Planning a gluten free Thanksgiving Dinner doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It’s actually fairly easy to create a feast that is fully gluten free. I think the hardest part can be finding the road map to the options.
I have been sans gluten for over 10 years now. And the shifts and changes I have made to have a GF Thanksgiving, have not had to be monumental changes.

The biggest changes of course are removing anything that has wheat flour, wheat, or is bread based. I have replaced these items with gluten free versions of the same foods really easily.  It is also helpful to know that gluten can hide in things like malt, soy sauce, and caramel coloring, and sometimes additives. So finding items that are labeled gluten free is important.

Once I pulled out gluten, I found options where the tastes and flavors are still amazing. And very frankly, I don’t feel like I am missing out on a thing. For me, the way I feel without gluten is miles better, than how I felt eating gluten (joint pain, brain fog, digestive issues, and more). So this life change is beyond worth it for me.

I think the biggest challenge is just getting a rhythm down with not eating gluten. And some good resources and recipes under your belt. It might also help to know there is little to nutritional value in gluten. So directing your nutritional choices towards animal protein, plants and good fats is really going to optimize your nutrition.

Here is my list of favorite recipes and tips for a successful Gluten Free Thanksgiving! Enjoy! 

Where does gluten show up?

The primary places where gluten shows up in Thanksgiving recipes are:

  • pie crust
  • stuffing
  • canned soup
  • the crunchy onion topping
  • breads
  • gravy (flour or roux)
  • soy sauce (sometimes used in side dishes)
  • caramel coloring (sometimes in packaged foods
  • condiments or possibly in gravy browning sauce)

The best way around this is to eliminate the most obvious items. Replace with a gluten free option, and  be sure and read labels. Sometimes gluten can be hidden in the funniest of places. Sometimes packages will state when something is gluten free, and sometimes not. A quick phone call to the company, or a web search may help you find the clarity you need. 

Now that you know where gluten usually shows up, let’s look at each individual category. And I will give you solutions and options. 


Turkey is naturally gluten free. Be sure to purchase pasture raised, organic or locally raised whenever you can. This will ensure the flavor will be amazing, as well as ensure your animals are humanely raised. It will also prevent you from being exposed to added chemicals, and pesticides. All of which can be endocrine disruptors (meaning they disrupt hormones). 

My favorite preparation for my turkey is to brine it with Alton Brown’s Brine recipe.
I have made a couple adjustments to the recipe:

  • I never seem to find candied ginger (or maybe I forget to look!).
  • I use olive oil instead of canola oil.
  • Lastly, his timing for the turkey is 2-2 1/2 hours. 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. 

For Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes- I substitute oat milk, almond, flax milk or coconut milk instead of cows milk. And use homemade ghee (butter fat with the milk solids separated out). If you can’t tolerate ghee, I have also subbed olive oil. Or Chicken broth instead of the butter also works well.

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


Stuffing or dressing is not typically gluten free due to the bread of course.  Which is which? Stuffing is what goes in the turkey. And dressing is typically the dish made on the side, without being stuffed in the turkey. 

There are some pretty good gluten free bread options on the market now.
A couple of my favorites are:

Grandma Mac’s Stuffing Recipe – adapted to be gluten free

1 Loaf gluten free bread –  My favorite is the Canyon Bakehouse Heritage Whole Grain
6-8 T Butter or ghee – 4th & Heart is my favorite brand of Ghee
3-4 Stalks celery chopped small
1 Medium onion diced small
20-ish Fresh Sage leaves chopped
2 cups of Chicken Stock (give or take) add more if needed. My favorite is Imagine Foods. Because it doesn’t have sugar or gluten (yes, most stock has sugar or sweetener of some sort)
Redmonds Real Salt and Pepper to Taste

  1. Cut the bread into small cubes. Set out too dry for a few days. Or toast in a low temp oven. I find GF bread can burn quickly in the oven. So keep the temp low, like 275 degrees., and keep an eye on it.
  2. Saute’ celery, onion and sage in 2T butter or ghee until the onions are translucent, and remove from heat.
  3. Place bread cubes in a buttered glass baking dish (9 x 13 ish).
  4. Mix in onions, celery and sage. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
  5. Add 2 cups of chicken stock, and stir everything together.
  6. Dot the remaining butter or ghee on the top of the mixed stuffing.
  7. Bake covered for 15mn, and uncovered for 15mn at 350 degrees.

There are also a couple other stuffing versions you could look into that can be Gluten Free. Corn Bread Stuffing (double check it is GF, not all is), as well as a Wild Rice Stuffing. 

Green Bean Casserole

The crispy French Fried Onion topping and the mushroom soup in this dish, are not typically gluten free.  Because of this for a while the GF Green Bean Casserole had eluded me. I have been looking for years for a 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 those recipes have been a bit of an epic fail for me. So much so, it’s a running joke in my family “Who’s making the onions this year”… no one! haha!!

But I have an update! I found Gluten Free French Fried Onions at Aldi. And they are yummy, and a great substitution for the originals. They are the Aldi LiveGF brand, and only there around Thanksgiving. I also found this option Lar’s Own Organic Gluten Free Crispy Onions. I haven’t tried them yet, but they are next on my list to order and try!

And there are a few options for gluten free cream of mushroom soups now too. I like this Cream of Mushroom Soup from Annie’s.

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 sugar I use either stevia, monkfruit, or Swerve. Swerve is an erythritol based sweetener. I find this recipe to be equally yummy, without sugar. The NuNaturals Stevia is my favorite, and I don’t think it has a stevia aftertaste. 


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 Chicken Stock. There is no sugar in it (yes, most stock has some sort of sugar in it). There are also no funky chemicals. And it’s Gluten Free (yes packaged soup often has gluten or flour in it, so do your due diligence)!

Pumpkin Pie 

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. This is a great book if you just beginning to dip your toe in the water of living gluten free. That booked really saved my sanity when I first switched to GF.

The recipe I like is not 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 those two ingredients with.

If you would prefer not to bake your own crust, 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 take the solid part of the coconut milk from the can. Pour the clear liquid off into a separate bowl, and discard it. Whip the solid coconut milk with a hand mixer. Add a little sweetener like honey, and whip again. This is a yummy dairy 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. Purchase the full fat coconut milk in the can. And make sure that it sounds solid when you shake the can before you buy it. This will ensure you have the solid part that you can whip.

Use those leftovers!

You worked so hard on this meal, utilize those leftovers into additional healthy meals for yourself.

  • Turkey bone broth is super easy. I basically drop everything into the pot as soon as the turkey has been carved up. Check out my recipe below.
  • I also really love to make Turkey Wild Rice Soup. And I make a gluten free version that is satiating and warming on those cool winter days. It’s also easy to freeze!
  • I don’t have this recipe written out. But my kiddo and I love to make Turkey Paninis with left over turkey. We add some asiago cheese, and spread the left over cranberry sauce across the bread, so yummy! I like to use this bread Canyon Bakehouse Heritage Whole Grain Bread for the paninis.

If you are dealing with histamine intolerance, you’ll want to freeze your leftovers as quickly as possible. Histamine builds in leftover foods quickly. And bone broth is off the table with histamine intolerance as it is high histamine. There isn’t an exact low histamine substitute for bone broth. Instead make a meat broth, where you simmer meat for about 20 minutes. Here is an article from my friends at Mast Cell 360. It shares why you shouldn’t incorporate bone broth. And offers a quick meat broth recipe instead. Meat Broth: The Gut Healing Bone Both Alternative. 

Turkey Bone Broth

Don’t through away that Turkey Carcass! Once you finish carving it, immediately drop it into the freezer. 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. It helps heals the digestive tract, boost your immunity, and warms 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 08/06/22
Photo Credit to: Alison Marras

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