If there’s one meal of the year when cutting carbs just doesn't work, it’s Thanksgiving dinner. Sure, you can do away with the bready stuffing, and who really needs the rolls? But can anyone truly resist or escape the good old potato on Turkey Day?
Nope, and nor should they! Instead of trying to sidestep the spuds, celebrate them by using them in ways that not only showcase how tasty they can be, but also honor their many nutritional benefits, including large doses of fiber, potassium, and beta-carotene (depending on which kind you use).
So whether they’re cooked into a hearty casserole, mashed with Greek yogurt instead of butter, or baked into a grain-free pie, this holiday, these 19 potato recipes give us plenty of reasons to be thankful for these tasty tubers.
Casseroles and Bakes
With just four tablespoons of maple syrup in an entire 10-serving recipe, this Paleo-friendly casserole rids itself of unnecessary sugar while still managing to be plenty sweet. Instead of layering marshmallows on top, this one opts for a glazed pecan topping to add some healthy fats and a nice crunch.
Free of butter, milk, and cream, this totally vegan dish gets its richness from a silky cashew and miso sauce that lends a depth of flavor even dairy couldn’t deliver. With both sweet and white potatoes hiding underneath the golden-brown crust, it has so much more to offer than your standard side of spuds.
In just about 90 minutes, five simple ingredients get turned into an addictive gratin that’s creamy and crispy and sweet and savory all at the same time. Plus, with just Parmesan cheese and low-fat milk, it’s actually healthier than the usual cream and butter-packed gratins.
Sneak some sweet potatoes, apples, and dried cranberries into your stuffing this Thanksgiving to add some contrast to the savory mix of sausage and bread. The potatoes add some healthy heft to the dish, making it a hearty side next to the turkey.
Get your carby, cheesy Turkey Day side without sending yourself into a food coma with this recipe, which relies heavily on lighter dairy, including Greek yogurt, part-skim mozzarella, and light cream cheese. Don’t be fooled by the lower-fat nature of the dish—it’s still good old comfort food.
Mashes and Other Sides
For an alternative to rich casseroles, toss your roasted sweet potatoes with fresh, vibrant leaves of kale and sweet caramelized onions. With just three ingredients, this is a welcome departure from the more complicated Thanksgiving recipes, and while it’s hearty, it’s not quite so dense.
Why just make a side out of one potato when you can make it out of three? This recipe combines the sweet, russet, and red varieties for a fun blend of flavors, then throws in cranberries, pecans, and parsley to make it even more interesting.
Make your dinner rolls fit for a Thanksgiving feast by stirring mashed sweet potato into the dough. Not only does the veggie add a subtly sweet flavor to these fluffy mounds, but its warm golden color will have everyone ooh-ing and aah-ing.
Time to pull out that mini muffin tin you have tucked away in the back of your kitchen cupboard and finally put it to good—and somewhat unconventional—use for these egg, cheese, and potato bites. Purple potatoes make for a dramatic presentation, but if you can’t find them, regular baby potatoes do the job just fine.
While regular mashed potatoes get their buttery consistency from—you guessed it—all. the. butter, there’s only two tablespoons of the stuff in this recipe. The creaminess here is more thanks to a full cup of Greek yogurt, which not only is largely responsible for the texture of the dish but also gives it a distinctive tangy flavor and a surprising amount of protein.
It’s not really a holiday dinner until puff pastry makes an appearance. Turn yours into these adorable mini cups, each one filled with garlicky kale, mashed sweet potato, and a touch of cheddar cheese. They’ll set a delicious tone for the meal ahead.
While these roasted fingerlings may look unassuming—and they certainly are easy to make, requiring only five minutes of prep before hitting the oven—don’t let that trick you into thinking they don’t deliver on flavor. With fresh rosemary, sea salt, and plenty of lemon zest, the seasonings aren’t complicated, but each one packs a punch.
These may not be mom’s mashed potatoes, but they make for a great addition to a modern Thanksgiving menu. Made with sweet potatoes, roasted bell peppers, curry powder, and cayenne pepper, this side dish just might steal the show.
Boiled potatoes served plain? Boring. Boiled potatoes tossed in a fresh, zesty, herby, earthy green sauce? Anything but dull. Easily made in advance (in fact, the flavors set in even better that way), this is the perfect simple yet tasty side to make the day before Thanksgiving and reheat when it’s chow time.
Serve this Paleo pie at any Thanksgiving get-together without anyone picking up on the fact that it’s free of grains and refined sugar. It’s made with coconut and tapioca flour, maple syrup, and nondairy milk, but the only thing everyone will notice is that it’s delicious.
Purple pudding will have your guests doing a double take... in the best way possible. Doing away with crusts and pastries altogether, this eye-catching silken treat actually tastes quite similar to a pumpkin pudding with an even denser, richer texture from the potato. Plus, it gets an extra kick from the cinnamon and red chili powder.
Love all things about fall but still can’t help missing summer? Get the best of both seasons with these bars. The warm spices and sweet potato give off fall vibes, while the s’mores-inspired (vegan) marshmallow and chocolate topping bring back sweet memories of warmer weather.
Not much of a baker? Forget about rolling out a crust and turn your sweet potato pie into a crumble. The topping here is made out of mixed nuts, hemp hearts, dates, and maple syrup, so it’s much easier and healthier than a butter-filled pastry dough but still gives you the satisfaction of pulling something warm and tasty out of the oven.
If you’re scrambling at the last minute for a sweet note to end your meal on, this trifle’s got your back. Store-bought gingersnaps add crunch without making you do any extra work, while the no-bake method and casual layered structure means you don’t have to sit around getting too scientific about baking times and perfect presentation.