If you have little ones with a gluten intolerance or are going gluten-free for your own health, it can be daunting to take the first steps towards removing wheat, rye, and barley from your diet. Luckily, there are lots of resources to help and plenty of recipe ideas to make it easy on the family. We collected some of our favorites, see them all below.
1. Overnight Oatmeal: Oats don’t contain gluten but are often grown close to the grasses that do and are sometimes processed on the same machines. Look for gluten-free oats to be absolutely sure. Set the little ones up for the day with these overnight oats from Sophia DeSantis of Veggies Don’t Bite. Berries and almond milk give this recipe an extra sweetness.
2. Pumpkin Honey Bread: Removing wheat flour can be a challenge if you enjoy baked bread and pastries. Store-bought gluten-free flour mix isn’t hard to find and includes alternative flours made from rice or seeds. If you’re making your own flour, a good mix is 1 1/4 cups coconut flour, 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1/2 cup millet flour or brown rice flour and 1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour. Pumpkin bread is a hit any time of the year, and this recipe from our archives packs a punch of omega-3 fatty acids thanks to the addition of flax seeds.
3. French Toast: Gluten-free pasta and bread are easy to pick up at the store, which means with a stocked pantry, the family menu can still include breakfast favorites like french toast. These are super easy to throw together if you’ve got gluten-free bread to hand.
photo: Cookie & Kate
4. Buckwheat Waffles: In spite of its name, buckwheat isn’t related to wheat so it’s naturally gluten-free. This simple, 100% buckwheat flour recipe from Cookie & Kate yields light and crisp waffles that are still fluffy on the inside.
photo: The View From Great Island
5. Blender Muffins: The batter for these muffins from The View From Great Island is based on oats, nuts, and water. Whizz up the ingredients, and fill muffin cups right from the blender for a gluten-free breakfast that takes less than half an hour to bake.
6. Pear and Banana Baked Pancakes: Try a twist on your usual pancakes with almond flour (It’s gluten-free!). These pancakes are oven-baked, which means no hovering over a hot stove. Kiddos will love topping them with powdered sugar and fresh fruit.
photo: Debbie Adler, Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes
7. Sweet Cranberry Bars: These sweet bars are the perfect midday snack, especially since they’re filled with good-for-you ingredients like oats and coconut oil.
8. Sunflower Granola Bites: Instead of reaching for a granola bar at snack time, make a batch of these granola bites on Sunday afternoon. The sunflower butter and cocoa nibs make them an instant kid fave.
9. Oven Roasted BBQ Chickpeas: Little foodies will love getting in on the action when you’re tossing chickpeas in an insanely delicious spice mixture. Like kale chips, this recipe is vegan, nut-free and gluten-free.
10. Apple Pie Fruit Leathers: Homemade fruit leather may sound a little ambitious, but it’s actually super simple, not to mention way cheaper than buying it from the grocery store. You can also dry sliced apples the same way.
photo: Eat Within Your Means
11. Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl: Wheat-based pasta is off the table when you’re going gluten-free, but when one door closes, another opens. Say hello to this spaghetti squash recipe from Eat Within Your Means for a new kind of noodle. Cut the squash across the width rather than the length for the best spaghetti yield, and bake them to your liking before fluffing and adding sauce.
12. Mac and Cheese: This family favorite gets a makeover thanks to Veggies Don’t Bite, one of our go-to resources for gluten-free and vegan eats. This sharp white mac ‘n’ cheese bake is as creamy and delicious as its dairy counterpart.
photo: Erin Clarke of Well Plated
14. Zoodles with Shrimp: Put a spiralizer on your shopping list because not only are zoodles (aka zucchini noodles) a healthy, low-calorie, and low-carb option to replace pasta, their mild flavor can easily adapt to a wide range of flavors. Heap them with lemon and garlic for this light shrimp scampi recipe via Erin Clarke at Well Plated.
15. Asian Lettuce Wraps: It can be a surprise to find out that gluten can also be lurking in salad dressings, soy sauce, french fries, and cereal, so it’s important to look at the ingredients when shopping for these items. Consider using lettuce wraps where you might have used a burger bun. These wraps from Our Family Eats are big on flavor, just make sure the soy sauce in your pantry is gluten-free.
16. Homemade Chicken Fingers: Kamut, farro, spelt, triticale, bulgur, durum, and semolina will be off-limits if the family is going gluten-free. These crispy chicken fingers put a healthy twist on the well-loved classic with the addition of sunflower seeds, flax seed, and sesame seeds to add some crunch.
17. Almond Meal Quiche. The almond meal base of this quiche makes it a delicious gluten-free alternative to a regular crust and adds an unexpected sweetness. If you think the kids will turn their noses up at arugula and mushrooms, use the crust recipe as your starting point and add a simplified cheese and ham filling.
18. Quick Chicken Stew: If you generally use wheat flour to thicken sauces, it’s easy to switch to rice flour or cornstarch to do the job. That’s what Amy Fothergill, of The Family Chef, uses in this recipe from our archives. She puts some leftover chicken to work for a simple and comforting family meal.
19. Sweet and Sour Chicken: Cornstarch is the thickening agent in this crock pot recipe from our archives. Pop the ingredients together in the morning, and by the evening the whole house will smell heavenly.
20. Mini Meatloaf Muffins: Everything is better when it’s bite-sized, and meatloaf is no exception. This recipe doesn’t use flour but you’ll have to have some gluten-free bread on hand to make breadcrumbs. It’s easy to sneak a few veggies into the mix, too!
21. Black Bean Burgers: Keep the veggie lovers in your family happy with these flavorful black bean burgers. Use gluten-free bread to bind and lettuce as an alternative to brioche or burger buns.
22. Mexican Pork Carnitas: Switch out wheat tortillas for corn, and you can still put together these tacos that are so tasty, no-one will notice the difference. This recipe takes a bit more time, but the leftovers will make it worth spending your Sunday afternoon cooking.
23. Blueberry Oatmeal Cups: There’s no wheat flour needed in these blueberry oatmeal cups from Real Mom Nutrition, making them a wonderful baking option for gluten-free families. The recipe uses frozen blueberries, so they are an easy option any time of the year.
24. Chocolate Dough Balls: Oats and tapioca make up the flour in this recipe for chocolate dough balls. Dreamed up by Sophia of Veggies Don’t Bite, they are a mix between cookie dough and baked cookies. Plant-based, gluten-free, vegan and absolutely delicious, they’ll soon become a family favorite.
photo: The View from Great Island
26. Lemon Almond Cookies: Keep it simple with easy lemon almond cookies that pair perfectly with a cup of hot cocoa.
27. Secret Ingredient Brownies: The secret behind these brownies is black beans, believe it or not—they give the brownies their fudgy taste without adding extra calories.
28. Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies: In case the to-die-for combination of peanut butter and chocolate isn’t enough to convince you to whip this one up, it’s ridiculously simple to boot—there are only five ingredients!
29. Vegan Chocolate Pie: This indulgent no-bake dessert from A Taste of Madness has a magic ingredient— avocado! It’s rich and fudgy, and a sure fire winner for the whole family. Just make sure you have a gluten-free pie crust in the pantry, or make your own with this recipe at Cookie and Kate.
What are your best gluten-free recipes and resources? Let us know in the comments below.
— Emily Myers