Thanksgiving usually starts the season of eating, and the traditional Thanksgiving dinner can be over 3000 calories.

As we prepare our Thanksgiving dinner, with a few simple changes we can help reduce the fat and calories without sacrificing any flavor!

Sous Chef Bryan Nader from Mercy Health Saint Mary’s will share some delicious and healthy recipes that are perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2 ¼ cup crushed windmill cookies
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  1. Mix your choice of crust ingredients and press into bottom of greased 9-inch spring form pan.


  • 3 (8oz.) packages fat free cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla at medium speed with electric mixer until smooth. Reserve 1 ½ cups of this mixture.
  3. To the remaining filling, add pumpkin and spices. Mix well.
  4. Spoon the pumpkin batter into the crust.
  5. Pour the reserved batter over the top of the pumpkin batter.
  6. Using a knife or wire whisk, create swirls in the batter for a marbled effect.
  7. Bake 50 to 55 minutes until the center is almost set.
  8. Allow the cheesecake to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then use a knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake from pan.
  9. Allow cake to cool completely before removing rim of spring form pan.
  10. Refrigerate before serving.
  11. Garnish with whipped cream.

Traditional: Calories 525, fat 20 grams

Revamp: Calories 300, fat 3.0 grams

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled, and cubed
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine sweet potatoes, oil, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
  3. Lay sweet potatoes out on a large baking tray, and place in the oven for 25-35 minutes or until tender.
  4. Remove from the oven and serve.

Traditional: Calories 450, fat 18 grams

Revamp: Calories 177, fat 7 grams

Mashed Cauliflower

  • 3lbs. cauliflower florets
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Steam cauliflower for 10 minutes or until soft.
  2. In a small skillet, melt 1 Tbsp. of butter and sauté the thyme and garlic until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. Put cauliflower, garlic mixture, oil, yogurt, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese into the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Serve.

Traditional: Calories 225, fat 18 grams

Revamp: Calories 61, fat 4 grams

Green Bean Casserole

For the topping:

  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. panko
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray

For the beans:

  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed and blanched
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 12oz. mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup nonfat evaporated milk


  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Combine the onions, flour, salt and panko in a small bowl.
  3. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread onion mixture on pan.
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Toss the onions 3 times while cooking. When golden remove onions from pan and turn the temperature down to 400 degrees.
  6. Melt the butter in a 12” cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  7. Add the mushrooms, 1 tsp. salt and pepper.
  8. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms begin to brown.
  9. Add the garlic, nutmeg and cook for 1 minute more.
  10. Sprinkle over the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
  11. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute.
  12. Decrease the heat to low and add the evaporate milk.
  13. Cook until the mixture thickens about 6-8 minutes.
  14. Remove from the heat and stir in ¼ of the onions and all the green beans.
  15. Top with remaining onions, place into the oven and bake until golden about 15 minutes.

Traditional: Calories 250, fat 14 grams

Revamp: Calories 110, fat 2 grams

Apple Pie

  • 1 package premade pie crust
  • 3lbs apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. quick cooking tapioca
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. apple butter
  • Non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt


  1. Place one sheet of the pie crust into a 9” pie dish, and crimp edges. Prick dough with a fork all over, and place into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and lined chilled crust with parchment paper and fill with dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, remove parchment and beans and bake for an additional 5 more minutes, or until pale golden. Cool on rack until needed.
  3. Toss apples with sugars, tapioca, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, ½ tsp. salt and lemon juice. Fold in apple butter and pour apple mixture into prepared crust.
  4. Use a knife cut the remaining sheet of pie crust into 1 ¾” strips, and arrange strips over the filling in a lattice pattern. Brush top of crust with nonfat milk and sprinkle with sugar.
  5. Place pie on a rimmed baking tray that has been lined with foil. Bake for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake until pie crust is golden and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack for 2 hours before serving. Serve with nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt.

Traditional: Calories 450, fat 16 grams

Revamp: Calories 290, fat 6 grams