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Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for a Thanksgiving Feast

Diabetes-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes

Seniors living with diabetes can enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner traditions using these 4 recipes for healthier versions of classic dishes.

There’s no reason for diabetes to wreck Thanksgiving dinner. Seniors with diabetes can enjoy classic holiday foods with these healthy recipes.

Thanksgiving dinner features classic holiday foods like stuffing, turkey, and pie. For many with diabetes, common Thanksgiving recipes pose a problem. These healthier recipes keep tradition alive.

Entrée: Orange Rosemary Turkey


  • 12 lb Roaster Turkey
  • ¾ Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp Parsley
  • 2 Tbsp Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Orange Peeled and Sliced


  1. Clean and dry turkey before releasing skin.
  2. Mix all ingredients except for orange. Rub under and over turkey skin.
  3. Place orange slices under skin without tearing skin.
  4. Put turkey in pan and add water to a ½ inch depth.
  5. Roast turkey in oven at 325 degrees for 3-4 hours or according to package instructions.
  6. Cover the turkey if it is browning more than preferred.
  7. Let turkey sit 10 minutes before slicing.

Recipe From: Diabetic Connect

Appetizer: Waldorf Salad


  • 2 Cups Crushed Pineapple
  • 2 Chopped Pears or Apples
  • ½ Cup Sliced Celery
  • ½ Cup Seedless Grapes (Halved)
  • 2 Sliced Kiwis
  • 1/3 Cup Fat-free Dressing
  • 1/3 Cup Fat-free Yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Toasted Walnut Pieces
  • Kale or Lettuce


  1. Toss all solid ingredients together.
  2. Stir together liquid ingredients separately.
  3. Fold solid mix into liquid blend.
  4. Chill for 6 hours and serve with kale or lettuce.

Recipe From: Diabetic Living Online

Side Dish: Wild Rice Stuffing


  • ½ Cup Wild Rice
  • ¼ Cup Brown Rice
  • 1 ¾ Cup Water
  • 1 Tsp Chicken Bouillon Powder
  • ¼ Tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Cups Fresh Sliced Mushrooms
  • ½ Cup Chopped Celery
  • 1/3 Cup Sliced Onion
  • ½ Cup Pine Nuts


  1. Rinse uncooked rice in strainer. Place rice, water, bouillon, and nutmeg in pot.
  2. When rice pot boils, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add vegetables to rice pot. Cook covered over medium-low for 25 minutes.
  4. Stir frequently, adding nuts when vegetables are soft. Serve immediately.

Recipe From: Diabetic Living Online

Dessert: Sugar-free Apple Pie


  • 12 oz Unsweetened Apple Juice Concentrate Thawed
  • 3 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 6 Cups Thinly Sliced Apples
  • 2 Pie Pastry Shells (9 Inch)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk 1/3 cup of juice with cornstarch and cinnamon.
  3. Simmer apple slices and remaining apple juice in saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in cornstarch mixture, cooking five more minutes.
  5. Set aside to cool and place pie pastry shell in baking dish.
  6. Add apple mixture and place second pie shell over top, cutting a few slits in the top crust piece.
  7. Bake 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Recipe From: Sunrise Senior Living

Enjoy the leftovers:

Make a Sandwich The turkey can be combined with either the salad or stuffing on low-carb bread for a tasty lunch.

Have Turkey Salad This leftover turkey can be enjoyed on a bed of greens with orange slices and walnuts.

Bake Mini Pies Divide the crust into mini pie dishes for individual servings. Freeze

Did You Know?

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. You can find many recipes and helpful hints for diabetic care online and in the media throughout the month. Since turkey is low-carb lean protein, it’s often on the “should-eat” list.

Home Care Tip:

If a senior is far from family or friends on Thanksgiving, prepare a turkey breast and small side servings instead. This keeps the tradition alive without exacerbating feelings of loneliness or creating excessive leftovers.

Ted Wolfendale

Administrator at Dial-a-Nurse
Mr. Wolfendale is a graduate of Stetson University, and Stetson University School of Law, and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1988. He is admitted to practice in the Middle district of Florida, is an active member of the Florida Health Law section, and Lee County Bar Association.

In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.
Ted Wolfendale