Allergy Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes
Pull up a chair. Pick up a fork. Dinner is served. Welcome to holiday recipes created with your special diet in mind.
As a a Type 1 diabetic and a celiac who’s been living gluten free for over ten years, I’m painfully aware of the special-diet frustration surrounding Thanksgiving’s traditional fare. Years of saying “No, thank you” to aromatic breads and stuffing, gravy and pies prompted my mother, my sister and me to create delicious replacements.
The effort took considerable trial and error in the kitchen but we finally struck gold and got it right. My mother altered my grandmother’s stuffing recipe and adapted the turkey gravy. My sister Rosie (her daughter is a celiac and her son, who has autism, is following a gluten-free, casein-free diet) selected and roasted the turkey. My other sister Lisetta (a celiac who cannot eat dairy, eggs or cane sugar) flew in from out of town to feast and bear witness to our culinary success.
Today, our Thanksgiving gathering of family and friends is a scrumptious celebration—without gluten, dairy, corn, soy, rice, nuts or eggs. This menu honors the best of Thanksgiving without sacrificing flavor, texture, nutrition—or tradition. For me, that’s one big reason to give thanks.
Squash Carrot Soup with Crispy Kale
SERVES 6 TO 8
Rich, creamy and flavorful, this soup can be made up to two days in advance. Prepare the garnish of crispy kale an hour or so before serving.
1 bunch kale, washed, patted dry, stems removed, leaves chopped into large pieces
5-7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 large garlic cloves, smashed and minced
¼ teaspoon dried thyme or 3 sprigs fresh thyme, stems discarded, leaves minced
2 bay leaves
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, diced
- Dash salt and pepper
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 pound carrots, cleaned and chopped
4 cups gluten-free chicken broth
1½-2 cups water
1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place chopped kale on prepared cookie sheet. Drizzle with 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt. Gently toss kale so that it’s evenly coated with oil and salt and then spread it over the cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Toss and bake for an additional 5 to 8 minutes or until slightly golden and crispy. Keep an eye on it; kale can overcook quickly once it becomes crispy. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. Place 3 tablespoons olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for approximately 2 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaves, diced apple, salt and pepper and sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Add squash and carrots and continue to sauté another 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and 1½ cups water. Reduce heat to a low simmer and let cook 25 to 30 minutes or until carrots and squash are tender.
4. Remove soup from heat. Puree soup with a hand-held blender or in small batches in a blender. (Be careful when handling hot liquids in a blender.) If soup is too thick, thin to desired consistency with additional water or stock. Add apple cider vinegar. Check seasoning and adjust salt and vinegar, to taste. Return soup to saucepan and reheat on low heat, if necessary. Serve soup hot, topped with crispy kale.
Each serving contains 203 calories, 10g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 94mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 5g protein.
Holiday Turkey with Herbal Rub
Successfully preparing a delicious turkey takes some time and attention but it’s well worth the effort. And it’s not difficult. Once you’ve selected your bird, follow these simple steps for mouthwatering results. The herbal rub can be made up to two days in advance.
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce*
1 tablespoon dry white wine
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, stems discarded, leaves chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, stems discarded, leaves chopped
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-1½ cups gluten-free chicken stock or water
1 turkey, approximately 15 pounds
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put oven rack in lowest position.
2. To make the rub, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, wine and molasses in a small mixing bowl. Add herbs, onions, garlic and salt and blend together.
3. Drizzle the rub over the turkey, using your hands to make sure bird is evenly covered. Then separate the skin from the breast meat by fitting your hand under the skin starting at the bottom cavity. Spread a generous amount of rub in between the turkey skin and breast.
4. Place the turkey in the center of a large, greased roasting pan, breast side down. Add 1 to 1½ cups water or chicken stock to the bottom of the roasting pan. (If you want breast side up for serving, turn the turkey over 20 to 30 minutes before it’s done to brown.)
5. Place turkey in preheated oven and bake according to instructions, approximately 20 minutes per pound. An unstuffed turkey weighing from 14 to 18 pounds will cook for 3¾ to 4½ hours. (Cooking time will be longer if turkey is stuffed.) After 60 minutes, begin basting with pan drippings. Continue to baste every 30 minutes. Once an hour, baste inside the cavity, as well. Remove bird from oven when done and let stand 20 minutes before carving. Reserve cooking juices for the gravy.
*TIP Gluten-free Worcestershire sauce is available from Lea & Perrin’s (Leaperrins.com).
SERVES 6 TO 8
A secret to successful gravy is thoroughly stirring the thickener into cold water until all lumps disappear (before adding to hot meat juices). Store leftover gravy in the refrigerator for up to three days. Thin with chicken stock and reheat.
3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrow-root
½ cup cold water
3 cups chicken stock + turkey drippings and giblet stock, if available
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Combine cornstarch or arrowroot with ½ cup cold water and blend until smooth.
2. Over medium heat, add cornstarch mixture to 3 cups chicken stock and turkey drippings and giblet stock, if using. Whisk constantly for about 5 minutes. Mixture will thicken. When it begins to bubble, cook it at low simmer for 3 additional minutes until gravy reaches desired consistency.
3. Add chopped giblets, if using. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Grandmother’s Irish Potato Dressing
SERVES 6 TO 8
Apples add a hint of sweetness to this old-fashioned stuffing, the ideal side for roasted turkey. Making this recipe a day in advance enhances its flavor. Keep in the refrigerator and reheat 20 minutes before serving.
4 large russet potatoes, peeled, rinsed and chopped
2 medium onions, diced
1 cup celery, rinsed and diced
3 large apples, peeled, rinsed, cored and diced
¾ cup Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend or arrowroot (see page 70)
½ cup honey or sugar
½ cup cream or milk of choice (hemp, rice, soy milk)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter or non-dairy butter replacement, optional (see page 70)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a medium-size Dutch oven or casserole dish.
2. In a large pot, place potatoes, onions and celery. Cover with cold water and cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender, approximately 20 minutes. Drain and mash slightly.
3. Add apples, flour blend, honey or sugar, cream or milk of choice, salt and pepper. Gently blend ingredients together by hand, leaving apples intact.
4. Spoon mixture into prepared dish. Top with diced butter or dairy-free replacement, if desired.
5. Place dish in preheated oven and bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Serve hot.
Each serving contains 311 calories, 1g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 317 mg sodium, 75g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 5g protein.
TIP Try Granny Smith, McIntosh or Jonathan apples in this recipe.
Nutritious yams make a quick and easy traditional dish for Thanksgiving. This recipe can be prepared a day in advance. Just reheat and serve.
6 yams, peeled and chopped
5 tablespoons butter, ghee, coconut oil or dairy-free replacement (see page 70)
3 tablespoons heavy cream or dairy-free milk of choice (hemp, soy, rice milk)
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
½ teaspoon salt
1. Place yams and other ingredients in a medium-size pot and cover. Cook slowly over medium-low heat. After about 10 minutes, stir contents to combine and cook for an additional 35 minutes, stirring every 5 to 7 minutes. When yams are
tender, remove from heat.
2. Mash yams with a potato masher or hand mixer until smooth. Adjust salt
Each serving contains 152 calories, 7g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 19mg cholesterol, 202mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 2g protein.
Cranberry Sauce with Blood Oranges and Fresh Mint
SERVES 8 TO 10
Oranges and mint lend elegance to this simple recipe, a sophisticated spin on traditional cranberry sauce. Serve it warm or chilled.
1 cup water
1 pound fresh cranberries, washed and drained
1 cup sugar or palm sugar
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- Zest of ½ blood orange or Clementine
4 blood oranges or Clementines, peeled and segmented, pith and membranes removed
1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced with three leaves for garnish
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a simmer.
2. Add cranberries, sugar, orange juice and zest. Stir until sugar is dissolved and cranberries begin to pop, about 20 to 25 minutes. Sauce will begin to thicken. If sauce doesn’t thicken in 25 minutes, reduce to medium-low heat and cook for another 10 minutes.
3. Remove from heat. Add orange segments, stirring to combine.
4. Gently stir in fresh mint. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Each serving contains 118 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 1g protein.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey Mustard Dressing
Want kids (or adults) to eat Brussels sprouts? Roast them and add a little sauce—and they’ll disappear. This easy roasting method works great for all root vegetables. Leftover dressing is delicious drizzled over green salad, salmon or any other roasted vegetables.
2 pounds Brussels sprouts
3/4 cup olive oil or grape seed oil
1/3 cup lemon juice or rice vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Rinse the Brussels sprouts and pat dry. Trim ends and remove any yellow leaves. Reserve.
3. To make the dressing, place oil, honey, lemon juice or vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until ingredients emulsify. Set aside.
4. Place Brussels sprouts in a large bowl and drizzle at least half the dressing over them. Stir until vegetables are coated. (Remaining dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.)
5. Place Brussels sprouts on prepared cookie sheet and roast in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Check after 15 minutes and toss to ensure that they brown evenly. When done, Brussels sprouts should be golden with crispy leaves and tender on the inside when poked with a fork.
Each serving contains 251 calories, 21g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 309mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 4g protein.
TIP Annie’s Naturals Organic Honey Mustard (anniesnaturals.com) is gluten free. Try using 5 tablespoons of Annie’s in place of the mustard and honey in this recipe.
Cranberry Pear Crisp
This easy-to-prepare dessert is a soothing and nourishing treat on a cold evening. For variety, try it with other seasonal fruit.
3 very ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1 cup fresh whole cranberries, washed and drained
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
½ cup dark brown sugar or palm sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 cup teff flour
¼ cup quinoa flakes
1/3 cup tapioca starch/flour
2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter or shortening (page 70)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8-inch baking dish.
2. In a medium bowl, combine pears, cranberries, maple syrup and vanilla and toss. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, teff, quinoa flakes and tapioca starch/flour. Cut in ghee or butter.
4. Spoon cranberry and pear mixture into prepared baking dish. Spoon dry mixture over it.
5. Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove dish and gently stir contents so that any dry ingredients are moistened. Continue cooking for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
6. Serve warm or chilled, topped with whipped coconut milk (recipe on page 64), whipped cream or a dairy-free whipped topping of your choice.
Each serving contains 244 calories, 4g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 10mg cholesterol, 10mg sodium, 53g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 2g protein.
TIP Ghee, a component of butter that is free of casein, whey and lactose, is tolerated by many who are dairy allergic or lactose intolerant. It is available in the refrigerated dairy section of most grocery stores.
This luscious dessert is delicious served warm or chilled. It can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator covered for up to three days.
1½ cups unsweetened coconut milk (not lite)
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup maple syrup or your favorite sweetener
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut milk, pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla and maple syrup.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together arrowroot, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Slowly blend dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture, stirring until well combined.
4. Pour batter into lightly oiled ramekins, about ¾ cup for each ramekin. Place ramekins into a 9x13-inch baking dish and add enough warm water until it reaches halfway up the outsides of the ramekins.
5. Carefully place baking dish in preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes. When done, custard should be firm with lightly browned tops. Cool on wire rack.
Each serving contains 231 calories, 14g total fat, 11g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 79mg cholesterol, 135mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 4g protein.
Whipped Coconut Milk
This dairy-free topping is creamy and rich. There’s a slight hint of coconut. To mask it, add a little extra vanilla.
1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (not lite)
2 tablespoons maple syrup or sweetener of choice
2 teaspoons vanilla
- Dash salt
1. Empty entire can of coconut milk into a medium-size bowl and blend until coconut water and fat are well combined. Cover and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
2. With a hand mixer, beat chilled coconut milk at high speed for 4 to 5 minutes until thickened.
3. Stir in maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Taste and add more sweetener, if desired. Then beat mixture on high speed for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Place in the freezer until firm. Use topping immediately or store it in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Each serving contains 112 calories, 10g total fat, 9g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 19mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 1g protein. LW