29 Flexitarian Heart-Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Looking for heart-healthy Thanksgiving recipes that are also delicious? Try these 29 nutritious , dietitian-approved ideas.

A group of people sitting at a table full of food for Thanksgiving

Looking to have a heart-healthy Thanksgiving? Well, you’re in luck because you can easily get your fix of good-for-your-heart ingredients––including EPA and DHA omega-3s––with some careful menu planning.

This is my favorite time of year, when the air turns crisp and the holidays are around the corner––which means it’s time to start thinking about healthy holiday recipes. 

While Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday, I really love any excuse to get friends and family together for a meal. And I always want to bring the best heart-healthy recipes to the table.

Now, add these healthy-heart recipes to your Thanksgiving dinner menu, pronto!

A group of people holding up glasses to cheers one another while sitting around a table with food

Heart-healthy ingredients

If you’re looking to improve heart health, you’ll want to listen up. The omega-3s EPA and DHA have many health benefits, but I’m going to focus on one in particular, heart health. 

A study in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that higher EPA and DHA levels are connected with lower risk of heart disease.

That’s a huge deal and shows the importance of getting a consistent intake of these nutrients. Both EPA and DHA play an active role in heart health.

When it comes to how much EPA and DHA you need for heart health, this varies. To help lower risk of coronary heart disease in healthy adults, 500 milligrams (mg) has been found to be beneficial.

For prevention of coronary heart disease, though, you may want to consider a little more: 1,000 milligrams daily.

And a higher amount, upward of 1,000 mg daily, is connected with helping to lower blood pressure and benefitting triglyceride levels.

You can get EPA and DHA from food sources, as well as supplements. In just a second, I’ll go over some main sources now, plus heart-healthy Thanksgiving recipes to add to your holiday menu. These ideas are great for leftovers, too.

top down view of a slab of cooked salmon with grilled vegetables on a plate

Heart-healthy recipes with fish

Oily fish such as salmon, arctic char, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies offer EPA and DHA—and a good amount, too. And you can easily add these to your heart-healthy recipes for dinner.

Aim for at least two 3.5-ounce servings of cooked fatty fish each week.

If you’re looking for a higher omega-3 intake for heart-health benefits, you may want to increase that weekly amount and consider taking a supplement, as well. 

Now, go ahead and give these mouth-watering heart-healthy meal prep recipes a try:

1. Tangy Tuna Salad
from Jennifer Hunt, RD, at Jennifer Hunt Nutrition
Check out this recipe
top down view of an egg casserole in a round dish with a serving spatula
2. Casserole with Salmon
from my own kitchen
Check out this recipe
Gluten-Free Egg Casserole with Salmon, Dill, Basil and tomato
3. Corny Salmon Cakes
from Liz Weiss, RD, co-author of No Whine with Dinner
Check out this recipe
4. Spicy Southwest Sardine Bites
from Lauren Harris-Pincus, RD, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club
Check out this recipe
a large piece of cooked salmon with lemon wedges on top
5. Garlic Dill Baked Salmon with Lemon Herb Butter
from Kelli Shallal, RD, author of Meal Prep for Weight Loss
Check out this recipe
6. Homemade Salmon Bacon
from my own kitchen
Check out this recipe
homemade salmon bacon
three pies fresh out of the oven on a countertop

Heart-healthy recipes with eggs

Some foods are fortified with omega-3s. Often, however, the amount found in the final product is on the lower side—which is why you shouldn’t rely on such foods to deliver all your omega-3 needs. 

These foods can be fantastic inclusions in your diet to help you add a little more EPA and DHA to your day.

One food to consider: Certain eggs that offer EPA and DHA, thanks to special diets the chickens are fed. Sub in an omega-3-containing egg such as Eggland’s Best into an egg-containing recipe you love. 

These appetizer, side dish, and dessert ideas are all delicious. They make the best heart-healthy dinner recipes!

7. Roasted Garlic & Tomato Mini Crustless Quiche
from Jenna Braddock, RD, author of 200 Surefire Ways to Eat Well and Feel Better
Check out this recipe
8. Make-Ahead Corn Casserole
from Megan Byrd, RD, blogger at The Oregon Dietitian
Check out this recipe
9. Healthier Eggplant Parmesan
from All Recipes
Check out this recipe
10. Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
from my own kitchen
Check out this recipe
gingerbread cookies stacked on a plate
close up of an orange cranberry tart on a serving dish
11. Orange Cranberry Tart
from Judy Barbe, RD, author of Your 6-Week Guide to Live Best
Check out this recipe
12. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
from Stacey Mattinson, RD, at Stacey Mattinson Nutrition
Check out this recipe
13. Dairy-Free Orange Cake
from my own kitchen
Check out this recipe
top down view of a dried fig, goat cheese and apple galette cut into wedges
14. Dried Fig, Goat Cheese, and Apple Galette
from Elizabeth Ward, MS, RDN, author of Expect the Best 
Check out this recipe
15. Cheesecake with Blackberry Compote
from Klara Knezevic, RDN, CLT, co-author of Cooking with Food Sensitivities Survival Guide
Check out this recipe
16. Wild Blueberry Mini Cakes with Vanilla Icing
from my own kitchen
Check out this recipe
Wild Blueberry Greek Yogurt Miniature Cakes with Vanilla Drizzle Icing
bowl of homemade hummus with a side of veggie sticks and crackers

Heart-healthy recipes with olive oil

On its own, olive oil is one of the top heart-healthy fats. And some oils—such as Carlson Olive Your Heart—offer EPA and DHA.

This extra-virgin olive oil is blended with fish oil and provides an impressive 1,480 mg EPA and DHA per Tablespoon. You shouldn’t cook with it, though, so try it in a salad dressing or to drizzle on hummus.

Only a small amount of omega-3-containing olive oils can be use in cooking, and they typically offer fewer omega-3s for that reason.

You can substitute an omega-3-containing olive oil into any of these heart-healthy recipes that are easy: 

17. Homemade Hummus
from Dara Gurau, RD, at How to Eat
Check out this recipe
18. Basic Vinaigrette with 3 Variations
from Dixya Bhattari, RD, at Food, Pleasure & Health
Check out this recipe
19. Kale Italia Salad
from Jenna Braddock 
Check out this recipe
20. Broccoli Slaw Salad
from my own kitchen
Check out this recipe
a big bowl of raw parsnip salad topped with dates
21. Raw Parnsip Salad with Dates
from Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN, author of Vegetable Cookbook for Vegetarians
Check out this recipe
22. Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Stuffing
from Stacey Mattinson, MS, RDN, of Stacey Mattinson Nutrition
Check out this recipe
23. The Ultimate Almond Salad
from Julie Andrews, MS, RDN, author of The Brain Health Cookbook
Check out this recipe
24. Sage and Onion Lentil Loaf
from Pamela Fergusson, PhD, RD, owner of Pamela Fergusson Nutrition
Check out this recipe
a sweet potato casserole in a large white casserole dish with a serving spoon inside
25. Savory Sweet Potato Casserole
from Anne Mauney, MPH, RD, dietitian and blogger at fANNEtasticfood
Check out this recipe
26. Butternut Squash with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
from my own kitchen
Check out this recipe
roasted butternut squash with pomegranate vinaigrette
27. Grilled Acorn Squash Slices
from Monica Nedeff, RDN, blogger at The Traveling Dietitian
Check out this recipe
28. Garlic Parmesan Smashed Brussels Sprouts
from Emily Cooper, RDN, blogger at Sinful Nutrition
Check out this recipe
small pieces of bread topped with butternut squash and garnished with pomegranate arils
29. Ginger Butternut Squash Bread
from Jenna Braddock
Check out this recipe

Final thoughts

When it comes to planning a menu full of heart-healthy Thanksgiving recipes, you can absolutely do so. Use this list of good-for-your-heart recipes, and have a happy holiday!

This content was originally part of a partnership with the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED).


Looking for delicious, heart-healthy Thanksgiving recipes that are also delicious? Try these 29 nutritious ideas.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Which of these heart-healthy Thanksgiving recipes will you try first?

Holiday | Plant-Based Eating | Recipes (Organizational) |

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