Gluten Free Thanksgiving Tips

If you are determined to have a Gluten Free Thanksgiving, these tips will make your preparations much easier!

gluten free thanksgiving

Going somewhere for Thanksgiving? Use these Gluten Free Thanksgiving tips to gauge how safe a dish may be.


The typical meal for Thanksgiving includes:  Turkey, cranberry sauce, green bean (casserole?), sweet potatoes (casserole?), and stuffing.

The first items to eliminate from the list of concerns are those that are very unlikely to have gluten in them or in their recipe:  turkey and cranberry sauce.   If you are not the one doing the food preparations then you may check any spice packs that may be put on or in the turkey.

The absolute best way to avoid gluten, at Thanksgiving, and other times is to go natural.  So, if you want to flavor your turkey, rather than adding a packet of spices (that may include gluten) use natural less processed items such as celery, pepper, onion, garlic.  These four vegetables are excellent flavor enhancers when stuck under the turkey skin and in the cavity of the turkey! Plain vegetables are gluten free.

Use this same “natural” tip when you approach the next two meal items listed.  Rather than make a casserole out of the sweet potatoes or green beans simply eat them stir fried or steamed.   Stirfried in extra virgin olive oil, beans with almond slices are delicious.   Brussel sprouts are another alternative to green bean casserole.  Add some fresh lettuce salad and a basic mixed fruit salad for additional color—both sides naturally gluten free!

The main addition in our home to a Thanksgiving meal that sets it apart from a Sunday dinner or other ‘meat/ potatoes’ meal is that we have dressing.  Stuffing the turkey cavity with vegetables has already been addressed.  Now, we recommend you avoid stuffing all together with the exception of buying gluten free bread to make your recipe.  While buying gluten free items can be costly (finances and calories!) avoiding the carbohydrates and using vegetables save you money and calories! Dressing recipes tend to be based on more vegetables while stuffing is based on bread.  I have an excellent dressing recipe from my grandmother that uses cornbread as a base with lots of vegetables and some meat.

Thanksgiving desserts are another concern.  Just briefly addressing those in this post I recommend one of two options: one buying the gluten free pie crusts for those popular pumpkin and pecan pies or two going crustless.   I love the latter option because I can double the same recipe I use for the rest of the crowd, simply pour 1/2 the batter into a greased pie plate.  Bake the crustless one a few minutes less than the one with the crust.

Read about Katherine’s first gluten free Thanksgiving, try gluten free peanut butter cookies and popcorn cake for Thanksgiving afternoon snacks. Did you know you can even buy bread at Amazon? Buy by the case to save on shipping.  Bread freezes and defrosts easily. Use gluten free bread in your regular stuffing or dressing recipe as well as make bread pudding with it!

Enjoy your gluten free Thanksgiving without the stomach problems or weight gain.