Helpful info for a healthier lifestyle
Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes Should Be About Great Taste, Not Added Sugar

November 17, 2017

True or false?

Turkey was the “entrée” of the first Thanksgiving meal.

That is true, according to Smithsonian Magazine, and as we do today, turkey was complemented with side dishes. However, the first Thanksgiving meal was a far cry from what we serve these days. Can you imagine how in awe those first celebrants would be if they were to see how we celebrate Thanksgiving, with a wide-ranging assortment of foods that span from calorie-filled side dishes to heavy sugar-laden desserts?

Sometimes I am in awe of how many calories and how much added sugar many people eat on Thanksgiving day. Is it really necessary? I don’t think so, and many of you might agree: we eat way too many calories on this special occasion, and many of those calories come from added sugars in the side dishes and desserts.

If this is the year you want to make your feast one that is not as sugary but just as delicious, here are some Thanksgiving side dish recipes you will want to try: Cranberry Apple Relish, Deliciously Simple Applesauce, Gourmet Sweet Potato Casserole. And for dessert, you can’t miss with Pumpkin Bread Pudding or Happy Holiday Pumpkin Pie.

All of these delectable Thanksgiving side dish recipes use a SPLENDA® Sweetener in place of sugar to keep the great taste without all the calories. Same for the dessert recipes – heavy on the delicious flavor, lighter on the added sugar!

Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes with SPLENDA®

Cranberry Apple Relish Recipe Cranberry Apple Relish Recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 20 (2 Tbsp. per serving)


  • 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 1 medium apple - peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins, divided


  1. Place cranberries, SPLENDA® Sweetener, water and orange juice concentrate in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, and boil for 3-4 minutes, or until cranberries start to thicken and water has reduced by about half.
  2. Pour cranberries into a medium-sized bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.
  3. Add diced apple and half of the raisins to cranberries. Stir well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, sprinkle remaining raisins over cranberries as a garnish. Serve chilled as an accompaniment to roast meats or poultry.

Deliciously Simple Applesauce Recipe Simple Applesauce Recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 8 (1/2 cup per serving)


  • 3 pounds apples - peeled, cored and chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Place apples in a large saucepan and just barely cover with water. Simmer over medium-low heat until apples are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Run cooked apples through a food mill or blender. Stir in the SPLENDA® Sweetener, lemon juice and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Serve warm or chilled.

Gourmet Sweet Potato Casserole Gourmet Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 8


  • 5 orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup light butter, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  2. Bake sweet potatoes 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until they begin to soften. Cool slightly, peel, and mash.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, salt, 1/4 cup butter, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, SPLENDA® Sweetener, and half-and-half. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine 1/4 cup butter, honey, pecans, and oats. Mix in enough flour with a pastry blender or your fingers to create the consistency of course meal. Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.
  5. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until topping is crisp and lightly browned.

Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes with SPLENDA®

Pumpkin Bread Pudding Recipe Pumpkin Bread Pudding Recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 4


  • 3 cups French bread, cubed
  • 2/3 cup 1% low fat milk
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 8 packets SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray four (4 oz.) ramekins with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Cut bread into one-inch cubes. Set aside.
  3. Mix milk, pumpkin, egg, egg white, SPLENDA® Sweetener, spices, and vanilla together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add bread chunks and stir until bread is coated. Allow bread to soak up moisture for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Spoon bread pudding into the prepared ramekins. Top with chopped pecans. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and cover with foil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until firm to the touch. Serve warm or chilled.

Happy Holiday Pumpkin Pie Recipe Holiday Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 8


  • 1 prepared pie crust
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fat free half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Blend pumpkin puree, SPLENDA® Sweetener, cornstarch, spices, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Mix until all ingredients are well blended. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pour into prepared piecrust. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until set in the center and the crust is golden brown.
  4. Cool before serving.

Craving cheesecake instead? Your guests will thank you for satisfying their sweet tooth with this lighter version: Pumpkin-Maple Crustless Cheesecake Recipe

For more holiday recipe ideas that use SPLENDA® Sweeteners in place of sugar, please visit

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have been compensated for my time by Heartland Food Products Group, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog with Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.

Sue Taylor is a consulting nutritionist with more than 35 years of experience. She is passionate about sharing her nutrition knowledge and fondness for good, healthy food. Sue will put relevant information in consumer terms and provide valuable perspective to clear up misinformation and confusion about nutrition and food safety

November 17, 2017  |  POSTED BY: Sue Taylor, MS  |  IN: Cooking & Baking


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