A Healthier Thanksgiving

A Healthier Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and many people are choosing to stay home and connect with loved ones virtually. They are now experiencing the pressure of making a whole holiday meal for just a few people, but there are some advantages.

The recipe below scales down the normal Thanksgiving feast to only a sheet pan but still has the nostalgic holiday flavor. The average Thanksgiving meal has about 3,750 calories while this edited meal has roughly 560 calories per person, which is more in line with our body’s needs and leaves room for a dessert.

Some other tips for a rewarding and successful Thanksgiving at home are:

  • Getting some exercise before or after your meal by walking or biking around the neighborhood.
  • Sharing your recipes with others and cooking together virtually.
  • Virtual calling with family and playing some games such as cards or charades.
  • Donating to your local food pantry to help others in need.
  • Grocery shopping ahead of time to avoid crowded stores.

Sheet Pan Thanksgiving Dinner


Cranberry Sauce

  • 1/3 cup frozen or fresh cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or ½ tablespoon sugar substitute for baking
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 2 cups seasoned croutons, or day old bread
  • 1/2 cup low- or no- sodium vegetable or chicken broth


  • 1 pound skinless and boneless turkey breast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry sage
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • 1 pound carrots, peeled
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt



Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Cranberry sauce

In a small oven-proof ramekin, combine the cranberries, maple sauce and apple juice. Set aside.


In a medium bowl, whisk the egg. Add the chopped green onion, parsley and seasonings, and mix well. Add your favorite croutons and broth. Mix to combine. Divide the stuffing mixture between two oven-proof ramekins and set aside.


Rub the turkey breast with the olive oil and all the seasonings. Place the seasoned turkey in the middle of a sheet pan (11″x17″ size sheet pan should work perfectly).


Spread the vegetables around the turkey breast in one layer. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with seasonings and mix well.


Move the vegetables around to make space for the three ramekins. Add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary to the vegetables and turkey. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the turkey breast reaches 165°F internal temperature. Sprinkle with a little bit of chopped parsley, add a few fresh cranberries and serve.

Recipe adapted from: https://www.imagelicious.com/blog/sheet-pan-thanksgiving-dinner-two#comments


Kiersten Vint is a Marshall University Dietetic Intern.