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Healthy Thanksgiving & Christmas Dinner Recipes (Low Fat)

Updated on March 8, 2011

Make a Healthy Holiday Meal

Turkey is actually one of the leanest and most healthy meats available. There's something to be thankful for! The key is to know how to cook it to its best advantage, without adding fat and calories. An easy way to do this is to roast your whole turkey, basting with low-fat or fat-free turkey or chicken broth instead of drippings, bake your stuffing separately, so it does not soak up any extra fat, and making a broth-based, rather than dripping-based gravy.

Low-Fat Roast Turkey


  • wooden skewers
  • undyed, unbleached cotton string
  • open roasting pan with rack
  • meat thermometer
  • aluminum foil


  • 1 14-lb fresh or thawed ready-to-stuff turkey
  • 2-3 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1-2 lemons, washed and halved
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • nonfat, zero-calorie cooking spray
  • 1 can low fat/fat free turkey or chicken broth


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Remove giblets and neck from turkey, rinse bird with running cold water and drain well. Place one onion quarter into neck cavity, fold neck skin over onion, and fasten to back with 1 or 2 skewers.
  3. Stuff body cavity with onion quarters, lemon halves, and fresh herb sprigs. Fold skin over opening, fasten with skewers. With string, tie legs and tail together.
  4. With turkey breast-side up, lift wings up toward neck, then fold under back of the bird so they stay put, and place thus on rack in large open roasting pan. Spray skin with cooking spray, and insert meat thermometer into thickest part of turkey, between breast and thigh, being careful the pointed end does not touch bone.
  5. Roast about 5 hours, basting every 45-60 minutes with fat-free turkey or chicken broth, as desired, and cover loosely with a tent of aluminum foil when bird turns golden.
  6. During the last hour of roasting, check temperature periodically. The turkey is done with the meat thermometer reaches 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, and the thickest part of the drumstick feels soft when pressed.

Low-Fat / Fat-Free Gravy


  • 5 cups low-fat or fat-free turkey or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt


In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Separately, in a small bowl, dissolve flour into water. Gradually whisk into the broth in saucepan, then add poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and celery salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.

How to Carve a Turkey - From The Joy of Cooking


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    • Bendo13 profile image

      Ben Guinter 

      10 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      What a great way to make two of the biggest meals people eat every year healthy!

      I hate when people ruin the nutritional value of foods with gravys and sauces... but this low fat version of gravy might be worth a shot!

    • Lela Davidson profile image

      Lela Davidson 

      13 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas

      Another great Hub. Maddie, I learn a lot from you!

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 

      13 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      I'll have mine with mashed potatoes, thanks.


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