You heard me right. Gluten-free Thanksgiving.
(With the exception of those Hawaiian sweet rolls, everything on this table is gluten-free).
And to redeem my table decorating skills, here’s what it looked like when I actually served dinner:
I dove into this adventure because a dear, dear friend ended up joining us for turkey day last year and they have a pretty rough time with gluten. I resolved to make sure they could have as yummy a day as the rest of us.
To be clear, gluten-free basically means nothing that might have gluten in it — that’s wheat, barley, rye. It’s in most flours, and it’s often used as a thickening agent in other foods. A LOT of foods, actually.
Going into a gluten-free Thanksgiving had me kind of freaked out, if I’m super honest. I wanted to make absolutely certain that I didn’t accidentally poison my friend. This lead to hours of Googling and researching the bajesus out of all these new recipes I could try out.
In the end, it wasn’t hard. I eventually threw out those new recipes and returned to what I had already been making.
That’s right. A gluten-free Thanksgiving required minimal changes from what I was already doing. Who knew?
Mashed potatoes with cream, cheddar, bacon, and garlic? Gluten-free.
Corn starch instead of flour in the gravy and boom, gluten-free.
Cranberry sauce… no gluten there.
The sweet potato casserole I’ve been making for the last eleven or so years? Gluten-free.
Green bean casserole? With a few modifications, it tasted just as good as any other year and BOOM — gluten-free. Just swap out the french fried onions for something homemade: slice up a medium onion, dip onion slices in buttermilk, then shake off and place in a zip-loc bag with gluten-free Bisquick, salt, and pepper. Shake to cover and then put those onions in the deep fryer. They’re done when they are golden and crispy and work great in the recipe below.
The amazing corn casserole that Adam brings? Swap out one ingredient and it’s delicious (as usual) AND gluten-free.
Our Brussels sprouts? GLUTEN-FREAKING FREE.
The gluten-free stuffing mix we bought from the neighborhood market was delicious. I expected it to be a little off-putting or weird, but it turns out that gluten-free products have come a long, long way.
Pie was probably the biggest challenge, and it still ended up being pretty easy. All it required was picking up a few gluten-free shells to fill with our normal pie choices.
To save time, we admittedly also just picked up a pre-cooked turkey, splurging on one from Whole Foods. That was an amazing choice and freed up time to focus on making and cooking the tasty side dishes.
If you need to put on your own gluten-free turkey day, don’t be intimidated. It’s easier than you might think — just double check your canned goods and broths to make sure they’re gluten-free, too.
She lives in the Bay Area and cites her diverse background as her biggest influence: her visual artist mom is half-Chinese, half-Greek, and from Hawai’i; her film-loving, world-music curating dad is from Montana; and she lived in both California and Montana while growing up. She loves at least a little bit about virtually everything (Pokémon Snap included) and aims to be a Jane of all trades. By day Cat is a multiple-hat-wearing media person.
She is also allergic to felines.