If you’ve got a house full of hungry guests, preparing Christmas dinner is already stressful. Add in food allergies or restrictions and it’s another coal to the fire (and not one that helps you cook). With a few recipes and cooking tips in your arsenal, you can easily feed everyone at the table an impressive meal, and you’ll find that cooking a gluten-free holiday meal isn’t that hard!
Fun fact: many food products include gluten in hidden or unexpected ways, so you should always double check your labels if it doesn’t outright say gluten-free. For example, the Celiac Disease Foundation says even lunch meats might contain gluten. The good news: wines and hard liquor/distilled beverages are, for the most part, gluten-free (some makers use a wheat paste to seal their wine barrels).
If you want to go simple, try serving a platter of fresh veggies or sliced cheese and Kalamata olives (or all of the above). Traditional baguettes are out, but your local gluten-free bakeries like Mariposa Bakery or Wholesome Bakery may carry gluten-free French bread — call to find out. Feeling pretty confident about your baking game? Try making Josey Baker Bread’s Adventure Bread!
Otherwise, here are a few recipes that will ease your guests’ hunger until the main meal:
- Autumn Root Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese Crostini (replace baguette with a gluten-free option)
- Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears with Gorgonzola(check the cheese does not contain wheat, barley, rye, oats, or malt)
- Spicy Vietnamese Fried Chicken Wings
- Homemade Cultured Compound Butter (to pair with that gluten-free bread)
- A Grown-Up Twist on Deviled Eggs (check mustard ingredients to make sure they do not include wheat flour or malt vinegar)
Keep the sides easy by sticking to vegetable-based recipes. For anything that involves breadcrumbs or a crust, visit a local natural foods store for some gluten-free options.
- Gluten-Free Cornbread and Red Pepper Stuffing
- British-Style Roasties: Sweet Potato Version
- Kale, Pomegranate, Tangerine and Avocado Salad
- Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette
- Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls
Go beyond the traditional turkey or ham for your holiday dinner! Some of these recipes involve chicken or beef broth which sometimes contain hydrolyzed wheat protein, so check the labels at the store.
- Braised Short Ribs with Gremolata
- Braised Pork Shoulder with Sauerkraut and Apples
- Chris Cosentino’s Christmas Duck
- Slow-Roasted Beef Prime Rib Roast
- Roast Rack of Lamb with Herb Butter
For many, the best part of dinner is at the end when you just have room for one last bite (so you have to make it count). Preparing gluten-free desserts isn’t terribly difficult, but it’s easy to get confused since baking with wheat flour is the norm for American sweets. For a go-to gluten-free flour recipe, bookmark this one from America's Test Kitchen.