A Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  It is a holiday of gathering with family and friends and to celebrate what we are blessed with by eating together.

The following recipes can be made gluten-free or with wheat ingredients.  They’re scrumptious and give people who are on a gluten-free diet options for Thanksgiving meals!

When thinking of a Thanksgiving dinner menu, my family tradiontally has the following dishes on the table:

  • Turkey
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Yams
  • Beets
  • Broccoli Casserole
  • (sometimes) another veggie, like corn
  • Rolls
  • Cranberry Salad
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • (sometimes) Apple Pie

The first simple tip for making a g-free meal is to use cornstarch or mashed potato flakes as thickeners for gravy’s and sauces.  This is an easy substitute that most people have on-hand and you may be able to request the host (if you’re not making dinner) use instead of wheat flour.

The next tip is that if you are not responsible for making the dinner, you might consider BYOB: Bring Your Own Bread.  Or you may want to volunteer to bring the bread/rolls and either buy pre-made g-free or get a mix, such as from Pamela’s Products.  Their bread mix has directions to make regular bread, sweet bread, and rolls on the package.

I came across this warning as I was preparing this article: For those that can not tolerate gluten be careful when you buy a turkey. Most frozen turkeys have gluten in them. (I think it is in the preservative or the basting they add.)  Here is a great article listing brands of g-free turkey. Also make sure you do not put any bread stuffing in your turkey as the gluten from the bread will get into the turkey!!…


As for stuffing, there are lots of options to make g-free stuffing.  Gluten-free bread can be cubed and used, or grains such as rice, quinoa, or millet can be used.  I also came across a great recipe that uses rice & g-free corn flakes:

Gluten Free Rice Stuffing

Ready in: Under 30 minutes
Serves/Makes:   8 cups

2 1/2 cups instant rice
2 cups chopped celery and celery leaves
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup margarine
4 cups water
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon sage
1 tablespoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1/4 teaspoon crushed marjoram
1/4 teaspoon crushed thyme
1 1/2 cup crushed gluten free corn flake cereal

Saute rice, celery and onion in margarine until lightly browned. Gradually add water and seasonings. Bring to boil. Cover, remove from heat and let stand 4 minutes. Stir in cereal and let stand 1 more minute. Double recipe for larger turkey.

Any remaining stuffing can be baked separately in a casserole.


Obviously, the veggies are naturally g-free, as long as they are not prepared in a casserole with bread crumbs, onion rings, or crackers.  One dish that my sister and I absolutely love and wouldn’t want to be without at Thanksgiving dinner is broccoli casserole.  I’ll share my family recipe here:

 Broccoli Casserole

2 pkgs. Chopped broccoli
1 small Velveeta cheese
1 tube Ritz crackers (but now to be g-free, I will use Glutino crackers)
1 stick of butter

Cook & drain broccoli & put in casserole dish (we use a glass 9×13 baking dish).  Melt cheese with ½ butter & add to broccoli.  Crush crackers & spread over top.  Melt other ½ of butter and drizzle over the crackers.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 min.


My family usually has cranberry salad, which is delish and naturally g-free.  Here’s the recipe:

Cranberry Fluff Salad

2 c. raw cranberries, chopped
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. drained crushed pineapple
1 lb. miniature marshmallows
1 pt. heavy cream (whipped) or carton Cool Whip
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

Combine chopped cranberries, sugar, and pineapple and let stand 1/2 hour. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Refrigerate and allow to stand overnight for flavors to develop.

Makes about 10-12 servings.


That brings me to the pies for dessert.

I have posted a recipe for g-free apple pie here.  Since then, I have come across a super easy “crustless” apple pie recipe.  I have been using g-free oat flour for the pie and it is wonderful!

If you want to make a regular pie crust, you can do it from scratch (see my apple pie recipe above), or buy a g-free pie crust mix.  Pamela’s Products bread mix has instructions on using the mix as pie crust as well.  That would make it much easier!

Other crust options:

1 1/2 cups g-free graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted


1 cup of crushed g-free animal cookies or shortbread cookies
3 Tbsp. butter, melted


1 3/4 cups g-free gingersnap cookie crumbs
2 1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. sugar

With all of these crusts, you mix the ingredients together, press into the bottom/sides of pan and bake by itself at 350 degrees F for about 6-8 minutes.  Cool and then fill and bake the pie as usual.

You might try cheesecake filling with cranberry sauce topping.  Or a chocolate pumpkin pie filling.  Or pumpkin cheesecake.  Or just a regular pumpkin pie filling recipe with the gingersnap crust.

Finally, I came across this easy,  healthier version of pecan pie a couple years ago.  The only substitution you would need to make would be using all-purpose gluten-free flour instead of wheat flour.

Have a very blessed Thanksgiving, friends!




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