A Thanksgiving Menu For Everyone At the Table

Well, folks, I’d say this does it. When I asked the bees to come up with some Primal Thanksgiving fare, I caught the looks exchanged that suggested they saw it as a personal challenge. Now I only regret that I wasn’t there to personally sample and enjoy the results. (They didn’t save me any either.)

This week our very own Dr. Lindsay Taylor offered salient points on making a conscious T-Day plan whether you’re Primal or Primal-keto. Today the question may be answered you for you (and I’ll wager you’ll like the solution) with this full-on Primal (and mostly keto) menu. The bees have outdone themselves this time with a truly Grok-worthy Thanksgiving extravaganza. Check it out, and let us know which recipes are inspiring your holiday planning.

Primal Thanksgiving Menu:

Cheesy Keto Biscuits

Most of us grew up with bread as a staple. And breads—or, more likely, rolls and biscuits—at the holidays took on a special significance. Maybe a certain person in the family always made the best kind. Perhaps it was a long-time family recipe. Whatever the case, passing the breadbasket at the holiday table holds meaning for us still, even when we’ve forgone grains for the sake of better health.

All this said, there are ways to enjoy these “traditional” foods when it means the most to us. These cheesy keto biscuits are one such recipe. Hint: make a double batch—because you’ll be competing with the non-keto eaters for these goodies.

Nutritional Info (per serving):

  • Calories: 444
  • Carbs: 5.4
  • Fat: 36
  • Protein: 17

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Brussels sprouts often get a bad rap that has everything to do with poor cooking than inherent taste. The truth is, you don’t need to cook Brussels sprouts at all (but done well, they are amazing roasted, too), and this salad proves it.

Bacon is, not a surprise to anyone here, one of the best complements for Brussels sprouts—cooked or raw. Here the warm bacon added to the shredded leaves with tasty goodies like pecans and gorgonzola make this salad a hearty side. With the addition of a bacon vinaigrette dressing, you’re officially in Primal heaven.

Nutritional Info (per serving):

  • Calories: 309
  • Carbs: 6
  • Fat: 27
  • Protein: 10


“Primal” Style Roasted Turkey

As everyone knows, the turkey is the main event of the day—both in terms of preparation and enjoyment. Cooks spend hours prepping and basting with the hopes of a bird that puts the entire dinner crowd in awe. Guests wait in anticipation of the grand unveiling, not to mention the eating….

The end goal of every cook is succulent meat and a perfectly browned skin, but it can be a feat to balance. A “dry brining” process the day before and a creamy herb mix applied to the bird right before cooking offer a simple way to achieve the ultimate roasted look and juicy meat everyone will appreciate.

Scalloped Potatoes

For many people, potatoes are synonymous with Thanksgiving dinner. And while the carb count of potatoes suggests moderation is best, at the holidays many Primal types choose to fit tradition into their eating plan.

Mashed potatoes might be the go-to, but another flavorful option is scalloped potatoes. It’s the perfect complement for beef and ham, of course, but with the taste of traditional herbs like sage and thyme, you might have a new favorite dish for your holiday turkey meals as well.

This recipe uses coconut cream and ghee, but you can substitute regular whipping cream and butter if you tolerate dairy.


Nutritional Info (per serving):

  • Calories: 282
  • Carbs:42 grams
  • Fat: 11 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams

Keto Turkey Gravy

Among the best parts of slow roasting meat are the delicious drippings. Rich, savory and flavorful liquid gold… To discard it, we’d suggest, borders on criminal.

While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying drippings on their own, most of us grew up enjoying the creamy texture of gravy on meats and vegetables. For some, it’s an indispensable element in a real holiday meal. And there’s no reason to deprive yourself if gravy is your thing. Even if you’re living keto, this recipe keeps your commitment. Most of all, it feels and tastes like indulgence itself.

Nutritional Info (per serving):

  • Calories: 693
  • Carbs: .8 grams
  • Fat: 75 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams

Stovetop Un-Stuffing with Oysters 

Stuffing seems like it would be one of the hardest holiday recipes to adapt, but it’s really quite easy to capture the spirit of stuffing using only vegetables and herbs and spices, as in this oyster “un-stuffing” recipe from the new The Keto Reset Diet Cookbook.

(If you want a more traditional stuffing, add Primal “cornbread” such as this one from Mark’s Daily Apple to the recipe below. Simply cut the cornbread into chunks and stir them in gently when you add the oysters. For a keto option, check out this cornbread recipe from our friend Elana Amsterdam.)


  • 1 tablespoon Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil or fat of choice
  • 1 large daikon radish, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery with leaves, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, ghee or fat of choice
  • 1 pound mushrooms, stems removed and halved if small or quartered if large
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 (3-ounce) cans smoked oysters packed in olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken or turkey bone broth
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped


In a large skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium heat. Turn the heat down a smidge and add the daikon radish. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the turnips, onion, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are starting to become soft, but are not yet cooked through, about 5 minutes more.

Add the butter to the pan and let it melt. Bump the heat back to medium and add the mushrooms. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, thyme, sage, rosemary, marjoram, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the herb/spice mixture to the vegetables in the skillet. Stir well and cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes more.

Reserving the oil from the cans, drain the oysters and chop into smaller pieces if desired. Add the oysters and the oil to the pan. Add the broth, and stir well, scraping the pan to loosen any browned bits stuck on the bottom. Cook until the oysters are warmed through. Taste the radishes and turnips to make sure they are soft. If not, cook a few more minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a serving dish. Stir in the pecans and parsley (if using) immediately before serving. Serve warm

Nutritional Info (per serving):

  • Calories: 273
  • Carbs: 18 grams
  • Fat: 18 grams
  • Protein: 14 grams

Sweet Potato Pie

Second only to the bird itself is, for many people, pie. Not just any pie will do on this day. There’s a finely tuned range of tastes to be orchestrated, and the finale isn’t to be compromised. One classic variety, most will agree, is sweet potato pie.

While some recipes take this the way of confectionary, that doesn’t have to be the case. Pie, done well, doesn’t have to taste like candy. But there should be a light sweetness and, in this case, a rich, creamy texture. This recipe delivers on all fronts.

Nutritional Info (per serving):

  • Calories: 496 
  • Carbs: 50
  • Fat: 31
  • Protein: 8

Want more ideas for your celebration still? Check out our past recipes for simmered cranberry sauce, spicy sausage and squash dressing, maple roasted butternut squash, cranberry sweet potatoes, pie varieties, and more. Thanks for stopping in, everybody. The bees and I would love to hear your thoughts as well as your personal Thanksgiving favorites. Hope you’re having a great week.

TAGS:  cooking tips

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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