Recipes for a Gluten and Dairy-free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is rapidly coming upon us. We will be sharing our Thanksgiving meal with others and we are all looking forward to yummy food, good fellowship, and remembering and being thankful for all of our blessings. Since I have a gluten and dairy-free daughter, Thanksgiving can be a little more complicated for us (but still really delicious!). Re-creating favorite dishes to be gluten- and dairy-free (plus using healthy ingredients) is a fun process for me. I have always loved many of my family’s traditional Thanksgiving dishes, and I enjoy our dairy- and gluten-free versions just as much!

I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes below. I love for you to share your nourishing recipes too!

Please note: if you are a true celiac or need to strictly avoid all gluten in even trace forms, make sure you follow proper protocol, like using gluten-free vanilla extract, avoiding turkey that could contain gluten, and avoiding cross contamination when baking or cooking. For more information, this interview I did last year may be helpful.

  •  Slow Simmered Green Beans: This recipe is from my great grandpa – back in the day when they believed in long cooking vegetables. These fall-apart-soft green beans are flavored beautifully with bacon, carrots, celery and potatoes. I also give super simple instructions for mashed potatoes on this page.
  • Creamy Cranberry Salad: This is the dish I looked forward to the most each Thanksgiving growing up. This salad isn’t served as a garnish, but rather as a sweet side dish. Fresh cranberries and apples, canned pineapple, unrefined sweeteners, and either fluffy coconut cream or whipping cream is mixed together for a decadent delicious side.
  • Pumpkin Pie: Though, then again, pumpkin pie was always a favorite too. This is a delicious, sweet recipe that has gotten good reviews since I posted it many years ago. The last comment left on this post this week is from Mary: “Just thought that I would let everyone know that this is the best pumpkin pie recipe that I have tried dairy free. My son has a very sensitive dairy allergy. He can’t have milk, yogurt, cheese or anything that contains the milk proteins, casein or whey. We were a bit skeptical but we found this recipe tastes the same or better than a traditional pumpkin pie recipe. Thank you so much for this recipe. It gives our home another Thanksgiving dessert that we can all eat.”  We rather like this recipe too.
  • Jennifer shared her version of Sweet Potato Casserole, garnished with a sweet streusel and pineapple last year. It looks delicious. (Use coconut oil instead of butter for dairy-free version).
  • For a non-traditional stuffing, why not try this flavorful Stovetop Quinoa and Mushroom recipe? Once again, this recipe does contain butter, but you can easily substitute a mild olive oil for it!

Finally, make your own turkey gravy by thickening it with a wide variety of gluten-free flours, such as sweet rice flour, arrowroot, organic cornstarch, or even use a fine almond flour!

My mouth is watering in expectation.

Dairy- and gluten-free readers, I love to hear your tips and recipes!


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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. Krista says

    Last year I made a loaf of GF rosemary bread, and then used that in a stuffing/dressing recipe. Other than being a little dry (I’d add more stock this time), it was great! No one knew it was GF until I told them. The quinoa and mushroom stuffing sounds like a great side to make to go with all the leftover turkey! Try substituting the quinoa with buckwheat for something even more out of the ordinary.

      • Felicia says

        Well, here is what I came up with (GF/CF/SF and it tastes great!)
        1/4 c olive oil
        1/4 c honey
        1 T lemon juice
        1 T apple cider vinegar
        1/2 T sea salt
        1 1/2 c boiling water
        4 beaten eggs
        1/2 c warm water
        4 tsp yeast
        2 c tapioca flour
        2 c brown rice flour
        1 tsp guar gum
        1 T Rosemary

        In small bowl, test yeast by combining with warm water and checking for bubbles. Next, combine first six ingredients in medium bowl and stir to let boiling water disolve honey. In large bowl, mix flours, rosemary and guar gum. Gradually add the contents of the medium bowl to the large bowl of flour (stirring gently). Add beaten eggs. Add yeast mixture. Pour into three greased loaf pans and let rise to double in height (while you wash all the bowls…) Bake in 400 degree oven with aluminum foil loosely tented above loaves to prevent premature browning. Bake 45 minutes. Check loaves. Remove foil and bake for remaining time to brown nicely. Do not take out until bottom is browned as well as top. Cool completely wrapped in towel with loaves lying on side before slicing.

        This makes delicious bread, but cube and dry for wonderful stuffing base!

  2. tina says

    We made “stuffing” with cauliflower.
    It’s a wonderful dish, we all loved it. Just follow a traditional stuffing recipe but
    substitute cauliflower for the bread.


  3. Kurt says

    I’ve got another great dessert suggestion for you. Instead of pumpkin pie, you could try this recipe for acorn squash pie with apples. It uses thinly-sliced apples for the “crust.” I made mine dairy-free by substituting coconut milk for the evaporated milk. When I make it, I also substitute sucanant or rapadura or coconut sugar for the sugar called for by the recipe, and I reduce the amount to 2/3 of a cup, though you could add more or less to taste. (I think one time I also made it with 1/2 a cup of sucanat and I also added a little maple syrup for extra flavor.) The same technique would work with other kinds of winter squash, too, I’m sure, but the flavor of the acorn squash is so mild that it makes for a really delightful dessert.

  4. says

    Looks like we’ve all got dessert on the brain 🙂 Here’s my version — an easy Pumpkin Snack Cake with Sticky Molasses Glaze.

    It’s made with GF baking mix, So Delicious pumpkin nog, canned pumpkin, sugar, and eggs (or can even be egg-free). The topping is molasses, coconut milk, Earth Balance butter substitute, sugar and vanilla. Super easy to make, and pretty as well!

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