My job has been to bring the broccoli, rice, water chestnuts, cheese casserole to every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner for thirty years. As my eating habits developed into something more sustainable I became reluctant to make dishes with canned soups and processed cheese.
So when I proposed bringing another dish or modifying the beloved casserole I was met with “You can’t make that without Cheez Whiz!”

Whaddya think I said? “Wanna bet?”

Here is my recipe for Broccoli Cheese Casserole

1 large package frozen chopped broccoli cooked for 5 minutes or two large fresh bunches of broccoli steamed and chopped.

1 can cream of chicken soup.
I use Pacific brand and it is gluten-free.

One day I will change this ingredient to a dairy-free one. But this is good for now.

1/2 can sliced water chestnuts

2 tablespoons onion flakes

1 small jar Cheez Whiz
No! Not anymore.
Now I use a recipe by Leanne Vogel of Healthful Pursuit at
and it is wonderful. It is a healthier alternative made from cashews, nutritional yeast and butternut squash and tastes remarkably like cheese in this recipe.
Thank you Leanne. You saved Thanksgiving.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour and enjoy.

Do you have recipes that are traditions in your holiday gatherings that you no longer feel good about the ingredients and would love to convert to healthier offering?

Post them in the comments and let’s convert them together. Community is a great place to get suggestions and give suggestions. Converting comfort food to something more nutritious is one of my favorite things to do.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. We have so much to be thankful for every day of the year.