Easy Gluten-Free Winter Party Menu Ideas

Informal Gluten-Free Party Ideas

Photo: Ryan McVay / Getty Images

Winter is a great time to throw a party. Everyone is so grateful for a cheerful break to the dreary weather, and on cold days it's a pleasure to cook and bake and welcome guests to a house full of delicious aromas.

Here, we provide ideas for easy gluten-free recipes for drinks, chips and dips, snacks and munchies, main courses and desserts — all for informal parties and game-day gatherings. Since not everyone likes to cook or has time to fuss, the menu ideas on each of the following pages are broken into two categories: Recipes for people who want to make the food themselves, and suggestions for those who want to go ready-made all the way.

An important note: If you're a host who's never prepared food for a gluten-free guest, you need to read How to Prepare for a Gluten-Free Guest, and don't be afraid to take our easier suggestions for ready-made gluten-free party food ideas.

Gluten-Free Game-Day Party Drinks

Photo: Ryan McVay / Getty Images

If you want to serve more than just beer and sodas, and you want to be especially nice to your guests, offer these cold-weather favorites:

Kiwis and limes make this a knock-out Sangria recipe with origins from the islands Down Under.

If you’re not in the mood to make mixed drinks:

Gluten-Free Game Day Chips & Dips

Ground Beef Nachos With Cheese by Diana Rattray, About.com's Guide to Southern Food. Photo © Diana Rattray

If you have a few minutes to prepare, serve your guests these gluten-free Chips & Dips favorites:

Serve this cheesy, flavor-packed dish for a hearty gluten-free half-time snack — or anytime.

This layered dip is really delicious.

If you just want to open some packages and jars or you're not familiar with the hazards of gluten-free food preparation:

  • Open a bag of gluten-free nacho corn chips and a jar of gluten-free salsa
  • Put some gluten-free nachos on a plate, sprinkle some shredded cheese on top, and microwave for a couple of seconds
  • Buy some ready made gluten-free hummus or guacamole and serve with cut-up vegetables and gluten-free crackers, nachos, or potato chips
  • Open a bag of gluten-free potato chips
  • Serve some hard cheeses with fruit and/or fresh veggies

Gluten-Free Game-Day Snacks & Munchies

Gluten-Free Chex-Style Snack Mix Recipe by Teri Lee Gruss, About.com's Guide to Gluten-Free Cooking. Photo © Teri Lee Gruss

If you have a bit of time, your guests will love these special snacks:

This snack mix looks and tastes as good as the original.

If you like, use organic popcorn, butter, sugar and agave syrup for an extra special treat.

Low-Carb Pizza Bites
These are like pizza-flavored mini-quiches using pepperoni as the crust in a mini-muffin pan. They also can be made without the pepperoni.

Sugar-Free Candied Peanuts
These peanuts aren't nearly as candy-like as peanut brittle, but they are in the same family.

If you’re not in the mood to fuss or you're not familiar with the dangers of gluten-free food preparation:

  • Buy nuts in a can or jar (make sure any seasonings are glute-free)
  • Pop gluten-free popcorn
  • Offer gluten-free candies
  • Serve some hard cheeses with fruit and/or fresh veggies

Informal Gluten-Free Game-Day Party Food

Gluten-Free Barbecued Drumsticks by Teri Lee Gruss, About.com's Guide to Gluten-Free Cooking. Photo © Teri Lee Gruss

If you're in the mood to cook, your guests will rave about these informal dishes, and no one will miss the gluten:

With a few good gluten-free pizza recipes and a few simple tips and tools, you can make better homemade gluten-free pizzas.

Packaged taco seasonings and taco shells can be a source of added gluten. This gluten-free taco recipe uses a homemade taco seasoning mix and organic gluten-free taco shells.

Use homemade gluten-free BBQ sauce in this delicious, fast and easy crockpot recipe for fall-off-the-bone tender BBQ chicken drummies.

Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins and don't lack for flavor either. With a bit of attention to cutting them evenly, they bake up in the oven with a crispy brown exterior and a fluffy sweet interior.

This festive Creole rice dish tastes delicious, doubles nicely and is fantastic for serving a crowd.

If you hate to cook or you're not familiar with the hazards of gluten-free food preparation:

Gluten-Free Desserts for a Game-Day Crowd

Photo: Michael Lamotte / Cole Group / Getty Images

If you want your house to smell great and you want your guests to know you love them, make one or more of these desserts:

Low-Carb Cheesecake

This is a basic cheesecake recipe that can be "dressed up" in a number of ways. Strawberry cheesecake is a favorite.

Sugar-Free EASY Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
This is an easy sugar-free recipe, and it is delicious.

If you don't have time to bake or you're not familiar with the hazards of gluten-free food preparation:

  • Serve gluten-free ice cream
  • Buy gluten-free cookies
  • Ask a gluten-free guest to bring dessert
  • Serve an assortment of fruit (a good idea even if you do bake desserts)

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