Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This is a time to come together with family and friends and reflect on all that we are thankful for. While this holiday is a casual, relaxed holiday for many, Thanksgiving is a time of angst for many celiacs.
The thought of going to someone’s house and putting your health in someone else’s hands can be very concerning. A typical meal is scary enough but a huge Thanksgiving meal where there are multiple cooks in the kitchen means many more opportunities for glutenous mistakes to be made.
Best case scenario, you cook at your house and insist on taking care of the entire meal solo, where you know you’ll be safe. Often times this simply isn’t possible.
If you must go elsewhere for your Thanksgiving meal, you should insist on being part of the planning and cooking. Your family and friends know how hard it is to maintain a strict gluten-free diet and will understand why you need to be hands on.
It may be harder for you initially during the planning and cooking but your stomach will thank you later!
The first mistake many people make is assuming that all turkeys are gluten-free. This is not the case. Many turkeys contain gluten because of the solutions they have been injected with or are contaminated with a gluten containing gravy packet that has been stuffed inside.
Below you will find nine common brands of turkeys that are considered gluten-free by the manufacturer.
In this post, you will find amazing gluten-free recipes for your entire Thanksgiving dinner. The recipes found below include:
- Gluten-free crescent rolls
- Gluten-free cheesy potatoes
- Gluten-free cranberry sauce
- Gluten-free stuffing
- Gluten-free brined turkey
- Gluten-free gravy
- Gluten-free green bean casserole with gluten-free French fried onions
- Gluten-free pumpkin pie
- Gluten-free pumpkin cake (one of my favorite recipes of all time)
Whether you are hosting a gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner at your house or heading out to a family member’s house for dinner, using the following gluten-free recipes will ensure that everyone enjoys a delicious gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner this year.
*I’ve listed some brands in my recipes that are considered gluten-free (as I type this blog post). As always, check ingredients as they can change without warning.
Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes
Gluten-Free Brown Sugar Brined Turkey
I whole turkey
2 gallons warm water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins is gluten-free)
4 tablespoons sliced fresh garlic
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup melted butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cans (4 cups) chicken broth (Swanson is gluten-free)
Pour 2 gallons of warm water in a large bucket. If you have a Firehouse Subs near you, I recommend buying one of their pickle buckets for $2.00, which is food grade. A few days prior to Thanksgiving spray with vinegar water to remove the pickle smell. This bucket is perfect for holding your brine.
Dissolve brown sugar and kosher salt in the warm water completely.
Add the garlic slices, pepper and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine.
Let the water cool to room temperature, then add your cleaned (giblets and neck removed), washed turkey to the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours. If your turkey isn’t covered completely by the brine, place it in the brine breast side up for 12 hours then flip for the remaining 12 hours.
After 24 hours, remove turkey from the brine and rinse completely, making sure all brine has been washed away.
Pat turkey dry with paper towels and place breast side down on roasting pan.
*I like to rub the skin of my turkey with a mixture of equal parts olive oil and melted butter, then sprinkle with black pepper and garlic powder.
Add 2 cans of chicken broth to the bottom of the roasting pan and cover the turkey loosely with heavy duty aluminum foil.
Roast turkey according to the chart below. Be sure to baste your turkey every 30 minutes or so. Once your turkey is done, remove from oven, keeping foil over turkey and letting turkey rest for 15 minutes prior to carving.
General Roasting Schedule for Unstuffed Turkey at 325°F…
4.5 – 7 lbs for 2 – 2.5 hours
7 – 9 lbs for 2.5 – 3 hours
9 – 18 lbs for 3 – 3.5 hours
18 – 22 lbs for 3.5 – 4 hours
22 – 24 lbs for 4 – 4.5 hours
24 – 30 lbs for 4.5 – 5 hours
Sensational Gluten-Free Stuffing
6 cups gluten-free bread cubes
4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 1/2 cup chicken broth (Swanson is gluten-free)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons sage
2 teaspoons thyme
1/4 cup parsley
Preheat oven to 300°F
Bake bread cubes on baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until dried, approximately 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool.
Increase oven temperature to 325°F.
In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add celery, carrot and onion, stirring until soft. Add salt, pepper, sage and thyme and continue to cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of chicken broth and continue to heat until liquid is reduced by half.
Combine in a large bowl, baked bread cubes, vegetable mixture, remaining 3/4 cup chicken broth and parsley. Pour into baking dish that has been coated in vegetable spray and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.
Crazy Good Gluten-Free Cranberry Sauce
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup orange juice
In a medium-sized saucepan dissolve the sugars in the orange juice over medium heat. Add cinnamon and stir. Add cranberries and cook until the cranberries begin to pop, approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
Gluten Free Cheesy Potato Casserole
1 package of frozen diced potatoes (30 oz), thawed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
16 oz sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup-10 oz (*Health Valley, Pacific Natural, Progresso)
1 cup butter, unsalted
1 small onion, chopped
3 cups crushed corn flakes (*Nature’s Path, Erewhon, Barbara’s)
Preheat oven to 425°F
In a large bowl, combine the cheese, sour cream and soup.
In a medium skillet, sauté 1/2 cup butter and onion for 5 minutes. Add this to the soup mixture and pour over the diced potatoes.
Place the crushed corn flakes on top of the dish.
Melt the remaining 1/2 cup butter and pour over corn flakes.
Bake 1 hour.
*Many of the brands listed, like Progresso, also make NON gluten-free soups so be sure to get the gluten-free variety.
Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy
2 tablespoons cornstarch (Argo is gluten-free)
2 tablespoons turkey drippings
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups chicken broth (Swanson is gluten-free)
1/4 cup milk
In a small saucepan, with no heat, mix cornstarch, salt and pepper. Mix turkey drippings into the chicken broth and whisk into cornstarch mixture. Once dissolved, turn heat on low while continuing to whisk. Add milk and bring to a boil whisking constantly. Cook and whisk for 2 minutes or until thickened.
* McCormick’s makes a gluten-free turkey gravy mix that is pretty good. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods also have gluten-free gravy mixes.
Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole
2 bags (24 oz) frozen green beans, thawed
1 can (18 oz) Progresso gluten-free creamy mushroom soup
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups gluten-free French fried onions (recipe below)
Combine mushroom soup, pepper, green beans and 1 cup fried onions in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.
Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes.
Stir the bean mixture and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup fried onions.
Bake an additional 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.
Gluten-Free French Fried Onions
*Aldi’s also sells their brand, liveGfree, of French fried onions that are delish!
1 large Vidalia onion, peeled and sliced very thin
12 oz buttermilk
1/2 cup gluten-free flour mix
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon sugar
Vegetable oil for frying
Cover the thinly sliced onion with the buttermilk in a medium bowl and allow to soak for 15-20 minutes.
Place the flour blend, salt, pepper and sugar into a large Ziploc bag. Seal and shake to blend.
Heat vegetable oil (at least 2 inches) in a medium pan to 350°F.
Drain buttermilk from onions and place the drained onions into the flour mix in the Ziploc bag. Seal the bag and shake the onions to coat fully.
Place 1/4 of the coated onions into the heated oil and fry until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes, keeping a close eye as the onions burn quickly. Drain on paper towels. Repeat until all onions are fried.
Cool and store in airtight container in fridge.
Gluten-Free Crescent Rolls
1 cup gluten-free flour mix
1 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder (Rumford is GF)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup butter, unsalted, softened
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
Add ricotta cheese and butter to the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Mix well using the paddle attachment.
In a small bowl, combine flour mix, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and sugar. Add to butter mixture and mix until a dough ball forms.
Wrap the dough ball in Saran Wrap for at least three hours. *This is crucial.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Roll the dough into a 14″ circle. You can do this several ways. You can dust your work area and rolling pin with rice flour, though I find that this can dry your dough out so be careful. You can also roll out between wax paper or silicone rolling mats (which I couldn’t live without!)
Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 8 triangles.
Roll each triangle from the wide end to the pointed end and bend slightly to make a crescent shape.
Place the rolled crescents onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
*On a side note. If you want a delicious breakfast treat, we top our crescent dough with a mixture of butter, honey and cinnamon prior to rolling into a crescent shape and bake as instructed above. Delish!
LIBBY’S Famous (Gluten-Free) Pumpkin Pie
We are not pumpkin pie lovers in my house, so I typically do not go out of my way to make a pie from scratch. It just isn’t appreciated the way it should be.
With that being said, Libby’s Pumpkin Pie, if baked with a gluten-free pie crust is gluten-free and is very tasty, so I use Libby’s recipe straight from the can of pumpkin.
For ease, I’ll include the Libby’s recipe in this post.
There are many gluten-free ready-made pie crusts available that are very good and I always have great results with Glutino’s Gluten-Free Pantry Perfect Pie Crust box mix.
1 (9 inch) unbaked gluten-free pie crust
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (15 ounce) can LIBBY’S 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 (12 fluid ounce) can NESTLE CARNATION Evaporated Milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.
Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F.; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. (Do not freeze as this will cause the crust to separate from the filling.)
Phenomenal Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake
2 cups gluten-free flour mix
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder (Rumford is gluten-free)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs, beaten, room temperature
1 can (15 oz) Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup oil
Combine eggs, pumpkin, sugar and oil in a medium bowl.
Sift remaining dry ingredients together.
Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, stirring just enough to combine.
Spread into ungreased 11″ x 17″ pan.
Bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting (for pumpkin cake)
3 oz of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, unsalted, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
Beat cream cheese and butter until well combined. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
*This amazing recipe was given to me by a dear friend when my daughter was first diagnosed with celiac disease in 1997. I’ve altered it a few times over the years and now it simply is perfection!
Gluten-Free Turkeys – as of November 2018
*The following information was taken from the various companies’ websites. Always read ingredient labels prior to purchasing.
Aaron’s has Duck, Hen, Chicken, Turkey, Turducken, and well, about anything… kosher and gluten-free.
Butterball recently created an “Incredibly easy gluten-free turkey guide”. ALL fresh and frozen (UNSTUFFED) turkeys are gluten-free and so are the grave packets inside!!
Whole turkeys and frozen whole turkeys are gluten-free and kosher.
Honeysuckle White frozen whole turkeys are gluten-free, as are the gravy packets that are included.
According to Jennie-O, “Nearly all JENNIE-O Turkey products are gluten-free”. A few of the many listed as gluten-free are: Tender & Juicy Young Turkey, Fresh All Natural Young Turkey, Smoked Whole Turkey
No Antibiotics Ever Ready To Cook Boneless Skin-On Turkey Breast (and roast), Netted, 15% Marination – Certified gluten free by GIG
States, “Yes, our turkey is gluten and casein free. However, our turkey gravy and our homestyle dressing contain wheat.”
Shady Brooks Farms
Shady Brooks Farms Fresh and Frozen whole turkeys are gluten-free.
Wellshire offers the following statement…”All meat in its natural state is gluten-free. Wellshire clearly lists all known allergens on product labels. Any presence of wheat, barley or rye is always disclosed in our ingredients listings.”
They have a delicious seasoned honey turkey ham that is gluten-free.
I hope you and your family love these recipes as much as my family does.
Happy gluten-free Thanksgiving!