How to Have a Gluten Free Thanksgiving: Your Ultimate Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipe Guide

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With the approach of Thanksgiving, those living a gluten free lifestyle are left wondering how do I have a gluten free Thanksgiving? “What am I going to eat?” “Am I going to get glutened?” “Do I really just have to stick with the salad?” “Is this dressing even ok to have?”

I’m here to ease those thoughts and show you that Thanksgiving can be as customize-able as you would like, and that the options truly are endless.

Every family is different. Maybe this year you are hosting Thanksgiving. Perhaps Thanksgiving is virtual for some of you. Or, like many families, maybe each of you have your own favorite dish that you are known for and all pitch in to bring something.

Living a gluten free lifestyle might entail a bit more forethought and some coordination on your end, but by no means does it mean you can’t thoroughly enjoy yourself

Gluten Free Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes:

How to Host a Gluten Free Thanksgiving

If you are hosting this year, then perhaps plan to cook the main dish, one dessert and one side dish.

Prep, and often the dessert and side, can be done fully ahead of time, so don’t feel intimidated by doing three things. This does not mean you need to do all of them at the same time!

Traditionally, as the host you have the biggest say in coordinating who brings what dish. Early on maybe send out an email or text with a heads up that some people need to eat gluten free diet. Let them know that you will be sure the main dish is gluten free, but perhaps they could coordinate some of their dishes as well? A great way to do this is to send them the link to a variety of recipes that you know are safe (like this Thanksgiving recipe roundup). Or perhaps start a Pinterest board where you can put your favorite recipes for people to choose from/share their own.

Gluten Free Main Dishes & Gravy:

Wether you are hosting a gluten free Thanksgiving or being a guest, these dishes make for delicious main course options to share with others!

Don’t expect every dish to be gluten free. If Aunt Milly is dedicated to her favorite roll recipe, then skip the roll on your plate. If you are dedicated to rolls then make that a side you cook.

Cooking a gluten free main dish, side and dessert gives you the most immediate variety. You can then fill in the gaps on your plate with salad, sweet potatoes or other things you may know are safe that the guests brought.

Gluten Free Thanksgiving Side Dishes:

How to Be a Gluten Free Guest at Thanksgiving

Sometimes being the guest with dietary needs is harder than hosting.

As a gluten free guest, the first step is to decide which dish is the most meaningful to you. This is what you will plan to definitely bring. Thanksgiving always leaves leftovers, so feel free to bring a side and a dessert, or multiple small sides if you know you will want them. No need to get stressed out and go huge, just pick a couple small things that you know you will enjoy.

For me, Thanksgiving has always been about dessert. My family has always done the big turkey, and there has always been a million delicious sides. Every year, the dish always gives me those cozy, “get together”, memories is that pumpkin or pecan pie slice. Combine that with some mulled cider and I’m set!

Gluten Free Thanksgiving Desserts:

Understand that your health is very important and the majority of people are very understanding. Don’t feel bashful about asking if something is gluten free.

If you can, ask your host ahead of time if the Turkey or main dish will be gluten free. Depending on your relationship, it may be as simple as just asking if the stuffing could be a separate dish and not cooked inside of the turkey. Be sure to avoid any gravies made with traditional flour.

•If you are not able to determine if the main dish is gluten free, then I would recommend bringing a personal amount of a protein dish to enjoy instead of the Turkey. Otherwise, if you will be arriving soon before dinner, you can eat your main dish ahead of time and enjoy beverages and the other options with everyone else.

Some people like to break up their Thanksgiving get-together times. If you are completely uncomfortable being a gluten free guest for the big meal, you can always coordinate to join in somewhere just for beverages and appetizers (bring your appetizer of choice). Alternatively you can always enjoy your day elsewhere and join up for dessert, just bringing your favorite dessert with you.

Gluten Free Thanksgiving Beverage Recipes:

A Few Notes to Remember When Dining with a Crowd:

  • Feel free to bring your own salad dressing if needed.
  • Try ahead of time to help the host see that each dish has its own serving utensil.
  • Most cross contamination from a buffet happens when a pie server is just passed from dish to dish. Be sure to bring a serving utensil withe the dish(es) you provide!

Nothing is set in stone. Perhaps you will be joining in with people you are close to, and coordinating with friends and family really isn’t too big of a deal. If this is the case, then happy coordinating!

If this is not the case, then try out some of the tips and recipes here to help make things easier.

Most importantly, be sure to enjoy yourself and those around you more than the food! 😊

2 thoughts on “How to Have a Gluten Free Thanksgiving: Your Ultimate Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipe Guide”

  1. The festive season can be so challenging when you have dietary needs, what a wonderful round up with some great tips on how to start the conversation.
    Thanks for including my pumpkin spice ice cream and mulled apple cider 🙂

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