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We know it’s still early, but we also know that it’s always best to start planning for your Thanksgiving dinner early on. But as many of us know, holiday meals can get a bit too extreme on the calories, which is why many call it quite a feast. In fact, the average American consumes around 4,500 calories in that one feast alone!
So, what if we told you there’s a way to dial down on the sugar and calories, starting with that sweet ending: Dessert! That’s right folks, we can make our favorite holiday desserts healthy, so you can still indulge with your loved ones.
But how can you make all the sweets we love a lighter, healthier version? From pumpkin cheesecakes to cranberry cookies, we’ve got the ultimate list for you! Read on as we share 15 easy and healthy Thanksgiving desserts that anyone can whip up and proudly present on the dinner table this November.
More delicious and healthy recipe ideas for you:
- 15 Easy and Healthy Cookie Recipes for Cleaning Eating
- 15 Easy Fall Desserts to Make this Season
- 50 Easy Halloween Desserts To Bring To A Party
- 20 Easy Christmas Cookies to Bake this Holiday
Pin this image so you can refer back to this post for the best healthy and tasty Thanksgiving desserts!
1. No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Tarts
Have vegans in the family? No need to exclude and create separate dishes for them this Thanksgiving, because there’s a vegan dessert that everyone will love.
This delicious chocolate tart is vegan with a soft and chewy chocolate crust paired with a rich and creamy chocolate ganache. People won’t realize it’s vegan until you say so!
It looks so fancy, yet so easy to make. People will think you were slaving in the kitchen when all you needed were two bowls, a tart pan, and your trusty microwave.
2. Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
We all know that cranberry sauce is a must-have in any Thanksgiving dinner. Why not also include cranberries in your dessert as well and make it even healthier?
These healthy oatmeal cranberry cookies contain no gluten, dairy, eggs, and added sugars. They are also super easy to prep and bake, filled with nutrients from dried cranberries, mashed bananas, and rolled oats. Even the kids will enjoy this treat, which can act as breakfast!
For more breakfast ideas, you can try making healthy breakfast muffins for the family.
3. Healthy Pumpkin Pie Parfait with Coconut Whip
Try upgrading to a fancier-looking dessert this year with these attractive pumpkin pie parfaits! These are vegan-friendly and remind you of the lovely fall season you’ll be experiencing this Thanksgiving with a layer of creamy pumpkin pie smoothie, coconut cream, and granola for that crunch.
You don’t even need to wait for the holidays to prepare these, because they make an awesome dessert, breakfast, or snack any time of the year. It’s filled with nutrients and only uses a few tablespoons of maple syrup for sweetness.
4. Healthy Apple Crisp with Ice Cream
When you think of “Thanksgiving desserts,” one of the first things that come to mind must be apple crisp! This recipe makes this warm, yummy dessert healthier by opting to use whole wheat pastry flour, rolled oats, pecans, maple syrup, delicious spices, and of course, the granny smith or honey crisp apples!
Pair it with vanilla bean ice cream (because we all deserve a bit more sweetness) and you’ve got a dessert with the right amount of sugar and a hint of tartness.
5. Mini Pumpkin Pie Slice Cookies
These are adorable little treats that the kids will definitely love, along with those who vote for cookies over pie. With a few handy baking tools, you can easily decorate these cookies and everyone will think you’re a pro!
Not a fan of pumpkin? No worries, you can use the basic sugar cookie recipe to omit that. But if you are, you can add pumpkin emulsion or pumpkin spice extract on the cookie itself to truly get those fall flavors.
6. Apple Crumble Bars
With apple season coming up this fall, you’ve probably got a lot of this sweet, tart fruit to use for the holiday. Go for baked apples, this time serving healthy apple crumble bars that are described as a “portable apple crisp.”
Naturally sweetened with the fruit and touch of maple syrup, as well as having a nice bed of oats for texture, these bars will surely be a hit. Once these come out of the oven, you have to save one for yourself because you won’t be sure if there will be any left on the dinner table!
7. Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes
These look like cute birthday cupcakes with sprinkles on top, with each bite having the rich, chocolatey flavor expected of an amazing dessert. The secret to the sweetness and moist texture? Mashed sweet potatoes, maple syrup, and coconut sugar!
These cupcakes are so easy to make that you can even quicken the prep time by using canned sweet potatoes. Decadent treats don’t always need to be loaded with calories and sugar, nor will you have to spend hours in the kitchen with this recipe.
8. Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bars with Almond
We had to add another pumpkin pie to this list, and this is a unique one because it comes in bar form. No need to slice individual pieces, everyone can just grab a bar and enjoy. The best part for bakers is that this recipe is less complicated to do than baking an entire pie!
These are paleo-friendly pumpkin pie bars with a hint of nuttiness from using almond flour for the crust. You can use pure maple syrup or sugar-free sweetener as sugar to make it a bit healthier too.
9. Flourless Pumpkin Brownies
Put a twist into pumpkin desserts and a classic favorite: the brownie. These healthy pumpkin brownies are easy to make and trump any brownie box mix. If you’re in a hurry to whip up the complete feast, this dessert only takes half an hour and you’ll be proud to say you made it from scratch!
You only need one bowl to prepare these brownies, and yes, there is no flour involved with these brownies, making them gluten-free. It’s also dairy-free as it uses natural nut butter, pumpkin puree, cocoa powder, and dairy-free chocolate chips, making it a healthier dessert catering to many diets.
10. Skinny Pumpkin Cheesecake
If you want something different than the traditional pumpkin pie, then pumpkin cheesecake is the next best bet that’ll be a hit with everyone! This cheesecake recipe has fall flavors without being too heavy, with only 244 calories a slice.
Guests will also love the Oreo cookie crust, with the slight chocolatey-ness cutting through the light cream cheese and complementing the pumpkin puree. The cheesecake even looks like a pumpkin pie, complete with a “whipped cream” topping that’s actually made of non-fat Greek yogurt for more health benefits!
11. No Bake Cinnamon Rolls
Almost guiltless homemade and no-bake cinnamon rolls for dessert? Sign us up! Anyone can prepare a delicious batch of the classic baked good. But wait, here’s the kicker: These cinnamon rolls don’t require baking, so no oven is required!
Not only is this recipe incredibly quick and easy to make, but this sweet dessert is almost sugar-free and filled with protein thanks to the protein powder used for the dough. Moreover, you’ll be using sugar-free sweeteners so it still feels decadent without worrying about your macros.
12. Walnut Apple Crisp
Warm apple crumble, walnut chunks, rolled oats, a hint of cinnamon, and topped with vanilla ice cream… Now that surely hits the spot after feasting on a sumptuous dinner with loved ones!
This healthy walnut apple crisp is gluten-free and only lightly sweetened with maple syrup and coconut sugar. The tartness and sweetness pair perfectly with the nutty flavors, making it the ultimate fall dessert that takes only 40 minutes to make.
13. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin bread instead of pumpkin pie? People will still love it! This recipe features a moist and dense pumpkin bread that’s perfectly spiced and filled with flavor. It’s almost as rich as a pie and will pair well with a nice cup of coffee to end the meal.
This recipe isn’t only gluten-free but dairy-free as well, catering to numerous diets. Containing only 217 calories a slice and taking less than an hour to make, don’t stress with dessert and try making your own pumpkin bread!
14. Keto Low Carb Pumpkin Pie
Who said the infamous Thanksgiving pumpkin pie has to be laden with carbs and sugar? Not this recipe!
Whether you or your relatives are going low-carb or on keto diets, don’t let them skip dessert with this delicious pumpkin pie. The best part? It tastes like your regular dessert, no one even needs to know it’s made of low-carb crust and sugar-free sweeteners!
Tip: If you’d like to make this paleo-friendly, substitute the heavy cream with coconut cream. You can also opt for coconut sugar over sugar-free sweetener, ground to a fine consistency.
15. Ginger-Cinnamon Pear Crumble with Rolled Oats, Pecans, and Walnuts
Even if you have never touched an oven at all, you’ll have no trouble with this ginger-cinnamon pear crumble. It’s an interesting take inspired by the classic apple crumble, giving your next Thanksgiving dinner a sweet twist.
You can also make this recipe suitable for those who are vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free! Use gluten-free oats and top it off with coconut yogurt, and you’ve got yourself a nutritious dessert your guests will be thankful for.