Leave the stuffing to the turkey
It may not be a good idea to slather your turkey with gravy or go for that second piece of pie, but you can enjoy the holidays without spiking your cholesterol.
Easy Butternut Squash Risotto
The heart-healthy monounsaturated fats of olive oil give this dish a buttery quality without the cholesterol. Sage adds a somewhat sweet flavor and acts to reduce inflammatory responses in the body.
Try this recipe: Easy Butternut Squash Risotto
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Apple, Sage, and Chestnut Stuffing
This stuffing brings in all the flavors of fall with Fuji apples, fresh sage, and cooked chestnuts. If you want to eliminate some fat, nix the sweet Italian sausage. Or add in half the recommended amount to get a dash of savory flavor.
Try this recipe: Apple, Sage, and Chestnut Stuffing
Mini Meat Loaves With Corn and Potatoes
This recipe is a bit of a splurge for cholesterol watchers, but simple swaps can make it a delicious way to enjoy Thanksgiving. This recipe calls for lean ground beef, but go lighter by substituting in lean ground turkey. You'll cut down on 2 grams of saturated fat without losing taste.
Try this recipe: Mini Meat Loaves With Corn and Potatoes
Parmesan–Corn Bread Muffins
Egg whites and fat-free buttermilk keep this savory side dish's cholesterol in check. Plus you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that the Parmesan blends perfectly with the cornmeal to update your favorite muffin recipe.
Try this recipe: Parmesan–Corn Bread Muffins
Squash and Roasted Garlic Risotto
Though research shows that garlic may not be effective in lowering LDL, it still provides a low-fat way to flavor food. This dish packs 6 grams of heart-healthy fiber and just enough cheese to add a rich quality, without packing on the fat.
Try this recipe: Squash and Roasted Garlic Risotto
Black-Bean Chili With Winter Squash
With no saturated fat and no cholesterol, this chili is a heart-healthy meal in a bowl. This veggie-rich dish contains more than 30% of your DRI of fiber, but it does contain a good bit of sodium, so make sure to stick to the 1 3/4 cup serving.
Try this recipe: Black-Bean Chili With Winter Squash
Maple-Pecan Sweet Potato Mash
Make this side dish as a delicious alternative to buttery sweet potato casserole. This sweet side dish is seasoned by maple syrup, cinnamon, and heart-healthy pecans. You can also substitute in walnuts, which have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol.
Try this recipe: Maple-Pecan Sweet Potato Mash
Caramel-Pecan Sticky Buns
These tasty sticky buns are the cholesterol watcher's version of Cinnabon. Using just a pinch of butter, these buns get their taste from a winning combination of light corn syrup and dark brown sugar. Just be sure to stop at one!
Try this recipe: Caramel-Pecan Sticky Buns
Frosted Carrot Cake Squares
Unlike boxed brands, this recipe contains plenty of vitamin A–rich carrots, as well as naturally sweet pineapple. Fat-free yogurt and a combination of cinnamon and sugar keep the taste sweet, while pecans add a crunchy texture. Mixing the Neufchâtel cheese with lemon juice and sugar dilutes the topping, allowing the icing to be light and low cal.
Try this recipe: Frosted Carrot Cake Squares
Research shows that eating fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, may lower your risk of death from coronary heart disease. The maple glaze brings in classic fall flavors without too much unwanted saturated fat.
Try this recipe: Maple-Glazed Salmon
Slow-Cooker Red Beans and Rice
For a taste of Thanksgiving, sneak some low-fat turkey sausage into this Creole cuisine. You'll cut down on fat and add a meaty quality to the meal. Kidney beans bump up the fiber to 10 grams per serving, and bell peppers contain vitamin B6 and folic acid, two important ingredients in heart health.
Try this recipe: Slow-Cooker Red Beans and Rice
Chicken and Dumplings
Comfort food just got lighter. Skinless chicken thighs keep the fat low, while veggies and fat-free chicken broth add a savory base. If you're worried about fat, swap 2% milk for whole milk when you make the dumplings—you'll never taste the difference!
Try this recipe: Chicken and Dumplings