Kidney Diet Tips

Thanksgiving Throw-Back: Kidney-Friendly Thanksgiving Meal Suggestions

This week we’re revisiting a previous Thanksgiving post from November 26, 2014. These tips and kidney-friendly recipes may help you stay on track this Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Each year we follow some of the same traditions for Thanksgiving, but when times are more hectic shortcuts to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with family and friends are welcomed. Here are some kidney-friendly tips with quick, easy recipes for a Thanksgiving menu that can be enjoyed by all.

Turkey Tips

If you haven’t bought and thawed your bird, consider buying turkey parts to cook separately. You can purchase turkey breasts, thighs and legs to roast. Better yet, try one of these easy recipes for Roasted Turkey Breast with Salt-free Seasoning or Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Carrots and Cranberry Gravy. One advantage of fresh turkey parts over the traditional whole bird is the fresh meat is less likely to be brined or injected with sodium or phosphate additives so the meat is much lower in sodium.

Potato Tips

Potatoes are very high in potassium but not forbidden if you remove some of the potassium and watch your portion size. You can cut white or sweet potatoes into small pieces and soak several hours or overnight. Another quicker option is to double boil potatoes, an equally effective method to lower potassium. Keep portion within the recommended 1/2 cup size. Try Garlic Mashed Potatoes (instructions to lower potassium included), or Whipped Cauliflower and Potatoes. You can soak sweet potatoes or yams or substitute Carrot-Apple Casserole.

Looking for an alternative to potatoes? Try Autumn Wild Rice (Arroz Salvaje de Otoño).

Cranberry Tips

Cranberries are one of the lowest potassium fruits, making it the perfect choice for a kidney-friendly dish. DaVita dietitians created a collection of 13 low potassium cranberry recipes, including Cranberry-Apple Salad and Cranberry Salsa.  For a hot holiday beverage with cranberry juice try Hot Mulled Punch.

Stuffing Tips

Some people eat stuffing and others make dressing—either way this is one of the tastiest Thanksgiving dishes. Be careful with stuffing ingredients as the sodium can add up quickly. Choose the lowest sodium breads, broth and butter to make stuffing. Try Fresh Herb Cranberry Stuffing or Baked Stuffing, or make a rice-based stuffing with kidney-friendly ingredients.

iStock_000020733713Small_TG2014For more holiday eating tips read Holiday Eating Tips for People on Dialysis or visit past Kidney Diet Tips blog posts by searching “Thanksgiving”. Be sure to download the latest DaVita cookbook for more holiday recipe ideas.

Happy Thanksgiving!

DaVita Dietitian Sara and the Kidney Diet Tips Team.


This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.

Sara Colman, RDN, CDCES

Sara Colman, RDN, CDCES

Sara is a renal dietitian with over 30 years experience working with people with diabetes and kidney disease. She is co-author of the popular kidney cookbook "Cooking for David: A Culinary Dialysis Cookbook". Sara is the Manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita. She analyzes recipes and creates content, resources and tools for the kidney community. In her spare time Sara loves to spend time with her young grandson, including fun times together in her kitchen.