Our Best Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for the Holidays (2024)

Published: • Modified: by Charlotte• This post may contain affiliate links •3 Comments

Our best collection of diabetes-friendly holiday recipes perfect for people with diabetes. Holiday meals don't have to mean blood sugar spikes.From appetizers to desserts try our healthier options the whole family will love!

Our Best Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for the Holidays (1)

This post originally published October 2019, now updated with new pictures and tips on holiday eating with diabetes. Be sure to check with your diabetes care team for guidance with your carb goals and proper meal planning during the holiday season for healthy blood sugar levels.

One of the keys to healthy eating during the holidays is proper portion sizes. Be sure to keep your measuring tools handy and check your meal plan in case you are unsure. It's a wonderful time of year when everyone expects delicious food. Here's the good news- the following healthy recipes are diabetic-friendly alternatives the whole family will love!

Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Recipes

Jump to:
  • Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Recipes
  • Holiday Appetizers
  • Holiday Salads
  • Healthy Entrees
  • Delicious Side Dishes
  • Diabetes Friendly Desserts
  • More Resources with Holiday Recipe Ideas, Tips
  • Comments

Holiday Appetizers

Appetizers don't have to be a carb disaster! Try cut up veggies in place of chips. Use lower fat sour cream in your dip recipe- no one will notice the difference. Check out our group of lower carb appetizers you will love!

Easy Cheese Ball Recipe

This easy cheese ball recipe with cream cheese, bacon, and green onions takes just 10 minutes prep! See how to make a bacon cream cheese cheese ball ahead for an effortless, impressive appetizer. 159cal/1gm carb. via wholesomeyum.com

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Our Best Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for the Holidays (2)

photo courtesy wholesomeyum.com

Marinated Mozzarella Balls

Marinated mozzarella balls seasoned with herbs and olive oil make a great appetizer or low carb snack. Make it ahead for best flavor!

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Green Goddess Stuffed Mushrooms

Pick big, plump mushrooms for this tasty and crowd-pleasing appetizer that’s also low carb and well-balanced. 196cal/8gm carb via ketocookingwins.com

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Our Best Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for the Holidays (4)

photo courtesy ketocookingwins.com

Antipasto Skewers

Use fresh rosemary to make antipasto skewers! Gorgeous appetizers featuring cheese, artichokes olives and sausage. Low carb, diabetes friendly and ready in just a few minutes.

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Low Carb Turkey Roll-Up

Low carb turkey roll ups ready in minutes! Use honey mustard or cream cheese for a satisfying on the go lunch. Makes a great party appetizer too!

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Holiday Salads

Salads can be the perfect meal during the holidays. Bring a lower carb leafy green salad to your next event and how easy it is to get a satisfying meal full of flavor!

Keto Broccoli Salad

This crunchy and colorful keto broccoli salad makes the perfect picnic side dish or light lunch. Veggies, bacon, sunflower seeds and cheese coated in a creamy dressing-it's ready in about 15 minutes!

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Cornbread Salad

A crowd-pleasing recipe full of delicious veggies! Layers of peppers, onions, peas, cornbread and ranch dressing makes a great dip or side dish.

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Picnic Tomato Caprese Cups

The perfect make ahead picnic salad recipe. The delicious flavors of caprese salad come together in a snap.

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Healthy Entrees

Entrees are usually protein-based, so you shouldn't have to worry of carb overload. Try simple cooking techniques such as baking and roasting instead of frying for a lower calorie meal. You will want these low carb options in your recipe box for holiday events and special occasions!

Simple Herb Roasted Spatchco*ck Chicken

Herb roasted spatchco*ck chicken is packed with rosemary, thyme, and garlic, and paired with lemon herb gravy. It is juicy, savory, and gorgeous looking for your holiday table! 679cal/10gm carb via iheartumami.com

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Our Best Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for the Holidays (10)

photo courtesy iheartumami.com

Healthy Baked Salmon

An easy and elegant healthy baked salmon recipe featuring butter and seasonings. Salmon is a good source of nutrients-and tastes great! Step by step photos and easy instructions.

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Rotisserie Chicken Recipe

Why pay for a salty, fat laden rotisserie chicken when you can have fun making your own? Step by step rotisserie chicken recipe instructions included!

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Asparagus Stuffed Chicken

This Asparagus Stuffed Chicken is the perfect main dish for your next holiday dinner! Elegant and classy, it is also healthy and delicious! 287cal/5gm carb via dancingthroughtherain.com

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Our Best Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for the Holidays (13)

photo courtesy dancingthroughtherain.com

Broccoli Turkey Casserole

Low carb broccoli turkey casserole full of egg and cheese goodness. Use your leftover turkey for a family favorite meal that's ready in about 30 minutes!

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Delicious Side Dishes

Our delicious side dishes pair perfectly with your main dish. Be careful with side dishes as this is where calories and carbs can really add up! Look for veggie options like leafy green salads and breads made with lower carb flour or simply go bread-free.

Jiffy Cornbread Dressing

Cornbread dressing is a side dish you can enjoy year round- not just for holidays! This recipe features some great time savers -Jiffy cornbread mix and pre-chopped veggies. Southern cornbread dressing in half the time.

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Herb Sausage Stuffing

A Low Carb and Keto friendly version of stuffing with cubes of herbed bread and ground sausage makes a perfect edition to your Thanksgiving feast! 435cal/7gm carb via ketocookingchristian.com

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Our Best Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for the Holidays (16)

photo courtesy ketocookingchristian.com

Cheesy Roasted Asparagus

Delicious roasted asparagus covered in melted cheese! Quick and easy asparagus recipe perfect for weeknights or special occasions.

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Sweet Potato Casserole Cups - Reduced Sugar

Sweet potato casserole with all the flavor and less sugar makes a great make ahead diabetes friendly side dish. Bake in muffin cups for easy portion control.

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Roasted Balsamic Green Beans

Fresh green beans tossed with cooking oil, seasonings, and balsamic vinegar then quickly baked in the oven at a higher temperature until tender, slightly caramelized and crispy around the edges. {vegan, paleo, gluten-free, whole30} via therisingspoon.com

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Our Best Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for the Holidays (19)

photo courtesy therisingspoon.com

Easy Cinnamon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

These mashed sweet potatoes are sure to be a crowd favorite. They have just the right amount of sweetness and lots of flavor. 130cal/20gm carb via wickedspatula.com

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Our Best Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for the Holidays (20)

photo courtesy wickedspatula.com

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Recipe in the Oven

If you are looking for a flavorful side dish that everyone will rave over, this is the one. This bacon-wrapped. asparagus is simple to make and leaves a lasting impression. 202cal 3gm carb via wholesomeyum.com

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Our Best Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for the Holidays (21)

photo courtesy wholesomeyum.com

Green Beans in a Can Recipe

Our very favorite green beans in a can recipe! Perfect for weeknights or holidays - this recipe perks up plain canned green beans into a family favorite. Ready in about 15minutes.

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Our Best Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for the Holidays (23)

Diabetes Friendly Desserts

You won't miss the carb-heavy ingredients when you try our selection of sweet treats! Be sure to follow directions carefully if you are new to cooking with sugar substitutes. The results will be worth it! Check out these diabetic-friendly desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth and don't forget that fresh fruit in moderate portions makes a great addition to the holiday dessert table.

Diabetes Friendly Coconut Pie

Enjoy a sugar free crustless coconut pie at your holiday meal or anytime! Featuring low carb baking mix for a diabetes friendly treat!

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Foolproof Rich Chocolate Mousse

Foolproof Rich Chocolate Mousse is intensely rich and delicious. Using dark chocolate and vanilla bean paste in place of sugar your guests will over the moon with this delicious, make ahead dessert! via fabfood4all.co.uk

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Our Best Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for the Holidays (25)

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

A healthy ricotta cheese dessert recipe the whole family will love. Each diabetes friendly cheesecake contains 19gm carb. It's the perfect way to enjoy sweet potatoes year round.

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No Crust Cheesecake

Enjoy a delicious no crust cheesecake the whole family will love! The smooth and creamy texture makes a satisfying lower carb dessert.

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Easy Pumpkin Recipe: No Bake Pumpkin Fluff Dessert

The quickest and easiest pumpkin recipe ever! You will love Pumpkin Fluff as a dip or a pie filling and it's perfect for all your Fall and holiday parties. 5 ingredients and ready in 5 minutes.

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Remember, don't let extra calories hamper your healthy resolutions! Taking a brisk walk after a big meal is a great way to help blood glucose control (check with your health care provider and get approval). You can still enjoy a healthy meal the entire family will love.

More Resources with Holiday Recipe Ideas, Tips

  • Healthy Diabetic Thanksgiving Recipes- A nice array of holiday recipes for you from the Eating Well website. These recipes offer nutrition info so you can properly assess your carb intake. Nice work.
  • A Diabetes Friendly Thanksgiving Feast- Another set of traditional recipes with nutrition info. The recipes here sound great-check them out!
  • 7 Easy Ways to Cut Carbs at Mealtimes
  • Top 10 Comfort Foods Made Diabetes Friendly

More Diabetes Diet

  • Egg Roll in a Bowl
  • Low Carb Breakfast Without Eggs
  • Overnight Oats for Diabetics
  • Chicken Muffins

Reader Interactions


  1. Camilla Hawkins

    What a delicious collection of diabetes friendly recipes. Thank you for including my chocolate. mousse 👌


    • Charlotte

      Hi Camilla,
      You're welcome-thanks for sharing your recipe!


  2. Kathryn

    Thanks for recipes and ideas-can I ask a favor-
    do you have a recipe for shortbread cookies?
    I had one that used Splenda -was a great recipe but lost it when I moved-was a family favorite-.
    Would appreciate any help for cookies and any other treats you may have.
    Thanks ,


Leave a Reply

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Our Best Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for the Holidays (2024)


What can diabetics eat during the holidays? ›

Whole Grains and Starchy Fruits and Vegetables

Therefore, it's vital to stock your holiday table with the healthiest carb options possible. Healthy carb options to choose include starchy fruits and vegetables like apples, blueberries, sweet potatoes, corn, pumpkin, and black beans, according to the ADA.

What would be a healthy meal for a diabetic? ›

Start with a 9-inch dinner plate (about the length of a business envelope): Fill half with nonstarchy vegetables, such as salad, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and carrots. Fill one quarter with a lean protein, such as chicken, turkey, beans, tofu, or eggs. Fill one quarter with carb foods.

What are two menu items that might be appropriate for people with diabetes? ›

With portion size in mind, a person with diabetes can include:
  • canned tuna, salmon or sardines.
  • low-salt deli meats, such as turkey and chicken.
  • hard-boiled eggs.
  • salads with a side dressing.
  • low-salt soups and chili.
  • whole fruit, such as apples and berries.
  • cottage cheese.
  • plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt.
Apr 23, 2019

What are 2 list 3 suggestions for a type 2 diabetic while eating out? ›

Scan the menu for steamed or boiled dishes like steamed rice, noodles with vegetables, grilled meat and fish dishes. Get into the habit of ordering extra side dishes of salad and vegetables and ask for any dressings to be served on the side. Most places are happy to do this.

What can diabetic eat unlimited? ›

Non-starchy vegetables are typically one food choice you can eat in unlimited amounts. Load up when you can to help to keep you full. Sweets: The American Heart Association suggests that the max amount of added sugars per day be limited to: Men: 150 cal per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons).

What are the three meals for diabetics? ›

Eating a carbohydrate-rich breakfast followed by a substantial lunch and a small dinner — the so-called "three-meal diet" (3Mdiet) — promotes weight loss and significantly improves glucose control in type 2 diabetes, a randomized, controlled trial suggests.

What is the most important meal of the day for a diabetic? ›

Eating a healthy breakfast is important for everyone, especially for people who have diabetes. A morning meal can help keep blood sugar steady throughout the day.

What is the best dessert for a diabetic to eat? ›

Diabetes and Sweets
  • Fresh, seasonal fruit dipped in yogurt. ...
  • Low-carb coconut macaroons. ...
  • Angel food cake topped with sugar-free whipped cream. ...
  • Frozen grapes and frozen banana slices. ...
  • Grilled fruit topped with sugar-free whipped topping. ...
  • Sugar-free carrot cake. ...
  • Keto chocolate cake. ...
  • Mascarpone & pineapple cheesecake.

What is the biggest meal of the day for diabetics? ›

How should a person with diabetes start the day? Eat a big breakfast. Eating a large meal in the morning and smaller meals for lunch and dinner may promote weight loss, lower glucose levels, and decrease daily insulin dose in people with type 2 diabetes and obesity, according to a 2022 review.

What sandwich meat is good for diabetics? ›

Other: Processed sandwich meats with less than 1 gram fat or less/ounce, such as:
  • deli thin, shaved meats.
  • chipped beef, turkey ham.
  • egg whites (2)
  • egg substitutes, plain.
  • hot dogs, fat-free.
  • sausage, fat-free or less than 1 gram fat/ounce.
Dec 13, 2018

How can I flush sugar out of my system fast? ›

Drinking plenty of water helps your kidneys flush out excess sugar. One study found that people who drink more water lower their risk for developing high blood sugar levels. And remember, water is the best. Sugary drinks elevate blood sugar by raising it even more.

What type of fast food can a diabetic eat? ›

Best Fast Food Choices for Type 2 Diabetes
  • Whole grain tortillas.
  • Fajitas.
  • Guacamole.
  • Grilled steak, shrimp, fish, or chicken.
  • Sauteed vegetables.
  • Cooked, whole black beans.
  • Taco salad without the shell.
Jan 17, 2023

What can a Type 2 diabetic eat to bring sugar down? ›

Eating protein — from meat and fish, tofu, nuts, eggs, and cheese — with carbs can slow that flow of glucose and help stabilize blood sugar. “Proteins hold back the sugars, slow them down, and then release them into the bloodstream slowly so that your blood sugar stays in a more normal range,” O'Meara says.

What are 3 food items a diabetic should limit or stay away from? ›

You limit dairy products, red meat, sweets, added sugars, sodium (salt), and highly processed foods. Some additional guidelines include focusing on seasonal produce and reading food labels to help you avoid added sodium and sugar.

How do you manage diabetes during the holidays? ›

7 Tips to Stay on Track with Your Diabetes Management During the Holidays
  1. 1: Prioritize Self Care.
  2. 2: Bring a Healthy Dish to Share.
  3. 3: Avoid Skipping Meals.
  4. 4: Practice Mindful Eating Over Mindless Eating.
  5. 5: Plan Out Your Plate.
  6. 6: Think About Your Drink.
  7. 7: Move After the Meal.

Can diabetics eat Christmas dinner? ›

Eating at Christmas is part of the fun, and there's no need to completely miss out on certain foods. But a healthy diet is important for managing diabetes and having healthier versions of classic Christmas dishes is a good way to enjoy food, whilst also looking after your diabetes.

What Thanksgiving foods can diabetics eat? ›

  • 01 of 19. Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes. View Recipe. ...
  • 02 of 19. Persian-Style Butternut Squash Soup. ...
  • 03 of 19. Herb-Roasted Turkey. ...
  • 04 of 19. Balsamic Roasted Carrots. ...
  • 05 of 19. Honey-Glazed Roasted Delicata Squash. ...
  • 06 of 19. Wilted Kale with Warm Shallot Dressing. ...
  • 07 of 19. Roasted Honeynut Squash. ...
  • 08 of 19. Cranberry Crumble Bars.
Oct 31, 2023

What should diabetics avoid at Thanksgiving? ›

Many Thanksgiving dishes are carbohydrate-heavy, posing a danger for people with diabetes. It's not just sugary desserts to be wary of: Even side dishes like cranberry sauce are usually not diabetes-friendly. And, as Dr. Barry points out, people with diabetes might also have high blood pressure and high cholesterol.


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