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How to Cook a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

Photo: Chris Court

If it's your turn to host Thanksgiving dinner and your brother's daughter just announced (or was maybe diagnosed) she is eating only gluten-free foods, you may need to make a few slight adjustments to make sure your Thanksgiving feast is friendly for a person who eats no gluten. These simple swaps and strategies can help you avoid gluten where possible, swap for something gluten-free when able, and all around regain a little claim to the happiest food holiday of the year.

Whether you’re gluten-free or not, odds are you’ll be hosting at least one person this Thanksgiving who is sensitive to gluten. There’s no need to stress though. Thanksgiving is a relatively easy holiday to cook completely free of gluten, especially if you’re cooking from scratch. Achieve a delicious gluten-free Thanksgiving feast this year with these simple tips and tricks:

Tips for a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

  • Look for specialty products that make the changes easier. Swap out the all-purpose flour in your grandmother's gravy recipe for gluten-free flour. We like Cup4Cup and King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour.
  • Switch up stuffing. Instead of traditional bread or cornbread stuffing, make a Wild Rice Stuffing.
    Photo: Jennifer Causey
  • Make a simple bird. When it comes to turkey, keep it simple. Most recipes shouldn’t require any ingredients that contain gluten, just the bird, butter, herbs, lemon, salt and pepper. Try our Tuscan Turkey for a no-fail masterpiece.
  • Toss old toppings. When it comes to crisp toppings, go for roasted nuts or crunchy chickpeas. The chickpeas are a great replacement on a green bean casserole, and walnuts work great as a salad topping.
  • Keep an eye out for protein. Pass on the cocktail crackers and filo-wrapped apps. Serve a protein-packed cheese board for your appetizer or broiled shrimp cocktail instead.
  • Pile on the veggies. The great thing about veggies is that they’re entirely gluten-free—if you don’t add a ton of ingredients to them, that is. These Lemon-Herb Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables are so bright and flavorful that they might just steal the entire Thanksgiving show.
How to Make a Sweet Potato Crust Quiche
  • Photo: Jennifer Causey
    Pass the potatoes, please. Sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes are gluten-free, too, you know. Also, they're incredibly easy to make. You can even make a sweet potato casserole gluten-free with our Sweet Potato Casserole with Crunchy Oat Topping. Just make sure to look for certified gluten-free oats.
  • Don't forget the beverages. Put out a couple of bottles of wine, or look for gluten-free beer such as Omission.
  • Pass on the pie. Make homemade pumpkin frozen yogurt, or serve poached pears with a dollop of crème fraîche. You won’t even miss the crust. Really craving a pie? Stick to our collection of gluten-free pies to help you find an option that’s just right for you and your family.

Stress less, stick to the basics, and put out an entire spread that is gluten-free with minimal fuss. When you're preparing a gluten-free Thanksgiving menu, you may decide it’s easier to serve an entire feast, rather than just a few items. This way, your guests won’t have to worry about what does and doesn’t have gluten in it. Trust us, these dishes are so good that know one will even miss the gluten.