Gluten Free Thanksgiving

Planning a gluten free thanksgiving does not have to be overwhelming. It’s actually fairly easy to create. I have been sans gluten for close to 10 years now, and the shifts and changes I have made to have a GF Thanksgiving, have not had to be monumental changes.

The tastes and flavors are still amazing, and very frankly, I don’t feel like I am missing out on a thing. I think it’s just about getting a rhythm down, and some good resources and recipes under your belt. Here is my list of favorite recipes and tips for a successful Gluten Free Thanksgiving!

Where does gluten show up?

The primary places where gluten shows up in Thanksgiving recipes is: pie crust, stuffing, canned soup, onion topping, breads of course, and gravy (flour or roux).

Turkey 

Turkey is naturally gluten free. Purchase pasture raised, organic or locally raised whenever you can. Not only will the flavor be amazing, but there will not be added hormones, chemicals, pesticides and your animals are humanely raised.

My favorite preparation for my turkey is to brine it with Alton Brown’s recipe, I have made just a couple adjustments, I never seem to find candied ginger (or maybe I forget to look), and I use olive oil instead of canola oil. Lastly, his timing for the turkey is 2-2 1/2 hours, and I have found this to be too short, for me it’s a solid 3 hours, and maybe 3 1/2 dependent on your oven.

Not sure what size turkey to get? Plan on a 1/2lb per person.

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are naturally gluten free. They are a staple at our house, you simply can not have Thanksgiving dinner without mashed potatoes. There is really nothing like the loft you get with a russet potato. However, this white potato is not the best for our blood sugar. I like to switch this up, and use a white sweet potato instead (when my family doesn’t balk at this).

For Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes- I substitute almond or flax milk instead of cows milk, and use homemade Ghee, if you can tolerate ghee (butter fat with the milk solids boiled out -so no casein or lactose). If not, I have subbed olive oil instead of the butter, and this works well also.

How much to make? My mom always says 1 potato per person, I personally like lots of left overs, so I always make more.


Stuffing

Is not typically gluten free due to the bread of course. However there are some great gluten free breads on the market now. A couple of my favorites are Canyon Bakehouse, and Kim and Jakes 

1 loaf Gluten free bread –  Cut into cubes, and set out to dry for a few days, or toast in the oven
6-8 T Butter or ghee
3-4 Stalks celery chopped small
1 Medium onion diced small
20ish Fresh Sage leaves chopped
About 2 cups of Chicken Stock – my favorite is Imagine Foods, because it doesn’t have sugar or gluten
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Saute’ celery, onion and sage in 2T butter or ghee until the onions are translucent, and remove from heat. Place bread cubes in a buttered glass baking dish (9 x 13 ish). Mix in onions, celery and sage. Add Salt and Pepper to taste. Add 2 cups of chicken stock, and stir everything together. Dot the remaining butter or ghee on the top of the mixed stuffing. Bake covered for 15mn, and uncovered for 15mn at 350 degrees.

There are also a couple other stuffing versions you could look for that could be Gluten Free or GF. Corn Bread Stuffing (double check there is no white flour in it, as corn bread can commonly have it), as well as a Wild Rice Stuffing. 

Green Bean Casserole
The crispy onion topping and the mushroom soup, are not typically gluten free 

Ok, so I will admit the GF Green Bean Casserole has eluded me to a certain degree. I have not yet found GF crispy onions that you can purchase. There are recipes online for making your own crispy onions, I have yet to find one that works. So far they have been a bit of an epic fail, so much so, it’s a running joke in my family “Who’s making the onions this year”… no one! ha!

Update!! I found Gluten Free Crispy Onions at Aldi, I have not tried them yet, but have found them there. They are the Aldo LiveGF brand. Here is a link to them on Instacart, as Aldi does not have them on their site right now. 

Cranberry Sauce with Clementines and Cinnamon

Cranberries and the sauce variations are naturally gluten free. 
Thank you Wholefoods for this recipe! It is sooooo yummy! It has even taken the place of the canned cranberries for me, which I LOVE (that’s big!) It’s the perfect amount of sweet and tart. This recipe does call for a fair amount of sugar, so instead of that I use Swerve, an erythritol based sweetener, and it’s equally yummy, without sugar, and no funky after taste.

Gravy

Is not typically gluten free, usually white flour is added to thicken the gravy. However, I found a recipe that is better than any recipe I have had with flour in it. I am the kind of girl that puts gravy on just about everything on my plate on thanksgiving, so I am COMPLETELY in love with this recipe from Elana’s Pantry. I did make an adjustment and only use one large onion in this recipe. I’m telling you this recipe is so good, NO ONE notices it’s gluten free, and I think it’s better than any gluten-ized gravy I have ever had.

I love the Imagine Foods Chicken Stock, as there is no sugar in it (yes, did you know most stock has some sort of sweetener in it?), no funky chemicals, and it’s Gluten Free (yes often soup has gluten or flour in it to thicken it).

Pumpkin Pie 

Is not typically gluten free due to the flour in the pie crust. I typically use Elana’s Pumpkin pie recipe from her book The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook, which is a great book to get if you are dipping your toe in the water of GF. I did not find this recipe online, but she has a new Paleo Pumpkin Pie recipe that looks divine, plus, it has coconut milk in it (yum!). I am also grateful she has upgraded some of her ingredients and is now using coconut oil instead of grapeseed oil, and honey instead of agave nectar, which is what I always replaced the agave with in her GF Almond Flour Cookbook above.

There are also some great gluten free pie crusts you can buy at your local coops or Whole Foods stores.

Dairy Free Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is gluten free, however I like a dairy free option. I can’t find my original recipe for this, but i am including a similar one. Basically you are taking the solid part of the coconut milk from the can, whipping, adding a little sweetener, and whipping again. It’s a yummy substitute. I really love this with a little honey, it’s not “sugar free” then, but the flavor is so lovely. You could also add stevia to this for a sugar-free option.

Use those leftovers!

Turkey Bone Broth

Don’t through away that Turkey Carcass! Freeze it, or pop it right into the crock pot, and start a batch of Turkey Bone Broth. It’s the perfect time of year for it. Bone Broth helps reduce inflammation in your body, heal the digestive tract, boost your immunity, and warm your heart and soul! Here is my easy peasy recipe. 

Turkey Wild Rice Soup 

Is a GREAT option for the turkey leftovers, and you can use the bone broth above as for the stock. Here is my recipe, enjoy!!

Updated 6.3.2019
Photo Credit to: Alison Marras

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