one of the things i find interesting is how many people come up to me and tell me they’re overwhelmed with making gluten free dishes over the holidays. it can be overwhelming, sure, if you’re making extravagant meals and ones that contain a load of ingredients. I find the best thing to do is scratch all that off your list and start over! Just do easy recipes, with fresh ingredients, and then add depth. You’ll end up with gluten free heaven on your thanksgiving table on the big day.
chicken or turkey stock.
Ok so we are gonna get this out of the way first. the biggest and most important thing to remember for a successful gluten free thanksgiving is to figure out your broth first. you’ve got two choices here. you can purchase a few boxes of gluten free stock at the store to make it easier on you. pacific and kitchen basics are two brands that label their stocks gluten free. look for those in your grocery isles. they’re wonderful quality.
but if you’re looking to have a TON of flavor and ensure that your stock is 100% gluten free, you NEED to make your own. HERE IS HOW EASY IT IS: grab your crock pot. slow cooker. what do we call it these days? i don’t know but grab it. get a rotisserie chicken like tonight or tomorrow! shred the chicken and put in tupperware, then throw ALL of those bones in the crockpot. cut up a couple large carrots, celery stalks, onions, and a bunch of thyme leaves. no dried thyme. and ADD SALT AND PEPPER. with gluten free, you’ll want that salt added to enhance the flavor of the dishes.
cover the slow cooker and let it cook on low, literally overnight. no joke. i cook it overnight on low and the smell of the house is INCREDIBLE waking up. it’s like christmas morning! you can do this a few times and have gobs of stock ready for the big day in a couple of weeks. simply scoop out all the carcass and veggies, then strain the broth into tupperware and freeze. it will make every single dish better than you’ll ever imagine.
with homemade stock, your turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes…all of it, will be flavorful. homemade stock is pretty much a must if you’re making gluten free dishes on turkey day.
gluten free thanksgiving turkey.
the turkey is easy here. you’ll either stuff it or not. if you’re not stuffing the turkey, everything you’ll put fresh in the cavity will be gluten free if its a vegetable. stuff it with onions, garlic, fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary. You’re golden! always make sure you don’t use dried herbs however, unless they say ‘certified gluten free’. They could be cross contaminated. plus, fresh herbs on thanksgiving are a must. i don’t care what anybody says, you can’t get the taste from dried sage like you would from a strong, fresh sage leaf. there’s just no comparison. get my drift?
butterball makes turkeys that are labeled gluten free. and there are plenty of turkeys that label gluten free now, so you’ve got alot of options. Now, the key is to NOT use the gravy that is provided. It’s usually not gluten free. it just gets in the way. unless the actual gravy package is labeled ‘gluten free’, you can toss it. make your own gravy. with minimal, gluten free ingredients.
I’ve always used butterball because i grew up eating butterball turkeys. i order fresh ones now and since mom has passed, i don’t see myself straying to any other brand at this point. she might not take this well. unless it’s a farm fresh turkey. right? like farm raised and fresh. now that is a thought. any thoughts on that from you? how wonderful does it taste? gamey? or no? my mouth is watering already.
gluten free stuffing.
the EASIEST thing you can do is go pick up a loaf of Udi’s white bread at the store. Of course, making your own is best but if you want easy, this is your best route. As soon as you bring the loaf home, take it out of the package. piling about 4 pieces at a time, simply slice the bread across, then parallel. you’ll be making small cubes for your stuffing. throw them on a baking sheet, coat lightly with canola spray and sprinkle with kosher salt. then pop them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 5-10 minutes, checking periodically. once they’re browned and crisp on the outside, they’re done. let them cool and assemble your stuffing the same way you would with any recipe you have or follow online.
remember to use fresh herbs for your stuffing. no dried herbs. there is cross contamination in dry herbs. if you prefer to use dry, you’ll want to order certified gluten-free herbs for the holidays from a brand like spicely. this will ensure the stuffing will be gluten-free. i would order rosemary, poultry seasoning, thyme, and sage. these are the essentials when it comes to thanksgiving herbs for cooking.
gluten free mashed potatoes.
ok here’s the deal with mashed potatoes on thanksgiving. don’t rely on boxed! get yourself some fresh idaho or russet potatoes from the grocery store. wash them, peel the skins, cut them in large chunks, and sit them in a very large bowl of cold water. once you’re ready to make your side dish, simply boil the mashed potatoes for 30 minutes with alot of kosher salt. when they fall apart from a fork poke, mash them up with milk or cream and Kosher salt, ground peppercorn, some butter, and several pinches of sugar. add more milk if they’re too dry until you reach the right consistency.
do you want garlic mashed potatoes? simply buy 2 to 4 whole garlic cloves, cut the tops off, drizzle with olive oil then wrap them each in foil in a dish to sit, and put them in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees. they’ll be soft and ready to mush. just add them to your mashed potatoes and stir up before serving.
gluten free green beans.
you can go with a simple recipe here. before revamping my blog, i had my mom’s homemade green beans with cheese recipe up. i’ll probably get the recipe posted as christmas approaches. sound good? it’s awesome.
for now, go with fresh green beans and shallots. shallots are in the onion family, but they have skin that’s sort of a tan color. when you peel them open, like 4 more shallots form. it’s a crazy little thing. but a shallot in a recipe is ONE WHOLE SHALLOT WITH SKIN, so don’t get confused. ya dig?
so shallots sautéed, with Kosher salt and ground peppercorn are all you need here. before thanksgiving and christmas, you’ll find green beans are sold in huge barrels because they’re in such demand this time of year. grab handfuls of them, and several shallots. all you have to do is sautée shallot slices on low heat for a long time and while that happens, cook your beans on another skillet. they don’t need to cook long. heat them with olive oil for no more than 3 minutes, then blanch them in cold water. add your shallots and salt and pepper. that’s it.
i’ve tried a ton of different green bean recipes. i find the best way to eat green beans needs to be two ways: either crunchy with a veggie or something added for flavor, or soft in a casserole type of dish. there’s no mixing and matching here. if you’re making a casserole, let the green beans be mushy. no casserole, make them crunchy. and the easiest way to ensure gluten free is the crunchy, quick method. not many ingredients required.
my mom’s green beans with cheese are the best. No joke, the best. i can compete with anyone here, so bring it. i promise, you won’t win! ??but it takes a little bit more work to make gluten free.
with fresh green beans, shallots, salt and pepper, you’ll have an amazing gluten free side dish instantly.
gluten free desserts.
ok so this is a big one. this one is hard because what decadent, thanksgiving recipe is easy to make gluten free? this is where i come in and am so glad you’re reading my blog! the very best thing you can do to ensure gluten free desserts are to stick to barks or things that are chocolate covered. you can make piles of this stuff. you can serve them with gluten free gelato ice cream (um, talenti chocolate chip mint is gluten free and can i get a ‘holla’!!??! it’s amazing!!!!).
go to the store, and buy a couple of bags of enjoy life dark chocolate morsels. if you have a gluten free section at your grocery store, you’ll find them. enjoy life dark chocolate is gluten and dairy free, so you will have peace of mind that it will be gluten free. melt the chocolate in the microwave to temper, and add various toppings for a decadent gluten free chocolate bark.
here’s my holiday bark you can try and you will LOVE. its gluten free and so fun to make! And it’s dairy free! you can also buy gluten free packaged walnuts (if they’re not labeled gluten free, look for labels that say ‘manufactured with other tree nuts’ in the ingredients, and not ‘manufactured with wheat’) and cover with this dark chocolate and when they harden, you’ve got a fancy dessert. and it’s bite sized, which is even better. cause when people are tired from the main course and on a second glass of wine, is it ideal to cut a piece of cake? not have two hands free when eating? and not enjoy mingling? i don’t think so.
any questions? need more gluten free turkey day tips or advice? freakin send me an email! or comment below! i’ll be more than happy to answer any questions.
ps. i’m sorry i didn’t capitalize this article! i hope it doesn’t bother some of you. or does it NOT bother some of you? your thoughts?
i’m so exhausted but HAD to get this info out for ya. i had one of the best nights ever this past weekend. it was a Whalesgiving. i’ll explain more in detail in another post. let’s just say life long best friends, high school, all together, thanksgiving dishes i made…it was amazing.
and since i’m happily tired, i didn’t want to capitalize. and i told you my major was journalism, right? in college, right? yeah. well. c’est la vie!