Healthy Gluten-Free Dinners
If you're trying to juggle both gluten-free and gluten-containing dinners, keep things organized. It's best to prepare the gluten-free version first to prevent contamination of work surfaces, cutting boards, and cooking utensils. We don't recommend trying to prepare both at the same time; it's too easy to get confused, and you are more likely to cross-contaminate. Focus on one thing at a time.
Our first recipe is Chickpea Bajane. Bajane is a Provençal term for the midday meal. Chickpeas are a staple in Provence, where they are often stewed and served with pasta and vegetables. In this version, chickpeas, leeks, carrots, fennel, and spinach are served atop protein-rich quinoa.
*Remember to check for gluten in vegetable broth used in this bajane.
Tabbouleh-Style Amaranth Salad
It’s important that the amaranth is placed in a fine mesh sieve; the grain is so small that it will slip through a traditional strainer. If one is not available, place the cooked amaranth on a large baking sheet, and spread it in a thin layer so it will cool without clumping together.
Curried Quinoa Salad with Cucumber-Mint Raita
This Indian-inspired dish features quinoa, a high-protein grain that cooks relatively quickly. We like the heat that Madras curry powder brings, but use regular curry powder, if you prefer.
Soft Tacos with Green Chile-Cilantro Rice and Egg
This versatile dish can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Tip: Remember to check for gluten in corn tortillas.
Pan-Fried Catfish with Cajun Tartar Sauce
Instead of a traditional crunchy coating, we used a Cajun spice blend to season the fish and pan-fried it in a pan coated with cooking spray, which helps keep calories in check and is less involved than deep-fat frying. For a spicier sauce, add more hot pepper sauce.
Pan-Roasted Grouper with Provençale Vegetables
Use a broiler pan for both components of this recipe. The fennel-tomato mixture cooks in the bottom of the pan, helping to steam the fish on the rack above.
Grilled Halibut with Three-Pepper Relish
For a complete meal, pair this dish with steamed green beans tossed with olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper and topped with pine nuts.
"The Indian-Spiced Salmon and Nutty Basmati Rice were both great!" said reader Connie Hendon. "They were easy to prepare and did not require a lot of time. I simply cooked some fresh green beans to go with these two dishes, and we had an easy, complete meal. My family loved them. Oh, and of course no one noticed that it did not have gluten."
Sole with Tarragon-Butter Sauce
This recipe is quick enough for a weeknight meal but special enough for company. Serve with green beans and rice.
*Remember to check for gluten in chicken broth.
Seared Scallops with Farmers' Market Salad
Be sure you buy dry-packed scallops. Scallops marked "wet packed" have been treated with a liquid solution containing sodium tripolyphosphate. The scallops absorb the salty mixture and plump up, resulting in a heavier weight and a higher market price. But when you cook them, the liquid portion will cook out, leaving you with smaller scallops and higher sodium content.
Pan-Seared Scallops with Bacon and Spinach
Scallops cooked in a pan are always in danger of being steamed rather than seared, so be sure to use a big pan and high heat. A cast-iron skillet is ideal since it gets really hot and can handle high temperatures, unlike a nonstick skillet, which has a more delicate nonstick coating that can only handle up to medium-high heat.
Mango Shrimp Kebabs
These fresh-flavored kebabs are a great option for entertaining. Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before using them on the grill or they’ll burn, and discard after use. Metal skewers can be reused and require no soaking.
Greek Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto
If you don’t have dill on hand, chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or chives will also work in this dish. "It was a hit and not as difficult as I first thought," said reader Anita Royse. "This recipe will be a good one to serve when I have another couple over for dinner."
Sirloin Steak with Merlot-Balsamic Reduction
Marinating the steak and cutting it on the diagonal after cooking ensure tenderness. Serve with steamed asparagus and mashed red potatoes to round out the meal.
*Remember to check for gluten in Worcestershire sauce.
Spicy Asian-Marinated Flank Steak
Pair this spicy entrée with snap peas and chopped red bell pepper. The spicy Asian marinade is versatile enough to apply to a variety of meats. Try it with pork tenderloin and cuts of chicken.
*Remember to check for gluten in soy sauce.
Chicken-Fried Steak with Soy Milk Gravy
Be sure to buy regular soy milk, not light, for the best results. You can also use cow’s milk or hemp milk in this recipe.
Old-Fashioned All-American Meat Loaf
Cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce add zing to the tomato topping on this homey loaf.
*Remember to check for gluten in Worcestershire sauce.
Herbes de Provence-Crusted Lamb Chops
The Dijon mustard and dried herbs rub also tastes great on chicken thighs or beef fillets. Herbes de Provence is a combination of several dried herbs—including lavender, thyme, rosemary, and basil—that evokes flavors from the south of France.
Pork Tenderloin with Smoky Espresso Rub
Turn up the wow factor as pork tenderloin gets dressed up with the palate-pleasing tastes of smoky and sweet.
Sweet and Sour Pork
"I made the Sweet and Sour Pork with my mother and sister," said reader Sherl Taylor. "We had all given up this dish when eating out—the batter and super sweet sauce didn’t fit my diet plan even before I had to become gluten free. This was a tasty and much lighter alternative. We loved the flavors of pineapple and peppers with the crunch of the water chestnuts."
*Remember to check for gluten in chicken broth and soy sauce.
Walnut-Crusted Pork Chops with Autumn Vegetable Wild Rice
Apples, mushrooms, and Swiss chard make a nice contrast to the texture of wild rice.
*Remember to check for gluten in Worcestershire sauce and chicken broth.
Grilled Plum and Prosciutto-Stuffed Pork Chops
The balsamic vinegar and sweet molasses glaze balances out the spicy flavor of the rub on the pork.
Spicy Herb-Rubbed Grilled Chicken
Place zucchini and red bell peppers next to the chicken on the grill for an easy and colorful side. Commercial rubs may contain gluten, so keep this simple but versatile six-ingredient rub in your pantry. It quickly turns ordinary steak, chicken, or fish fillets into a tasty entrée. Vary the main herb, oregano, to suit your taste—the same amount of dried basil or thyme is just as delicious. Store it in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
Lemon-Chardonnay Grilled Chicken
Reserving a portion of the marinade to spoon on after cooking is the key to giving this chicken extra flavor. You can serve this with a quick side of steamed broccoli and gluten-free penne.
Chicken Tacos with Mango-Avocado Salsa
Your family will thank you when these tacos hit the table. We left the seeds in the jalapeño for a spicy kick; omit them if you prefer a mild salsa.
"These enchiladas were relatively simple to prepare, and the recipe called for ingredients that I would ordinarily already have in my kitchen, which is great," said reader Peggy Christoffer. "I might replace the can of mild chili peppers with one or two fresh jalapeño peppers for a bit more spice."
*Remember to check for gluten in corn tortillas.
Grilled Tandoori Chicken
Named for “tandoor,” the Indian clay oven it’s traditionally cooked in, this dish is tender and tasty. Serve with rice and zucchini.
Roll up bites of this spicy Thai turkey salad in crunchy cabbage leaves for a superflavorful light meal or appetizer. Increase the sambal oelek to 2 teaspoons if you like a little more heat.
*Remember to check for gluten in roasted peanuts.
Smoky Sausage and Peppers on Cheddary Brown Rice Farina
This savory, comfort food dish is going to be an instant hit. Check for gluten in the smoked turkey sausage before making a selection.