Guilt-Free Thanksgiving Feast: Cara’s Thanksgiving

The holidays can be torturous for people trying to lose weight (that’s us!). So this Thanksgiving, we decided to make Weight Watchers-friendly recipes, and the results were DELICIOUS!

The menu consisted of:

Stuffing with Sage and Chives – 3 points per serving
Hungry Girl Great Garlic Miracle Mashies – 3 points per serving

and from Weight Watchers Magazine:
Classic Herb-Roasted Turkey – 4 points per serving (recipe below photos)
Lemony Brussels Sprouts – 2 points per serving
Orange-Cranberry Sauce – 2 points per serving

For a total of 14 points for an amazing Thanksgiving dinner.

Bread for stuffing

Chopped celery

Grated parmesan cheese

Chopped onions

Thanksgiving stuffing



CauliflowerBrussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts

Cranberry-orange sauce

Classic Herb-Roasted Turkey

prep 35 min | roast 3 hr 15 min | serves 10 + leftovers | make ahead 3 days

½ c finely chopped mixed fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, sage and chives)
2 small lemons
2 Tbsp light stick butter, at room temperature
2 tsp garlic paste
¼ tsp black pepper
1 (12 to 14-lb) fresh or thawed frozen turkey
1 tsp kosher salt
1 small onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 celery stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 c low-sodium chicken broth
Nonstick cooking spray

We had a blast making this. Call us weird, but we thought putting the herbs under the turkey skin was actually kind of fun. Anyway, on to the instructions…

Start by preheating the oven to 350°F and spraying a large roasting pan and rack with nonstick spray (we used olive oil spray). Take your herb mix, grated lemon zest and the juice of 1 lemon, butter, garlic paste and pepper and mix together to create the filling in a small bowl. You can make it ahead of time and chill it (for up to 3 days), but be sure to bring it back to room temperature before putting it on the turkey. Remove the stuff inside the turkey (neck, giblets, etc.), and throw those away. You won’t be needing that. Drain the juices from the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels. Lightly sprinkle some salt over the body, then gently slide your fingers under the skin to make room for the filling. Distribute the filling as evenly as possible under the skin on both breast halves and legs. Take your other lemon, and cut it into wedges. Put the lemon wedges, onion and celery in the body cavity. We highly recommend stuffing it; not only does it add flavor to your roasting bird, but then you don’t have to risk it falling and becoming a soggy mess (which may have happened to us a few Thanksgivings ago). The recipe says to close the cavities with metal skewers and to tuck the wings under the breast, although I don’t think we did this and it came out fine. But be sure to tie the legs together with kitchen string (our turkey came with fasteners). Place the turkey breast-side up on the rack, and add 1½ cup of broth to the roasting pan (you will need to add more as it cooks — just keep an eye on it and make sure the pan juices don’t evaporate). Baste with the pan juices every hour until your thermometer inserted 2 inches into inner thigh (without touching bone) reads 165°F, which should be about 3¼–3¾ hours. If the breast browns too quickly, cover it with tented foil. The recipe also says to transfer the turkey to a cutting board, tent with foil and let stand 20 minutes, but all of our side dishes were already done, so we went ahead and carved it. We opted to not have the gravy, but we kept the skin on so people had the option to have it or not.

per serving (1½ [1-ounce] slices each skinless white meat and skinless dark meat without gravy): 154 cal, 5 g total fat, 1 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat, 72 mg chol, 208 mg sod, 0 g total carb, 0 g sugar, 0 g fib, 25 g prot, 20 mg calc. PointsPlus value: 4

Tip: If you’re using a kosher turkey, you don’t need to add any salt. Kosher turkeys are bathed in kosher salt and then rinsed repeatedly with cold water, helping to season the bird, retain moisture and improve the texture.


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