Perhaps you saw me numbering things on my Instagram story last week. Well, that’s just us making and eating a Thanksgiving dinner one day at a time over here. Wait, why don’t we do this every November? S-p-r-e-a-d out this massive meal and enjoy the parts? Since I wasn’t hosting this November holiday and had recipes to test, we’ve been living in the holiday smells and snacks over here. Did we have whipped sweet potatoes with brown sugar and pecan topping on a random Tuesday afternoon? You bet we did. But that’s not all. Keep reading for the updated list of our favorite gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes, from the prep tips to the eating part.
I love a mix of old and new Thanksgiving recipes for this potluck-style holiday. Give me juicy turkey with a new twist on the stuffing, perhaps savory bites of gravy and mashed potatoes, and plenty of all the classics. Don’t forget a little sweet and salty with those complimentary dishes, something green, orange, crunchy, and always throw something new in the mix, I say!
By something new, maybe it’s adding Ina’s warm olives, toasted nuts, and a cocktail to start the festivities or a spin on your family’s usual side dish. Obviously, you can make this holiday what you want from beginning to end. Keep reading for a few of my family’s favorites. Everything here can be gluten-free, and with some substitutions for dairy, you have options for most dietary needs.
Starters: salad choices and soup suggestions
Main course: turkey, stuffing, and gravy recipes and tips
How to prep this Thanksgiving turkey recipe ahead of time:
- Thaw your frozen turkey 3-5 days ahead in the refrigerator. See thawing guidelines!
- Brine or salt? I don’t usually do a brine, but I do prep and salt turkey the night before cooking. To do this prep, rub with salt, put in a large clean bag, and refrigerate overnight for up to 24 hours. On the day of roasting, rinse the salt off, pat the turkey dry inside and out with paper towels, and proceed with the recipe!
- Stuffing and bacon rolls for tucking in, as this recipe teaches, can be made a day or two ahead.
How to make Thanksgiving stuffing recipe gluten-free:
- Dry bread is good. If your bread is too fresh or homemade, let it dry on the counter before or after cutting.
- Cut gluten-free bread into cubes rather than using a food processor. Gluten-free bread can fall apart too much in a food processor.
- Keep the crusts on the slices. It works great for stuffing recipes.
What is the best gluten-free bread for Thanksgiving stuffing?
- Scharr’s gluten-free baguette – This is my current favorite store-bought gluten-free option, and it’s always on my monthly Thrive Market order.
- Scharr’s gluten-free artisan baker bread – Again at Thrive Market, and sometimes we find it at Lunds & Byerly’s and Hyvee Grocery stores in our area.
- Little Northern Bakehouse Millet & Chia Bread – is found at Whole Foods Market and my local co-op.
Thanksgiving side dishes: shortcuts and gluten-free substitutions
Can you make mashed potatoes ahead of time?
YES, you can, but for this recipe, prepping the parts ahead of time and finishing while the turkey rests is the best option.
Try these mashed potato shortcuts and tricks:
- Peel and cut potatoes according to the recipe a couple of hours ahead of time or even the night before. Cover them with cold water and set them in the fridge covered overnight or on the counter if a few hours before making mashed potatoes. Water will keep potatoes from turning gray. Drain, rinse off potatoes (to remove extra starch), and proceed with the recipe with new water as directed in the recipe.
- Measure milk and butter into a small saucepan and have it ready on the stovetop.
- This recipe takes about 30 minutes from start to finish if the parts are prepped.
- When a recipe is complete, and it’s not quite time to eat, cover mashed potatoes with tinfoil if eating within 20-ish minutes. If you need more time, set the covered boil over low simmering water to keep warm!
How to make gluten-free gravy:
- I prefer Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free all-purpose flour or one-to-one flour; any gluten-free all-purpose flour mix should work well. I like to whisk 2-3 tablespoons of flour into a couple of tablespoons of broth or fat before adding to the larger pot.
- I use my Instant-Pot Chicken Bone-Broth, which makes a little over 8 cups, for this recipe. Or we like and use Pacific Chicken Broth at Whole Foods or Thrive.
- This extra gravy can be made up to five days in advance.
- Reheat once your turkey is ready to be carved.
Try these tips and tricks for whipped and baked sweet potatoes:
- For gluten-free corn flake cereal that is Celiac-safe, I use Nature’s Path Organic Fruit Juice Corn Flakes or Nature’s Path Honey’d Corn Flakes!
- I get my gluten-free pecans from Nuts.com. Read about their gluten-free protocols.
- I often use less sugar for the sweet potatoes and sometimes the topping too! You could cut half if you want and still love this dish. Sweet potatoes are sweet, and so is the cereal!
When do I prep and bake Thanksgiving side dishes like these sweet potatoes?
- Choose recipes like these sweet potatoes that you can prep the day before. Here the two parts can be prepared and kept separate in the refrigerator.
- Pick dishes to bake while the turkey rests and the gravy is in process. This recipe can sit out and come to room temperature an hour before baking. And when the turkey is out, bake the potatoes. (You can also bake the whipped sweet potato part the day before and add the topping to bake right before serving!)
- Covered with foil or a cover, most hot foods like these potatoes will keep warm for 30 minutes.
Desserts: gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes for your grand finale!
When it comes to dessert options on Thanksgiving, not everyone loves pumpkin pie (hello, me!), or they prefer a little bit of everything (hello, also me!). These apple desserts are not only what I love, and they’re seasonal and ideal for adding a little gluten-free option to what’s typically a gluten-filled dessert buffet.
Leftovers: Make these recipes with your Thanksgiving turkey!
Arguably, this might be the best part. When all is said in done, grab everything you trimmed off your turkey (skin, bones, and pieces that you won’t eat) and toss it into a large stock pot or instant pot and cover it with water. Do you know that person who does this every year? Well, that person could be you.
- Instant Pot Instructions for leftover turkey broth: Read the recipe. Add all leftover turkey parts + 2 quarts of water, half the salt (1 teaspoon), the rest of the ingredients, and vegetables if you have them, and proceed as directed.
- Stovetop Instructions for leftover turkey broth: See the recipe above for stovetop instructions. Read the recipe. In your stockpot, add all leftover turkey parts, half the salt (1 teaspoon), the rest of the ingredients, and vegetables if you have them, and cover with cold water, to submerge the ingredients. Simmer for 4-6 hours as the recipe directs, adding water a cup at a time if it starts to cook down too much.
Let’s stay in touch! Sign-up for my occasional, She Made It email, and I’ll send you my Top 3 Meal Preps + 9 Ways to Eat them.
Last Updated on November 16, 2022 by Heather Bursch