Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Flavorful Feast

The Thanksgiving menu is always highly anticipated, and we\’re giving you one more reason to be grateful for your future spread. This holiday might be known as one of the most indulgent days of the year, but you can gorge guilt-free with these lighter takes on tasty favorites.

Cranberry Orange Champagne Punch

Course Drinks
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 whole vanilla bean split and scraped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups 100% cranberry juice
  • 1 cup 100% orange juice
  • 1 bottle semi-dry champagne
  • 2 oranges thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cranberries


  • Place the vanilla bean and insides, water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and syrupy. Let cool.
  • In a large pitcher or punch bowl, combine the juices and the syrup. R
  • efrigerate until just ready to serve.
  • Just before serving, add in the champagne, sliced oranges and cranberries.
  • Serve chilled and/or over ice!


This recipe was provided by Alexandra Caspero Lenz from Delish Knowledge, as part of the Healthy Aperture blogger partnership. 

Aside from turkey, cranberries are one of the top staples of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Don’t let the size of these tiny berries fool you – they are packed with nutritional benefits including vitamin c and flavonoids, which have been shown to offer anti-inflammatory properties. Go beyond cranberry sauce, and use cranberry juice in a festive cocktail such as our cranberry orange champagne punch

Butternut Squash Soup with Cranberry Apple Swirl

Total Time 40 minutes
Course Soup
Servings 6 servings


For Soup:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 apple peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 6 cups chopped butternut squash fresh or frozen
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup 100% apple juice
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

For Cranberry Compote:

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup 100% cranberry-apple juice
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg


To Make Soup:

  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add carrots, onion, celery, garlic, apple, and butternut squash to pan; cook for 5-7 minutes or until fragrant and beginning to cook through, stirring occasionally.
  • Add broth and juice; bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  • Add salt, thyme, sage, pepper, and ginger. Simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Use an immersion blender (or transfer mixture to a blender container) and blend until smooth. Stir in lemon juice.

To Make Cranberry Compote:

  • Combine cranberries, juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until cranberries have popped and mixture thickens.
  • Allow to cool slightly.

To Assemble:

  • Stir a spoonful of Cranberry Compote into center of each bowl of soup. Swirl, if desired.


This recipe was provided by Regan Jones and Gretchen Brown from Healthy Aperture, as part of the Healthy Aperture blogger partnership. 

Butternut squash soup is a common Thanksgiving appetizer, but have you ever tried it with a fruity twist? Made with 100% apple juice and topped off with cranberry compote, this recipe is guaranteed to kick your feast off on a high (and healthy) note.

Glazed Orange Cardamom Cake

Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 8 servings


  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 5 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • zest of 1 orange divided
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat white flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 9 inch cake pan with butter and line it with parchment paper (the butter helps the parchment stick to it, making it easier to pour the batter in evenly).
  • Beat sugar and butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 7-10 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well beaten each one.
  • Add the yogurt, 1/4 cup of the orange juice and orange zest and continue beating until well combined.
  • Combine the flours, cornmeal, cardamom and baking powder in a medium bowl.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
  • Transfer the batter to the lined cake pan and spread evenly, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or until center is set and edges are just starting to turn golden brown and pull away from the sides of the pan.
  • During the last 5-10 minutes of baking time, add the orange juice for the glaze to a small sauce pot.
  • Bring to a boil then simmer on low until thickened.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack in the pan. Brush the glaze on the top of the warm cake.
  • Let it cool for about 15-20 minutes before removing from the pan and letting cool further directly on the rack. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.


This recipe was provided by Gina Matsoukas from Running to the Kitchen, as part of the Healthy Aperture blogger partnership.

This year, try swapping your staple desserts for something a little zestier. Cardamom, a spice commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines, has a strong flavor and aroma with hints of lemon, mint, and smoke. It’s also the perfect complement to orange in our Glazed Orange Cardamom Cake. A dash of 100% orange juice sneaks in important nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, and folate. This sticky, sweet and completely addictive cake is perfect for a Thanksgiving dessert or a breakfast treat on the way to Black Friday shopping!

Visit our Recipes Page for juice-infused creations you can enjoy throughout the year. For more easy ways to integrate 100% juice into your daily routine, browse through our Expert Health Tips.

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