Let’s talk about what we’re making for Thanksgiving. But first I have a confession.

I am not one of those people that plans weeks in advance for anything. I try. I make lists. SO many lists. But I have commitment issues… and maybe time management issues! I call them my children but whatever. I have issues.

Anyway… I cannot tell you I have a perfect Thanksgiving menu lined up, (my title is a LIE) and luckily I don’t have to do the whole thing myself! We’re joining forces with Ross’s family, and his mom will be whipping up half of the spread.  But I’ve been pinning and listing and DROOLING over recipes like crazy… so I just thought I’d do a little Thanksgiving recipe DUMP right here. To share some of my favorites! Some that I’ve made in real life, and some just in my dreams.


I can’t get enough of these perfect little phyllo shells for filling with anything and everything!  Like you can’t go wrong. Throw in some brie and a little fig butter or jam. Or cranberry sauce. Fill them with shredded chicken, cheese, and top with avocado and pomegranate like below.

shredded chicken phyllo cups with pomegranate

Or even lighter with a little hummus and my favorite greek salsa. Not your usual Thanksgiving fare but I promise they’ll be eaten! So light and addicting.

cucumber salsa and hummus cups

These two recipes can be found in my free appetizer e-book found at the bottom of my site along with so many of my favorites like….

Skinny goat cheese stuffed mushrooms:

Roasted Grape and thyme ricotta crostini:

Pear and prosciutto low carb flatbreads with arugula and balsamic glaze:

And then there’s this holiday staple: My sister in law started making a cranberry salsa like this several years ago and I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it ever since.. because it’s one of those things I CAN’T STOP eating. Sweet and spicy, served with the cool cream cheese on a crispy cracker. Killer.

(The rest of these photos are not mine– follow the link for each recipe to the source!)

Cranberry Relish on a dish


Ross is gonna smoke one! All the pressure off me and I LIKE it.  He made the mistake one year, after scouring the internet for “smoked turkeys” of using a more traditional “smokey” rub, full of cayenne and chili powder and all the red stuff- ha! Made the scariest gravy ever. Rookies. This year will be all the classic butter and herbs like this gorgeous bird.

Thanksgiving Turkey


These are the rolls I made for years. They’re a perfect crescent roll.. can’t go wrong. I hear they’re a favorite for a lot of people! But I got too lazy to roll them into crescents once and tried a new recipe and it was great too! And with macros came the attention to the details like, I wanted the rolls to be equal in weight… and didn’t need the extra butter spread on the crescent ones… but I promise these will NOT disappoint.

Best crescent dinner rolls

But I’ve ended up using these gorgeous round dinner rolls for the last three years or so. Easy and perfect every time. I might cook a little longer than the recipe prescribes.

best homemade rolls


Let me just get it out there. I don’t mash potatoes. I just don’t see the point because A: they’re not really worth the calories for me amongst all the goodies (don’t hate me!) and B: Costco.

Judge me.

It’s fine.

Or let this be a life-changing moment for you when you decided you can just heat and fluff your Costco mashed and bring them in your own dish and (nobody will know.) LIFE CHANGED. They’re good guys. Really good. Ok moving on…

I’m OBSESSED with a good sweet potato casserole… or souffle- is there a difference?.. all I know is for me it’s all about the crumble. No marshmallows- give me all the oats and nuts and brown sugar please. This slightly lighter option looks perfect.

sweet potato casserole

Ok so these maple glazed roasted veggies are one of my favorite repeat side-dishes.  LOVE THESE.  I gave up on wrapping them after year one… I couldn’t get the bacon as crispy as I like without turning the asparagus to noodles. And maybe I’m just too lazy. But I LOVE the maple cumin spiced glaze.  So now I just chop and roast a bunch of veggies: carrots, parsnips, brussels, maybe some butternut, I never add asparagus because they cook so much faster than the rest… toss them with some chopped up raw bacon and olive oil… and then drizzle the glaze in the last few minutes of roasting. DELICIOUS.

maple glazed roasted veggies

And of course these balsamic glazed roasted brussels by Ina are perfection too.

Roasted Brussels

Ok and THIS STUFFING IS EVERYTHING. The picture is horrible. But it’s everything.

And I guess it’s not technically a stuffing but a savory bread pudding. No sausage… lots of mushrooms and parmesan and giant chunks of sourdough. My sister has been making it for like ten years. And I’ll admit when I was younger I preferred the more traditional stove-top type of stuffing. But I guess a savory bread pudding pallet comes with age … I don’t know. It’s AMAZING. If you love mushrooms.. and sourdough and YOURSELF. You should make this. And she just has it torn out of a Bon Appetite magazine from like two thousand something. I don’t know because the last number was cut off! But I tracked it down! You can find the recipe here.

Best savory bread pudding for Thanksgiving


When sitting on a table with the rich and indulgent Thanksgiving spread… decadent casseroles topped in butter or crumbles or gravy… I think a salad can be kind of “meh” for some. NOT ME. It might be the most important thing on the table in my opinion. There to bring you back to life when you’ve had too many soft, earth-toned foods in a row.  It can save you by taking up so much space on your plate keeping you from PURE self sabotage. Plus there are SO many delicious combination for a gorgeous and delicious Fall salad.

I might just do some giant, thrown-together salad similar to this one I’ve been making on repeat lately similar to this simple one. 

golden fall salad

But here’s a gorgeous delicata one with a recipe.

Colorful delicata fall salad

Ok and this Farro salad from the NY Times is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE real salad recipes. I tried to recreate a macro-friendly version here. But I’ve got to admit, the original, in all of it’s golden olive oil glory… is where it’s at. So lively and unique, with so much chewy farro and fresh herbs, and zesty lemon. The only down-side is when I made it last year, my “fill your plate with salad” trick didn’t work since that meant I was filling up on more grains too. STUFFED. But WORTH IT.

Farro arugula salad

Ok but I’ll admit, I’m planning to enjoy all the foods on Thanksgiving. But still hoping to avoid pure misery in my belly. So I’m leaning toward a more simple salad that isn’t stuffed full of grains or roasted veggies that will fill you up. This Kale and Pomegranate salad with pears is looking like a good contender. 

kale salad

Or this brussel sprout apple pomegranate one looks so crunchy and refreshing!

But then I see a gorgeous PERFECT fall salad like this one by Carslbad Cravings and I’m like– oh well! I guess I’ll just get sickly full again.  Because loaded salads are WHERE IT’S AT.

Fall Salad


I keep thinking these pumpkin streusel bars look so amazing… especially for those of us who don’t go crazy for pumpkin pie.  I need more texture!  Might give these a shot.  And has Sally’s Baking Addiction ever let you down? Never.

pumpkin streusel bars

Oh or this layered pumpkin pie toffee cheese cake by Our Best Bites — it’s amazing! I made it a few years ago and it might be Ross’s favorite dessert I’ve ever made.

Pumpkin pie cheese cake with toffee

Oooh and I did this chocolate pie a couple of years ago and OF COURSE it was amazing… because Pioneer Woman!

chocolate pie

But I’ll be honest, the only thing my kids are requesting is some sort of berry crisp or cobbler… which always seemed like a holiday thing to me because it was the only time of year I had berry pie growing up… but I’m finally realizing it’s a summer treat! Am I the only one set on berry desserts at Thanksgiving? I’m looking at this yummy triple berry crumble and feeling good about it. Especially with the ease of frozen berries!

Berry crisp

Or this blackberry cobbler by PW looks DIVINE with it’s cakey, sugary top. Which is better?! Cakey, sugary, buttery… or oaty, brown sugary, nutty???? Both so gewwwwwwddddd

Blackberry cobbler

Ok I have to stop. I’m full just looking at all of this but I CAN’T WAIT.

Thankful for so much this time of year! And thankful for YOU for dropping in and making it all the way to the bottom here.  Happy Feasting!




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About the Author

Hello. My name is Lillie. I’m not a registered dietitian, or a macro coach, or a public figure or culinary genius. I’m a mommy of four who FOUND macro-counting and fell in love with this balanced approach to food...

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