Simple RA-Friendly Recipes

by Carmen Roberts, M.S., R.D., L.D.N. Health Professional, Medical Reviewer

If you are living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), anti-inflammatory eating can help to reduce your symptoms. These simple-but-tasty recipes can be quickly prepared, reducing your time in the kitchen. Here is a roundup of some of HealthCentral’s favorite recipes, all of which are gluten-free, low in sugar, and packed with nutrition.

Salt peper coriander olive oil and lemon with salmon steaks

Grilled Citrus Salmon


  • 4 six-ounce salmon fillets
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub salmon fillets with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle coriander, salt, and pepper on top of each fillet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily. While salmon is baking, combine orange juice and lime juice in a small skillet and cook on high heat for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, mustard, and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle on top of cooked salmon and serve.

Pineapple fried rice.

Hawaiian Sriracha Fried Rice


  • 12 oz. cauliflower rice (you can make your own by breaking cauliflower into pieces and blending down to granulated texture in a blender)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 2 chicken-apple sausages sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple, diced
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 bunch greens onions thinly sliced, green parts only
  • Sriracha hot sauce

Directions: Heat pan over medium heat; add oil. Add pepper, onion, and sausage; cook for 2 minutes. Move mixture to one side of pan and whisk eggs on other side. Break eggs into pieces and mix with veggies and sausage. Add jalapeno, garlic, and pineapple. Cook until softened and remove from heat. Add cauliflower rice to pan and cook for 2 minutes or until soft. Return mixture to pan. Add coconut aminos and spices, stir. Remove from heat and sprinkle with green onions and Sriracha to taste.

Carrot, potato, onion, and garlic.

Charis’ Roasted Root Vegetables


  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into ½-inch thick wedges
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into small pieces
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 links sausage, sliced (try vegan Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage sausage)
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 tablespoon each balsamic vinegar and olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon each dill seed, parsley, oregano, rosemary, turmeric, ginger powder, cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut onion, potatoes, carrots, and sausage into bite-sized chunks. Dice garlic. Place into a large bowl and mix with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, herbs and, spices. Pour contents into a large roasting pan and spread in a single layer. Use an additional roasting pan if necessary. Roast for 40 minutes, removing halfway through to toss the vegetables and sausage.

Roasted brussel sprouts with bacon.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts


  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts (ends trimmed and halved)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread bacon in 13x9 inch pan. Roast 5 minutes in oven and stir. Add sprouts, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or until bacon is crisp and sprouts are tender and lightly browned. Add vinegar, stir to combine, and roast another 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Chopping up sweet potatoes

RA-Friendly Sweet Potatoes


  • Potatoes:
  • 8 cups chopped sweet potatoes (In my opinion, this dish would be fine no matter the potato: red potatoes, Russet potatoes, yams etc.)
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
  • Sauce:
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 1 large clove of garlic, peeled
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of olive oil

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees; line a baking sheet with foil. Place potatoes, melted oil, and spices in a large bowl. Mix until the oil and spices are evenly distributed over the potatoes. Place potatoes on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir, and bake for 10 minutes (or until cooked through and slightly browned). Mix sauce ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Use as a dipping sauce for your sweet potatoes, or drizzle it over them after they are baked.

Spicy pecans

Spicy Pecans


  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Directions: Preheat oven 375 degrees. Spread pecans on a baking sheet and bake 5-7 minutes or until golden. In small bowl, combine sugar, salt, garlic powder, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add nuts and stir to coat with oil. Add seasoning mix, stirring until nuts are coated. Remove and place on a paper towel to cool before storing.

Butternut squash fries.

Butternut Squash Fries


  • 1 medium butternut squash (peeled and seeded), cut into 1/2-inch-thick sticks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place butternut squash sticks in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil, oregano, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Gently toss fries to combine. Place baking sheet into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Golden milk.

Golden Milk

Turmeric has been shown to inhibit inflammation — the telltale sign of autoimmune disease. Why not add some to a soothing warm drink?

For the fully initiated, golden milk is a relaxing addition to a morning or nighttime routine. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine two cups of milk (almond is a favorite, but any milk product will do) with 1 teaspoon of turmeric and pinches of black pepper, ginger, and cinnamon to taste. Heat until combined. Add a pad of butter or ghee for some extra creaminess, and sweeten with a teaspoon of honey.

Cauliflower mashed potatoes.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 head roasted garlic
  • 4 tablespoons pesto
  • 4 tablespoons coconut cream

Directions: Boil cauliflower until tender (10-15 minutes). Add cooked cauliflower, garlic, pesto, and coconut cream to a food processor and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Carmen Roberts, M.S., R.D., L.D.N.
Meet Our Writer
Carmen Roberts, M.S., R.D., L.D.N.

Carmen is a Registered Dietitian. In addition to writing for HealthCentral, she has spent her career working at Johns Hopkins and is also an adjunct faculty instructor for Excelsior College. Carmen has over 20 years of experience in nutritional counseling, education, writing, and program management and is a certified specialist in adult weight management. She enjoys educating her students and clients about how nutrition affects the body and its role in overall health and wellness.