The holidays are officially here, which means loads of delicious, homemade food. Sticking to whole food recipes is a great way to ensure you’re consuming healthy, nutritious meals. Try out these tasty Thanksgiving recipes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (UDSA) and consider adding them to your menu this holiday season.

All recipes are provided by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service in their “Healthy, Thrifty Holiday Menu Cookbook”.

Grandma’s Stuffing

This stuffing has lots of crunch and flavor from the apples, celery, and onions. Whole wheat bread gives this recipe a boost of whole grains.


10 cups whole wheat bread cubes (or white bread or buns, dry)
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup onion (chopped)
1/2 cup celery (chopped)
1 teaspoon parsley, dried (or 1 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg (lightly beaten)
2 apples (optional – medium, pared, cored and chopped, or 1/4 cup raisins)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put cubes in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Put water in medium saucepan. Add onion, celery, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Do not drain. Pour over bread cubes.
  4. Stir in milk and egg. Gently stir in apples, and raisins, if desired.
  5. Spoon into a greased 2-quart baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.


Homemade Mashed Potatoes

A creamy comfort food that is quick and easy to prepare!


2 pounds potatoes (6 medium)
1 cup milk, low fat
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper (ground)


1. Peel the potatoes, and cut them into chunks.
2. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover them.
3. Cook the potatoes on medium heat for 15 minutes or until tender.
4. Remove the potatoes from the heat. Drain the water off the potatoes.
5. Mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher.
6. Stir in enough milk to make the potatoes smooth and creamy.
7. Add the butter, salt and pepper.


Roast Turkey Breast with Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme

Perfect for a holiday gathering, this roast turkey breast can be prepared in less time than a whole turkey. Enjoy!


3 pounds turkey breast half (with skin and bones)
1 onion, large quartered
1 carrot, large quartered
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper (to taste, optional)
chicken broth (or margarine, for basting, optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place turkey breast in roasting pan along with onion and carrot.
  2. Mix spices with olive oil. Rub turkey with olive oil.
  3. Roast turkey at  400 degrees for 15 minutes. Baste with margarine and chicken broth (optional).
  4. Reduce turkey temperature to 350 degrees and roast turkey, basting every 20 minutes with pan juices (or margarine and chicken broth), about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until meat thermometer inserted in thick part of meat registers 165 degrees.
  5. Remove to carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.


Green Bean Saute

Jazz up green beans with mushrooms, onions, and garlic in a quick and easy vegetable side dish.


1 cup onion (chopped)
1 cup mushrooms (sliced)
1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
1 can green beans (16 ounce, drained, cut)


  1. Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Saute onions, mushrooms, and garlic.
  3. Add green beans and heat thoroughly.


Pumpkin Cheese Pie

A great option for cheesecake lovers. Less fat and saturated fat than a standard cheesecake but all of the flavor.


8 ounces cream cheese, reduced fat
8 ounces cream cheese, non-fat
2 eggs
4 egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 can pumpkin (29 ounces)
1 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 graham cracker pie crusts (9 inch)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the cream cheese, eggs, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix at medium speed until creamed. Add the remaining ingredients and mix at medium speed until ingredients are well mixed.
  3. Spoon the mixture evenly in each pie crust and place both in the oven for approximately 50 minutes until pies look firm in the middle.


Check out more Thanksgiving menu ideas in the USDA’s “Healthy, Thrifty Holiday Menu”

For more Thanksgiving fun for your kiddos, download KidKare’s Thanksgiving Activity Book. This activity book is filled with coloring pages and simple activities to keep your kids entertained during the Thanksgiving festivities.