40+ Recipes for an Allergen-Friendly Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is, by far, my favorite holiday. It is the one holiday that is celebrated by nothing other than sitting around a table with dear family and friends, enjoying the bounty of the harvest. The food is (for the most part) seasonal, and often prepared by a group; the seasoned cooks passing tradition down to the younger generation. Lean eating during the year sprinkled with occasional feasting makes for a healthy body and soul.
But what’s a gluten free eater to do on this bread and pie holiday? Have no fear! With just a few adjustments, your gluten, dairy, egg, and sugar free diners will feel right at home and no one will know the difference. Below is a brief explanation of which allergens to look for in traditional Thanksgiving foods as well as links to delicious, allergen-free recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers. Enjoy!
Turkey: While turkeys should be gluten free, a small number of producers do inject potentially allergenic ingredients into the meat in order to ensure a juicy, evenly cooked turkey. If you are purchasing a turkey, simply read the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t contain any allergens. Many roast turkey recipes call for butter, so if you’re avoiding dairy, you can simply add water to the bottom of your roasting pan and baste the turkey with the juices that collect in the pan.
- Easy Herb Roast Turkey (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, paleo)
Gravy: Homemade gravy combines the juices from the cooked turkey with flour for a thick, savory sauce. To make a gluten-free version, you can simply use a gluten-free flour. Here are some tried and tested recipes and ratios:
- How to Make Gluten Free Gravy Video (gluten-free)
- Herb Gravy (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)
- Paleo Turkey Gravy (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)
- Gluten-Free Gravy pictured (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)
Stuffing/Dressing: Stuffing is one of the elements of Thanksgiving dinner that is most problematic for people following a restricted eating plan. Most recipes contain gluten, dairy, and eggs. The good news is, it’s easy to make a delicious, allergen-free version that everyone will love! For a gluten-free stuffing, you can simply substitute the bread in your favorite recipe for a gluten-free bread or gluten-free bread crumbs.
- Rosemary and Sage Bread Stuffing (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)
- Grain-Free Sausage and Apple Stuffing (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, paleo)
- Apple-Sage Stuffing Mushroom Stacks (dairy-free, egg-free – can be gluten-free and paleo depending on bread used)
- Bread Stuffing (gluten-free, egg-free)
- Paleo Stuffing (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)
- Grain-Free Thanksgiving Stuffing pictured (gluten-free)
- Cranberry Apple Stuffing (gluten-free, dairy-free)
- Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing (gluten-free, dairy-free)
Mashed Potatoes: If you’re making gravy, you have to have mashed potatoes! Mashed potatoes are commonly made by combining potatoes with milk and butter. It’s quite easy to substitute the dairy in many recipes for either your favorite milk alternative (almond milk, etc.), or with olive oil and chicken or vegetable broth. If you are looking to reduce the starch in your meal, try cauliflower mashed “potatoes.”
- Creamy Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes (gluten-free, dairy-free)
- Mashed Potatoes with Olive Oil and Herbs pictured (gluten-free, dairy-free)
- Garlic and Herb Mashed Cauliflower (gluten-free)
- Parsnip and Celery Root Puree (gluten-free)
Green Bean Casserole: I know not everyone eats this, but green bean casserole has long been a tradition in my house. However, the cream and fried onions render it inedible in my book. If you’re a lover of green bean casserole, you’re in luck! There are plenty of nourishing ways to serve green beans this Thanksgiving.
- Traditional Green Bean Casserole (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)
- Green Beans in Morel Cream Sauce (gluten-free)
- French Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots pictured (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)
- Coconut Almond Green Beans (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)
- Buttered Bacon Brussels Sprouts (gluten-free)
- Simple Sauteed Brussels Sprouts (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Salad (gluten-free)
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple Sage Brown Butter pictured (gluten-free)
- Sweet Parsley Glazed Root Vegetables (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)
- Scalloped Sweet Potato Dessert (gluten-free, dairy-free)
- Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Cashew Cream (gluten-free, dairy-free)
- Kale with Cranberries (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)
Bread/Rolls: While it’s quite simple to skip the rolls if you’re avoiding gluten and provide standard rolls for your guests, it is possible to make delicious, gluten-free rolls at home. You’ll be sure to impress your guests and will feel like your gluten-free Thanksgiving isn’t lacking a thing.
- Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Soft Dinner Rolls pictured (gluten-free, dairy-free)
- Flaky, Buttery, Biscuits (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)
- French Bread Rolls (gluten-free, dairy-free)
Cranberry Sauce: Cranberry sauce is a delightfully sweet accoutrement to the Thanksgiving table. While it is naturally gluten, dairy, and egg-free, I’ve included some wonderful recipes that don’t use refined sugar so you can upgrade your entire meal.
- Primal Cranberry Sauce
- Raw Cranberry Sauce
- Cranberry Orange Relish
- Honey Cranberry Sauce
- Holiday Cranberry Sauce pictured
Pumpkin Pie: I’ve definitely eaten my way around the crust of a homemade pie, but taking the time to make a gluten-free version will make your Thanksgiving meal complete. The quick and easy version would be to purchase a pre-made, gluten-free pie crust to fill with your favorite pie filling. However, there are plenty of allergen-free pie recipes if you’d like to make one yourself!
- The Best Paleo Pumpkin Pie pictured (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)
- Grain and Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)
- Vegan Pumpkin Pie (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, egg-free)
- Gluten-Free Pie Crust (gluten-free)
- Pumpkin Chiffon Pie (gluten-free)
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie with Praline and Coconut-Pecan Crust (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free)
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!