Gluten-Free Guide to Thanksgiving Sides (30 Recipes to Rock Your Dinner Table!)
Move over turkey.
You know what the best part about Thanksgiving is?
Something about a giant spread of delicious, fall-themed food definitely puts you in a holiday mood.
So. Much. Goodness.
But if you’re gluten-free?
You have a higher chance of missing out on the fun, and that’s, well–
To avoid letting gluten get in the way of enjoying the biggest feast of the year, use this article as your guide to gluten-free Thanksgiving sides.Table of Contents:
6 Tips for Crafting a Gobble-Worthy Gluten-Free Menu
Crafting a Thanksgiving menu among dietary restrictions isn’t exactly easy.
Or is it?
With these hosting tips, you’ll be cruising through Thanksgiving day without a hitch.
1. There’s Never Enough Planning
Ah yes, the golden key to hostess success.
Planning is everything!
Particularly if you’re intermixing gluten-free and regular food together in one menu.
But here’s the thing.
As long as you’re thorough with how many gluten-free meals you need, there’s really nothing to worry about.
2. Suss Out Your Gluten-Free Guests
This brings us to the next tip.
How many gluten-free guests will you have?
If you’re planning on making an entirely gluten-free menu, awesome.
But if you want to mix it up, that’s okay, too.
Just talk to guests and confirm dietary preferences to ensure you have enough food for everyone.
It is Thanksgiving after all!
Prepare for leftovers.
3. Set Aside Gluten-Free-Devoted Meals
Back to the hybrid gluten-free and regular food menu situation.
You’ll need to label which foods are gluten-free to prevent any mishaps.
You can even devote an entire table to specifically gluten-free food, so guests know what’s what.
4. Avoid Cross-Contamination At All Costs
Communication is key!
Verify that each guest knows not to swap spoons when it comes to gluten-free food; you want to avoid cross-contamination at all costs!
Oh, and don’t forget to devote individual kitchen equipment to your gluten-free food, too.
5. Remember to Have Fun!
The holidays can be stressful, no doubt.
But it doesn’t have to be all bad.
Remember to enjoy the process; it’s supposed to be fun!
If you need to, ask guests to bring some of their own side dishes or delegate tasks. Make it as easy as possible on yourself!
Give Thanks for These Gluten-Free Sides (& What to Avoid!)
So, you’re at Thanksgiving...but you have no idea what you can eat.
What has gluten?
Use this list of the most common gluten-free, Thanksgiving items as a guide. But as always, make sure to check with the host, or if you’re cooking, read all the ingredients.Common Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Side Dishes:
- Cranberry sauce
- Roasted veggies
- Mashed potatoes
- Creamed spinach
- Candied yams
- Green bean casserole
- Mac and cheese
- Dinner rolls
- Creamed corn (usually has small amounts of flour)
- Sweet potato casserole (usually has small amounts of flour)
Eyes on the Sides: 30 Gluten-Free, Game-Changer Recipes
It’s time to talk homemade, mouthwatering sides that will take your Thanksgiving table to the next level.
10 Healthy Classic Twists
You don’t want to get rid of classics entirely, but maybe you want to health-ify them up!
Here are 10 healthy twists on traditional Thanksgiving classics.
Baked Vegan Artichoke Dip from Tessa of Salted Plains
A Thanksgiving side needs to make the meal, right?
Well, is there anything so party-worthy as spinach artichoke dip?
I think not!
Except this recipe uses a cashew cream base, so it’s dairy-free. But no one will even notice, because they’ll be too busy dipping their chips!
A feast wouldn’t be complete without some veggies.
Thankfully, the classic way to serve veggies on Thanksgiving is roasted, which is already pretty dang healthy.
This recipe just amps up the flavor x100 with maple syrup, pecans, and cinnamon.
Typical broccoli salad is coated in heavy mayo–
Not this one!
Instead, you use greek yogurt to pack a protein punch.
What a way to feel healthy on Thanksgiving day!
Rustic mash with garlic and rosemary...these potatoes are the real deal!
While they’re not your usual whipped, cloud-like mash, they’re way more nourishing.
The best part?
You won’t even notice the kale. When it cooks down, the potatoes disguise it so well!
5. Dirty Rice
Instead of loading up with mounds of bread-based stuffing, why not trade out for some dirty rice?
It’s the perfect stuffing replacement, bringing all the flavor goodness without the gluten.
You can absolutely use it to stuff your turkey, too.
Dirty rice FTW!
Cauliflower is a national treasure, from pizza crusts to chips.
But did you know cauliflower is at its peak in the fall?
It’s a great, low-carb substitute for traditional potatoes, and this cauliflower is double the healthy trouble since it's coated in turmeric, an anti-inflammatory.
So, the more cauliflower you eat, the more pie you can have later, right?
Easy Roasted Acorn Squash from Olivia of Primavera Kitchen
More roasted veggies, please!
Back in the day, my mom would roast acorn squash and coat it with brown sugar and butter:
This recipe takes on a wholesome twist though, using paprika, garlic, and oregano for flavor.
Not a fan of sweet potatoes coated in marshmallows?
You’re not alone.
Instead, why not top them with broccoli?
Believe me; I was surprised, too.
But these twice-baked sweet potatoes are actually just as good as traditional sweet potato casserole.
They just have a more savory approach!
Creamed spinach, without the cream?
But don’t be fooled.
It’s still creamy n’ delicious– just made with cashew cream, parmesan cheese, butter, and seasoning.
It should be a crime for spinach to taste this good.
Who knew green beans could be so refreshing?
Exchange green bean casserole for these lemon parmesan green beans if you’re wanting a less heavy, more healthy side.
You can never add too much garlic!
10 Comforting Staples
A gluten-free menu doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice those original Thanksgiving staples, like dinner rolls.
You can still take part in the comfort food with these 10 gluten-free recipes!
Some sweet potato casserole recipes have a sneaky tablespoon or two of flour in the pecan crumble.
But this one uses gluten-free flour instead.
And you don’t even have to surrender the brown sugar, gooey marshmallow goodness!
5 ingredients and 9 minutes?
These fluffy, gluten-free buttermilk biscuits are everything you need and more to satisfy that bready, Thanksgiving craving.
So soft and buttery sweet!
You wouldn’t expect creamed corn to be on the gluten-free no-go list.
But similar to sweet potato casserole, most recipes use a small amount of flour to thicken up the cream.
Thankfully, you have this recipe using a basic gluten-free flour blend.
If you don’t have mashed potatoes on your Thanksgiving table, is it really Thanksgiving?
Potatoes are on the Thanksgiving list of essentials, except this recipe takes your basic mashed potato recipe over the edge–
In a good way!
Get ready for garlicky, rich, whipped potatoes everyone will rave over!
Gluten-Free Stuffing from Chrystal of Gluten-Free Palate
Doesn’t gluten-free stuffing kind of defeat the point of stuffing?
Well, what if I told you that this stuffing was BETTER than normal?
The bread is perfectly moist and flavorful, loaded with delicious seasonings, butter, and veggies.
Your guests won’t believe it’s gluten-free!
Even if cranberry sauce isn’t your jam, you have to admit that it still belongs on the table for a pop of color.
Food has never looked so beautiful.
And this homemade, easy gluten-free and vegan cranberry sauce definitely doesn’t disappoint with cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and cinnamon.
Creamy, cheesy comfort food that’s still kinda healthy?
Who would’ve thought!
Traditional broccoli casserole is on the naughty list for gluten-free dieters.
You gotta watch out for the canned cream of chicken soup!
However, this recipe includes a homemade version, and it’s so simple.
Can’t forget the mac!
Mac and cheese goes with everything, and fortunately, to make it gluten-free, all you have to do is swap out some noodles.
But this southern baked macaroni cheese is the creamiest mac you’ve ever seen with ingredients like evaporated milk and velveeta cheese.
Oh yeah, I went there.
Canned soup strikes again!
Regular green bean casserole requires cream of mushroom soup, which isn’t gluten-free–
Not to mention the fried onions on top.
However, you’re making your own mushroom soup here and frying up onions at home.
Don’t be fooled.
Candied yams are actually just sweet potatoes.
And they’re covered in a crazy good, caramelized cinnamon mixture that melts in your mouth.
Something about sweet potatoes and brown sugar takes the cake every time!
10 Unique n’ Tasty Side Recipes
Yeah, the original recipes are amazing, but what about some other unique flavor mash-ups?
These 10 recipes are perfect for spicing it up on Thanksgiving day.
Roasted carrots aren’t anything different, but this lemon tahini sauce is where it’s at.
It’s such a healthy way to combine interesting flavors and textures.
You can even top it off with some fresh mint leaves.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese and Pecans from Cassie of Deliciously Organic
You might not have expected goat cheese to sit down next to butternut squash, but it’s actually one of the most delicious combos ever.
Give it a go!
Brussel sprouts can be festive, but when doused in maple syrup?
This recipe is also super nutritional, too with coconut oil, cranberries, pecans, and cinnamon.
Planning is everything, right?
Well, you can totally make the gluten-free cornbread ahead of time for the ultimate, stress-free side dish.
It’s a great play on traditional stuffing– just with a bread twist.
Is there a better fall salad than beet and goat cheese?
It just screams warm, cozy vibes with a touch of sweetness.
So why not serve it at Thanksgiving?
This recipe also comes with an additional bit of yumminess–
How do you feel about cabbage?
Most just associate cabbage with coleslaw, but it’s so much more than that, especially when you roast it to perfection.
Oh, and top it with an amazing onion dijon sauce.
Waldorf salad gets old quick.
So try this celery, pear, and hazelnut salad instead!
I feel like it’s way more “Thanksgiving” with the hazelnut, raisins, and apple cider vinegar anyway.
Plus, just a tiny bit more delicious!
Fun party game:
Ask your guests to guess how many greens went into this greens gratin with cheese.
Three massive bunches of kale!
But no one will even notice, because they’ll be too busy gobbling up all of the cheese.
Hummus is technically an appetizer, but since it’s Thanksgiving, dips count as side dishes, too.
Also, this recipe is just too good to pass up.
You’ve got butternut squash blended with chickpeas, garlic, and honey, then topped with pomegranate seeds for a pinch of sweetness.
Gluten-Free Tomato Cobbler with Corn Flour Biscuits from Tessa of Salted Plains
Tomato cobbler is basically a savory approach to your typical sweet cobblers, then loaded up with corn-flour biscuits.
It looks and sounds so fancy, but there’s hardly any work involved.
Gobble Gobble! Time to Load Up Your Gluten-Free Plate
Okay, so maybe sides aren’t the best part about Thanksgiving…
Maybe it’s loading up your plate WITH your gluten-free sides!!
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