Gluten Free Thanksgiving

There are over 3 million Americans that follow a gluten free diet these days. Chances are you already know someone that eats gluten free.

You may even have a gluten free eater at your table this holiday season.

Eating gluten free is much easier today than it was when I discovered my own gluten intolerance 10 years ago. There is an abundance of great cookbooks, online resources, readymade mixes and even convenience foods available now.

But what about the big Thanksgiving meal? Most of the traditional holiday favorites are not gluten free.

After years of experimenting I have discovered how to make a Thanksgiving meal that is both gluten free and delicious. Listed below are some traditional holiday favorites and tips for how to make them gluten free.

Here’s what you need to know about cooking gluten free this Thanksgiving!

Turkey: A naturally gluten free product. Be sure to check anything you add to the turkey, such as spices or brining, for hidden gluten.

Gravy: Normally contains gluten. Most store-bought gravies will contain gluten unless specifically marked gluten free. If your turkey comes with a gravy packet be sure to read the label, surprisingly many of those packets are now gluten free. If homemade gravy is more your style, thickening it with cornstarch will make it gluten free.

Stuffing: Normally contains gluten. This is the one food that really means Thanksgiving to me and it was a challenge to find a gluten free option that I liked. In the early years there were no store-bought options, so I tried to make my own, but the results were awful. New stuffing products came on the market, but they were equally as bad as my own creations. A couple years ago I found a stuffing mix that I absolutely love but the price is ridiculous! Three Bakers Herb Seasoned Cubed Stuffing is the best I have eaten but I get a pain in the wallet buying it. Recently it was on sale for $3 off, bringing the price down to $8.99 a box. Like I said…Ridiculous!

Green Bean Casserole: Normally contains gluten. Most recipes call for the use of cream of mushroom soup and french-fried onion rings, both containing wheat gluten. It is possible to make this holiday favorite both gluten and dairy free. Click here for the great tasting recipe that I use.

Sweet Potato Casserole: Depends on the recipe. Some recipes call for a crumble topping that uses a flour base, making it a gluten containing food. Recipes that don’t use flour but instead use marshmallows as a topping are gluten free.

Vegetables: Naturally gluten free.

Cranberry Sauce: Naturally gluten free.

Rolls: Normally contains gluten. Regular bread and rolls all contain gluten. There are some readymade options for gluten free bread in the stores, but I would recommend checking with your guest to see if they really want bread. With such a large spread most gluten free eaters won’t miss it.

Pumpkin Pie: Normally contains gluten. The pie filling is typically fine, but the pie shell contains wheat gluten. Fortunately, there are great substitute pie shells on the market so you can make your own pie at home for a gluten free treat.


Do you have questions about your holiday meal? Click here to ask Dr. Melanie!

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