Gluten Free Food Reviews

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Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipes and Tips

Posted on | November 15, 2010 | 3 Comments

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching- what are you going to cook? I can’t believe this will be my fifth gluten free Thanksgiving!

Initially I was planning to boycott a traditional Thanksgiving dinner after a failed attempt at a creative Halloween dinner for my extended family. However, I am hopeful that with some careful planning and recipe testing, it will be a good gluten free Thanksgiving after all. I refuse to give up!

I wanted to share some links to hints, recipes and gluten free products that I think would be a fantastic for the  big day- someisuggestions are from my post last year, and some are brand new. A gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner can be just as delicious as a gluten one! Maybe even better!

Cooking Tips

Plan Ahead: As with any holiday meal, decide your menu, choose your recipes, and make a shopping list asap. If possible, pick up the shelf stable ingredients the week before. You want to make sure you can find the brands you need, before they are sold out. Cooking gluten free doesn’t give you a lot of flexibility re: brands and products- it can be hard to substitute at the last minute. Gluten free breads and rolls usually taste best when made the same day, so leave enough time for fresh baking on Thanksgiving.

Frozen Turkey:  Be careful! The solution or broth injected into the turkeys may have gluten- check the label carefully and jump for joy if it is actually labeled gluten free. I usually purchase a frozen or  Norbest turkey simply because it IS labeled gluten free. Otherwise, check  the organic and minimally processed turkeys as well, they tend to have little or no added flavoring or solutions. The same guidelines go for ham- double check the ingredients on the label . .  I think Costco actually has a great ham that is gluten free.

Pies: When making a gluten free pie crust, be careful not to roll and shape the crust too thick.  A thin crust will turn out flakier and taste less dense. Also consider using a cookie crust- simply crush GF gingersnap cookies or Kinnikinnick’s S’moreable gluten free graham-style crackers (and actually taste like real graham crackers!) and combine with 3 tbsp. melted butter. Press into a pie pan and there you go- a cookie or graham crust for your favorite pie.

Recipe Links

Gluten Free Stuffing: Catherine, from A Gluten-Free Guide, posted some great stuffing recipes you might enjoy- both a classic stuffing and cornbread  stuffing recipe- take your pick! Whole Foods also has a flavorful stuffing recipe that looks good. I haven’t liked most of the gluten free stuffing mixes I have tried, so sometimes I will simply stuff the turkey with onion and herbs if I want to keep it simple.

Gluten Free Gravy: Shauna, the Gluten-Free Girl, has a great post that describes how insanely easy it is to make homemade gluten free gravy ( feel free to substitute cornstarch for the sweet rice flour; I have tried both and they work well.) Gluten Free Cooking School also has a good recipe for gravy.

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole:  Some love it, some hate it, and if you love it and want to make a gluten free version, Natalie ( the Gluten Free Mommy) can help! Her recipe is simply yummy! To save time, I substitute  Pacific Condensed cream of mushroom soups instead of the soup recipe. Fire and Salt also has a fantastic recipe that looks delicious!

Gluten Free Rolls: These can be tough, because I have yet to find the perfect light and fluffy dinner roll that I used to love.  Check out these recipes if you are feeling adventurous!

*Rosemary-Thyme rolls: Book of Yum has me seriously tempted with this recipe!

*Yeast Rolls: compliments of Gluten Free Steve

Sweet Potato Casserole: I love this variation of the classic sweet potato dish, that features a coconut pecan topping ( just be sure to substitute Gf flour for the flour in the recipe). If you do opt for the classic, double check the marshmallow ingredients- some brands may have hidden gluten. I always use Kraft marshmallows with great success.

Pie, Pie & More Pie: Right now my current favorite  is Gluten Free Mama’s pie crust mix - it is excellent with fruit pies as well as pecan pie and pumpkin pie. In the past I have also used the ‘Cause You’re Special pie crust mix with decent results.

More Recipes:

Gluten Free Croutons: I haven’t found any prepared gluten free croutons in a salad yet, but I have found a great recipe for making my own:

5 slices of gluten free bread ( I like to use Udi’s)
5 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme

Cube the bread. In a pan on medium heat, combine the garlic, olive oil and spices. Saute for a minute or so. Add the bread cubes and saute until bread cubes are slightly crunchy on the outside. Cool on a paper towel or napkin to absorb extra olive oil.

I probably shouldn’t give these away, but I just can’t help it . . . these recipes are a staple at my home at the holidays. Sorry I don’t have photos, but these pies disappear quickly! The french apple creme pie is a traditional apple pie with a twist – in the center there is a layer of tangy custard creme that is simply amazing. The pecan pie is ultra buttery and flavorful. Enjoy!

French Apple Creme Pie - adapted from Welcome Home for the Holidays – Gooseberry Patch

Start with a  two crust unbaked gluten free pie crust of your choice. Place one crust in pie tin. Roll out the second crust and use a 3 inch ( or so) cookie cutter and use in the center of the top pie crust to create an opening. DO NOT remove the dough inside the cookie cutter after use, the entire crust will be baked and the cookie cutter will create a shape on the top of the crust that you can remove after baking. This is important so you can add the custard later on.

Apple Filling:

3/4 c. sugar

2 tbsp flour ( I use brown rice flour with perfect results)

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 tbsp. grated lemon rind

5 to 5 1/2 cups of peeled and sliced granny smith apples

2 tbsp butter

Combine all except apples and butter. Add apples and toss to coat. Turn into shell and dot with butter. Top the apples with the pie crust that has the cookie cutter shape in the center. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then 30 minutes at 350 degrees. While the pie is baking, cook the creme sauce.

Creme sauce:

2 eggs beaten

1/2 c. sugar

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

3 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese, cut into pieces at room temperature

1/2 cup gluten free sour cream ( I use Daisy or Great Value brands)

In a saucepan, combine eggs, sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick. Add cream cheese and sour cream and stir until smooth. After your pie is baked, spoon through the cookie cutter opening on the top crust. I have also used a mini baster to get the cream spread evenly under the crust. Chill before serving.

Buttery Pecan Pie – adapted from Words Worth Eating, by Jacqueline G Legg

3 eggs

1/2 c.  granulated sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

1 c. dark corn syrup

1/3 c. butter ( do not substitute for best results)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 c. pecan halves

One 10 inch unbaked gluten free pie crust or two 9-inch unbaked gluten free pie crusts

Preheat oven to 350. Beat egg thoroughly with sugar, salt and corn syrup. Add butter, vanilla and pecans. Pour into pie shell for 50 minutes or until an inserted knife halfway between the center and and the crust comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake, and cool at least one hour before serving.


If you have a yummy recipe or favorite gluten free product you’d like to share, please feel free to comment and provide a link.

Do you want a recipe or need a product recommendation for something specific for your Thanksgiving dinner?  Let me know! Leave a comment with what you are looking for.

I hope your enjoy your gluten free Thanksgiving this year!


3 Responses to “Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipes and Tips”

  1. Arielle Hurst
    November 16th, 2010 @ 1:26 am

    As someone who is about to experience their first gluten-free Thanksgiving, I am really glad I stumbled upon your post! While finding gluten-free recipes isn’t so hard, finding enough to overhaul an entire holiday can be challenging. Thanksgiving is my family’s excuse for a family reunion every year and I was worried about the looks I might get when I reveal the only thing I can eat is dry lettuce and baby carrots instead of out time-honored potatoes and turkey dinner!

  2. Michelle
    December 16th, 2010 @ 11:56 am

    Costco’s ham is gluten free but the glaze packet that most people apply during cooking is not!

  3. Gluten Intolerance
    May 3rd, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

    Wow, thanks for sharing cooking tips and gluten free recipes, I will try later the Buttery Pecan Pie, and see if this fills my sweet cravings. I will stay tuned for more tips and gluten free recipes.

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