Paleo Thanksgiving Recipes

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You’ll find everything you need to have a wonderful holiday with these Paleo Thanksgiving Recipes! There’s no need to sacrifice anything if you have dietary restrictions because these recipes are wonderfully indulgent. You’ll find everything from appetizers to side dishes and desserts. Everything is naturally gluten-free as well and there are notes about recipes containing dairy that have dairy-free options!

A gravy boat pouring gravy over a platter of sliced turkey with decorative pumpkins and Thanksgiving side dishes around it.

Simple, flavorful with lots of make ahead options, these Paleo Thanksgiving Recipes are sure to please everyone at you table. There’s a little something for everyone whether you’re a stuffing fan, or if you prefer mashed potatoes.

And of course there are so many desserts to choose from as well. So I hope you’ll find these recipes bring life to your holiday table despite any dietary restrictions.

Straight down view of a full Thanksgiving dinner on a wooden table, turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and green beans.

Paleo Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

  • Roast Turkey with Paleo Gravy – we smoke our turkey following the Traeger recipe then make gravy with the drippings. I do think my Gluten Free Gravy has the edge for texture if you’re not strictly paleo.
  • Butternut Sausage Apple Stuffing – who needs bread when you have this butternut stuffing?! But in all seriousness, this stuffing recipe has always been a hit at our table even with stuffing fans. (Can be made ahead and reheated.)
  • The Best Mashed Potatoes – this recipe comes with some dairy-free options, but for paleo, I think they’re best made with melted ghee and chicken broth. If you eat dairy, try them as written for the most decadent mashed potatoes of your life!
  • Cranberry Orange Sauce – this sauce is partially sweetened with orange and someone always asks for the recipe because it’s so tasty. (Can be made ahead and reheated.) Cranberry sauce is one of the best things to make ahead of Thanksgiving.
  • Green Beans with Bacon Mushroom Sauce – you’ll find my make-ahead tips in the recipe notes for this lighter, fresher, and very tasty version of the classic green bean casserole. These are also way easier to make as well which is a bonus!
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts – you want to roast these during the 15 minutes you’re carving the turkey and getting everything to the table. That way they’re served super fresh out of the oven and still crispy. My make-ahead tip for these is to trim and slice the Brussels sprouts 1-2 days in advance. That way it’s just a few minutes of hands-on work before they go in the oven. You can also assemble them on the baking sheet and have them ready to go into the oven 1-2 hours in advance.
  • Or this Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette – this salad can be prepped 1-2 days beforehand, then tossed with the bacon dressing right before serving.
A bowl of cranberry sauce in the center surrounded by stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts.

For appetizers you & your guest might enjoy are my Bacon Wrapped Chorizo Dates or my Antipasto Platter. You can sub in some dairy-free cheeses to make both of these recipes paleo. Below you’ll find even more vegetables to choose from in addition to the above menu. But don’t get too crazy with the vegetable side dishes, everyone is really there for turkey and desserts!

Paleo Thanksgiving Side Dishes

A platter of sliced turkey surrounded by green beans, mashed potatoes, and decorative pumpkins.

Most the the dessert recipes listed below are made with coconut sugar or maple syrup. But honey can be subbed in for maple syrup in most cases. I like to use almond flour in my desserts because of its wonderful flavor, plus the recipes are grain-free, gluten-free, and paleo so everyone can enjoy them.

Dessert Toppings

For paleo dessert toppings try my Homemade Coconut Whipped Cream or Homemade Coconut Ice Cream.
For extra, (not paleo) options try my Homemade Maple Ice Cream, The Best Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and The Ultimate Whipped Cream.

We always make my Paleo Pecan Pie Bars and dive into them for breakfast with scrambled eggs and coffee. It’s a wonderful tradition and too tasty not to share with you. I also have more traditional apple crisp that isn’t fully paleo (oats in the topping) but you may enjoy this Gluten Free Apple Crisp.

For pumpkin options there’s my Paleo Pumpkin Pie or my Gluten Free Pumpkin Crisp, (has oats). Even though the pumpkin pie is so good, we tend to lean toward the Pumpkin Crisp because the crunchy topping is insanely good with the pumpkin pie filling.

A bowl of butternut stuffing in the center surrounded by decorative pumpkins and a platter of sliced turkey.

Tips for a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner

  • The most important tip I have for cooking a relatively stress-free Thanksgiving Day is to choose several make-ahead recipes. And don’t overcomplicate the menu, less is more here.
  • The next most important tip is to choose what you make by how much ‘real estate’ they take up on your stove and in your oven. There are only so many dishes you can cram in the oven at once. So choosing recipes that can be made ahead, plus possibly smoking your turkey if you have that type of grill/smoker will help a lot. If you’re doing a smaller dinner, consider getting a smoked turkey breast you can heat up in the slow cooker. Really anything you can do to take the pressure off makes for a better day.
  • Once your menu is set, make sure to have all your ingredients purchased several days before the holiday to avoid last-minute rushing to several stores when they run out of things!
  • And finally, try and have things prepped as much as possible as it always seems like the turkey cooks slower/or faster than you’re anticipating! You can cut up your potatoes and put them in the pot covered with water hours ahead of time. Keep reading below for more make-ahead tips that will take the stress out of the holidays.

Bonus! for a super simple way to decorate your table, or coffee table, check out my Easy Fall Pumpkin Centerpiece.

Straight down view of gravy in a white gravy boat with a platter of sliced turkey and mashed potatoes on the side.

Make ahead tips for this Paleo Thanksgiving Menu

  • Whatever desserts you choose along with the ice cream/whipped cream can be prepped and ready to go by late morning, and before the turkey starts cooking.
  • The Cranberry Orange Sauce can be made 2-3 days in advance and refrigerated.
  • The Butternut Squash Sausage Apple Stuffing can also be made 2-3 days in advance and gently reheated at 300ºF after the turkey comes out, and is resting before you carve it.
  • For the Paleo Gravy, you can mix together the tapioca starch with water and set it aside for 30 minutes or so before making the gravy. You’ll need to mix it back together right before you add it to the gravy.
  • I personally think mashed potatoes are best made last minute. However, you can have the potatoes cut up and in a pot covered with water hours in advance. You can also have the butter/ghee melted and ready to go. I have reheated mashed potatoes in a double boiler over simmering water, but they’re never quite as fluffy. Cover the mashed potatoes with foil or a lid and stir occasionally until warmed. Overall I don’t find this to be all that helpful because it takes up space on the stove, and it’s not quite as good.
  • The same thing goes with roasted Brussels sprouts, but you can have them trimmed and cut in half ahead of time. Then when it’s time to carve the turkey, pop them in a super hot oven and they’re ready in 15-20 minutes.
  • For the green beans, you can have them trimmed ahead of time. And you can also make the sauce 2-3 days in advance and refrigerate it. Reheat the sauce gently in a fry pan, and toss the cooked green beans in right before you serve dinner.
A wood table filled with a gravy boat, a platter of sliced turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, butternut stuffing, and green beans surrounded by decorative pumpkins.

I hope this menu is helpful in your holiday planning! And be sure and let me know below what your best tips are for cooking Thanksgiving dinner are? If you enjoyed one of these recipes, please leave a rating on the recipe card, it helps so much!

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