5 Tips to Enjoy A Keto Thanksgiving

By: Joe Martinez, RPh, PDE, CMS, Founder and CCO, HMS
Contributor: Stephanie WU

Keto and Turkey Day – Is having a keto-friendly Thanksgiving dinner even possible?

If you aren’t familiar with the ketogenic diet already — it’s a high fat (75%-80% good fat) low carbohydrate diet that urges the body into “ketosis” by making the breakdown of fat the body’s priority. Carbohydrates are not completely eliminated from the diet, but tracking carbohydrates is especially important for those wanting to achieve ketosis. The typical number of carbohydrates in a keto-diet is roughly 20-50 grams of net carbohydrates a day.

On the day-to-day basis, that may sound reasonable, however for a lover of turkey stuffing, pecan and apple pies, and home-made mac and cheese, staying strong on a keto diet might sound IMPOSSIBLE during the holidays.  Hang in there because there is hope…  I want to help you power through your keto diet with success, while also enjoying the bounty of food on Thanksgiving! Here are 5 tips to have one ultimate keto friendly Thanksgiving this year.

Tip 1: Go for the turkey.

Let’s start off with an easy one: the bird itself…turkey is chock-full of protein. A serving of chicken or turkey can have as much as 25 grams of protein with little or no carbohydrates depending on how it’s prepared. Plus, if you’re on the high fat keto diet, then you can freely lather on butter, too.   Oh, this is so good…

Tip 2: Choose cauliflower as a grain-replacement.

Cauliflower is a keto-friendly substitute for many of the dishes you will find at Thanksgiving. Chopped cauliflower makes a fantastic rice substitute, and you can find a number of cauliflower stuffing recipes online! Never worry about missing mashed potatoes again because mashing up steamed cauliflower, adding some cream, a variety of cheeses, and butter makes for a delicious side dish.  And remember to check out those cauliflower fritters!

Here are two recipes that combine turkey and cauliflower. Cauliflower, spinach turkey meatballs – Original JAQUO recipe and HMS Turkey Cauliflower Meatballs

1 pound ground turkey
3 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and chopped
1 cup frozen cauliflower rice, defrosted
1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
2 egg
½ cup oats or bread crumbs
salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil, as needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. If mixture is too wet, add more oats or breadcrumbs.
Using wet hands form into 1 1/2″ meatballs
In a large pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil until hot but not smoking.
Add the meatballs and cook, turning once, until golden brown but not yet cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes total. Do not overcrowd the pan, if you need to cook in batches, do so.
Transfer meatballs to an oven safe baking dish and place in oven for 5 minutes (or until cooked through)
Serve with your favorite sauce such as marinara, gravy or alfredo.

Tip 3: Get fancy with your “charcuterie” skills.

Who doesn’t like a fancy cheese board as an appetizer? Create a delicious charcuterie of different cheeses and cured meats to impress your friends and family, while also satisfying your hunger for something delicious and filling! Cheese is a staple for the keto diet and is filled with the protein and fat you need to stay on track.

Tip 4: Say YES to cheesecake!

Have yourself a slice of homemade New-York style cheesecake. With main ingredients like cream cheese, butter, eggs, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla extract, you can whip up a keto-friendly, Thanksgiving cheesecake that will certainly be a hit. And remember to sweeten your cheesecake and any desserts with non-sugar substitutes such as Stevia or monk fruit, which are, keto-friendly sweeteners.

Here is a wonderful recipe to try:

HMS Easy Keto Cheesecake Recipe

1 store bought prebaked pie crust
24 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 ½  cups plain, full fat yogurt
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice, optional
⅔  cup erythritol (sugar or maple syrup also work for non-keto)
¼  cup almond flour
Berries to garnish


Add all ingredients, except store bought pie crust,  to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Spread filling on top of prepared crust.
Place in refrigerator and chill until firm.
Garnish with fresh berries right before service.

Tip 5:  Try freshly prepared Healthy Meals Supreme Keto desserts.

This year, I’m bringing my favorite Keto Pecan Pie Clusters. You heard me right! The Healthy Meals Supreme Keto Pecan Pie Clusters are a big hit in my family. With only 4 grams of net carbs, these are a treat worth saving some space for!

Final thought, if for some reason you don’t have the time, energy or interest in cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, but want to serve delicious and healthy meals you can always order from Healthy Meals Supreme. We have a great Keto menu, where everyone can indulge and enjoy. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Rosemary Turkey Breast

With Quinoa and Apple Slaw

Sweet n’ Sour Turkey Meatballs

With Cauliflower Rice and Keto Sauce


Wishing you a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving!

* Always check with your doctor or healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.

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