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These Classic Holiday Recipes Aren’t as Bad for You as You Thought

Yes, the holidays are an indulgent time of year, but that doesn't mean all classic holiday recipes have to be bad for you. These recipes prove it!

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Green bean casserole in a 13x9 dishPhoto: Taste of Home

Green Bean Casserole

When a dish is easy to assemble, hearty, and even on the healthier side, it makes for satisfaction in every bite. One cup of this classic holiday recipe has 163 calories, 11 grams of fat and 11 grams of carbs.

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Pumpkin piePhoto: Taste of Home

Pumpkin Pie

Did you know that one slice of pumpkin pie contains more than the recommended daily value of vitamin A, which benefits eyesight and the immune system? And that the filling is full of potassium, vitamin C and iron, which will all boost your mood? This recipe proves you can have your pie and eat it, too.

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Sweet potato stuffingPhoto: Taste of Home

Sweet Potato Stuffing

When you think of stuffing, you might just think carbs, but it’s so much more than that. Sweet potato stuffing is filled with yummy herbs, celery and pecans. Sweet potatoes offer a healthy dose of complex carbs. Per cup, the stuffing has 212 calories, 8 grams of fat and 33 grams of carbs.

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Cornbread dressingPhoto: Taste of Home

Cornbread Dressing

Cornbread dressing is a holiday classic, and it’s actually fairly light! Cornbread, onion, celery and chicken broth combine to make one delicious dish. Each serving has 171 calories, 3 grams of fat and 28 grams of carbs—all in all, likely way less rich than you assumed.

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Cranberry sauceTaste of Home

Cranberry Sauce

You can’t have your sweet and eat it too, right? If you think cranberry sauce is an indulgent holiday side, think again. It’s loaded with fruit in fresh, dried and juice form, has zero fat, and just 113 calories per 1/4 cup.

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Roasted potatoesPhoto: Taste of Home

Roasted Potatoes

Potatoes get a bad rap for their starchiness, and, when you consider the holiday versions, loads of butter probably come to mind. But a classic dish of lemon and garlic new potatoes will only set you back 166 calories, 8 grams of fat and 19 grams of carbs for 3/4 cup. Plus, butter isn’t even used, just 2 teaspoons of olive oil.

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Roasted turkey on a platter beside a gravy boatPhoto: Taste of Home


It’s all gravy until you have to weigh yourself the day after a holiday. Yes, gravy can be a very unhealthy treat, but not all classic versions are bad! For instance, in this vegetable gravy recipe, the ingredients are pretty simple and clean: chicken broth, all-purpose flour, fresh sage and freshly ground pepper.

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Potato latkesPhoto: Taste of Home


When you think of latkes, you might think pancakes, which then makes you think of a crazy high-carb count that will put you into a food coma. But actually, latkes are quite simple and full of healthy ingredients. A typical recipe has russet potatoes, onion, green onions and egg, and only has 115 calories for two latkes! If you want an extra healthy recipe, simply swap zucchini or carrots for the potatoes.

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Alexa Erickson
Inspired by balance, Alexa finds that her true inner peace comes from executing a well-rounded lifestyle. An avid yogi, hiker, beach bum, music and art enthusiast, salad aficionado, adventure seeker, animal lover, and professional writer, she is an active individual who loves to express herself through the power of words. Follow her adventures on Instagram: @lextraordinary1, and follow her work at:

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