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15 Christmas dinner ideas for guests with any type of food allergy

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

If your Christmas dinner guest list includes people with food allergies, you're likely aware that the food you serve can be a matter of life and death.

Thankfully, it's possible to create delicious dishes that meet the nutritional needs of your guests, whether they're gluten intolerant or have a nut allergy. Just get a little creative in the kitchen!

Rich flavors for gluten-free guests

Gluten-free is tricky, since most traditional Christmas dishes are carb-heavy. A few creative substitutions, however, will spare the rich flavors and textures that all guests enjoy.

Quinoa stuffing. Sadly, Christmas stuffing is totally full of gluten. This quinoa version ditches the gluten but holds on to the delicious flavors we expect from traditional stuffing.

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

Gluten-free turkey gravy. Traditional gravy is thickened with flour, but this gluten-free recipe uses cornstarch for a healthy alternative.

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

Herb-roasted turkey legs. No need to cook a whole bird when you can roast turkey legs for hungry guests. Just make sure to buy a natural turkey to avoid gluten fillers.

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

Hazelnut tart. Desserts are especially tricky for gluten-free guests, so serve up this delicious, fall-inspired hazelnut and pear tart to satisfy everyone's sweet tooth.

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

Dairy-free and feeling fine

You might not think that Christmas dinner is full of dairy, but tasty cheeses, butters and creams can certainly upset the stomachs of guests with dairy allergies. Try these dishes instead — they still deliver rich flavors.

Seasonal pear salad. Roasted pears and sweet potatoes make for a savory appetizer in this delicious recipe. Make it dairy-free by simply holding the blue cheese.

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

Rich pomegranate lamb chops. These impressive lamb chops completely sidestep the creamy ingredients that tend to cause problems for allergic guests.

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

Almond cream parfait. Creamy fruits and nuts comprise this tasty parfait, and you'd never guess it's entirely dairy free for an after-dinner treat.

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

No eggs for your guests? No problem

Eggs are the unspoken heroes of many a dish, since they have a way of literally bringing the meal together. All is not lost, though, with these clever egg-free menu items.

Parsnip-butternut squash soup. Start the meal right with this sweet and savory soup that will warm the hearts of your guests.

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

Spice-rubbed pork tenderloin. It's easy to forget about pork for special meals, but this spicy pork tenderloin is dressed to impress — in bacon.

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

Pumpkin pie fudge bars. Fudge is one of the few dessert recipes that doesn't require eggs to hold it all together. Your guests will love the infusion of popular pumpkin flavor.

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

Fruity persimmon mocktail. Still need additional sweet treat ideas? This recipe boasts the flavors of persimmon in a refreshing drink.

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

Keeping the holidays nut-free

Nut allergies are nothing to sneeze at, since guests with nut allergies can go into respiratory distress if they mistakenly eat the wrong things. Keep the holidays safe with these meal ideas.

Nut-free mashed sweet potatoes. Many sweet potato dishes use pecans or walnuts for added flavor, but this mashed sweet potato recipe relies on the heat of chipotle instead.

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

Spiked cranberry sauce. For an adults-only treat that doesn't utilize any nuts, whip up this delicious orange and ginger spiked cranberry sauce.

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

Rosemary-garlic lamb chops. A fancy-sounding main course of lamb chops is perfect for Christmas dinner. What could make it better? This dish cooks in under 10 minutes.

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

Sweet pumpkin bonbons. Dessert is a tricky affair if your guests have nut allergies, but these tasty ice cream treats are safe to enjoy for everyone — and they're a fun update to more typical dessert fare.

Whether your guests are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, we've got a meal plan for everyone

Tell us: Which specialty menu are you planning to serve?

See all of our holiday articles

This post was sponsored by Hannaford. Join them in the fight against hunger this holiday season with Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger.

More holiday meal ideas

3 Impressive cocktail-glass appetizer recipes to wow your guests
How to have a delicious Thanksgiving dinner that's totally gluten free
21 Delicious ways to cook with lamb all year long

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