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Use this guide to make a holiday meal that’s easy on painful joints. Cooking with arthritis is possible, and these arthritis recipes can help.

The menu, cooking tips and timelines were provided by cookbook author, Jess Thomson, who has Lupus.



These arthritis-friendly recipes are sure to impress.  (serves 8 and requires about an hour in preparation)


Grocery List

Grocery List

Ingredients will cost approximately $150 to $200.


* Prewashed baby carrots
* Prewashed broccoli florets
* Prewashed cauliflower florets
* 1 pint grape tomatoes
1 (3/4-ounce) package dill
1 (3/4-ounce) package chives
3 pounds prechopped, peeled butternut squash
2 pounds Brussels sprouts
* 5 ounces prewashed greens
Prechopped garlic


1 pint 2 percent Greek-style yogurt
2 sticks unsalted butter
5 ounces crumbled bleu cheese


* 1 (31/2-pound) beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied
4 slices thick-cut bacon

Dry Goods

Ground ginger
Ground cardamom
Curry powder
Balsamic vinegar
* Dinner rolls
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Dried cherries
Extra-virgin olive oil
Dijon mustard
Kosher salt

* If you are preparing over the course of a week, purchase these items a day or two before the meal.

Week Of

Week of the Holiday Feast

Advance planning and preparation will help to make cooking with arthritis more manageable. In fact, you can start this meal up to a week in advance. Follow the timeline to learn how.

Day 1
Shop for ingredients.

Day 2
Make whipped squash with honey and spice.

Day 3
Make balsamic-dijon vinaigrette.

Day 4
Make bleu cheese butter.

Day 5
Make herb and garlic yogurt dip.

Day 6
Shop for remaining ingredients.

Move frozen squash to refrigerator.

Day 7
Make bacon-balsamic Brussels sprouts.

Additional Tips

Check out these features on ways you can make this experience easier on your joints.

Day Of

Day of the Holiday Feast

By divvying up duties over time and managing your energy wisely, you can bask in the glory of your guests’ compliments about the food. And no one will be know about the shortcuts you took because of your arthritis. You’ll still have enough oomph to enjoy the moment.

5:30 p.m.
Set table, slice bleu cheese butter, assemble salad and open wine.

6:15 p.m.
Put the crudités out.

6:30 p.m.
Start roasting beef in a 450-degree oven. Greet guests.

6:35 p.m.
Pour a glass of wine. Have a snack.

7:00 p.m.
Add squash to the oven.

7:10 to 7:20 p.m.
Take the roast out and let it rest. Stir squash and add Brussels sprouts and rolls to the oven.

7:25 p.m.
Recruit a guest to slice and plate the meat.

7:30 p.m.
Serving Time! Ask friends to help carry platters.

Make-Ahead Tip

If you don’t want to think about anything once your guests have arrived, simply move the timeline up by one hour.  Slice the meat about 30 minutes after it comes out of the oven, and serve everything at room temperature.

Additional Tips

Check out these features for ways to be a stylish host.

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