Summer Recipes to Help Avoid Crohn’s Flare-Ups

Author: Megan Hall, Registered Dietitian blueberry parfait

People with Crohn’s disease often have to pay close attention to the foods they eat. Dietary restrictions can be frustrating, but you can mix up your meals and enjoy your favorite summer flavors without triggering a Crohn’s flare-up. Here are some summer recipes that are easy to make and easy to digest for many people who have Crohn’s disease.

Veggie Turkey Wrap

Grab your favorite summer veggies and create turkey veggie wraps for an on-the-go snack. These portable finger foods are great on hot summer days. Slice red bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots and zucchini into long, thin strips. Place them on a slice of turkey and roll your veggies into a tasty veggie turkey wrap. If vegetables aggravate your Crohn’s symptoms, try cooking them beforehand and peeling the skin. Cooked vegetables are often easier to digest. Peeling the skin off vegetables before eating them can reduce the fiber and make them easier on your body.

Tomato Finger Sandwiches

4 slices baguette bread

8 teaspoons reduced-fat mayonnaise, divided

4 slices fresh tomato

4 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped

1/8 teaspoon garlic salt

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Some Crohn’s patients switch their diet to eat smaller meals more often. This simple recipe features summer ingredients to make finger sandwiches that are light and delicious. All you have to do is slice your baguette, spread a thin layer of mayonnaise, top with fresh tomatoes and sprinkle it with basil, garlic salt, salt and pepper. For an added crunch, broil your tomato finger sandwiches for about two minutes in the oven.

Easy Homemade Turkey Burger

1/2 pound lean ground turkey

2 tablespoons oat bran

1/4 cup oats

2 tablespoons fat-free milk

1 teaspoon dehydrated onion flakes

1 dash black, ground pepper

Grilled burgers are a summer staple. This summer you can enjoy your burgers and the health benefits that come with this easy homemade turkey burger. Mix all the ingredients above and form them into two turkey burger patties. The ingredients in here make it low in fat and fiber, which may be better for people with Crohn’s disease. If you prepare the burgers in advance and freeze them, it becomes a quick and easy meal. Many Crohn’s patients worry about what to eat when invited to summer cookouts. You can throw together these easy homemade turkey burgers and bring them to your summer barbeques. Just be prepared to share them with your friends!

Oven Baked Potato Fries

1 large potato

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon parsley

Fried foods don’t always sit well with people who have Crohn’s. Here’s a delicious alternative for those of us who love French fries.

Oven baked potato fries have the flavor you love without the risk of aggravating your Crohn’s symptoms. Simply slice potatoes into thin strips, drizzle them in olive oil and sprinkle onion powder, garlic salt and parsley to taste. For parmesan potato fries, add a layer of grated parmesan cheese on top before baking your fries at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for roughly 35 minutes.

Yogurt Parfait

Yogurt parfaits make great summer treats at any time of day but we especially love them as a healthier dessert option. To make your own, start with your favorite non-dairy yogurt. Non-dairy yogurts are often made with coconut milk, almond milk or soy. Layer the yogurt with your favorite summer fruits and some whole-grain granola or walnuts. Look for fruits that are easy to digest, such as bananas, raspberries or blueberries.

For more Crohn’s-Friendly recipes, visit These recipes are made with ingredients generally tolerated well by people with Crohn’s disease. However, if any of these foods might trigger a flare-up for you, look for substitutions or talk with a registered dietitian. HPS patients can contact me, Megan Hall, a registered dietitian on the Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions patient care team. If you’re having a hard time managing your Crohn’s disease, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.