Adventurous, Cancer-Fighting Thanksgiving Foods for All

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Indian Rice and Vegetable Casserole

Whether you’re hosting the Thanksgiving meal or contributing a dish or two to the feast, enjoy your traditional favorites, but this year, be adventurous. Try something new using colorful and tasty vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains or nuts.

You’ll make your friends and family who are trying to cut back on meat happy, plus serve up delicious dishes that are good for everyone’s health. And these plant-based foods provide cancer-fighting fiber, vitamins A and C and other phytochemicals.

Don’t know where to start? These are some of my favorite recipes from AICR that have your meal covered from start to finish:

Hors d’oeuvres

Spicy Pear Chutney – chutneys are colorful, light and pack a lot of flavor and are a nice change from cheese and crackers. Serve with whole-grain crackers, mini-pitas or baked corn chips

First course

Quinoa and Pomegranate Salad with Walnuts – here’s a colorful and refreshing starter that’s satisfying without being too filling. High fiber foods like quinoa link to lower risk for colorectal cancer.

Savory Pumpkin Soup – you can begin and end your meal with golden, seasonal pumpkin. This carotenoid-rich food is one that can help reduce risk for oral cancers.

Main Course

Indian Rice and Vegetable Casserole – this warmly spiced dish makes a stunning presentation. It includes edamame (green soybeans) for protein and fiber. Learn more about soyfoods and cancer in our Foods that Fight Cancer: Soy.


Square Apple Pie – this scrumptious dessert was a big hit with our recipe testers. It’s simple to make and the apples contain quercetin, a compound that can fight inflammation.

What are some of your favorite plant-based Thanksgiving recipes?


    Author: Alice RD

    Alice G. Bender, MS, RDN, is the Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR. She helps put the science of cancer prevention by providing tips and tools to choose nutritious and delicious foods. Alice has guided thousands of individuals to healthier lives through diet changes and choices.

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