30, and vegan preferences. Creamy, delicious, and healthy all in one dish.
Roasted Fall Vegetables with Apples and Gouda
I know gouda isn’t paleo, but what if you could make your Primal friends and family happy for a day? Or, you know, just leave the gouda out of the recipe and enjoy the other awesome flavors.
Cranberry and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms with Sage
I happen to share a love of stuffed mushrooms with my dad, so this recipe makes my heart sing. Normally I stuff mushrooms with actual bread stuffing on Thanksgiving, so I’m excited to have a delicious paleo Thanksgiving side dish alternative.
Paleo Cornbread Dressing
It’s not Thanksgiving in the south without cornbread dressing, y’all. So, if going grain-free has you missing this traditional favorite, check out this delicious paleo recipe.
Easy Herb and Mustard Roasted Potatoes
Pass the potatoes! This simple but delicious roasted potato dish will serve up flavor and comfort this Thanksgiving.
Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole
Two of my favorite fall foods in one dish? Yes, please.
Grain Free Thanksgiving Stuffing
All of the flavor, none of the grain. I think my family will see this recipe for dinner before Thanksgiving gets here. I can wait to taste this one.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Bourbon, and Maple
If you remember brussels sprouts as soggy, bitter spheres of doom it’s time to grow up. When cooked right, brussels sprouts are delicious. And I’d say any recipe with bacon, bourbon, and maple counts as “cookin’ right”.
Buttery Maple Carrots
The truth? I’m not a fan of cooked carrots. Also true? These carrots made me change my mind about cooked carrots.
Maple Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce
I know we all love our canned jelly cranberry sauce in all it’s wobbly glory, but if you’ve never tried homemade cranberry sauce . . . well, you should do it this year. Start with this maple cinnamon version.
Healthy Creamed Spinach
The secret to dairy-free creamed spinach is coconut cream. This lovely creamed spinach dish creates an Indian twist with coconut and curry. This healthy paleo Thanksgiving side dish packs delicious flavor and warm comfort.
Paleo Mashed Potatoes
With the help of ghee and unsweetened almond milk, these paleo mashed potatoes bring flavor and creaminess to your holiday dinner.
Roasted Squash with Cranberries and Pecans
The colors alone in this dish make it inviting. The flavors combine sweet, salty, and tangy for true umami.
Best Ever Paleo Stuffing
This version of paleo stuffing uses coconut flour instead of bread – but not much. There are so many other tasty ingredients in this stuffing that you’ll never miss the bread.
Naturally Sweetened Sweet Potato Casserole
The sweet secret to this sugar-free sweet potato casserole is applesauce! So, this year you can skip the sugar and still enjoy your favorite holiday side dish.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
I don’t know if you’ve ever tasted an unsweetened cranberry, but let me assure you – it’s not good. Cranberries are super tart, which is why they come with plenty of sugar in all of their forms – dried, sauce, juice, etc. This recipe is different. It uses no added sweeteners. Check it out to see the secret ingredients that make this paleo cranberry sauce delicious.
Paleo Green Bean Casserole
What’s Thanksgiving without green bean casserole? This recipe contains no canned cream soups so you can enjoy this holiday favorite without the addition of processed “food”.
Easy Paleo Gravy
You can use turkey drippings or chicken stock that you already have on hand to make this delicious paleo gravy recipe.
Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole
This paleo sweet potato casserole uses almond flour and coconut sugar for a lovely traditional texture and taste.
Maple Roasted Root Vegetables
Throw together this simple paleo Thanksgiving side dish full of delicious root veggies. Use the combination of vegetables in the recipe or add your own favorites.
Bacon Wrapped Green Beans
A classic vegetable plus bacon equals a perfect healthy holiday side dish.
Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash
This side dish eats like a meal. For your friends and family who are keeping it light this year, offer this delicious and filling side.
Paleo Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes
And now for the fun part! Here are fifteen delectable paleo dessert recipes to round off your amazing Thanksgiving meal.
Paleo Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel
These muffins are grain-free and dairy-free but they pack plenty of decadent flavor.
Paleo Apple Crisp
Top this paleo Thanksgiving dessert with your favorite non-dairy ice cream and watch your guests sing their delight.
Paleo Double Chocolate Turtle Bars
Decadent. Chocolate. Turtle. Paleo. Nothing left to say.
Paleo Chocolate Pie
Coconut cream takes the place of dairy cream in this rich chocolate pie.
Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake
Paleo and cheese in the same sentence? It doesn’t seem right. But, again, coconut cream comes to the rescue to give this paleo Thanksgiving dessert its lovely texture.
Paleo Almond Butter Chocolate Fudge
With a limited number of ingredients this recipe is so easy to make. The decadence will impress your guests and they’ll never know it was so simple.
Paleo Apple Pie Bars
Almond butter and almond flour work together to make a yummy crust for these paleo apple pie bars. Top with your favorite non-dairy ice cream for a little extra indulgence.
Paleo Sweet Potato Pie
It’s not a southern Thanksgiving without sweet potato pie. (Y’all we have a lot of holiday food requirements, I reckon.) This recipe is one of the easiest sweet potato pie recipes I’ve found.
Maple Pecan Tart
These adorable maple pecan tarts offer a lightly sweetened paleo Thanksgiving dessert to please your taste buds.
Caramel Apple Pie
Coconut sugar and coconut cream make this rich pie a delicious holiday must have.
Chocolate Pecan Pie
As if pecan pie wasn’t amazing enough this recipe adds chocolate for an extra something special.
Paleo Pecan Pie
Here’s a classic holiday favorite made paleo – no corn syrup needed.
Paleo Pumpkin Pie
Well, this is what you came for. The nut flour crust and flax seed eggs in this recipe dial up the nutrition on a classic Thanksgiving favorite.
Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bites
These adorable Pumpkin Pie Bites satisfy your sweet tooth and make a perfectly paleo Thanksgiving dessert.
Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
Pumpkin turned into a sinful treat minus the grain and dairy. If this doesn’t deserve a permanent place on your Thanksgiving dessert table, I don’t know what does.
Paleo Thanksgiving Recipes Abound
There are a limitless number of paleo Thanksgiving recipes to be found online. If my favorites don’t tempt you, you’ll surely find others out there that will.
If you’d rather have a paleo Thanksgiving cookbook to keep on hand or give as a gift, check out my recommendations below.