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5 Satisfying Paleo Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is around the corner, so here are five recipes for dishes that are satisfying and delicious AND gluten-, grain- and dairy-free!

Cranberry Apple Sauce
(For full nutritional information, here is a link to the recipe we created in MyPlate)

This simple sauce is perfect served with turkey. The apples and figs lend some sweetness without being overpowering.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6

* 10 ounces fresh cranberries
* 2 cups chopped apples, any kind
* 1 large orange, zest and juice
* 3 to 4 large dried figs, chopped
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. In a pot over medium heat, combine all the ingredients. Use a microplane grater to remove the orange zest and add that.
2. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat until the cranberries pop and the apples soften.
3. This keeps for several days, so you can make it ahead.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts With Bacon
(For full nutritional information, here is a link to the recipe we created in MyPlate)

Amp up boring Brussels sprouts by thinly slicing them and caramelizing them with onion, bacon and balsamic vinegar.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

* 4 ounces bacon, chopped
* 1 large onion, diced
* 1 pound Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
* Sea salt and pepper to taste
* Splash of balsamic vinegar

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the chopped bacon and render it down until it's brown and crispy. Do not get rid of the bacon fat.
2. Add the onion to the bacon and bacon fat and cook until it's translucent.
3. Add the raw sliced Brussels sprouts and cook over medium heat for about eight to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they soften.
4. Season with a splash of balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Potato Pancakes
(For full nutritional information, here is a link to the recipe we created in MyPlate).

This is a great nontraditional sweet potato side dish.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

* 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
* 2 teaspoons sea salt
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1 tablespoon onion powder
* 2 teaspoons coconut flour
* Ghee or coconut oil for cooking

1. Put the sweet potatoes in a large colander and sprinkle with the salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

2. Squeeze the moisture out of the sweet potatoes. Now is not the time to be wimpy. Really squeeze hard!

3. Put the sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

4. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add a large spoonful of fat. To make a pancake, fill a 1/3 cup measure with the sweet potato mixture; you want it sort of packed down. Turn this out into the pan and flatten a bit with the back of a fork. (If you flatten it too much it will be fragile.)

5. Cook three to four minutes on one side until nicely browned, then flip and do the same on the other.

6. Tip: Cool these on a rack so they don't get soggy on the bottom.

Leftover Turkey Yellow Curry
(For full nutritional information, here is a link to the recipe we created in MyPlate)

This is the perfect way to use up leftover turkey from your Thanksgiving feast.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

* 2 small onions, chopped
* 1 medium carrot, chopped
* 1 small parsnip, chopped
* 1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped
* 1 small bell pepper, chopped
* Handful of button mushrooms, chopped
* 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
* 1/2 can full-fat coconut milk
* 2 to 3 tablespoons curry powder
* 2 cups cooked, diced turkey breast
* Coconut oil or fat of choice
* Chopped cashews and chopped cilantro for garnish

1. Prep all the veggies by dicing into uniform pieces.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onion, carrot, parsnip, sweet potato and bell pepper in coconut oil. Cook until the veggies begin to soften.

3. Add mushrooms, diced tomato, coconut milk and curry powder. Simmer for 30 minutes until the veggies are cooked through.

4. Taste and add more curry powder if not spicy enough and/or more coconut milk if the sauce is too thick.

5. Stir in diced turkey to heat through.

6. Serve with chopped cashews and cilantro on top for crunch and color. Pouring this over cauliflower rice makes a really hearty, satisfying plate.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice
This homemade spice mix is a great addition to your holiday pantry. It's great sprinkled over sweet potatoes or roasted veggies, mixed into pumpkin custard or brewed into coffee.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Makes: 1/4 cup

* 2 tablespoons cinnamon
* 1 tablespoon ground ginger
* 1/2 tablespoon allspice
* 1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
* 1/2 tablespoon ground nutmeg

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and store in an airtight container.


Readers -- Are you following a Paleo diet? Are you cooking a Paleo Thanksgiving? What are your favorite Paleo versions of traditional Thanksgiving dishes? Leave a comment below and let us know. (Want more content like this? Sign up for the LIVESTRONG.COM newsletter.)

Stephanie is the chief nerd and food taster at, where she flexes her holistic-nutritionist and recipe-developing muscles. When she's not writing about nutrition or photographing food, she can be found in the gym training for Olympic weightlifting with her husband Z. Steph is the author of The Paleo Athlete and the upcoming work The Performance Paleo Cookbook (January 6, 2015).

You can find Steph on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.  

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