Easy Thanksgiving Swaps

Four healthy swaps ideas for Thanksgiving dinner
Published September 15, 2022

Looking for some healthier additions to your traditional Thanksgiving menu? Then try these four swaps to keep your meal healthy and delicious. Say goodbye to dry turkey breast, plain mashed potatoes, sugary alcoholic drinks, and boring stuffing. This holiday entertaining guide is chock-full of tips, meal-planning inspiration, and recipes to keep you on-track and excited about the big meal.

Swap Out: Dry Turkey Breast

Whether you prefer to roast a whole bird or only the breast, achieving white turkey meat that’s both flavourful and moist can sometimes feel like an impossible task. Turkey breast, also known as white meat, is a natural choice: it’s lower in Points and cholesterol than dark meat but has the unfortunate habit of easily turning dry with what can feel like only a few extra minutes in the oven. To achieve a succulent roasted turkey breast, we always recommend roasting the bird with a tent of aluminium foil. As the turkey cooks, the moisture is trapped under the foil, creating a self-basting system that traps moisture in the bird. If you plan on serving a large group of people, opt for two smaller birds rather than one large for even cooking. Leftover white turkey meat should be stored in the fridge, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, and placed in a resealable container for up to three days.

Swap Out: Mashed Potatoes

Say goodbye to plain ol’ mashed potatoes and say hello to the world of colourful and super-nutritious mashes made with ultra-nutritious vegetables such as sweet potato, cauliflower, and celery root (pineapple even makes an appearance in a recipe for mashed sweet potatoes below.) If you can’t imagine a Thanksgiving mash that doesn’t include traditional spuds, try swapping out only half for another form of puréed vegetables—butternut or acorn squash, white beans, and carrots are some of our other favourite additions. To keep these mashes creamy, we recommend stirring in plain non-fat yogurt, vegetable stock, or fruit juice until the veggies reach a whipped consistency.

Swap Out: High-Alcohol Beverages

Not only are many alcoholic beverages higher in Points than those which have less or without, overconsumption of these drinks can lead to unintentional overeating during or after Thanksgiving dinner. Offering a selection of lower-alcohol options (such as wine coolers or simple sangrias) as well as non-alcoholic beverages is not only the healthier choice, it’s also more economical than having to buy multiple bottles of wine or liquor to serve a crowd. As another low-alcohol option, our WeightWatchers line of On Point wines (available in red, white, and rosé) contain only 3 Points per 5 ounce serving.

Swap Out: Traditional Stuffing

Traditional stuffing recipes are typically bulked up with stale sourdough bread cubes that have been left to soak in chicken or vegetable stock, only to end up unpleasantly mushy or overcooked and dry. This Thanksgiving, avoid this common stuffing problem by making one of our flavourful and super-filling stuffing recipes. Packed with whole grains, roasted vegetables, dried fruit, and other high-fibre ingredients, these not-so-traditional stuffing recipes are sure to leave an impression on your guests.