By Noel Christmas

Don't let diet restrictions bring down brunch. Here's how to accommodate the many food issues your family and friends are sure to bring to the table.

Blueberry Quinoa with Lemon Glaze | Photo by lutzflcat

My wife and I recently cooked brunch for friends, but late in the planning realized how many special diets we needed to accommodate. Let's see, spread among several people, we had:

  • Vegan
  • High-Protein
  • Gluten-Free
  • Dairy-Free
  • Nut-Free

I quickly realized that I couldn't try and make each dish work for everyone. Instead, I just made sure there was at least one thing for each special diet.

The Big Dish

My original plan featured my favorite breakfast recipe of all time: Overnight Blueberry French Toast. But it's full of dairy and gluten, and no one would mistake it for being "high in protein." So what's the replacement? Lemon-Blueberry Quinoa Bake.

It features a porridge (really, there's no other word for it) of quinoa cooked in apple juice with a cornstarch-based glaze. It's gluten-and-dairy free, high in protein, and let me just say this: It's delicious! I was worried it was too out-there (Quinoa? For breakfast?), but it disappeared!

Thank Heaven for Bacon

I once had Maple Praline Bacon and nearly died of happiness. Talk about two great things that go great together. But, remember the nut allergies? Those made pralines a no-go, so I went with Candied Bacon. Watch the video to see how easy it is to make.

And I'm so glad I did. Technically they're gluten-free, dairy-free, devoid of nuts, and obviously high in protein...and we'll just agree not talk about fat content, ok? Here's the truth: You can only go wrong with sweet, savory, salty pork perfection if you don't make enough! You've been warned


Here's the fuss-free, mess-free way to make bacon for a crowd.


Roast Away

I suggested hash browns, but with the general trend toward healthy recipes, we went with Savory Roasted Root Vegetables.

Savory Roasted Root Vegetables | Photo by StacySnook


Get more recipes for roasted vegetables.


Makin' Biscuits

I should admit something: I don't have any dietary restrictions. So I wanted something portable, sweet, and not-at-all concerned with being "free" of anything. So I made J.P.'s Big Daddy Biscuits to serve with softened butter and raspberry jam. They are gloriously good. A few people even "broke free" from being gluten-free to try them.

J.P.'s Big Daddy Biscuits | Photo by Happyschmoopies


Get easy tips to make the best biscuits, and find more top-rated biscuit recipes.


I was just happy when I realized no one went away hungry. And I found a few new recipes that I'm excited to make again, whether anyone has diet restrictions or not.


Explore our entire collection of crowd-pleasing brunch recipes.


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