We remade five holiday classics so your guests with food allergies and special diets can enjoy the big meal too. 

By Erica Clark
October 04, 2019
Credit: Greg Dupree

Following a modified diet during eating season can be tough. But knowing how to feed everyone coming to your house on Thanksgiving and keep your own sanity in the process is definitely not easy either.

Help all your guests feel welcome and cared for with these tips from Melissa Hartwig Urban, mom of a 6-year-old, cocreator of the Whole30 program, and author of the new cookbook The Whole30 Friends & Family.

How to be a Food-Sensitive Host

  • Email your guests ahead of time to ask if they have dietary restrictions. Have the conversation early to make planning easier for you.
  • If you’re serving buffet-style, put out small menu cards for each dish. List the ingredients or highlight common allergens like gluten, dairy, nuts and seeds, or soy.
  • Serve salads, mashed potatoes, and veggie sides simply. Presenting these undressed, without butter or garnish, allows guests who wish to keep food plain to do so. Offer a variety of dressings and toppings like chopped herbs, cheese, or sour cream on the side.
  • Make at least one fancy nonalcoholic drink. Mix sparkling water and fruit juice or kombucha (for the grown-ups!) with fresh fruit and herbs. Prepare the beverage in a pitcher or bowl and offer pretty glasses, so guests who aren’t drinking alcohol don’t feel left out of toasts. Have a caffeine-free option for your littlest guests.
  • Don’t talk about food issues. Dietary restrictions can be a sensitive topic, so try not to shine a spotlight on anyone’s eating habits.

Ready to start your menu prep? We remade five holiday favorites so you can accommodate Thanksgiving guests who have dietary restrictions.

Credit: Greg Dupree

Vegan Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Unlike most vegan cheeses, dairy-free cream cheese melts beautifully. If nut allergies are a consideration, be sure to readthe package label: Some contain nut. This recipe is also gluten-free. Get the full recipe here

Credit: Greg Dupree

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Silken tofu delivers the velvety texture in thisdairy-free, egg-free custard, but all you’ll taste isa perfectly delicious pumpkin pie. This recipe is also nut-free. Get the full recipe here

Credit: Greg Dupree

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Mac 'n' Cheese

Serve this creamy casserole as a main dish for vegetarians or as a special side for all the mac ’n’ cheese lovers at the table. We predict the kids will be especially excited. This recipe is also vegetarian, nut-free, and soy-free. Get the full recipe here

Credit: Greg Dupree

Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes

Yes, you can make luscious potatoes without butter or cream! The secret ingredients: starchy potato cooking liquid, garlic, and a ricer. We like the OXO Good Grips Potato Ricer. This recipe is also vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free. Get the full recipe here

Credit: Greg Dupree

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Top this veggie-packed side with classic fried onions and, trust us, no one will notice you used oat milk for that creamy texture except for your (thankful) vegan guests. This recipe is also nut-free. Get the full recipe here


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