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Thyroid Friendly Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

Don't let your hypothyroid get in the way of the most anticipated meal of the year.
Thyroid Friendly Side Dishes for Thanksgiving
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Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and if you feel overwhelmed trying to decide which holiday recipes are best for your thyroid, you’re not alone. To take some pressure off, we shortlisted four thyroid-friendly side dishes to bring to your grandma/brother/neighbor’s table this year.

Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs

Recipe from Neeyaz Zolfaghari

These meatballs make a great appetizer or side for your holiday get-together! You could also slice them onto a sandwich with hummus or add them to a bowl of pasta with pesto. This recipe makes two dozen meatballs about 2” in diameter.


  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4-5 tablespoons chopped pistachios (more or less as you desire)
  • 1 cup finely chopped basil (best done in a food processor)
  • 2 lbs of ground turkey


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Cover a baking tray with foil and brush the foil with extra virgin olive oil.
  3. In one large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients by hand. Really mix and mash these ingredients together, so everything is nicely incorporated!
  4. Grab a few pinches of the mixture and begin to roll them into rounded balls about 2” in diameter. Use the length of your thumb as a rough measurement.
  5. Place the meatballs on the baking tray, giving 2-3” of space between each.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes total. After the first 10 minutes, flip them over, rotate the pan, and bake for another 10 minutes After another 10 minutes, use a knife to slice a little slit  in the center of each meatball, and bake for another 4-5 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and carefully place the meatballs on a serving tray decorated with fresh basil and powdered or finely chopped pistachios.

Apple-Cranberry Stuffing

Recipe adapted from AIP Expert Mickey Trescott

Is it even Thanksgiving without stuffing? Using cauliflower rice as the base, this blend of sweet holiday spice and tart flavors in this stuffing is the perfect grain-free substitute for a conventional stuffing.


  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • ¾ cup bone broth
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 4 cups cauliflower rice (approx. 2 heads cauliflower processed in a food processor)
  • 1 green apple, cubed
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon each of sea salt and cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bake sweet potatoes, cranberries, and bone broth in a large baking dish for 30 minutes.
  3. Add onion, celery, garlic, and rosemary to the pan and cook for 8 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Add olive oil and mushrooms to the pan and cook until the mushrooms are browned. Add in cauliflower and cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove sweet potato mixture from the oven and turn the heat up to 425 degrees. Stir in all ingredients, including the apple and spices, to the sweet potato mixture and cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes, top with pecans (optional), and serve warm!

Roasted Fall Veggies

Recipe from Paloma Health Coach Neeyaz Zolfaghari

Simple and versatile, a mix of roasted fall vegetables for holiday gatherings are the perfect way to get some thyroid-boosting vitamins on the table. We suggest butternut squash, yams, Brussel sprouts, and carrots, and you can customize to your liking!


  • 1 whole butternut squash, steamed and cubed
  • 1 whole yam, steamed and cubed
  • 1 lb of Brussel sprouts, cut in half and steamed
  • 6-8 large carrots, diced or sliced in half (french-fry length) and steamed
  • Lemon to squeeze over top
  • Chopped pistachios (more or less as you desire)
  • Finely chopped mint


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss all vegetables with cooking oil of your choice, paprika, salt & pepper.
  3. Roast for 25-30 minutes, keeping an eye on them throughout.
  4. When finished, place in a serving tray and squeeze lemon juice on top, sprinkle freshly chopped mint and ground pistachios.
  • Pro tip: pairs really well with whipped feta or ricotta cheese!

Simple Pumpkin Soup

Recipe adapted from Food Blogger Dana Shultz

Pumpkins, and especially their seeds, are rich in iron, which supports a healthy thyroid. Try this savory, 7-ingredient recipe for a holiday hit!


  • 2 sugar pumpkins
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons crushed walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Halve sugar pumpkins and scrape out all seeds and strings. Brush the flesh with oil and place face down on the baking sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the skin. Let cool once baked, then peel away skin and set aside.
  3. Add olive oil, onion, and garlic to saucepan and saute for 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients, including the pumpkin, and bring to a simmer.
  4. Transfer soup to immersion blender to puree the soup. Pour back into pot.
  5. Continue cooking over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes and taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve as is or drizzled with coconut cream and crushed walnuts.

Bonus! Save those turkey bones.

When the Thanksgiving holiday is said and done, there’s still nutritious goodness to be had. Save those turkey bones to make nutritious turkey bone broth. 

Widely considered a superfood, bone broth contains several minerals that your body requires such as magnesium, calcium, sulfur, and more. In addition, preliminary research suggests it may reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. Bone broth is also great for your digestive system, or what we like to call “the gut.” Research contends that to effectively heal thyroid disease, gut health must also be addressed in order to properly convert thyroid hormone T4 to T3, which regulates the speed at which the metabolism works.

So, get your bone broth on with step-by-step instructions here.


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Katie Wilkinson

Katie Wilkinson, previously serving as the Head of Content and Community at Paloma Health, fervently explores the nexus between healthcare and technology. Living with an autoimmune condition, she's experienced firsthand the limitations of conventional healthcare. This fuels both her personal and professional commitment to enhancing patient accessibility to superior care.

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