Healthy Christmas Recipes

We've collected some of our favorite healthy Christmas appetizers, entrees, side dishes and desserts that use far less butter and oil, like avocado-hummus dip, crunchy artichoke crostini, ginger salmon, lemon-rosemary grilled shrimp, and walnut-crusted chicken breasts.

Staff Picks

Herbed Roasted Turkey

Rating: 4 stars 284
This traditional holiday bird brings much more to the table than just great taste. Our version, which is packed with protein, is rubbed with a blend of parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, and garlic.

Carrot Puree

Rating: 4 stars 48
All it takes is a sprinkling of salt and pepper to enhance the earthy flavors of the carrots in this simple side dish.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes with Walnuts

The red grapes' sweetness brings out the nutty notes in the sprouts. Walnuts can be swapped for almonds or pecans.

Spiced Nuts

Rating: 3 stars 594
A perfect spicy snack for the holidays.

Cranberry-Pear Sauce

Skip the canned variety and whip up this naturally delicious chunky cranberry sauce instead. Pears and dried cherries give it an extra touch of natural sweetness, allowing you to cut down on added sugar.

Fennel and Orange Salad

Rating: 3 stars 124
The classic flavor combination of fennel and orange makes a wonderful winter salad.

Warm Fennel-and-Parmesan Dip

Rating: 3.5 stars 168
A warm, golden dip always tempts guests to dig in. This one uses Parmesan cheese to season caramelized fennel and garlic.

Mixed Chicories with Persimmons

Rating: 3 stars 63
Winter lettuces are heartier than most everyday salad greens and have a pleasantly bitter flavor. They stand up well to crunchy walnuts and sweet-tart winter fruits.

Glazed Carrots for Roast Turkey Dinner

Rating: 3 stars 149
Glazing carrots with orange juice enhances their natural sweetness.

Green Beans with Creamy Mushrooms and Shallots

This twist on a standard green bean casserole is elevated to creamy, delicious heights, thanks to thick low-fat Greek yogurt.

Wild Rice with Dried Fruit and Nuts

Rating: 3.5 stars 178
This wild rice side dish goes well with roasted chicken, turkey, or braised pork shoulder.

Easy Mushroom Gravy

Anna Lappe, cofounder of the Small Planet Institute, developed this vegan gravy recipe to be served with her Dried Fruit and Toasted Nut Stuffing, a Thanksgiving dish from her childhood.

Inspiration and Ideas

Shrimp and Avocado Salad on Endive Leaves
The secret to the shrimp salad's decadent taste: creamy avocado, which is rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fat. Slivers of scallion and a shot of lime juice brighten the flavor.
Roasted Winter Vegetables
Rating: Unrated 45
Hearty yet still light, this recipe is the perfect side for roasted meats. And bonus: leftovers become a quick soup in the blender with a touch of stock.
Brussels Sprouts with Parsnips
Rating: 3 stars 84

The flavor of this side dish is enhanced by toasted pecans.