Gluten Free Thanksgiving

It’s almost Thanksgiving!  Are you excited?  I am.  A couple days off work, lots of food, family. Plus, my 10 year high school reunion and Aaron’s championship game!  Busy, busy!

This will be my first gluten free Thanksgiving.  In my family, Thanksgiving is pretty gluten-free friendly.  But this past weekend we went to our friends’ house for a Friends-Giving pot luck and I realized not all Thanksgivings are especially gluten-free friendly. Let’s just say my plate was very beige.

Here are some tips for how to make sure your plate doesn’t only contain turkey and mashed potatoes.

If you are hosting:

  • Make some substitutions people will never notice.  Make stuffing with gluten free bread.  Udi’s bread has such a great texture (similar to sourdough) that when mixed with all the good stuffing fixins no one will be the wiser.  We brought mac n’ cheese this weekend and Aaron made me a small batch with gluten free noodles.  I think you could make a whole batch of it and no one would miss the gluten.

If you are contributing a dish:

  • Offer to bring something that traditionally has gluten and make it gluten-free. Appetizers, Stuffing, Mac n Cheese, Green Bean Casserole, Pie.

General Tips:

  • Skip the traditional green bean casserole and make sauteed green beans with mushrooms and garlic.  In our family we typically do this anyways.  I am going to make a version of these beans I found on Pinterest.
  • Bring apps that are naturally gluten free.  Let’s be honest – most people fill up on appetizers before the meal even begins.  Use that to our advantage and take control of the apps. Many appetizers are naturally gluten free.  Stuffed mushrooms are always a hit – fill them with anything you have on hand like sausage, cheese, zucchini, herbs. Make a yogurt-based dip that everyone will live and serve it with traditional and gluten free crackers and veggies.
  • Let your hosts know (if they don’t already) that you are avoiding gluten.  And make it easy on them by informing them of certain ingredients that have gluten like breadcrumbs, some turkey stock, etc.  Set them at ease by letting them know you will be able to eat plenty and offer to bring a couple extra dishes.
  • If you can’t live without the pie, offer to bring a gluten free version.  Or just stick to the ala mode minus the pie. Or snag some Pumpkin Ice Cream at the store to bring along (as long as yours isn’t already sold out like mine).
  • Let your host know you can bring some gluten-free flour for thickening the gravy and that you promise no one will know the difference.

All in all – show your friends and family that gluten free is not a scary thing, and that it doesn’t mean you can’t eat anything or have to miss out.  Know that you might have to pass on a few things and be sure to bring a couple options you know are safe so you aren’t asking for a full ingredient list on 12 difference dishes.




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