Ideal Menu: 4 Thanksgiving Recipes for Diabetics

When creating your thanksgiving menu for the holiday dinner, it can be difficult to accommodate everyone. Having a diabetic in my own family, I know important a strict food diet is in their health. Though it can be a daunting task to navigate recipes and altering them to fit the needs of your loved one, we have compiled a list of thanksgiving recipes for diabetics below. This way, you can fully participate in the Thanksgiving tradition without worrying about the adverse side effects and eat healthy in the process!


Main course:


For the main course, we recommend an herb-roasted turkey. Herbs are perfect because they provide the perfect natural garnish without being heavy in added sugars and excess sodium.


  • 1 whole turkey
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh herbs
  • 20 whole herb sprigs (Thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, and marjoram)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 white onion
  • one apple, lemon, and orange cut into wedges
  • ~3 cups water


  1. Remove upper oven rack and preheat oven to 475°F
  2. Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavities.
  3. Place turkey breast side up in a large roasting pan and pat it dry. Use a knife or fork to poke holes in turkey.
  4. Mix minced herbs, oil, and pepper in a small bowl. Massage the herb mixture all over turkey, under skin, and onto the breast.
  5. Place onions, 1/2 lemon cut into slices, and 1/2 orange cut into wedges as well as whole herb leaves in the cavity.
  6. Tuck the wing tips under turkey, tie legs together with kitchen string, add 3 cups of water and remaining herb sprigs to the pan.
  7. Roast turkey until skin is golden (~45 minutes)
  8. Remove turkey and reduce oven temp to 350°F.
  9. Cover the turkey with foil and continue roasting for ~1.5 hours. If  pan dries out, add 1 cup of water to the pan and tilt turkey to remove fluid from cavity.
  10. Use thermometer to check temperature of turkey (it is done at 165°F)
  11. Remove string from turkey and place on serving platter. Garnish with remaining lemon and orange wedges, and serve.


Side Dishes: 

Side dishes definitely add flavor to your dinner and can spice up your Thanksgiving menu. Check out the recipes below!


Oven Roasted Garlic Squash


5 pounds (approximately 9.5 cups) of squash– such as butternut, buttercup, kabocha or hubbard

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 cloves minced garlic

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Peel, seed, and cut squash into approximately 1 inch chunks.
  3. Toss squash with 4 teaspoons olive oil, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet.
  4. Bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned; ~ 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
  6. Add garlic and stir continuously until fragrant (not brown). Toss baked squash with garlic and parsley, mix and serve.

Garlic and Basil Asparagus 


  • 2 cups asparagus
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped chives
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray. Arrange asparagus in a single layer evenly on the baking sheet.
  3. Stir together garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Mix in the herbs (chives, parsley, rosemary, and thyme).
  4. Coat the asparagus with mixture above.
  5. Bake until asparagus is tender (approximately 10 minutes)
  6. Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter, place the roasted herbs from the baking sheet on to the asparagus and serve.



Try out this amazing Sweet Raisin-Apple Strudel– a healthier substitution for an apple pie!



  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (about 3 c)
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp golden raisins
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 12 sheets (17″ x 11″ each) thawed whole wheat phyllo dough
  • 1/2 cup warmed apricots
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place parchment paper onto a large baking sheet.
  2. Peel the apples and thinly slice them, carefully removing the core.
  3. Mix the brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Toss in apples and mix everything together.
  4. Mix the bread crumbs and granulated sugar in a small bowl.
  5. Place the phyllo sheets on a dry surface and cover with a damp towel to keep it from drying out.
  6. Spread out 1 sheet and lightly spray with butter-flavored cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the crumb mixture.
  7. Repeat layering with 4 more phyllo sheets and approximately half of the crumb mixture. Top with 1 phyllo sheet and lightly spray with the cooking spray.
  8. Spread with 1/4 cup of the apricot. Keep it away from the edges. Place half of the apple mixture over the preserves.
  9. Fold each of the long edges over the apple mixture.
  10. With the short edge, roll it up tightly. Gently place the strudel on the baking sheet with the seam side down. lightly coat top with cooking spray or non-fat butter using a brush.
  11. Repeat steps 6-10 to make another strudel.
  12. With a knife, make slashes on the top of the strudel.
  13. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden-brown. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar (optional) and serve warm.

Hope this post helps you create a menu perfect for your diabetic loved ones’ needs. All the thanksgiving recipes for diabetics above are healthy. Also, they are low in salt, artificial sugar, and preservatives. Hope you enjoy it! Let us know how it tastes!

Have a fantastic thanksgiving!

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