More Than 20 Gluten Free Dinners Your Whole Family Will Love

Are you looking for gluten free dinner ideas?

Do you love wholesome home cooking that’s healthy, family friendly and simple?

Do you think the perfect gluten free dinner is one that tastes great, fills you up, won’t break the bank and doesn’t require a culinary degree?

Me too!

lamb shank plated with mashed potato, peas and mint leaves.

I love to cook, but I don’t want to spend my whole life in the kitchen.  I have other things to do, and I suspect you do too.  And if you don’t love cooking so much, then delicious, easy gluten free dinners are even more important. 

What Can a Gluten Free Person Eat for Dinner?

The best gluten free dinners start with whole, fresh naturally gluten-free foods.  These are fresh, unprocessed  fruits and vegetables, cuts of meat, dairy, eggs, and gluten-free grains like rice, corn, or quinoa.

table with a platter of turkey, a bowl of green beans and a quinoa salad

If you’re hosting a holiday meal or dinner party and having a gluten free person as a guest, you can easily put together a gluten free dinner. Focus your meal on these foods and substitute for a few common ingredients that contain gluten.  Add dinner rolls or biscuits for your non-gluten-free guests and you'll have a great meal.  No one will know that it's (mostly) gluten free.

Are you hosting a gluten free guest?

My Gluten Free Guide to Entertaining will give you all the basics so you can keep your gluten free guest safe in your home. 

Gluten Free Guide to Entertaining - table set with Mexican dinner.  Text gluten free guide to entertaining.  How to feed a celiac guest.

10 Tips For Healthy and Delicious Gluten Free Family Dinners

Here are a bunch of delicious gluten free family dinners and a few tips that will take the stress out of getting a meal on the table.

Tip 1: Make one meal for the whole family.

Should everyone suffer because one family member has to eat gluten free?  Yes!

I’m just kidding of course, but I do want to encourage you to make your life as simple as possible.  It’s up to you to decide if your kitchen needs to be 100% gluten free, but whatever you decide, you don't need to make multiple meals. One meal that's mostly naturally gluten free whole foods will show the family that gluten free is not weird or gross.  It can be delicious, and everyone can enjoy a celiac safe gluten free dinner together.

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Pin Image - Gluten Free Dinner.  Plated chicken parm, braised sausages, beef hotpot, skillet fish and almond pecan crusted haddock.  Text More than 20 gluten free dinners your whole family will love.

Tip 2: Embrace your favorite comfort foods with some simple substitutions.

What does comfort food mean to you?  Mac & cheese, meat and potatoes, chicken parm, beef stew, curry with rice?  With a simple substitution or two, all your favorites can be converted to gluten free versions that the whole family will love.  If you don’t tell them it’s gluten free, they probably won’t even notice the difference.

Tip 3: Learn to cook from scratch – at least a little bit.

Convenience products are great time savers. We all have lives and we don't want to spend them in the kitchen.  But learning to cook gluten free from scratch doesn’t have to take a lot of time and you’ll have healthy delicious dinners that everyone will enjoy.  You won’t fill your fridge up with bottles of sauces and salad dressings and you’ll spend less time in the store reading labels.

Tip 4: Explore international cuisines.

Do you love exploring food from around the world?  Good news, many cuisines feature gluten free grains like rice, corn, millet or teff.  Mexican, Thai, Indian, even a lot of Mediterranean dishes are naturally gluten free.  If your family loves curry, it’s gluten free.  Tacos?  Gluten free!  Irish colcannon, English roast dinner.  All are gluten free or easily converted.

Tip 5:  Add in gluten free grains, beans, and legumes for nutrition and variety.

You probably already eat rice and know that it’s gluten free.  Try brown rice in a salad, or quinoa or even buckwheat.  Make a chili with beans or plop a poached egg on top of spiced lentils.  Corn-on-the-cob is a gluten free grain.  One word of caution, if you’re buying canned beans or legumes check the label to be sure no gluten has been added.  Look here for Celiac Canada’s advice on grains, beans and legumes.

Tips 6:  Make cooking and clean up easy with one pot and sheet pan meals.

How to make cooking and clean-up easy peasy.  Try delicious saucy stovetop stews or whatever your imagination inspires you to toss onto a baking sheet with chicken legs.  Easy clean up is the key.


Tip 7: Freshness equals flavor.

Incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables, along with lean meats, fish and poultry into your recipes will not only make your meals more nutritious, but also more delicious.  And the best part is all whole fresh foods are naturally gluten free.

Tip 8: Finger foods are fun for weekday meals and parties.

Not every gluten free dinner needs to be a knife and fork affair.  Try finger foods as a meal or an appetizer.  If you're entertaining or attending a pot luck, these will be a hit.

Are you attending a pot luck or backyard barbecue?  My Gluten Free Summer Barbecue Guide will help you to have fun and stay safe.

barbecue guide barbecue with burgers and veggies and people in background

Tip 9: Salads make great starters, sides, or a full gluten free dinner.

wedge salad with chicken breast at Dunedin Smokehouse

I don’t usually think of salads as something I’d write a recipe for.  It's fun to experiment with different fresh vegetables and garnishes to keep the your salads interesting.  So let’s brainstorm a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

Not Boring Salad Vegetables:

  •                Sliced fennel: looks like an onion but has an anise or licorice flavor
  •                Radishes: add a peppery spark to your salad.
  •                Shredded cabbage, kale or spinach: Alternative greens add crunch, texture, nutrients and flavor.
  •                Shredded carrot: Use a peeler or box grater to add some bright orange color and sweetness to your salad.
  •                Heirloom or multi-colored tomatoes
  •                Herbs like basil, parsley or dill
  •                Sliced apples or pears splashed with a little lemon, lime or orange juice to keep them from turning brown.  You can also mix in a little salad dressing to keep them fresh.

Fun Salad Garnishes:

  •                Seeds like sunflower or pumpkin
  •                Dried fruit like cranberry or currants
  •                Cooked grains like quinoa, brown rice or buckwheat
  •                Sliced green onions
  •                Fresh strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries

Here are some of my favorite salad recipes:

Tip 10: There are many ways to make a potato.

Potatoes are 100% naturally gluten-free.  They're inexpensive, filling and make an easy delicious side.  A loaded baked potato can even make a full meal.  Check out a few new recipes, or just make them up in the ways you already know how; no recipe required:

baked potato loaded with cheddar, bacon and spring onion
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Baked potatoes
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Scalloped potatoes
  • Potato flat bread or pizza crust
  • Colcannon potatoes
  • French Fries
  • Potato salad
  • Atop a shepherd's pie
  • Added to a stew

These are all so simple and are the perfect side to compliment your gluten free dinner, or many can make a meal on their own. 

Happy cooking, and I hope you enjoy your gluten free dinner, whatever you decide to cook. 

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