Deep in the heart of winter, whether or not the wind is howling and the temperature drops below freezing, a good, hearty bowl of stew or soup is a welcome comfort. The rich flavors rising from a hot bowl can offer the same sense of cozy warmth as a soft blanket or a lush sweater.
Of course, as with most food traditions, you may need to search a little for an allergy-friendly alternative for your specific needs. The recipes that follow are a good starting place.
Even when a recipe is shared in an allergy-friendly blog or curated list, you may need to make a few adaptations and substitutes to meet your family’s specific needs. The good news is that there are alternative ingredients that can turn a ‘not safe’ recipe into a go-to recipe. It just may take a little experimentation to find what that right ingredient is to balance texture and taste with allergy-safety. Don’t be afraid to try a recipe a few times to find the right substitute ingredients for your family.
Allergy-Friendly Beef Stew
At first blush, you may wonder why you’d need an allergy-friendly recipe for stew. It seems pretty straightforward, right? Beef and some veggies slow cooked to tender perfection. Except there’s a little more to it than that. Often meat is coated in flour, or a thickening agent is used to get the sauce to the right consistency, or a specific oil is used, or any other number of potential issues.
Meaningful Eats’ recipe for beef stew is a good starting point. If you’re avoiding wheat, use any of your favorite flour alternatives to coat the meat prior to browning.
Whether limiting your red meat intake for dietary reasons or not, this recipe for vegan stew from the Gluten Free Foodie offers a plant-based twist on the warm filling classic. Starting with the usual suspects of onion, potato, and carrot, this recipe also uses mushrooms and black-eyed peas for a meaty twist without the meat.
Chicken Pot Pie
It may seem impossible to craft a traditional comfort food like chicken pot pie that’s also allergy-friendly, but it can be done. Sure, you can find recipes that use wheat alternatives and dairy alternatives, but often those fall back on tree nuts. Depending on your list of allergies, you may need to play around with the ingredient list a little to find the right combo for your needs.
This recipe from Eating with Food Allergies is a good option as it manages to create a comforting chicken pot pie without the top 9 allergens. The recipe lists “gluten-free flour,” but you should be able to use any wheat-free flour alternative if that’s an allergen you’re avoiding.
If you think gumbo and shrimp go hand in hand, you’ll want to check out this recipe from All Healthy Things. Yes, the original recipe includes shrimp, but it’s also loaded with enough sausage and chicken that you could skip the shellfish without losing any of the heartiness or taste. Use your favorite wheat-free flour alternative for this recipe too and you’ve got an allergy-friendly comfort dish the whole family can love.
This hearty pasta-based soup doesn’t have to be off limits for food allergy families. With a variety of wheat-free pasta varieties on the market, to cheese alternatives like nutritional yeast, to dairy-free cheeses, you’ve got options. This recipe from Limitless Allergies offers one recipe to get you going in the right direction.
Chicken and Dumplings
Done right, chicken and dumplings can offer a sweet balance of heartiness and comfort in a big bowl of yum. It can, of course, be a challenge to make with food allergies. This recipe from the Defined Dish is a good starting place. It does call for Nutpods creamer but that can easily be substituted for another dairy alternative like oat milk if you’re also avoiding tree nuts.