Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Want to make healthier dessert recipes this year that still are delicious? Try one of the Thanksgiving dessert recipes suggested by our CHARGE Registered Dietitians!


Try this healthier apple crisp recipe on Thanksgiving this year! It packs a great serving of fruit and fiber and with the delicious crumble topping it will have your family going back for seconds! 


Apple Filling

  • 5 medium Gala apples, peeled (any kind of apple works)
  • 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup orange juice (option to sub water)

Crisp Topping

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (option to sub all purpose or guten-free flour)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (option to use coconut sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF and spray a 9×9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. You can also use a bigger casserole dish such as a 9×13-inch. Either will work.
  2. Prep apples by peeling and dicing into small pieces. Then transfer them to the bottom of the casserole dish and pour in orange juice and sprinkle on flour. Toss and set the mixture aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, mix together rolled oats, white whole wheat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Add in a stick of softened butter and use a fork (or your hands) to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it forms little crumbles.
  5. Evenly spread crumble topping over the apples in the casserole dish.
  6. Bake at 375ºF for 40 minutes or until the apple filling begins to bubble, the apples are at the desired consistency, and the crumble topping begins to brown.
  7. Serve with fresh whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serves 6.


Our second recipe is a pumpkin pie with less fat than traditional recipes but still is delicious! Pumpkin pie is already lower in fat and sugar than pecan or apple pie and is a great choice for holiday gatherings. 


For the dough:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. cold water
For the filling:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp each ground allspice, nutmeg and cloves
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1 cup fat-free evaporated milk
  • Whipped cream, optional
  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Using a fork, stir in oil and butter until dough is crumbly. Gradually add enough water until dough holds together. Roll out between sheets of waxed paper into an 11-in. circle. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove top sheet of waxed paper; invert crust into a 9-in. pie plate. Remove the remaining waxed paper. Trim and flute edge. Chill.
  3. Roll dough scraps to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a 1-in. leaf-shaped cookie cutter. Place on an ungreased baking sheet; bake at 375° for 6-8 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the egg, egg white, sugars, salt and spices until smooth. Beat in pumpkin. Gradually beat in milk. Pour into crust. Bake at 375° for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Garnish with leaf cutouts. If desired, top with whipped cream. Refrigerate leftovers. Serves 8.


Making a Thanksgiving dessert is easier than ever with an air fryer! Try these healthier apple fritters that are just as delicious as the traditional recipe with a scrumptious brown butter glaze!


  • Cooking spray
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup 2% milk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1.5 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 medium Honeycrisp apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cups butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon 2% milk


  1. Preheat air fryer to 410°. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add milk, eggs, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; stir just until moistened. Fold in apples.
  2. Line air-fryer basket with parchment (cut to fit); spritz with cooking spray. In batches, drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls 2-in. apart onto parchment. Spritz with cooking spray. Cook until golden brown, 5-6 minutes. Turn fritters; continue to air-fry until golden brown, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Carefully cook until butter starts to brown and foam, 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract to browned butter; whisk until smooth. Drizzle over fritters before serving. Makes 15 servings.

CRAN-Apple praline gingerbread

  • Try out this cran-apple praline gingerbread made by pouring a spice-rich batter over apple and cranberries in a creamy caramel sauce. Invert it when done baking for a beautiful holiday dessert!


  • 2/3 cup fat-free caramel ice cream topping
  • 2 medium tart apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tbsp. molasses
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. apple pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup hot water
For the yogurt cream:
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat whipped topping
  • 1/2 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt


  1. Coat a 9-in. round baking pan with cooking spray. Pour caramel topping into pan and tilt to coat bottom evenly. Arrange apples and cranberries in a single layer over caramel.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add egg; mix well. Beat in molasses and applesauce (mixture may appear curdled). Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, pie spice and salt; add to butter mixture just until moistened. Stir in hot water.
  3. Pour over fruit; smooth top. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Combine whipped topping and yogurt; serve with gingerbread. Serves 8.
For more tips and dietitian approved recipes, schedule a meeting with a Charge Registered Dietitian today to create a personalized plan that works for you.
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