Following Atkins? Who said you need to feel deprived on Thanksgiving? I’ve got delicious low-carb Thanksgiving recipes for every Phase, plus a sample meal plan, to help you thoroughly enjoy this holiday without guilt. I guarantee you won’t even miss the extra carbs.
Begin your day with some tasty appetizer options that will please your palate.
Net carbs: 1 gram
24 large, fresh mushrooms (1 pound)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 pound Italian sausage, remove from casings
4 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 ½ ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons), divided
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1. Heat oven to 400F. Remove stems from mushrooms; finely chop enough stems to equal 1/2 cup (reserve the rest for another use). Place mushroom caps in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Arrange caps, gills up, on a shallow baking pan.
2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet set over medium heat. Add sausage, scallions, garlic, Italian seasoning, and chopped mushroom stems. Cook, stirring and breaking sausage into smaller pieces until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 cup of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese; stir just until cheeses melt.
3. Stuff mushroom caps with sausage mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons mozzarella. Bake until cheese has melted and mushrooms are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
Other appetizer options include wrapping steaming asparagus with prosciutto, rolling thin slices of zucchini with goat cheese, kabobs of shrimp and bacon or an antipasti platter.
This colorful, creamy soup is a festive first course.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Net carbs: 5.2 grams
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
12 ounces roasted red peppers, chopped (about 4 peppers)
29 ounces chicken broth
7 ounces water
2/3 Cup heavy cream
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan
1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add celery, onion, and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes, until vegetables are softened. Add roasted peppers and stock. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer 5 minutes.
3. Purée soup in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth.
4. Return soup to saucepan; stir in cream. Heat gently.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.
Other first course options include any type of salad (mix it up with kale, chard, romaine or spinach), topped with fresh veggies and drizzled with homemade dressing.
If you think Thanksgiving isn’t complete without a pile of mashed potatoes, you must try mashed cauliflower.
Cauliflower-Sour Cream Mash
Net carbs: 4.5
8 cups cauliflower florets (or 1 head cauliflower, trimmed)
2 Tablespoons sour cream
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1.5 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
1. Add a cup of water to a large pot and insert a steamer basket. Place cauliflower florets in the basket and bring water to a boil over high heat. Cover tightly, cook until tender, 10–12 minutes, and drain.
2. Purée cauliflower in a food processor, adding florets in batches.
3. Add sour cream, heavy cream, butter and salt; process until smooth and well combined. Reheat gently, if necessary, before serving.
There are many other options, including sides as simple as roasting or steaming Brussels sprouts, sautéing in butter, drizzling with lemon and seasoning with salt and pepper.
The savory star of the show is naturally low in carbs.
Savory Turkey with Gravy
Net Carbs: 1.3 grams
10-pound whole turkey, trimmed of fat, giblets removed
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1/4 cup granular sugar substitute (sucralose)
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery rib, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 Tablespoon Thick-It-Up
14 1/2 ounces chicken broth
1/4 cup water
1. Submerge turkey breast-down in a tub containing 1 1/2 gallons water mixed with 1 1/2 cups coarse (kosher) salt and 6 packets sugar substitute. Refrigerate 6 hours.
2. Discard brine and pat turkey dry. Heat oven to 400°F.
3. Place half of the vegetables in turkey cavity; scatter remaining vegetables on bottom of a roasting pan.
4. Tie legs together with cotton twine. Arrange bird breast down on rack in pan. Pour 1 cup water into pan. Roast turkey 45 minutes.
5. Baste turkey with pan juices. Lower oven temperature to 375°F; roast for 1 1/2 hours more, basting every 30 minutes, (add an extra 1/2 cup water to pan if necessary).
6. Carefully turn turkey over with oven mitts, so it is breast side up. Brush breast with butter. Roast an additional 30 minutes. Turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the inner thigh reads 175°F.
7. Transfer turkey to a large carving board with a trench to catch juices. Remove all vegetables and discard. Cover loosely with foil. Let rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. While turkey is resting; prepare gravy: Pour excess fat from roasting pan.
8. Place pan on oven burner on medium. Stir in thickener, until dissolved. Pour in chicken broth and water; bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits on bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Cook 2-3 minutes
Main course options are plentiful and low-carb, including ham, roast beef, prime rib and more!
Even on Atkins, you can indulge in a delicious grand finale.
Crustless Ginger Cheesecake with Lime-Sour Cream Topping
Net carbs: 4 grams
Phases 2, 3, 4
20 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
⅓ cup granular sugar substitute
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 ¼ cup sour cream
2 tablespoon granular sugar substitute
2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch spring form pan with parchment or wax paper. Wrap the outside of the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
2. For the cheesecake, combine the cream cheese, sugar substitute, vanilla and ginger in a bowl; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. One at a time, add the eggs and egg yolks, beating on low speed until combined. Transfer to a spring form pan. Set the spring form pan into a roasting pan; carefully pour in hot water to reach 1 inch up the side of the spring form pan. Bake until just set in the center, about 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, for the topping: combine the sour cream, sugar substitute and lime zest in a bowl; set aside.
4. When the cheesecake is just set, spread the sour cream mixture evenly on top.
5. Bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1½ hours before serving.
You can find many more delicious dessert options in our Recipes section.
You can truly give thanks to Atkins when you have a low-carb feast like this. Happy Thanksgiving!