Thanksgiving Allergies: Alternative Recipe Ideas for Food Allergic People

Thanksgiving can be tricky for people with food allergies. Nuts, eggs, gluten, and dairy are common ingredients on the Thanksgiving table but can really set people with food allergies back on what should be a happy day.

food allergy free Thanksgiving

If you are hosting someone with food allergies for this year’s holiday, consider a few tips:

1. Roasted Turkey (gluten free)

Turkey’s nothing but meat, right? Not always! Many turkeys have been soaked in broths that contain wheat products. The happy news is that many manufacturers now sell gluten-free turkeys. Confirm this with the information on the packaging or call the manufacturer if needed.

2. Green Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Salads are often a safe way to go for people with food allergies. Serve toppings on the side if you think they may stir up allergy symptoms (cheese, candied nuts, croutons, etc.) For holiday flare, serve with dried cranberries or a cranberry vinaigrette.

3. Mashed Potatoes (dairy free)

If your guests have dairy allergies or intolerances, the big stumper will be how to get your mashed potatoes creamy. Olive oil can be substituted for butter (or try buying diary-free butter or margarine). Vegetable broth can be substituted for milk. You can also try milk substitutes such as soy milk.

4. Green Beans

Green bean casserole is a favorite, but it can cause trouble for people with wheat and dairy allergies. Happily, there are many other fabulous things do with green beans: lemon/hazelnut green beans, Schezuan green beans, green beans with pancetta and shallots.

5. Dessert

Check Pinterest for a treasure trove of allergen-free desserts ( a sweet potato-based pie crust, flourless chocolate cake, and gluten-free apple cider donuts).

If you are expecting a guest with food allergies, call them in advance to see what foods they need to avoid. Ask them to bring a favorite allergen-free dish. Also, be flexible. You may have to leave out some of the old favorite dishes, but that frees you up to try some new ones you may fall in love with. For ongoing problems with food allergies, ask AllergyEasy about treatment using sublingual immunotherapy.

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.