Diabetes Friendly Recipes for Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 15, 2018
Prepare the meal with family!
Prepare the meal with family!

The holidays bring comfort and joy... but they may also bring unwanted, added weight. This season our dietitians have you covered with delicious, healthy recipes. In honor of November being Diabetes Awareness Month, all recipes are diabetes friendly. 

Meal: Herb-Roasted Turkey, Half-Mashed Potatoes, Stuffed Brussel Sprout Bites, and Sage Stuffing: 46g carbs.

Gluten-Free Parmesan Biscuit: 7g carbs

Small Family Substitution: Pecan Crusted Turkey Tenderloin with Sweet Potatoes: 14g carbs. 

Dessert: Mini Pumpkin Tarts: 4g carbs

Leftovers: Turkey Pot Pie: 23g carbs


Herb Roasted Turkey: the perfect, healthy recipe

0g Carbs | 165 Calories | 33g Protein - Serves 12


  • 5 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 teaspoons fresh minced sage, divided
  • 3 teaspoons fresh minced thyme, divided
  • 3 teaspoons fresh minced rosemary, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cups low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (5-pound) turkey breast, skin on, washed and patted dry


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a large roasting pan with foil. Set a rack inside the roasting pan and coat it with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the butter with 2 teaspoons each of the sage, thyme, and rosemary, plus salt and pepper. Reserve the remaining 1 teaspoon of each of the herbs.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the chicken broth and wine, and bring to a gentle boil. Add the reserved herbs and lower to a simmer.
  • With your hands, separate the turkey breast skin from the breast meat, creating a pocket without removing the skin. Rube the butter herb mixture all over the breast meat. Place the skin back down on the breast.
  • Set the turkey on the prepared rack in the pan. (You can also add veggies like peeled carrots, peeled parsnips, onions, or small potatoes to the pan; they will cook along with the turkey.)
  • Roast the turkey for about 1 hour, 20 minutes to 1 hour, 40 minutes until the internal temperature reaches170 degrees F and the juices run clear.
  • Baste every 15-20 minutes with the mixture of chicken broth and white wine.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven, cover loosely with foil, and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.
  • Discard the skin and serve.


Half-Mashed Potatoes

16g Carbs | 110 Calories| 2g Protein-Serves 11


  • 24 oz fingerling petite potatoes (1 lb. 8 oz.) bag, cut into 1-inch rounds with skin-on
  • 1-16 oz  package frozen cauliflower florets
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 5 Tbsp Smart Balance margarine
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper


  • Add potatoes to a large soup pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil.  Cook for 15 minutes.  Add cauliflower to pot, return to a boil and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Drain potatoes and cauliflower and return to pot.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mash mixture with a potato masher.  Mix with an electric mixer on low-speed for about 1 minute.


Stuffed Brussel Sprouts Bites

2g Carbs  | 45 Calories | 3g Protein - Serves 12


  • 12 large Brussels sprouts
  • 3 slices lean turkey bacon, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3oz soft goat cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. skim milk
  • ½ tsp. salt, optional
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

  • Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half, lengthwise.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the sprouts for 2 minutes, drain and set aside.
  • Using a melon baller or Tsp. measure, core the sprouts, set aside the shells and roughly chop the scooped cores
  • Add olive oil to a medium saute pan over medium heat.  Add bacon and saute until almost crisp.  Add the chopped sprouts and garlic and saute for 3-4 more minutes until the sprouts have softened.
  • In a bowl, mix together the goat cheese, milk, salt (optional), black pepper and parmesan cheese.  Add the sautéed bacon and sprouts and mix thoroughly.
  • Divide the filling mixture evenly among each sprout core (about a rounded Tsp.). Lay sprouts on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until the filled sprouts are a golden brown. Serve warm.


Sage Stuffing: this healthy alternative will still thrill guests

28g Carbs | 190 Calories | 8g Protein - Serves 12


  • 30 slices (1-ounce each) day-old whole-grain bread, crusts removed, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 bunch fresh sage, stems removed, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups hot low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  • Paprika


  • Preheat the oven to 375⁰ F. Add the bread to a large bowl.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery, and sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Add the walnuts and sauté for 2 minutes. Add in the sage and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the onion-sage mixture to the bread. Pour the hot chicken broth and egg over the onion-sage, and
  • Mix well (until moist). Add in the cranberries or cherries. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the
  • Mixture to a large casserole dish, and sprinkle with paprika.
  • Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until the top is browned and crusty.


Mini Pumpkin Tarts: simple to make

4g Carbs | 40 Calories | 1g Protein - Serves 30


  • 30 Mini-Nilla wafer cookies
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Splenda Sugar blend
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line mini-muffin pan with paper baking cups and place one Nilla wafer in the bottom of each cup.
  • In medium bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix with an electric mixture until smooth. Fill each muffin
  • cup with pumpkin-cream cheese mixture.
  • Place muffin pan in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until done. Serve cool.


Pecan Crusted Turkey Tenderloin with Sweet Potatoes:

14g Carbs | 250 Calories | 25g Protein - Serves 6


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces pecan chips
  • 24 ounce turkey breast tenderloin
  • 2 – 6 ounce sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges (about 18 wedges per potato)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons Splenda brown sugar blend


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray large rectangular baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a medium shallow bowl, whisk together egg and egg whites. In another medium shallow bowl, combine garlic powder, pepper and pecans.
  • Dip turkey breast tenderloin in egg mixture and coat well. Dredge turkey in pecan mixture and cover on both sides. Place in baking dish. Discard leftover egg mixture.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, oil, cinnamon and Splenda brown sugar. Arrange the sweet potatoes around the turkey breast tenderloin in baking dish. Bake for 50 minutes or until done (turkey breast reaches 165 degrees).


Gluten-Free Parmesan Biscuits

7g Carbs | 65 Calories | 2g Protein - Serves 12


  • 1 cup gluten-free baking mix (such as Pamela’s)
  • 3 tablespoons trans-fat free margarine
  • 2 tablspoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup skim milk


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together baking mix and margarine. Use a fork and hands to mix into course crumbs. Add milk to mixture and stir with a fork.
  • Add Parmesan cheese and incorporate into mixture.
  • Drop about 1 tablespoon at a time of dough mixture on baking sheet for each biscuit. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown on top.


Turkey Pot Pie: Put your leftovers to work!

23g Carbs | 280 Calories | 25g Protein - Serves 6


  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup celery, slice
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups, low-sodium chicken stock, plus additional if desired
  • 3 cups leftover turkey
  • 1 cup baby peas
  • 2 Tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp pepper, freshly ground
  • 5 phyllo dough olive oil mister, thawed


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Place 1 Tbsp olive oil in saucepan.  Add onion and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes until it begins to soften.  Add celery and carrot and cook 5 minutes to soften.  Set aside.
  • Place 1 Tbsp of olive oil and butter in 4-quart saucepan.  Melt butter. Whisk in flour and mix well. (Mixture will be dry).
  • Gradually add 1 cup stock to saucepan.  Cook 2-3 minutes until mixture begins to thicken and takes on a golden color.
  • Add turkey, peas, parsley, and additional stock to achieve desired consistency.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Place mixture in baking dish. 
  • Spray each sheet of phyllo with olive oil mister and place on top of baking dish.  Trim edges.
  • Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until crust is golden and pie is bubbly.


Download the recipe guide.


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Last modified on Thursday, November 15, 2018