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Thanksgiving Feast Fit for People with Kidney Disease

November 17, 2022, 7:45am EST

Family cooking Thanksgiving dinner together

The leaves are changing color, it’s chilly enough to wear your favorite comfy sweater, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Now is the perfect time to start meal planning so you can sit down and enjoy the food, company, and conversation when the day arrives.

Jump to Recipe
Pumpkin pepper hummus
Minestrone soup
Cranberry ginger chicken
Sweetheart tarts

Finger food: pumpkin pepper hummus

Start off with the most iconic fall fruit of them all–the pumpkin. You may be thinking, “But, pumpkin is for dessert.” While it does make a tasty pie, it can also make a delightful hummus! Your guests will be happy to munch on this with raw vegetables, low-sodium chips, or salt-free crackers while the rest of the food finishes cooking. This recipe is very high in phosphorous and is not appropriate for those on dialysis but our Italian phyllo cups are.


  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 gram harissa seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the red pepper (stem and seed removed) in a small baking pan and roast in the oven for an hour.
  3. Take it out of the oven and allow the pepper to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Place the roasted pepper, the cup of canned pumpkin, and the spices into a blender and pulse until it forms a creamy, thick puree.
  5. Finally, use the pumpkin pepper “hummus” just as you would regular hummus.

Get the full recipe and nutritional information.

Appetizer: minestrone soup

Bowl of minestrone soup

Hoping to create a cozy atmosphere where everyone can enjoy each other’s company? If so, you can’t leave soup off the menu. This minestrone soup is sure to help everyone feel warm and comfortable, bringing that vision to life without filling everyone up before the main course.


  • 14-ounce diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1½ cup elbow-shaped macaroni, dry
  • 4 cup chicken broth, low fat, low sodium
  • 1 tsp, ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp, dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp, dried basil leaves
  • ½ cup, chopped zucchini
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 large celery stalk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ large onion
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can green snap beans, no salt added


  1. Dice Onion, garlic, and zucchini. Shred the carrot. Rinse the canned green beans or use 1 ½ cups fresh beans cut into ½ inch pieces.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add onions and cook 2-3 minutes until translucent.
  3. Add garlic, celery, carrot, and zucchini. (add green beans if using fresh). Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables soften.
  4. Add canned green beans, basil, oregano, and black pepper.
  5. Add 1 can of diced no salt tomatoes and chicken broth.
  6. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Add pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or according to package directions.
  8. Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil. Ladle into a bowl and enjoy!

Get the full recipe and nutritional information.

Main course: cranberry ginger chicken

Don’t think that we forgot about the Thanksgiving staple that is cranberries. This year, highlight the cranberry’s bright, tart flavor by using it as a chicken marinade, which doubles as a delicious sauce when reduced. Don’t be surprised if you get more than one request for this recipe.


  • 2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
  • ½ cup sweetened, dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1½ pounds bone-in chicken thighs or breasts, skin removed
  • 2 tablespoons diced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup julienned carrots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish


  1. Stir cranberry juice, cranberries, ginger, and garlic in a large bowl until blended. Add the chicken, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. Remove chicken from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Reserve marinade.
  2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add shallots and sauté over medium heat until transparent. Add reserved marinade and bring to a boil, uncovered. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until reduced in half. Add carrots in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  3. Grill chicken over medium-high heat for 4 to 6 minutes per side until juices run clear when pierced with a fork or the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  4. Place grilled chicken on a large serving platter, drizzle with reduced marinade, and garnish with chopped chives. Serve with seasonal vegetables and a whole-grain side dish like brown rice or quinoa.

Get the full recipe and nutritional information.

Dessert: sweetheart tarts

sweetheart tart

To avoid the after-dinner crash, round off the evening with something sweet, light, and refreshing like these strawberry and cream cheese tarts. Pair it with a cup of coffee, apple cider, or tea and enjoy the afterglow of a well-thrown dinner party. This recipe may not be appropriate for people with diabetes or stages 3 to 5 kidney disease but these Chinese almond cookies are.


  • 1 package Pie Dough, pre-rolled
  • 3 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 2 individual packets of Stevia (approximately 4 tsp)
  • 1 teaspoon Orange extract
  • ½ teaspoon Orange zest
  • 16 oz. Strawberries, fresh
  • ⅓ cup Strawberry Preserves, sugar–free


  1. Roll out the pie dough and use the dough to line tart molds.
  2. Poke the dough with a fork, to prevent the dough from bubbling during the baking process.
  3. Bake in a preheated 400° F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown. Time may vary depending on the size of your tart shells.
  4. Let cool to room temperature.
  5. Whip cream cheese, orange extract, orange zest, and Stevia together. The mixture should be easy to spread.
  6. Spread gently over the bottom of the tart shells.
  7. Wash and dry strawberries. Slice thin and place on top of the cream cheese-lined tarts.
  8. Heat strawberry preserves over low heat until melted, brush over the sliced strawberries and serve.

Get the full recipe and nutritional information.

More kidney-friendly recipes

Looking to elevate a meal you already have planned and help make it more kidney-friendly? Check out all of our recipes to find what’s right for you.

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