Gluten-Free Thanksgiving, Here I Come (Part 2)
November 16, 2013

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving, Here I Come (Part 2)

After the snacks and appetizers, everyone looks forward to that Thanksgiving feast. Now, for most people, this is just the berries. But for those of us who suffer from gluten allergies and issues, food-centric holidays are actually the pits. I do not know about others, but I feel such a sense of guilt. I feel like I am a burden already when we have family meals, so I can’t imagine how bad I will feel at the holidays when food is the focus. So…let’s look at some gluten-free options for normally gluten-heavy Thanksgiving meal dishes in order to help us all (the gluten-free and gluten-full) prepare a tasty, enjoyable, and happy meal.

Stuffing or Dressing

Traditional stuffing recipes often call for wheat flour, and pre-made packaged stuffings (like Stove Top stuffing mix) usually have wheat flour. An easy fix is to make a cornbread stuffing. BUT make sure to use a gluten-free cornbread mix or a from-scratch corn bread recipe that does not require wheat, barley, and rye. Bob’s Red Mills makes a really tasty cornbread mix that would be fabulous for a gluten-free cornbread stuffing or dressing (per your preference). Plus, it will not really change the flavor or texture, so it is just like the old stuffing only gluten-free.

In searching for both a regular gluten-free stuffing or dressing recipe and a gluten-free cornbread stuffing or dressing, I found a few that sounded promising and familiar. The regular recipe comes from Udi, a company that makes many delicious gluten-free products. Naturally, this calls for using Udi products, but I am sure that you could use other breads. For the cornbread dressing, I found a couple of recipes. The first one comes from ABC News and provides a pretty solid looking recipe for from-scratch, gluten-free cornbread along with the dressing recipe. I found another from Whole Foods Market that seems simple and tasty. I would make the Bob’s Red Mills cornbread for the latter recipe.

In either case, it is key to note that some stocks and broths have wheat or gluten added to thicken them. Make sure you have a gluten-free broth or stock. As always, those of us who are gluten-free must always check the labels. Gluten is sneaky, after all.

Mac and Cheese

Many serve macaroni and cheese as a side dish at Thanksgiving. I found a really promising recipe at Gluten-free Goddess, a blog and site I regularly check in on for recipes and information about the gluten-free lifestyle. It does not seem too different or much more time consuming than regular mac and cheese, so I will definitely try this out.


Many people just purchase their dinner rolls anyway, so I would suggest Udi’s whole grain seeded dinner rolls or Udi’s classic French dinner rolls. I am not a huge roll eater, but these tasted pretty much the same as other dinner rolls.

Finally, just read the labels on all seasonings, seasons, broths, stocks, and just everything. It is not difficult to have a good gluten-free Thanksgiving, and it really will not cause much extra work or effort. In fact, it will probably be the same as a gluten-full one. So, whether you are gluten-free yourself and preparing the meal or you are preparing a gluten-free meal for someone else, I hope these ideas help prompt some gluten-free dishes. I know that I will be indulging in many of these.

Stay tuned for desserts, drinks, and leftovers…some of the best parts of Thanksgiving!

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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