Thanksgiving Recipes


11 Keto Sides Dishes for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

11 Keto Sides Dishes for Thanksgiving

These days, many people are focused on healthy eating, and many choose to follow specific diets. One of the most popular diets is keto. The keto diet is a low-carb diet that focuses on protein and fat as a way to lose weight. It's quite popular, and many people are seeing results. However, following a strict keto diet can be difficult at holiday times, especially holidays that revolve around food like Thanksgiving. Luckily, we have put together a list of some excellent keto side dishes for Thanksgiving. So whether you are hosting for friends and family that follow a keto diet or you yourself follow a keto lifestyle, there are plenty of ways to remake classic Thanksgiving dishes keto-compliant so you never have to feel like you are missing out on traditional Thanksgiving favorites.

What is Keto?

If you are new to keto, it is basically a way of eating that puts the body into ketosis. In ketosis, the body burns stored fat for energy. Eating a very low-carb diet for a few days can put your body into ketosis. The trick is staying there because consistently eating low-carb can be challenging. Generally, fifty grams of carbs is the daily limit for those following keto. According to Healthline, the keto diet has some benefits, including weight loss, and it can help manage blood sugar in people with diabetes. Basically, to follow keto, you need to eliminate grains, beans, potatoes, fruit, candy, condiments, and alcohol. The keto diet is mainly lean meats, low-carb fruits and veggies like berries and leafy greens, and protein like eggs, chicken, fish, and beef. Dairy, nuts and seeds, dark chocolate, and alternative flours are all ok on keto.

If you are considering following a keto diet, always talk to your doctor first. The diet does have some downsides and may not be the best fit for everyone.

11 Keto Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

All of these side dishes are keto. If you follow keto and are also vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free, then you will need to double-check that these meet your dietary requirements.

1. Mashed Cauliflower

Ricotta roasted garlic mashed cauliflower. toning. selective focus
Cauliflower mashed potatoes are a great alternative to regular mashed potatoes.

©Nataliya Arzamasova/Shutterstock.com

Cauliflower has really become a popular vegetable in the last decade. Healthy home cooks are making cauliflower into rice, pasta, and pizza crust. This cruciferous vegetable has such a mild flavor that it really can work as a substitute for carb-heavy foods. In this case, mashed cauliflower substitutes mashed potatoes for a keto Thanksgiving side dish. You can start by boiling fresh cauliflower and then mashing it with butter, salt, and a spoonful of sour cream. You will be surprised at just how good it is, and you might not even be able to tell the difference between regular mashed potatoes and mashed cauliflower. We suggest adding some roasted garlic, too, for an extra savory bite.

2. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Baking sheet with roasted brussel sprouts on light background
Brussels sprouts are best roasted with olive oil and salt.

©Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Brussels sprouts are better than you might think. It is not a coincidence that more people are eating these little green cabbage-looking vegetables. The truth is that scientists in the late 1990s started playing with Brussels sprout varieties to try to make a less bitter version of this healthy green vegetable. And they succeeded, which is why Brussels sprouts are more popular today than they were in the past. And they are a keto-friendly vegetable. This is one of the easiest Thanksgiving sides to make. Just cut the sprouts in half and toss them in a bowl with some salt and olive oil, which are both keto-compliant. Then roast in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for thirty to forty minutes.

3. Green Bean Salad with Bacon

Green beans or haricots. Sautéed organic vegetable in olive oil, herbs, spices and salt and pepper. Classic American steakhouse, restaurant or bistro side dish.
Skip the cream of mushroom soup for a tasty keto green bean dish.

©Marie Sonmez Photography/Shutterstock.com

Traditional green bean salad is not keto-friendly. That classic version of the recipe has a can of cream of mushroom soup, which is not keto-friendly mainly because it has high-carb fillers and thickeners. But there is a tastier way to make green bean salad without that antiquated cream of mushroom soup. Instead, take those washed and trimmed green beans and mix them with a keto-friendly homemade mushroom gravy and chopped cooked bacon for a tasty and healthy green bean salad.

4. Keto Stuffing

Country Bread Stuffing
Keto bread is the best way to make classic stuffing keto-friendly.


Whether you call it stuffing or dressing, one thing is for sure: this is one of the quintessential Thanksgiving recipes, and just because you are eating keto doesn't mean you have to miss out. You can swap out the dried bread chunks with keto-dried bread chunks. You may be able to find some prepackaged online, or you can easily make your own. Start with sliced keto bread and cut it into pieces, then roast it in the oven on low to dry it out and get it ready to make stuffing. Then, follow your favorite stuffing recipe. 

5. Keto Gravy

Homemade Thanksgiving Turkey Gravy in a Boat
Keto gravy is perfect for mashed cauliflower.

©Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

It may come as a shock to you that you can make keto gravy since gravy is mostly flour. But you can make gravy keto in a couple of different ways. Basically, the rendered fat is the star of the gravy, and one way to make keto gravy is to mix this rendered fat or grease drippings with keto-approved flour like almond, sunflower seed, or flaxseed flour. Some keto gravies opt to skip the flour and instead use xanthan gum, which is a popular food additive used to thicken sauces. It's often used in gluten-free baking and is easy to find online.

6. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with the entire recipe preparation photos, ingredients and instructions
Swap macaroni pasta for steamed cauliflower.

©Azra H/Shutterstock.com

Cauliflower to the rescue again. Chunks of cauliflower are often used in plates of pasta, and you can use them to recreate a classic macaroni and cheese. Mac and cheese is full of cheese and butter, which are keto-approved, but the pasta isn't, so replacing soft macaroni noodles with chunks of steamed or boiled cauliflower pieces is a great way to make keto-friendly mac and cheese. Just because you eat keto doesn't mean you can't enjoy classic comfort food. You might even convert some family and friends to keto with this creamy cauliflower mac and cheese.

7. Sugar-free Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry Sauce, Above, Anise, Appetizer, Autumn
Sugar-free cranberry sauce is easy to make.

©Julia_Sudnitskaya/ via Getty Images

While fat is okay on keto, sugar is not. That's why many fruits are not permitted on keto except for low-sugar fruits like berries. You can’t open that classic can of cranberry sauce for a keto Thanksgiving, but you can make your own with fresh or dried cranberries. Just cook the cranberries in water for thirty minutes with some lemon juice, orange zest, and your favorite keto-friendly sweeteners like monk fruit or erythritol. It's that easy, and this cranberry sauce isn’t just great for turkey; you can add it to smoothies or slather it on other keto-friendly foods.

8. Almond Flour Rolls

Basket of freshly baked dinner rolls with tableware in background. Macro with shallow dof.
Make dinner rolls with almond flour.

©Marie C Fields/Shutterstock.com

Low-carb eating doesn't necessarily mean you have to give up bread. There are many different types of keto-friendly breads and rolls made with alternative flour. We love using almond flour to make keto-friendly rolls. You can find almond flour in most supermarkets, health food stores, and online.

9. Keto Broccoli Salad

Homemade broccoli salad can be customized to keto.


Every Thanksgiving table should have some green options, and this keto-friendly broccoli salad is perfect. It only has a few ingredients, and you can make it beforehand. You need some lightly steamed broccoli florets, keto mayo, cheddar cheese, red onion, chopped cooked bacon, and salted sunflower seeds. It’s quick, easy,  healthy, and, most importantly, keto.

10. Creamed Collard Greens or Spinach

Homemade Creamed Spinach Side Dish with Onion and Garlic
Skip the flour in this creamed spinach dish.

©Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Many creamed greens recipes use flour to thicken them up, but with these keto-friendly versions, the mix of butter, heavy cream, milk, and cream cheese adds enough creaminess. Start with sauteed onions and garlic, then mix in the greens and add the creamy ingredients, and in ten minutes, you have yourself a show-stopping dish of creamed greens.

11. Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos

Spicy appetizer: jalapeno peppers stuffed with cheese wrapped in bacon close-up on the table. horizontal
Bacon-wrapped jalapenos make a spicy appetizer.

©AS Foodstudio/Shutterstock.com

Bacon is a keto-friendly food that makes every dish better. While this isn't technically a side, it is more of an appetizer. Most Thanksgiving celebrations have an appetizer table for guests to graze while watching the big game and waiting for the main attraction, the turkey, to cook. Bacon-wrapped jalapenos are a tasty keto treat. Start with fresh jalapenos, slice down the middle, and remove the seeds. Fill the jalapenos with cream cheese and wrap with half a slice of bacon. Roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for twenty to thirty minutes. We suggest making these ahead of time since the oven will be at capacity with the turkey. You can also make them in the toaster oven.

Thanksgiving is about sharing a meal with loved ones and celebrating all of the things that make you grateful. Your keto diet shouldn't mean you have to skip the holiday. Just tweak your favorite Thanksgiving recipes to make them keto.

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baked cauliflower on a black background. french cuisine

Roasted Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic

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  • Author: MomsWhoThink.com


Units Scale
  • 1 large head cauliflower (trimmed and cut into bite size pieces)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Mix oil, rosemary, salt, pepper and garlic together.
  3. Toss in cauliflower and place in a large casserole dish in one layer.
  4. Roast in for 20 minutes. Toss well and bake for 10 more minutes.
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