Let’s get ready for the holiday season with some GAPS Diet Thanksgiving recipes!
When it comes to celebrating holidays on the GAPS diet, Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to merge traditional flavors of the season in nutrient dense dishes. Most of the traditional Thanksgiving recipes are easily adapted for a GAPS diet, Paleo diet, Primal diet, Keto diet, Low carb diet, etc.
All of these diets emphasize good protein, healthy fats and vegetables. Thankfully, Thanksgiving is the perfect time for a turkey and healthy fixings.
The last two years, we have celebrated a Paleo Thanksgiving, followed by a GAPS Thanksgiving. This year we will again be attempting a Full GAPS Thanksgiving meal (with possible Paleo modifications for our higher carb eating guests). I will write out as many recipes as possible, and link to others which I have yet to trial. Hopefully, with this guidance, this will be your one stop for everything GAPS diet Thanksgiving needs!
GAPS Diet Thanksgiving Turkey
The turkey is the main event at Thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful for in this regard, because roasting a Turkey is allowed in Stage 4 of the GAPS diet and above!
To prepare your turkey:
- Make sure your turkey is fully defrosted if it was bought frozen. This may take a day or two, depending on the size of the turkey.
- Prepare your turkey, by salting inside and out.
- Insert a few cloves of garlic between the skin and meat for optimal flavor.
- Add a couple stalks of celery to the cavity: this will made for delicious sauce.
- Roast at 400*F for 30 minutes, then lower to 325*F and continue roasting until done (approximately 20 minutes for every pound). The turkey is ready when a meat thermometer inserted reads 180*F degrees.
GAPS Diet Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, is again such a classic dish that is easily adapted for the GAPS diet. It is best to purchase fresh organic cranberries to make the cranberry relish.
Preparing GAPS Cranberry Relish
- Put one bag of cranberries (12 oz) into a saucepan with 1/2 cup water or fresh orange juice.
- Cook over low heat until cranberries burst and soften.
- As you simmer uncovered, add 1/2 cup honey to the mixture, to taste. (I will start with 1/2 cup, taste, and add more as necessary).
- The cranberry sauce is ready when it starts to thicken, around 10-15 minutes. You will see at the top it starts to stick to the edges of the pan. If it still seems too watery, don’t worry! The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
GAPS Diet Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe
Thanksgiving stuffing, otherwise know as Thanksgiving dressing, is where it starts to get complicated. Have no fear, we have a recipe my kids and all of our guests have loved. Obviously you will not be able to insert this into the turkey, but the flavors are on point!
- 4 cups onion, diced
- 2 ½ cups celery, diced
- 1 cup apple, cored and diced
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 cup almond meal
- 2 teaspoons sage (or 14 leaves fresh)
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Grease a medium-sized casserole dish.
- Warm saucepan and add oil. Then add onion, celery, apple and herbs and sauté over medium heat until slightly softened, appx. 5 minutes.
- Add vegetable mixture to casserole dish.
- Add almond flour and raisins to casserole dish and mix.
- Lightly beat eggs in a bowl. Then pour over casserole mixture, and lightly mix to combine.
- Bake at 350F for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Adapted from Mommypotamus.
GAPS Diet Pumpkin Soup
Truth be told, for the last couple of years, we have had a seasonal vegetable soup. Use any meat stock you have and add onions, leaks, squash, pumpkin, carrots, etc. Really vegetable soup is the catch all and with the right combination of vegetables, always comes out well.
If you prefer a traditional pumpkin soup, like the one I had growing up. Here’s our simple pumpkin soup recipe:
- 3 cups cooked pumpkin puree (=2 cans, can substitute squash)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 inch piece of ginger, chopped
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 Tbsp Ghee or oil
- 3 cups chicken stock
- sour cream (see instructions below)
- Cook your pumpkin, if using fresh. The easiest method is to roast it in the oven, but you can also peel and deseed.
- In your pot, heat up the oil and sauté the onions, followed by the ginger and finally garlic. (Careful not to burn the garlic).
- Add you pumpkin pieces if raw or puree, and the meat stock.
- Cook until soft, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove from heat and puree, or use an immersion blender.
- Serve with toppings. The pumpkin soup is really at its best when served with sour cream and chopped parsley.
Homemade Sour Cream:
To make home made sour cream, follow the same basic yogurt instructions, replacing cream for milk. In short:
- Heat up heavy cream to 180* F.
- Let cool to 115* F.
- Add your yogurt culture, and let sit at around 110* F for 24 hours. (You can use a yogurt maker, oven with pilot light on, or whatever your usual set up is.
Serving Suggestion: GAPS Biscuits
Growing up, biscuits were always served with our pumpkin soup for the first course of Thanksgiving. Here is a recipe for a GAPS compliant biscuit, which is absolutely delicious! We made them and they came out amazing!
GAPS Diet Green Beans
In our family, green beans were always served as is. That is with butter or oil and sometimes garlic or a nutty topping. This one is good for any diet you’re on.
If you’re interested in a green bean casserole recipe, you could try this one. But full disclosure- I haven’t tried it!
GAPS Diet Butternut Squash
As an alternative to Thanksgiving yams or mashed potatoes, our favorite side dish has become mashed butternut squash. It most closely mimics the taste of sweet potatoes, while still falling in line with the SCD limitations.
To make mashed butternut squash:
- Cut your butternut squash in half and deseed.
- Place cut side down in a baking pan and add a 1/4 inch of water.
- Roast at 400 degrees until soft. A knife inserted into the top part of the squash will easily come out.
- Let cool slightly, and then scoop out the contents of the squash.
- Mash with copious amounts of butter, salt and garlic powder to taste. Yum!
Note that this recipe is not low-carb, for those that are following a keto diet.
GAPS Pumpkin Pie
How could we write Thanksgiving recipes, without addressing dessert? A great GAPS idea would be baked apples (check your yellow book, or something like this), and coconut milk based ice cream. For today though, let’s focus on the pie.
We have tried many, many grain-free pumpkin pie recipes over the years. Every year I choose a different one to try, and somehow, just about any combination of ingredients comes out in the good to great spectrum.
Here’s one version of my GAPS Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, that is crustless, paleo, primal, but not low carb.
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (1 can)
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 Tablespoon gelatin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon*
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
*You can replace spices with 1 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice.
- Combine all of the ingredients and pour into a greased pie plate.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Timeline for Preparing your GAPS Thanksgiving Meal
As with every festive meal, I suggest, beginning your preparations a day or two before the big meal.
Monday or Tuesday:
- Shop for all of your ingredients! (List below)
- If you have a frozen turkey, move it to the refrigerator to defrost.
Wednesday– Day Before Thanksgiving Preparation:
- Prepare most sides, including:
- Cranberry sauce
- Mashed squash (potatoes, yams)
- Make sure your turkey is totally defrosted.
Thursday – Thanksgiving Day Preparation:
- Take your turkey out of the fridge and bring to room temperature.
- Mid morning, insert turkey into oven, depending on how long it will take to cook and when you intend on eating.
- Prepare your fresh vegetables: salad, green beans, anything else that is better eaten on the day it was cooked.
GAPS Diet Thanksgiving Shopping List
I went ahead and gathered all of the recipes in an easy to read printable, including the shopping list ! It’s almost like a mini e-book!
If you would like to download your own copy,
drop your email in the box below. Yes, you will be on my email list; but no, I don’t intend to email you anything other than this pdf for the foreseeable future. *We are temporarily switching email servers. In the meantime, drop me a note on the home page of this website and I will email you the pdf!