Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes & Tips

Scones, pie, pumpkin bread, acorn squash, quinoa salad with pears...

Thanksgiving. Nothing sends shivers of trepidation up a gluten-free dairy-free girl's spine like the mental image of Grandma's white bread dressing, or shimmying slabs of Aunt Ida's pumpkin pie. It's a butter and wheat flour gorge fest with danger at every turn- the gut-twisting threat of thirty-six hours chugging Pepto Bismol poised to strike on every holiday decorated plate. Jovial forkfuls of tradition and conviviality aside.

It can be a nightmare, Darling.

If you're lucky, your family is tuned in to the ins and outs of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, and they are well aware of the angst and anxiety food centric holidays can trigger for those of us who need to be vigilant about each and every spoonful of food that enters our quirky gluten-free universe. 

If you are blessed, they are thoughtful and well schooled in where gluten might lurk (turkey broth, marinades, gravy, seasoning packets, spice blends, traditional stuffing, cornbread mixes, crackers, pie crusts, soy sauce). And they don't ask questions like, You can eat "whole" wheat crackers, right? with the emphasis on the word whole as if somehow, the word itself makes the wheat magically safe for gluten sensitive folks to consume (it doesn't). They won't sigh when you politely decline a slice of Aunt Ethel's pecan pie and say, Why don't you just eat the filling and not the crustThey won't hold up a pitcher of turkey gravy and whisper, A little bit won't kill you.

Or my own personal favorite, Oh, go ahead... I have food allergies and I cheat.


If these persuasions are foreign to you, then you, Dear Reader, have much to be thankful for this holiday season. You are blessed with a clan that gets you, loves you without judging you, and honestly cares about every morsel that enters your fragile autoimmune universe.

So this post is for them...

The attentive Moms and Dads, compassionate Aunts and Uncles, smart-as-a-whip Grandmas and Bubbes, sisters, brothers and best buds who believe that if food is love, Thanksgiving should be fun and worry-free and delicious.

For everyone.  

No big whup.

Because after all- we know true love has great taste.

Key Tips for a Safe and Delicious

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free 

Holiday Season

If you're new to gluten-free living here's a Gluten-Free Diet Cheat Sheet to print out and keep handy. Because gluten is devious. Label reading is a must.

Marinades, broth, soy sauce, and bouillon may use wheat or barley in flavors and seasonings. Although I urge you to check your turkey for gluten-free status, most I've seen are safe- if you avoid the seasoning or gravy packet.

Bottom line?

Know your bird. Know your source. And know your ingredients, Dollface.

TIPS: For thickening gravy, whisk in a tablespoon or two of sweet rice flour. Or make an arrowroot starch slurry. {Potato flour is another choice- but be careful you don't add too much and end up with gelatinous, thick gravy you have to slice to serve}

For a non-dairy sub in pumpkin, squash and sweet potato recipes try using coconut milk- it's creamy and delicious (full fat tastes best). If you can't do coconut milk, soy milk or almond milk works beautifully. {Rice milk is rather thin. Hemp milk is an acquired taste and may be too grassy for the uninitiated.}

Another tasty non-dairy vegan choice is orange juice or apple cider. Cook carrots or cubes of winter squash with a splash of orange juice or apple cider for a lovely vegan flavor boost. Drizzle a touch of pure maple syrup.

For creamy mashed potatoes that are dairy-free I use a combo of light and fruity extra virgin olive oil and my favorite gluten-free vegan buttery spread. For creaminess, whip in some warm non-dairy milk- coconut, soy, and nut milks all work. A light gluten-free broth works, too. The trick is don't beat the potatoes to death until they're gluey (what did a potato ever do to you? Be kind).

For a dairy-free vegan butter sub in baking, my new favorite fat is organic coconut oil. I love the texture and subtle coconut flavor. 

Hate coconut oil? Try organic expeller pressed canola oil or grape seed oil (both have very neutral flavor). Any of these work well in muffins, quick breads, bread, cookie bars and cakes. When one half to one cup butter is called for in a recipe, these oils will usually work- though I typically start with a little less than the amount of butter called for and see how the batter looks.

For a vegan butter substitute in pastry and gluten-free pie crust recipes I'd choose Earth Balance sticks, Spectrum Organic Shortening or organic coconut oil.

For stuffing, simply follow your favorite recipe and substitute toasted cubes of gluten-free cornbread, corn muffins, or a loaf of store-bought gluten-free white bread. Or try my personal favorite stuffing recipe- Cornbread Stuffing with Curried Apples and Cranberries.

For a crunchy bread crumb topping, try my Crunchy Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs (process toasted gluten-free waffles into perfect golden crumbs- they make a delicious topping that can be quite the conversation starter- waffles? Really?). And no, a (true) waffle is not sweet.

For a gluten-free mac and cheese try my Kicked Up Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe or my dairy-free Baked Mac and Cheese or my totally from scratch Cheesy Uncheese Mac and Cheese (fab for vegan guests).

For a classic cookie crumb pie crust use Pamela's or Midel's Gluten-Free Gingersnaps or Pamela's cookies (Lemon or Ginger or Chocolate, depending upon the filling) processed into crumbs. I use Joy of Cooking's classic cookie/cracker crumb recipe and simply substitute with gluten-free cookies. For a butter replacement, try organic coconut oil, a good tasting vegan spread like Earth Balance.

Read on for more tips and my Gluten-Free Wheat-Free Thanksgiving worthy recipes ...

My gluten-free pumpkin praline pie with a fabulous crust.
I'm currently working on a traditional pie crust recipe... but until I get something I'm happy with (happy enough to share), check out a gluten-free pie crust folks rave about- Rebecca Reilly's Gluten-Free Pie Crust recipe with sorghum flour.

Browse my posts Cooking and Baking Gluten-Free and Gluten-Free Casein-Free Holiday Tips for more inspiration and ideas.

Gluten-Free Diet Recipes


Thanksgiving Menu Ideas


Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Banana Almond Bundt Cake
Butternut Pecan Scones 

Eggs Diablo on Soft Polenta
Hot Buckwheat Cereal with Cinnamon Apples
Pear Polenta Muffins

Pumpkin Bread- a big loaf, make ahead
Pumpkin Donuts- baked, with cinnamon sugar
Pumpkin Muffins 
Pumpkin Pancakes
Pumpkin Pie Bread
Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing
Pumpkin Waffles

Quinoa Breakfast Brownies with Dark Chocolate Chips
Quinoa Breakfast Cake
Roasted Vegetable Frittata

Appetizers and Snacks

Baked Grape Tomatoes with Basil Cornbread Crumbs
Crispy Potato Sticks with Roasted Tomato Salsa

Fried Zucchini Chips in Lime-Mint Dipping Sauce
Hummus with Spiced Oil
Jalape├▒o and Lime Hummus

Pecan Crackers
Raw Cashew Hummus
Roasted Eggplant Tapenade
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Bread and Muffins

Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Apple Pear Multigrain Muffins
Butternut Pecan Scones
Maple Sweetened Almond Zucchini Mini Muffins

Pear Polenta Muffins
Pueblo Bread- with green chiles
Pumpkin Corn Muffins
Pumpkin Muffins
Pumpkin Pie Bread
Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing

Skillet Cornbread with Green Chiles
Sweet Potato Cornbread
Vanilla Cornbread

Zucchini Bread

Vegan and Vegetarian Dishes

Cornbread Stuffing with Apples and Cranberries
Lasagna Vegetariana
Maple Roasted Acorn Squash

Pumpkin Polenta with Salsa Fresca

Quinoa Mushroom Pilaf
Quinoa Salad with Pears, Baby Spinach, Chick Peas and Maple Vinaigrette
Quinoa with Butternut Squash + Cranberries
Quinoa with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts, Raisins + Pecans
Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas
Spaghetti Squash New Mexican

Vegetable Polenta Pie
Vegetarian Garden Loaf with Maple-Apricot Glaze
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Warm Winter Salad with Roasted Banana Squash + New Potatoes


African Coconut Chick Pea Soup
Butternut Chili
Celery Soup with Fennel
Curried Butternut Soup

New Mexican Stew with Ground Turkey and Green Chiles
Purple Cabbage and Sweet Potato Soup
Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Soup

Roasted Hatch Chile Stew with Sweet Potato
Roasted Vegetable Chowder
Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Coconut Milk
Turkey Soup

Thanksgiving Sides

Acorn Squash with green chiles
Calabasitas (Santa Fe succotash)
Cider Roasted Vegetables
Cinnamon Applesauce
Coleslaw with Peanutty Dressing 

Cornbread Stuffing with Curried Apples and Cranberries
Crunchy Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs for Topping

Dijon Roasted Vegetables
Karina's Kicked Up Colcannon

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash
Pinon Rice Bake with Artichokes, Corn and Goat Cheese
Pomegranate Glazed Green Beans and Portobellos

Quinoa Mushroom Pilaf
Quinoa Salad with Baby Spinach, Apples or Pears in Maple Vinaigrette
Quinoa with Butternut Squash + Cranberries

Roasted Winter Vegetable Ragout with Shaved Parmesan
Ruby Applesauce with Cranberries

Santa Fe Brown Rice Bake
Two Potato Salad with Sweet Potatoes
Zucchini Gratin

Omnivore Recipes

Autumn Rice Bake with Beef and Cranberries
Baked Mac and Cheese
Beef in Pomegranate Sauce
Beef + Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash

Garlic Chicken Lasagna
Holiday Turkey Enchiladas with Sweet Potato
Jazzed Up Turkey Tetrazzini
Pineapple Salsa Chicken Enchiladas
Pork Roast with Brown Sugar Apricot Sauce

Stuffed Cabbage with Roasted Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Sausage
Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie with Black Angus Beef
Turkey and Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Turkey Nachos


Apple Crisp- new
Apple + Pear Crisp
Apple Cake with Cranberries
Applesauce Crumb Cake

Coconut Flour Apple Cake
Cranberry Peach Crumble

Pie Crust Recipes

Pumpkin Bars 
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies 
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing
Pumpkin Pie- easy
Pumpkin Praline Pie with Coconut-Pecan Crust 
Pumpkin Quinoa Cookies

Sweet Potato Pie

Happy Cooking and Baking!




Party on! XOX Karina

Party on! XOX Karina