A healthier take on Thanksgiving

colorful toast brussel sprouts tomato turkey cupcake

Pinners may be trying to eat healthier these days, but that doesn’t mean they’re quitting comfort food cold turkey. They’re still craving richly satisfying foods and save 50m comfort food Pins every single day. However, we’ve noticed a shift in how Pinners think about “comfort food.” As we shared in a recent article with Food and Business News, Pinners are hungry for lightened-up, healthier takes on traditionally indulgent dishes. Think cauliflower ricebutternut squash fries and “zoodles” (also known as zucchini noodles).  

As our Thanksgiving search traffic picks up, we’re seeing the same trends carry over to holiday meal planning. Pinners want to serve up classics like mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, but they’re searching for healthier twists, too. Last fall Pinners saved 9,000 “healthy Thanksgiving” Pins per day and that search term is already up 233% this fall.

Clearly, Pinners don’t have to squash their cravings to plan the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. Here are a few ways Pinners are coming up with menus big on taste, but a tad lighter on calories. As you plan your Thanksgiving marketing, make sure to work some healthier food ideas into your holiday Pins.

Bite-sized indulgences

We’re seeing people reinvent classic entrees and side dishes as bite-sized appetizers that pack a flavorful punch on a smaller scale. Pinners love getting their comfort food fix in appetizer form, and searches for “Thanksgiving appetizers” are already up 369% year-over-year. Recipes like these casserole bitesbacon-wrapped brussels sprouts and red pepper deviled eggs are quickly picking up steam.

Reworked classics

“Vegan Thanksgiving” Pins are up 192% year-over-year, and we think some of that traffic comes from Pinners who simply want to eat a little healthier. Pins that swap out butter for lighter ingredients are gaining momentum. We’re seeing traffic climb for recipes that use coconut oil, olive oil and Greek yogurt. Some of the most popular vegan Pins so far: these vegan paleo pecan pie bars, this skinny corn casserole and this vegan green bean casserole.

Guilt-free desserts

Pinners aren’t skipping dessert, but many are looking for recipes that offer “skinny” takes on perennial favorites. Pins like these cheesecake bites and low-fat pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are picking up traction as Pinners start to plan their Thanksgiving feasts.

To take full advantage of the Thanksgiving opportunity, make sure to share Pins that play off of some of these trends. Check out our new creative guide for tips on making great Pins. Once you’ve set up your Thanksgiving advertising campaigns on Pinterest, keep an eye on your analytics to see what’s performing best. Promoting your high-performing Pins will help you reach even more Pinners as they dream up the perfect Thanksgiving menu.

—Stephanie Kumar, currently Pinning to Yum-Fun food