My Favorite EASY Gluten Free Thanksgiving Menu Recipes
Going gluten free? The holidays are actually a great time to do so! You can quickly learn how easy and delicious it is to eat gluten free by whipping up a gluten free Thanksgiving Menu. AND, you’ll avoid the dreaded “turkey nap” where everyone crashes after the meal (this may well be due to an overdose of serotonin in the brain, due to gluten or complex carbohydrates, NOT the tryptophan in the turkey!).
Instead of making 4-6 side dishes as some traditionally do, why not simplify? Leave more time for you to relax and enjoy company, and just make these three delicious, not-too-carb-heavy sides, plus this amazing chocolate pecan pie – these will fill you up and make all your guests very happy.
I have personally made this menu several times for my family which includes gluten- and non-gluten-eaters, and they unanimously love it!
My mom and I (above) just whipped it up for a pre-Thanksgiving feast when they were in town over the weekend. The whole menu took us 4 hours including prep and cook time.
P.S. – All of the recipes are also designed to be as easy and hassle-free as possible – especially the turkey. 🙂
Organic, Hormone-free Turkey with Gluten-Free Gravy:
- Organic, Hormone-Free, Free-Range Turkey
- 1 TBL each of sea salt and fresh ground pepper mixed in a small crock
- 1 organic lemon, cut in half
- 1 TBL olive oil in a small bowl
- 2 TBL of diced garlic (I buy it pre-diced in a jar), sitting in a large spoon or small bowl with a spoon
- Bunch of organic fresh parsley, washed and dried
- Bunch of organic fresh sage, washed and dried
- Bunch of organic fresh rosemary, washed and dried
- Bunch of organic fresh thyme, washed and dried
- Oven-grade rubber band or twine for the legs
- Self-timing meat thermometer such as the Polder 362-90 Digital In-Oven Thermometer/Timer, White (I have this one and love it)
- Place all ingredients in washable containers within reach, so you only have to wash hands once when done.
- Preheat oven to 425. Remove gizzards from turkey. Pat turkey dry and place breast side up in turkey pan (I use a vintage Savor enameled pan with lid – I got it on eBay).
- Liberally salt & pepper the turkey inside, but leave ¾ of the S&P for the outside.
- Add the two spoonfuls of diced garlic & spread it around the inside.
Wedge one half of the lemon in the bottom (neck) of the turkey.
Stick the entire bunch of parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme together inside the turkey (Thank you, Simon & Garfunkle).
- Cap it off with the other lemon half, cut side in.
- Rub the olive oil all over the outside of the turkey, don’t miss the legs, nooks and crannies. Ok to skip the back.
- Sprinkle the salt and pepper all over where the olive oil is.
- Bind the legs with the rubber band (may not be able to double it over, just be sure lemon doesn’t fall out) or tie securely with the twine.
- Place oven-proof meat thermometer between the leg and breast. Set the thermometer timer outside the oven to 167 to be sure it cooks enough.
- Place the lid on the pan, or tent with foil, and cook until meat thermometer goes off. Read turkey label to estimate how long it will take depending on size; however, it will cook a lot faster in a pan with a lid. If you don’t have a lid, I recommend tenting the turkey with a couple of layers of double-layered heavy-duty foil (for strength in engineering your tent). It doesn’t have to be closed, it just needs to protect the top of the turkey from browning too much and getting too dry. IMPORTANT: Be sure the thermometer itself is not touching bone, the pan, the lid, or the foil, or you will get a false reading. It’s fine if the cord is touching anything.
- When turkey is done, let it sit for at least 30 minutes before carving. Set aside a couple of good-sized handfuls of the small pieces for turkey soup or sandwiches tomorrow.
(This recipe is my own adaption from Ina Garten’s classic roast chicken recipe in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.)
While the turkey is sitting, make a quick gravy with the drippings:
- Heat 1 cup of chicken broth/chicken or turkey drippings and butter in a saucepan.
- Add 1 cup of cornstarch, rice starch or arrowroot powder and bring to a boil.
- Stir often.
- For a thicker gravy, add more cornstarch if necessary.
Serves 6. Set aside the rest of the broth for Turkey Soup tomorrow.
Simple Southern Secret Gluten Free Stuffing
- 1 package Glutino Corn Bread Stuffing or Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Stuffing (much cheaper to buy in store!)
- 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil or organic butter (tastes best with butter)
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 stalks organic celery, finely chopped
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free chicken broth
- 2 large, organic, free-range eggs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 2 quart casserole or an 8-x-8-inch baking pan.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the diced onions and celery. Sauté for 2 minutes or just until the onions begin to soften. Remove from heat.
- Place the stuffing in a large bowl. Add the sautéed mixture and toss to combine.
- Add the broth and the eggs and mix well. Let stand one minute to allow the liquids to soak into the stuffing.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake another 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Adapted from my mom’s recipe and Glutino’s Gluten free Stuffing Recipe.
Gluten Free, Cane-Sugar- Free Green Bean Bacon Rolls
- 1 pound green beans , ends trimmed
- 6 slices of bacon , halved
- Salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
- 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Lightly spray a baking sheet with coconut oil baking spray and set aside.
- Place about 6 green beans on each halved bacon strip.
Wrap bacon around green beans and secure with a toothpick.
- Season each bundle with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle each bundle with unrefined coconut sugar.
- Drizzle each bundle with balsamic vinegar.
- Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until green beans are tender and bacon is crisp.
Adapted from Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans on Diethood.com.
Caramelized Sweet Potato and Kale Fried Rice
- 1 1/2 cups 1/2″ cubed sweet potato
- 4 cups Curly kale, washed and packed (To easily strip the kale from the stems, grip the leaves at the thickest end of the stem then pull the stem out with the other hand (kind of like stripping fresh thyme leaves from the stem.)
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 3/4 cups Wild rice blend + chicken broth to cook it in
- 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp Maple syrup
- 2 tsp unrefined coconut sugar
- 1 Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin
- 1/4 cup Pepitas (pumpkin seeds), roasted and salted (you may need to roast and salt them yourself, as some that are not raw contain wheat. Simply toss them with sea salt and olive oil and broil on 400 for a few minutes)
- 1 tbsp Butter
- Prepare rice according to package instructions using chicken or vegetable broth in place of water. Set aside. (Can be made ahead of time.)
- Add ingredients for Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette in a jar with a tight fitting lid then shake to combine and set aside.
- Fill a wok or large skillet with water then bring to a boil. Add a heavy dash of salt and kale then boil until tender, 4-5 minutes. Drain, then when kale is cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water with hands, crumble, and then set aside.
- Turn heat down to medium-high, then melt butter in skillet. Add unrefined coconut sugar and sweet potatoes, season with salt, then saute until tender and caramelized, 8-10 minutes.
- Add kale, cooked rice and Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette to the wok then toss to combine. Serve topped with pepitas.
Blissful (Gluten Free, Dairy-Free, Mostly Cane Sugar-Free) Chocolate Pecan Pie
- Cookie sheet, 9-inch pie plate, candy thermometer (can use instant-read meat thermometer in a pinch)
- 9-inch frozen gluten-free, sugar-free pastry crust, thawed
- 1/4 cup Enjoy Life Semisweet Mini Chocolate Chips (leave out if you want to have zero cane sugar)
- 1 cup + 1 TBL pure maple syrup
- ½ cup unrefined coconut sugar
- 2 TBL butter
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp GF vanilla
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 cup broken pecans
- Move oven rack to center of oven. Preheat oven to 400. Spread thawed pie crust in 9-inch pie plate. Place plate on cookie sheet for easier transfer in & out of oven. Sprinkle chocolate chips over bottom of crust.
- Heat maple syrup in small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until syrup reaches 225 degrees, may take 3-10 minutes. While simmering, place coconut sugar and butter in medium mixing bowl. Immediately pour 225 degree syrup over the sugar and butter. Let mix sit for 1 minute, then whisk together. Add eggs, vanilla and sea salt, and whisk together (may look grainy).
- Pour filling mixture into pie crust, top with pecan pieces. Cover crust with strips of aluminum foil to keep it from burning. Grasp the cookie sheet to put it in the oven.
- Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 15 more minutes. Watch it and adjust the time as needed so the pie bakes until filling is puffed and cracking around the edges and just set in the center. It will continue to set after it comes out.
Adapted from Clean Eating Pecan Pie on FeelGreatIn8.com plus a family friend’s recipe in an old church cookbook.
Try these easy, gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes this week, and leave a comment as to how it went!