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Recipes For A Keto-Friendly Thanksgiving

Janelle Cabuco |
November 18, 2013 | 10:10 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Help yourself by helping yourself to healthier versions of Thanksgiving favorites (Various Brennemans / Flickr Creative Commons).
Help yourself by helping yourself to healthier versions of Thanksgiving favorites (Various Brennemans / Flickr Creative Commons).
Thanksgiving is around the corner, but don’t let all that food ruin your diet or sabotage your weight.

Here are five great low-carbohydrate, low-sugar recipes for those of you on the ketogenic diet, otherwise known as Keto (which is a diet sufficient in protein and low in carbohydrates and sugars), or for those of you who want to have a guilt-free Thanksgiving feast!

Sugar-Free Cranberry-Grapefruit Sauce with Mint

Serves 6-8


1 8-oz bag of cranberries

¾ C granular Splenda

1 white grapefruit, preferably unwaxed organic 

1 T mint, shredded (add more to taste)

¼ tsp xanthan gum (optional)


Remove the outer peel of the grapefruit, and simmer and cover the Splenda and the grapefruit peel in ¾ cup of water. While letting the Splenda and grapefruit peel simmer, supreme the grapefruit and chop up the segments. Don’t forget to save all the juice. However, if you’re lazy, feel free to just juice the grapefruit. After finishing, add the grapefruit flesh and juice to the simmering water; then add your cranberries. After adding your cranberries, bring the pot to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. If you use xanthan gum, sprinkle it evenly over the cranberry sauce, do not overuse or else it will clump. Then mix to combine. Next, transfer to a sauce serving bowl, stir in your mint, then chill preferably overnight. There you go! You now have a sweet, but guilt-free cranberry sauce!

Pumpkin Pie

Serves 8


1 can of pumpkin puree

1½ C of unsweetened almond milk

½ C egg whites or Eggbeaters

½ C Walden Farms 0-calorie maple syrup

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Fat free Reddi-wip (optional) 


Combine the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice, then add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour into pan and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until set. Chill and serve with whip cream if desired. Congratulations! You’ve made a substitute pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Also, just for your information, this recipe is for pumpkin pie bites; their shape will look similar to brownies, depending on how you cut them out of your baking pan.

Low Carb Stuffing

Serves 16

Ingredients (For Low Carb Corn Muffins)

2/3 C coconut flour

½ C melted butter (replace with 6 tbsp of full-fat ricotta cheese and only 2 tbsp of melted butter for a lower fat, lower calorie version)

8 eggs (use only egg whites for all or some of these eggs for a lower fat, lower calorie version)

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder


Whisk together the coconut flour, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl, beat the eggs and whisk in the melted butter. Then add the coconut flour mixture to the egg and butter mixture, and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into muffin cups and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Ingredients (For Herbed “Cornbread” Stuffing With Pancetta and Leeks)

1 recipes worth of “corn” muffins (feel free to use the recipe above or your own)

4 T unsalted butter

8 oz pancetta or smoked sausage, diced

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp dried thyme leaves

2 T minced fresh parsley leaves

2 eggs

2 cups chicken broth (or 1 cup chicken broth and 1 cup cream or half-and-half for a more decadent stuffing)

Salt and pepper to taste 


Cut the muffins to 1/2” cubes on parchment paper and bake them at 250 degrees for an hour or until they dry out. While waiting, melt the butter on medium-high heat and add pancetta and sauté until crisp. Then add onion, leek, and celery, and sauté until soft and translucent. Add garlic and thyme and cook for a minute longer. Then add the dry muffin cubes and the pancetta, including all the butter and pan juices, to a pan. In a bowl, beat the eggs and combine them with chicken broth. Then pour over the bread mixture and add parsley. Combine everything by hands to ensure the breadcrumbs soak up all the liquid. Next, bake at 400 degrees uncovered for about an hour or until the top is browned and crisp. There you go! You’ve made yourself some great low calorie, low carb stuffing!

Herb Pork Tenderloin With Roasted Pumpkin Applesauce

Serves 3-4


1 pork tenderloin, about a pound, or 4 pork chops

1 T minced fresh or dried rosemary 

1 T minced fresh or dried sage 

Fat of choice for cooking

1/4 C chicken broth

½ C unsweetened applesauce 

¼ C roasted pumpkin puree

¼ T pumpkin pie spice

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine the applesauce, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl; then set your mixture aside. Cut the pork tenderloin crosswise into four pieces. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and pound it flat with a meat mallet. Then season each piece with salt, pepper, sage, and rosemary to taste. Next, sear each piece until nicely browned. When done, pour the excess grease out of the pan and add the chicken broth. Boil on medium high and deglaze the mixture with a spoon. Once it has reduced to about a tbsp of liquid, stir it into the pumpkin applesauce. Your pork tenderloin pieces with pumpkin applesauce will taste great with a side of veggies; so eat up!

Better Than Mashed Potatoes


1 head cauliflower, cut into bit sized pieces

1 head garlic

½ tsp olive oil

3 T grated Asiago or Parmesan 

3 T crumbled chevre 

Salt to taste


Slice off the top of the head of the garlic and drizzle on the olive oil, then wrap tightly in foil, twisting at the top. Then bake for an hour and let it cool. While waiting, steam the cauliflower in a vegetable steamer basket until very soft and slightly overcooked; then let it drain and cool a little. Next, puree the garlic cloves with the cauliflower and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor. Then add salt to taste. You can now enjoy your alternative to mashed potatoes! 

It’s easy to go overboard during Thanksgiving and eat everything in sight, but with all of these Keto approved recipes, and many others, you can still stuff your stomach until you go into a food coma, and still feel somewhat guilt free. Try them, enjoy them, and feast!

Contact Staff Reporter Janelle Cabuco here



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