Cooking with Arthritis Recipes and Tips

With these cooking with arthritis tips and easy to prepare recipes, you can get a delicious meal on the table with less tears, frustration and overwhelm. Get More living with Rheumatoid Arthritis resources and tips.

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I’ve had Rheumatoid Arthritis since 2001 – the pain and swelling started when our beautiful first baby boy and oldest son was 7 weeks old. I have always been a mom with Rheumatoid Arthritis and I’ve had to cook with Rheumatoid Arthritis for 20+ years. I know how frustrating it is, how painful it can be, how hard it is to open packages and how every recipes takes me twice as long as the prep time says it should.

I’m here to help.

Cooking with Rheumatoid Arthritis is a Challenge but not Impossible

My hands have been damaged by Rheumatoid Arthritis. Cooking with Rheumatoid Arthritis is challenging but not impossible. I try to find ways to make daily tasks like cooking, cleaning and raising my family simpler and more manageable. My goal is to celebrate life and thrive with chronic illness.

These are my hands taken in 2015 after 13 years of joint damage, my hands definitely don’t look any better, and yes they are worse. Cooking with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) damaged hands is increasingly challenging.  I have lost the ability to grip small objects so seemingly simple tasks like chopping or opening bags or jars are painful and frustrating. I have additional pain in my feet when I stand for long periods or take a step.  Cooking with Rheumatoid Arthritis is certainly a challenge, but it is NOT impossible. I have to find recipes that are easy to prepare and am sharing my family’s favorites with you.

Despite my physical challenges, I do not let RA stop me from my quest to cook healthy, delicious, and clean meals for my family. I also know that eating an autoimmune diet can significantly improve my morning pain and lessen the impact of painful flares. I pour my heart into each dish I make and I want to serve my growing boys and husband only the best.

I see food as not only nourishing our bodies, but nourishing our souls. I grew up with a mom who is an amazing cook and she turned me into the foodie I am today. Some of my most delicious memories are of the parties my parents threw surrounded my families and friends. My mom would spend days in advance preparing our favorite dishes: chicken makhni (Indian butter chicken), shrimp curry, mango or pistachio kulfi (ice cream) and gulab jamun (sweet cake balls soaked in rose scented syrup). We would talk over our afternoon chai and chivda.

I want my family and friends to remember the delicious food and warmth that surrounds our family table during meal time. Providing healthy, quality meals everyday is too important to let RA get the best of me. So I am on a constant quest to find delicious recipes that my family and friends will love and still find shortcuts to make meal preparation (and cleanup) easier.

Cooking with Arthritis Recipes

I confess…I am a recipe hoarder. I thought sharing my experiences cooking with Rheumatoid Arthritis would help other patients and families eat well. On this page, I will share both recipes I created and how I adapt these recipes both for my family’s tastes and to make them easier for me to prepare so it helps you get a home cooked meal on the table without as much frustration and overwhelm.

I will also warn you that if you want gorgeous food photos, my recipes won’t have them. I am lucky to get one or two photos once the plate is ready and before a boy/man devours it! Some of these recipes are ones I’ve adapted and others are links to others’ recipes and resources.

About The Ratings and Recipe Key:

30 Minutes or Less to Prepare
DF Dairy-Free
GF Gluten-Free
SF Sugar-Free
SC Slow Cooker
1P One Pan Meal

I hope you comment if you try any of these recipes or let me know any family favorites, kid-friendly or easy to make recipes that I need to try!

Easy Breakfast Recipes

The Best Banana Pineapple Muffins

Biscuits with Sausage Gravy, 30 minutes or less

Easy Main Dish Recipes

Easy Beef Recipes

Slow Cooker Barbacoa and Cilantro-Lime Rice: DF, GF (if use corn tortillas for tacos), SF, SC

Easy Chicken Recipes

Slow Cooker Caribbean Jerk Chicken and Pan Fried Sweet Plantains DF and GF (depending on sauce you use), SC

Easy Rotisserie Style Chicken in a Bundt Pan DF, GF, SF, 1P

Pace Chicken and Cheese Chimichangas

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken DF, GF (if use GF soy sauce), SC

Easy Pork Recipes

Pulled Pork and NC Style Vinegar Sauce DF, GF, SC

Easy Vegetables and Salad Recipes

Cilantro-Lime Salad Dressing DF, GF

Pan Fried Green Plantains with Cilantro-Garlic Sauce (Tostones y Mojo) DF, GF, SF

Pan Fried Sweet Plantains (Maduros) DF, GF

Slow Cooker Baked Beans DF and GF depending on sauce you choose, SC

Easy Breads and Sandwiches Recipes

Copykat Boston Market Cornbread

Easy Dessert Recipes

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake ,

Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Simple Meal Plans for Cooking with Arthritis

Grocery Restock List and Meal Planning Freebies!

Subscribe to my Simple Cooking with Tanya newsletter where I send you our menu plans each week, cooking tips and a link to my grocery restock list for you to copy and save to your Google Drive. I print them up and hang it on the side of the fridge so whenever we run out of anything, we can highlight/write in what we need. This really helps me not forget anything that I or my hungry crew needs. 

You can rearrange the restock list in the order of your favorite grocery store’s aisles. It’s a huge timesaver if your list is in the right order so you aren’t running all over the store and backtracking.  

My Favorite Meal Planners

  • If you like to plan on paper, the Erin Condren Meal Planner is my favorite. It’s easy to keep with your planner and side in your purse when you go grocery shopping. I love the meal prep strategy section as meal prep is a must for me! You can see how I use it on my Instagram.  (the additional pages like a price tracker, recipe log and conversion chart are great!)
  • If you prefer digital meal planning, Plan to Eat is my favorite tool. 

My Favorite Cookbooks for Cooking for Arthritis

I learned how to understand my chronic illness and my body’s response to it. I know that avoiding gluten and sugar are the biggest things that help me feel my best.

  • Dairy Free Keto Cooking by Kyndra Holley – I don’t count macros or carbs or anything. But a keto diet is gluten free and sugar free and this one is dairy free so it’s a good place to start and even my boys love these recipes. Super tasty and we have so much more energy!
  • Cook Once, Eat All Week by Cassie Joy Garcia – I like that in each of her recipes, she has instructions how to make it for restricted diets such as low carb, paleo and has lots of ways to sneak veggies in the dish in a really delicious way. Plus meal prepping is a must when you are cooking with Rheumatoid Arthritis!
  • Autoimmune Solution Cookbook by Dr. Amy Myers – if you want/need a stricter autoimmune protocol diet, this cookbook will help!
  • Done for You Menu Plans and Grocery Lists by Passionate Penny Pincher. The slow cooker volume 2 and the freezer meal menu plans are my favorite. 

My Amazon shop has all my kitchen favorites!

Favorite Keto/Low Carb Friendly Snacks and Ingredients

Fetch Rewards to earn gift cards on your shopping receipts. Use my code PH32Q. I’ve already earned a $15 gift card and I use them to treat myself to a meal out since I earn them by doing all. this. cooking. 

Don’t worry I’ve got more recipes and tips to add for cooking with Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is just the start! I hope these easy recipes and meal planning tools will help you cook with Rheumatoid Arthritis and get dinner on the table without as much overwhelm and frustration.

What’s cooking in your kitchen? Do you enjoy cooking? What are your family’s favorite recipes? If you have a recipe I have to try, let me know. I’m always on the lookout for great food my family will love!