Healthier versions of favorite holiday side dishes
Stay on Santa’s “good” list this year with our recipes for healthy holiday favorites like sweet potato casserole, mac and cheese, and peach cobbler. These lower-calorie alternatives to traditional (and traditionally fattening!) recipes come to you courtesy of our MLKCH nutritionists, who demonstrated these dishes at the hospital on December 19. Each recipe takes 20 minutes or less to prepare.
On the menu
- Homemade mac and cheese
- Peach cobbler
- Sweet potato casserole
- Roasted root vegetables
- Healthy turkey soup
Want to make these delicious dishes too? See our easy-to-cook recipes below:
Homemade Mac and Cheese
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 45 min
1 lb macaroni, Dreamfields (lower carb) brand
2 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups cheddar cheese, low-fat
4 Tbsp butter, light
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
3 cups milk, low-fat
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, plain
1 pinch or to taste paprika
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook macaroni per package directions.
- Melt 2 tbsp. butter in saucepan over medium heat, stir in flour to make a roux. Once browned, slowly add milk, whisking constantly until thoroughly mixed.
- Stir in both cheese and cook over low heat or until cheese is melted.
- Place macaroni in large baking dish and pour sauce over macaroni. Stir well
- Melt remaining 2 Tbsp butter in skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and stir until butter is absorbed. Spread over macaroni to cover. Sprinkle with paprika.
- Bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes or until cheese sauce is hot and breadcrumbs are browned
Calories: 401 | Total Fat: 17g | Sat Fat: 9g | Sodium: 760mg | Total Carbohydrates: 34g | Fiber: 1g | Sugars 1g | Protein: 28g |
Leftover Holiday Turkey Rice Soup
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 20 min
12 cups Water
3 bay leaves
4 medium Potatoes
3 large carrots
1 pound turkey meat
1 Tbsp chicken bouillon
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Mrs. Dash seasoning
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup brown rice
2 Tbsp parsley, fresh
1 Tbsp dill, fresh
- Peel and rinse potatoes and carrots. Cube the potatoes, slice the smaller half of each carrot and shred the larger end. Set aside.
- Into a large soup pot, add water, bay leaves, and 1/2 tsp sea salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add cubed potatoes, and sliced carrots. Add turkey meat, chicken bouillon, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, sauté carrots. Heat a small pan over medium heat, add shredded carrots, olive oil, salt, Mrs. Dash seasoning, and garlic powder. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add sautéed carrots to the soup, well-rinsed rice, and let it simmer for 10 more minutes. Add parsley and dill. Remove soup pot from heat and let it rest for 20 minutes before serving
Calories: 188 | Total Fat: 5g | Sat Fat: 1.2g | Sodium: 436mg | Total Carbohydrates: 20g | Fiber: 2g | Sugars 1.6g | Protein: 15g |
Sweet Potato Casserole
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 45 min
5 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tsp agave
1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
Pinch nutmeg, ground
1/4 tsp allspice, ground
8 oz pineapple, crushed, unsweetened, drained
2 Tbsp pecans, chopped
1 cup marshmallows, mini
- Cut the sweet potatoes into large chunks. Boil potatoes in a large pot covered with water until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and return to pot.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Mash sweet potatoes and add in raisins, agave, spices, and pineapple.
- Lightly spray casserole dish with oil, spoon in sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with pecans and marshmallows. Bake for 15 minutes.
Calories: 133 | Total Fat: 1.8g | Sat Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 15mg | Total Carbohydrates: 30g | Fiber: 3g | Sugars 10.4g | Protein: 10g
Roasted Fall Vegetables
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 40 min
2 cups beets, cubed
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 cup parsnips, cubed
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Thyme leaves, dried
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper, ground
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
- Heat oven to 450F. Spray broiler pan with cooking spray.
- In large now, gently toss all ingredients except cooking spray. Pour into broiler pan. Spray vegetable mixture with cooking spray.
- Roast uncovered 35 to 40 minutes, stirring once until vegetables are tender and browned.
Calories: 154 | Total Fat: 6g | Sat Fat: 0.6g | Sodium: 250mg | Total Carbohydrates: 26g | Fiber: 5g | Sugars 9g | Protein: 2g |
No Sugar Added Peach Cobbler
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min
2 cups fresh peaches, sliced
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
2 tsp butter, room-temperature
- Preheat oven to 350F. Place the sliced peaches in the bottom of an 8x8x2 inch baking pan.
- In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well.
- Gradually blend in butter and sprinkle mixture over peaches.
- Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.
Calories: 54 | Total Fat: 2g | Sat Fat: 0.8g | Sodium: 29mg | Total Carbohydrates: 9g | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugars 7g | Protein: 1g |