Happy November, Fodmappers! If I’m being completely honest, I had been dreading Thanksgiving this year. This is my second Thanksgiving since I went low-FODMAP for my IBS, and my first eating completely low-FODMAP on Thanksgiving.
After I indulged a little too much on Thanksgiving break last year, I experienced a month-long flare-up of IBS symptoms — and quickly vowed “never again.” And while I’m glad I won’t be experiencing, well, that again this year, I feared I wouldn’t be able to enjoy any of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes this year.
As someone in eating disorder recovery, the last thing I wanted to feel on Thanksgiving was deprived. So, I quickly went to work developing a menu for Thanksgiving this year that would combine my dietary restrictions with the foods I love for the holidays.
In case you’re also stuck on what to eat for a low-FODMAP Thanksgiving, here’s what I’ll be serving all Thanksgiving long, from breakfast to dessert. Note that not all the recipes I use are originally low-FODMAP, but I’ll be including the substitutions I use to make each recipe “safe” to enjoy without digestive distress! Plus, scroll to the end of this post to find a complete grocery list to guide your shopping this Thanksgiving.
For Breakfast: Classic Coffee Cake
It’s my family’s tradition to enjoy a pastry for Thanksgiving breakfast to tide us over until the big meal. My mom usually makes pumpkin cranberry muffins, but since David isn’t a huge fan of pumpkin (I know, I know), I’ll be replicating this coffee cake recipe that I baked last week — with some modifications to the recipe, of course.
Recipe: Easy Coffee Cake Recipe by Lil Luna
Modifications: Use 1:1 gluten-free flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill) in place of AP flour. Bake in a 9×9 in. square pan instead of the glass dish recommended in the recipe, and let it bake for slightly longer at 35-45 minutes.
For the Easy App: Herbed Baked Brie
As a cheese lover, the sense of relief I felt when I learned that brie is a low-FODMAP cheese was almost overwhelming. Soft, aged cheeses like brie and camembert are lactose-free, allowing you to enjoy them as much as you’d like! This herbed baked brie cheese board puts an elegant, wintery spin on a cheesy classic.
Recipe: Herbed Baked Brie by Bon Appetit
Modifications: Skip the recommended side of sliced pears and opt for a low-FODMAP fruit, like orange slices, instead. Use gluten-free crackers and baguette for serving — I like Glutino.
For the Bird: Fast & Easy Roast Turkey
Unless you’re a vegetarian, turkey is likely the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving. Thankfully, turkey is a naturally low-FODMAP protein! This recipe speeds up the cooking process by breaking apart the turkey into its components, but since we’re looking to bake a big bird this Thanksgiving, we’ll mostly be using this recipe for its delicious blend of fresh seasonings.
Recipe: Fastest & Easiest Roast Turkey Ever by FODMAP IT!
Modifications: Cook turkey whole, instead of breaking it down, for 13 minutes per pound at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. And please, don’t follow her advice to feed leftover turkey parts to your dog: the bones can splinter in their mouths, making them potentially harmful to your pup!
For the Potatoes: Maple Chipotle Sweet Potatoes
Years ago, back when I was still vegetarian, I made this recipe for Thanksgiving and absolutely adored it. I lost track of the recipe for a few years, but when I ventured out on my own after college, I vowed to hunt it down to make at my first Thanksgiving as a bona-fide adult. Turns out, the recipe is from Food 52 — and sounds just as delicious as a remember!
Recipe: Mashed Maple Chipotle Sweet Potatoes by Food 52
Modifications: Use lactose-free sour cream (I like Green Valley Creamery). The recipe calls for one chipotle pepper in adobo, but I have had equal success using dried chipotle powder from my spice rack! (Plus, this lets you control the amount of spice to your liking.)
For the Veggies: Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
Be careful when enjoying brussels sprouts, since they’re a moderate-fructan food! For me, I knew I couldn’t fully enjoy Thanksgiving without them, so I will be braving the fructans anyways. If you’re not sure if you can tolerate them, start with a FODMAP-friendly serving of 1/4 cup. I’ll be using shaved brussels sprouts in place of whole ones to stretch my serving as far as it goes!
Recipe: Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts by Ina Garten
Modifications: If you desire, replace whole brussels sprouts with shaved ones. You can buy these in a bag at most grocery stores. I especially like Trader Joe’s!
For the Sauce: Low-FODMAP Cranberry Sauce
Everybody has an opinion on the classic Thanksgiving cranberry sauce — personally, I’m of the opinion that all cranberry sauce should be made from scratch. None of that unseemly canned stuff in sight! Thankfully, while dried cranberries are high-FODMAP in large servings, you can enjoy as much of this cranberry sauce made from the fresh or frozen kind as you’d like.
Recipe: Low-FODMAP Cranberry Sauce by Rachel Paul’s Food
Modifications: None. Enjoy as much as you’d like according to the original recipe!
For Dessert: Classic Gluten-Free Cheesecake
Now, I know what you’re all thinking: “Where’s the pumpkin pie?!” As I mentioned previously, my boyfriend isn’t a fan of pumpkin, so we’ll be forgoing the classic pie in favor of a delicious gluten-free cheesecake instead. But in all honesty, I don’t see anything wrong with going against the grain this Thanksgiving. (Ha, see what I did there?) A cheesecake is a delightful alternative for when you’re sick and tired of pies, pies, pies!
Recipe: Classic Gluten-Free Cheesecake by Gluten-Free on a Shoestring
Modifications: Use lactose-free cream cheese — I like Green Valley Creamery — and enjoy!
Your Thanksgiving Grocery List
Staples You Probably Already Have In Your Pantry:
- Unsalted butter
- Maple syrup
- Lactose-free milk
- Dried thyme
- Dried rosemary
- Dried sage
- Balsamic glaze
- Olive oil
- Gluten-free 1:1 flour
- White sugar
- Brown sugar
- Canola oil
- Vanilla extract
Groceries You’ll Probably Need to Buy:
- 12-14 lb. turkey
- 24 oz. lactose-free cream cheese
- 1 box gluten-free graham crackers
- 1 box gluten-free entertaining crackers
- 1 gluten-free baguette
- 1 container lactose-free sour cream
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 1 bunch leeks
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo
- 2 bags shaved brussels sprouts
- 4 oz. pancetta
- 1 wheel brie cheese
- 1 bag fresh cranberries
- 1 orange