The RenalTracker Team
October 24, 2023

Thanksgiving is a time for gathering with loved ones and expressing gratitude. If you have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), you may wonder how to enjoy this special occasion while sticking to your kidney-friendly diet. The good news is that you can create a delicious and kidney-conscious Thanksgiving feast with some creativity and planning. 

A plate with the word happy thanksgiving on it.

In this blog, we will guide you through a kidney-friendly Thanksgiving dinner, complete with tasty recipes that support your kidney health.

Key Ingredients for a Kidney-Friendly Thanksgiving:


Choose a skinless turkey breast or a whole turkey with the skin removed to reduce sodium and fat content. Be mindful of portion control and aim for lean, protein-rich turkey, which benefits CKD patients.

A person is slicing a turkey with a knife to prepare a delicious meal.

Savory Side Dishes:

A white plate with food on it.

Create kidney-friendly versions of classic side dishes. For mashed potatoes, substitute regular and cauliflower or sweet potatoes, and use low-sodium chicken broth instead of salt. 

Swap traditional green bean casserole with lightly sautéed green beans seasoned with herbs and spices. These modifications allow you to enjoy the flavors while managing your sodium and potassium intake.

Green beans on a plate with a fork.

Flavorsome Stuffing:

A bowl of soup with vegetables and herbs on a table.

Prepare a kidney-friendly stuffing using whole-grain bread and low-sodium broth and incorporating kidney-safe ingredients such as onions, celery, and herbs for flavor.

Wholesome Salads:

Include kidney-friendly salads like a refreshing mixed greens salad with colorful vegetables, cranberries, and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Checkout the recipe for Cranberry Jelly Sauce here. 

A pitcher of cranberry sauce on a wooden cutting board.

Avoid high-potassium ingredients like tomatoes or avocados and choose kidney-healthy choices such as cucumbers or radishes.

Delectable Desserts:

A mason jar filled with fruit and whipped cream.

Indulge in kidney-friendly desserts like a pumpkin mousse made with low-fat cream cheese, canned pumpkin, and spices. 

Alternatively, try a fruit salad topped with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream for a satisfying yet kidney-conscious treat. Also checkout our blog about Kidney-friendly Snacks and Desserts for CKD.

Tips for a Successful Kidney-Friendly Thanksgiving:

A woman cutting a turkey at a thanksgiving table.

Portion Control:

Keep in mind that moderation is essential, even with kidney-friendly dishes. Remember to work with a registered dietitian or utilize our RenalTracker Avoid Dialysis Meal Planning Coaching Program to determine portion sizes that align with your needs.

A person cutting a turkey on a table.

Mindful Cooking Methods:

Opt for cooking techniques like baking, roasting, or grilling instead of frying. This helps reduce the need for added fats while still bringing out delicious flavors.

A thermometer is placed on top of a roasted chicken, accompanied by fruits to lower creatinine levels.


Stay hydrated throughout the day, a vital aspect of kidney health. Choose water, herbal teas, or other kidney-friendly beverages to accompany your meal.

Seek Support and Guidance:

Don't hesitate to contact your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for personalized advice and support. Consider joining our RenalTracker Avoid Dialysis Meal Planning Coaching Program, where you'll receive expert guidance and connect with others on a similar journey.

A group of people gathered around a turkey in the kitchen.


This Thanksgiving, you can savor the joy of the holiday while prioritizing your kidney health. Focusing on kidney-friendly ingredients and mindful cooking methods, you can create a flavorful Thanksgiving dinner that nourishes your body and soul.

Remember, you are not alone in your journey. RenalTracker's Avoid Dialysis Meal Planning Coaching Program provides expert guidance, support, and a wealth of kidney-friendly recipes. Embrace the spirit of gratitude and celebrate this special occasion with a kidney-friendly Thanksgiving feast that delights your taste buds and nourishes your kidneys.

Note: It is important to consult with your healthcare provider or registered dietitian before making any significant dietary changes, as individualized advice is necessary to ensure it aligns with your specific medical needs and any medication interaction considerations.


Kidney-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes - DaVita

A Kidney-Friendly Thanksgiving - National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii

Thanksgiving Feast Fit for People with Kidney Disease

Tips for a Kidney-Friendly Thanksgiving - Woodland International Research Group

[PDF] Thanksgiving Edition

[PDF] Kidney-Friendly Holidays

Thanksgiving From Start to Finish - Atlas Lifestyle