Last Minute Gluten-Free Thanksgiving


Attending a Thanksgiving dinner and worried about how to stick to your gluten-free diet? Just found out that one of your guests is gluten-free but already have your menu set? Here are some last minute tips and recipes to help you enjoy your turkey day!


  1. Buy some ready-made naturally gluten-free appetizers: hummus & veggies or cheese & apples are great combinations
  2. If you are brining your turkey in beer (full of gluten), consider changing your recipe to one of the ones listed below
  3. If you’d rather not change your turkey recipe, consider buying or preparing some simple grilled meat or fish to serve. A grilled steak with salt and pepper is an easy satisfying alternative
  4. Grill or roast some veggies – just sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and you’ll have an easy, delicious allergy-friendly side dish
  5. Make some steamed rice as a gluten-free starch – to garnish mix in some chopped parsley leaves and a bit of salt and pepper. Or here’s the lazy cook’s secret – buy some Uncle Ben’s microwave rice at the supermarket (they come in all kinds of flavors)
  6. Now the hardest part: dessert. Chances are you’ve got your pumpkin pie and other desserts planned out already. So if you’re not up for modifying your recipes to use gluten-free flours, try just going for ICE CREAM. Naturally gluten-free (assuming you’re not serving any flavor with cookies or dough in it), this will make a great accompaniment for your regular gluten-filled dessert, and assuming your guest can have dairy, a delicious and refreshing end to a satisfying meal for your gluten-free guests. You could even buy a few flavors to add to the variety!


  1. Talk to your hosts in advance – you may think you can pick out the gluten-free dishes by eye (yes I used to attempt that in my younger more naïve days), but you never know if there is some hidden gluten in a sauce or brine for the turkey.
  2. Watch what you drink. Obviously beer is usually full of gluten, as are many hard liquors. Do your research beforehand, stick to wine or just avoid the hassle with non-alcoholic beverages (that will help ease up on the calories too!)
  3. Bring a dish. If you make it, you will know what’s in it. I suggest you talk to your host to let them know you will be doing this as not to step on any toes 🙂 Some suggested recipes below.
  4. Pace yourself. Now I realize this may be going against some Thanksgiving food traditions for some. But you may want to try not starving yourself earlier in the day, and also making sure you eat your share of any gluten-free appetizers (e.g. cheese, hummus) you are presented with earlier in the meal. Just in case you get to the main course and find that your options are limited.

For both HOST and GUEST, here are some gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes from Udi’s and Food & Wine. Good luck and enjoy! And remember, it’s not just about the food, it’s also about the family, friends, and the moment you pause to recognize all that you have to be thankful for.

Udi’s Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes

Food & Wine Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

Eating Well Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes

Simply Gluten-Free Magazine Recipes

Best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving, from the Tasteful Pantry!

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