The holiday season is a series of food-based festivities, with carb-heavy menus typically full of empty calories and gluten, which us health-conscious people try to avoid.
I personally gave up gluten a long time ago due to health reasons, and have never missed it thus far.
I do this by fueling my body with healthy, gluten-free food that is also satisfying and hearty.
You don’t have to forego your diet just because it’s the holidays!
Avoid the stomach ache and the hospital by integrating some delicious, gluten-free recipes into your festive table this year with our favorite 6 gluten-free holiday recipes.
Here at THT, we only recommend recipes that are nutritious, dairy-free, gluten-free, and that pass our nutritionist’s seal of approval.
Let’s get cooking for the holiday!
What Traditional Holiday Foods Are Gluten-Free?
The US is a melting pot of many cultures and traditions, which is something I am proud to be a part of.
During November and December, there are many different holidays across many cultures.
Each holiday has its own culture, which comes with different food traditions.
Many foods are gluten-free across all holidays.
Some of my personal favorite gluten-free holiday recipes are:
- Prime rib
- Roast pork
- Baked salmon
- Shrimp cocktail
- Beef tenderloin
- Green beans
- Mashed sweet potatoes
- Vegetable gratin
- Eggplant lasagne
- Creamed spinach
Is Apple Pie Gluten-Free?
Traditionally, no, apple pie is not a gluten-free holiday recipe.
A typical apple pie has flour in the crust, and can sometimes have flour in the filling as well to thicken it.
Eating an everyday apple pie would warrant a trip to urgent care for me, urgently.
Luckily for people like me, tons of ingredients can be swapped in place of wheat, resulting in a decadent, sweet apple pie. Continue reading below for our amazing gluten-free apple pie recipe.
What Can I Cook for a Gluten-Free Holiday Guest?
Unfortunately, cooking gluten-free recipes is not always as simple as swapping out wheat flour.
Pesky gluten is also derived from barley, spelt, and rye, so labels such as “wheat-free” do not mean gluten-free.
Gluten can be sneaky at times, lurking in places that you wouldn’t expect without a little research.
For example, soy sauce is not gluten-free.
Adding soy sauce to gravy recipes, soups, marinades, or stews revokes the dish’s gluten-free status of your holiday meal.
Gluten can also be found in items such as pickles (due to the use of malt vinegar), bouillon cubes, and bleu cheese.
Make sure to avoid any items on the above list if cooking for a gluten-free holiday guest.
Also, read the labels on each ingredient to certify that it is indeed gluten-free.
Some of the best foods to cook for a gluten-free holiday guest include:
- Sweet potato side dish
- Mashed potatoes
- Green beans
- Cranberry sauce
- Butternut squash
- Brussels sprouts
- Spinach side dish
What Holiday Appetizers are Gluten-Free?
Sure, you could just put out a bowl of chips and dip for your holiday party and call it a day.
I like healthy, homemade options to munch on before the big holiday meal.
My absolute favorite appetizer before a large meal is a nice, hearty dip with veggies.
I find chips to be heavy and too filling before a large meal, so keep an open mind to lighter alternatives.
Instead of chips, I enjoy a nice crudités platter along with gluten-free dip recipes during the holiday.
Some awesome holiday dip appetizer recipes includes gluten-free spinach artichoke dip or onion dip.
If you are avoiding dairy or yogurt and still want a delicious dip, try an olive tapenade, guacamole, cowboy caviar, or bruschetta on your gluten-free holiday table.
What are the Best Gluten-Free Holiday Main Courses?
The gluten-free main course on your holiday table serves two purposes.
Firstly, it is the beautiful centerpiece of your whole table.
The main course is the first thing guests look at on your table, so it’s best to make an impression.
Second, the main course is the most filling dish on the table.
It is the star of the show, so to speak.
Because it is the main course, it also has to taste incredible and appeal to everyone at your celebration.
Some of my favorite gluten-free main courses that we have served in the past are:
- Rack of lamb
- Beef tenderloin
- Baked ham
- Whole-roasted salmon
- Pork roast
- Eggplant lasagne
- Cornish hens
- Duck breast
All of these options pair so well with any gluten-free side dishes of your choosing.
We put a lot of TLC into these gluten-free holiday recipes to ensure each dish is delicious and satisfying, just as the holidays should be.
Veggie Platter with Tzatziki Dip
Indeed, Christmas is a celebration of rich and flavorful meals. There’s ham on the table, pies, colorful desserts, and so much more. That’s the reason why this gluten-free Veggie Platter with Tzatziki Dip comes in first on our list. It’s meant to be eaten as an appetizer, before any meal, so that you can reduce the chances of overeating and consuming high empty-calories.
However, we know how it might be difficult to grab a few veggie sticks when you’ve already seen a slice of decadent meat or dessert. Thus, we’ve made this recipe super colorful to grab your attention. Plus, the dip is flavorful enough to retain your interest. Now, reducing your calorie intake at Christmas will never be a challenge anymore!
After a lovely appetizer of veggies and dip, you can move onto the star of the show, the first main course.
Maple Glazed Ham
Christmas is hard to complete without ham and we know how they easily become available and tempting in the market during the season. However, store-bought hams are home to many calories, not to mention sodium and sugar, as they have to be preserved for a longer time, only to realize that it can be done healthily at home. This Maple Glazed Ham only takes three and a half hours to make, and yet it’s even more flavorful, mouthwatering, and rewarding.
Next to your ham, Lamb Chops are an impressive main course that is tender, flavorful, and served with a tangy pomegranate sauce. So festive!
Lamb Chops in Pomegranate Sauce
This Lamb Chops in Pomegranate Sauce not only makes a romantic holiday meal, but it also introduces a gamey and citrusy-sweet flavor that compliments any Christmas specialty. Not to mention that it also provides an excellent amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals that’ll suit most of your dietary restrictions.
Everyone needs a salad next to their meaty main courses, and this salad features the most popular colors of the holiday season.
Cranberry Spinach Salad
As the first of the side dishes, this Cranberry Spinach Salad recipe has got it all covered when it comes to colors, flavors, and textures. It features the perfect balance of vibrantly green and red color, tang and sweet flavors, as well as tender and crunchy textures. Its light and refreshing profile make for a great palate cleanser while fulfilling your body with excellent amounts of nutrients.
Lasagne is an easy dish to make gluten-free with thinly sliced eggplant and homemade marinara, and it goes so well with the rest of the dishes on your table.
Gluten-Free and Vegan Eggplant Lasagne
This Gluten-Free and Vegan Eggplant Lasagne recipe is undeniably delicious and incredibly low in calories. Instead of using regular lasagna pasta noodles, we’re going to use zucchini and Japanese eggplant as these two perfectly mimic the appearance of lasagne, without the guilt and high carbohydrates. Not to mention that it’s also bursting with umami flavors without the need for meat.
And for the pièce de résistance, the gluten-free dessert, which is a modern twist on the classic Apple Pie. Make sure to use this crust for a gluten-free pumpkin pie, or any other pie recipes.
Gluten-Free Apple Pie
This Gluten-Free Apple Pie is probably the showstopper at the Christmas table. While it certainly looks like the classic apple pie, it’s gluten-free and it doesn’t have the same amount of high sugar as the ones we normally buy or make. Thanks to the natural sweetness of apples and the gluten-free, tapioca and almond flour duo.
Related Helpful Information
We’ve shared these gluten-free holiday recipes because we believe that you also want to enjoy the holidays, not only without the trip to the emergency room but also without the guilt.
Holiday celebrations can be high in empty calories, but not with these recipes.
Thanks to this simple health guide, which helped us a lot during this process.
Along with that, we’ve also gathered and tested some tools and equipment that can ease your Christmas preparation.
The probe thermometer can be punctured directly into the ham, which sits in the roasting pan while baking.
Likewise, the probe thermometer can also be used in monitoring the internal temperature of the lamb chops while broiling, making it easier to cook the meat according to your preferred doneness.
Also, this extra-large bamboo cutting board for the kitchen with a juice groove is also helpful to be used as a serving plate for the ham and/or lamb chop recipes.
It features a juice groove for easy and cleaner transportation of food during the service.
For the veggie platter and salad, this Spode Christmas Tree Bread Basket makes a great, Christmas-themed serving dish.
Food processors are also helpful in making a few of these recipes.
Thus, we’ve gathered the Best Blender Food Processor Combo to help you not only for the holidays but also in the next years to come.
Rockin’ Around the Gluten-Free Tree
No matter what holiday you celebrate in December, gluten-free dishes can be integrated into your festive menu.
Take these gluten-free holiday recipes and make an impressive homemade spread to show your friends and family how much they mean to you.
By not overindulging at dinner, everyone is satisfied and the festivities can continue late into the evening.
Make these amazing dishes and have a holly, jolly, happy holiday with your loved ones.