5 Gluten-Free Shortcuts for Thanksgiving

Convenient Gravy Mixes, Stuffing Cubes, Dinner Rolls and Pies

mother and daughter cooking thanksgiving turkey
Thanksgiving gluten-free cooking hacks can make your life easier. Kristian Sekulic/Getty Images

Celebrating Thanksgiving completely gluten-free can seem intimidating, especially if you haven't been eating gluten-free for very long. Picturing the array of gluten-filled stuffing, rolls, gravy and desserts at the typical Thanksgiving dinner can bring on a severe attack of fear, envy or both, especially if you've recently been diagnosed with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

But in recent years, gluten-free food manufacturers have made it simpler to follow a gluten-free diet during Thanksgiving by recreating many crucial ingredients, such as stuffing and gravy mixes, in a gluten-free form.

You can still choose to cook your gluten-free Thanksgiving meal from scratch following these tips to make a traditional gluten-free Thanksgiving menu.

But if you're interested in shortcuts (or, like me, simply run out of time around the holidays!), you might want to incorporate some of these gluten-free ingredients into your Thanksgiving feast:

  1. Gluten-free gravy mix. Maxwell's Kitchen, a specialty gluten-free food manufacturer, makes three different types of gravy mixes, including turkey, chicken, and brown gravy flavors. All you need to do is add water, whisk the mixture in a saucepan for a few minutes, and you have gravy for your turkey.
  2. Bouillon cubes. Several of my pre-gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes call for bouillon cubes — to add extra flavor to stuffing, for example, or as part of a casserole. Celifibr, another specialty gluten-free foods manufacturer, makes vegetarian-approved gluten-free bouillon cubes in three flavors: vegetable medley, vegetarian chicken and vegetarian beef.

    Or, you can choose a mainstream option: Herb-Ox Bouillon Cubes in beef, chicken and vegetable appear on Hormel Foods' gluten-free products list, which means they're gluten-free to below 20 parts per million, or GF-20 levels.
  1. Stuffing. Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same holiday without stuffing for your turkey. For gluten-free safety reasons you never should cook gluten-containing stuffing in a turkey you plan to eat. But if you make gluten-free stuffing for your turkey, people may not be able to tell the difference. 

    Several manufacturers offer stuffing mixes and bread cubes you can use to make your gluten-free turkey stuffing. These stuffing mix options might come in handy if you're stuffing a turkey at a relative's house, since they already contain safe gluten-free spices. Here's my guide to making gluten-free stuffing for Thanksgiving, which includes the list of manufacturers offering stuffing products.
    • Dinner rolls. Most families want dinner rolls at Thanksgiving, and they're arguably the most difficult menu item to re-create gluten-free — some of my family members just won't touch gluten-free bread. There's no question that fresh-baked gluten-free bread beats the store-bought variety hands-down, and if you have the time, this gluten-free rolls recipe would likely be a hit.

      But if you're pressed for time and need gluten-free rolls you can simply pop in the oven, multiple food product manufacturers make options you could choose. Here's my guide: Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls.
    • Pies. Thanksgiving just wouldn't be the same without pumpkin pie. If you live near a Whole Foods store with Gluten-Free Bakehouse products (not all Whole Foods have them), the store likely will have various ready-made gluten-free pies, including pumpkin pie and Southern pecan pie for the holidays.

      Of course, you always can bake your own pie using a ready-made gluten-free pie crust - I list where to find them in my Gluten-Free Pie Crusts Galore! article. Or, if you can find the time, make your own gluten-free pie crust and fill it yourself with fresh pumpkin or apples.

      Continue Reading