Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for a Thanksgiving Feast

Seniors living with diabetes can enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner traditions using these 4 recipes for healthier versions of classic dishes.

There’s no reason for diabetes to wreck Thanksgiving dinner. Seniors with diabetes can enjoy classic holiday foods with these healthy recipes. Thanksgiving dinner features classic holiday foods like stuffing, turkey, and pie. For many with diabetes, common Thanksgiving recipes pose a problem. These healthier recipes keep tradition alive.

Did You Know?

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. You can find many recipes and helpful hints for diabetic care online and in the media throughout the month. Since turkey is low-carb lean protein, it’s often on the “should eat” list.


Waldorf Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Crushed Pineapple
  • 2 Chopped Pears or Apples
  • ½ Cup Sliced Celery
  • ½ Cup Seedless Grapes (Halved)
  • 2 Sliced Kiwis
  • 1/3 Cup Fat-free Dressing
  • 1/3 Cup Fat-free Yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Toasted Walnut Pieces
  • Kale or Lettuce


  1. Toss all solid ingredients together.
  2. Stir together liquid ingredients separately.
  3. Fold solid mix into liquid blend.
  4. Chill for 6 hours and serve with kale or lettuce.

Recipe From: Diabetic Living Online


Orange Rosemary Turkey


  • 12 lb Roaster Turkey
  • ¾ Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp Parsley
  • 2 Tbsp Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Orange Peeled and Sliced


  1. Clean and dry turkey before releasing skin.
  2. Mix all ingredients except for orange. Rub under and over turkey skin.
  3. Place orange slices under skin without tearing skin.
  4. Put turkey in pan and add water to a ½ inch depth.
  5. Roast turkey in oven at 325 degrees for 3-4 hours or according to package instructions.
  6. Cover the turkey if it is browning more than preferred.
  7. Let turkey sit 10 minutes before slicing.

Recipe From: Diabetic Connect

Side Dish:

Wild Rice Stuffing


  • ½ Cup Wild Rice
  • ¼ Cup Brown Rice
  • 1 ¾ Cup Water
  • 1 Tsp Chicken Bouillon Powder
  • ¼ Tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Cups Fresh Sliced Mushrooms
  • ½ Cup Chopped Celery
  • 1/3 Cup Sliced Onion
  • ½ Cup Pine Nuts


  1. Rinse uncooked rice in strainer. Place rice, water, bouillon, and nutmeg in pot.
  2. When rice pot boils, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add vegetables to rice pot. Cook covered over medium-low for 25 minutes.
  4. Stir frequently, adding nuts when vegetables are soft. Serve immediately.

Recipe From: Diabetic Living Online


Sugar-free Apple Pie


  • 12 oz Unsweetened Apple Juice Concentrate Thawed
  • 3 Tbsp Cornstarch • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 6 Cups Thinly Sliced Apples
  • 2 Pie Pastry Shells (9 Inch)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk 1/3 cup of juice with cornstarch and cinnamon.
  3. Simmer apple slices and remaining apple juice in saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in cornstarch mixture, cooking five more minutes.
  5. Set aside to cool and place pie pastry shell in baking dish.
  6. Add apple mixture and place second pie shell over top, cutting a few slits in the top crust piece.
  7. Bake 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Recipe From: Sunrise Senior Living

Enjoy the Leftovers

Make a Sandwich

The turkey can be combined with either the salad or stuffing on low-carb bread for a tasty lunch.

Have Turkey Salad

This leftover turkey can be enjoyed on a bed of greens with orange slices and walnuts.

Bake Mini Pies

Divide the crust into mini pie dishes for individual servings. Freeze and reheat portions later.

Home Care Tip:

If a senior is far from family or friends on Thanksgiving, prepare a turkey breast and small side servings instead. This keeps the tradition alive without exacerbating feelings of loneliness or creating excessive leftovers.

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