Your Must Have Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Survival Guide

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gluten-free thanksgiving dinner with turkey

When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease, Thanksgiving was a holiday that came with much trepidation.  Truth be told, Aunt Edna’s gelatin mold was indeed a bit scary, but my big fear was how to survive Thanksgiving gluten-free.  Our dinner table was traditionally laden with gluten-filled fare such as stuffing, rolls, gravy, and pies.  As a “newbie”, I envisioned myself munching on a piece of cardboard in the corner (most likely at the kid’s table).  Fear not!  Thanksgiving (and any other holiday) can be deliciously gluten-free.  A little research, planning, and flexibility will help you to have a Thanksgiving that rivals years past.

Bird is the Word: Did you know that some brands of turkey contain gluten as an additive?  To make sure you select a gluten free turkey, always check the ingredient list.  Gluten free turkey brands include Empire Kosher, Honeysuckle White, Jennie-O, Perdue, Sheltons, & Shadybrook Farms.

Break Some Gluten Free Bread: Serve up a batch of gluten free biscuits in no time by using Betty Crocker Gluten Free Bisquick Mix.

Get Stuffed: Check out my post for some savory Gluten Free Stuffing.  Want to try something different?  How about a rice-based stuffing?

Hop on the Gravy Train: Sure, “traditional” gravy is made from a flour base.  However, you can make a mouthwatering gluten free country-style gravy with Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Bisquick Mix as a base.  Or check out these gluten free gravy mixes:  Road’s End Organic Savory Herb Gravy, OrgraN Vegetarian Gravy.

Don’t Forget the Sides: Homemade cranberry sauce, fruit salad, candied yams, and mashed potatoes all make fabulous sides.

Time for Dessert! The possibilities are endless.  Since pumpkin is so often featured as the star of the show at Thanksgiving, pumpkin ice cream would be a delicious gluten free option.  A decadent (but easy) option is my Pumpkin Cheesecake with Rice Chex crust:

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Be sure to have cream cheese & eggs at room temperature.

Gluten Free Crust:

1/2 cup pecans
2 cups Rice Chex Gluten Free Cereal
8 gluten free Ginger Snap cookies
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup butter (melted)
In a food processor grind pecans, cookies, & Rice Chex cereal until crushed & crumbly in texture (resembling ground almond meal). Add brown & white sugar and butter. Mix thoroughly. Press crumbs against the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.

Cheesecake Filling:

3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/8 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1 whole egg
4 egg yolks
3 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine pumpkin, 3/4 cup of white sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, mace, and 3 egg yolks. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Set pumpkin mixture aside.

Using a mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly incorporate 3/8 cup (=1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp) of white sugar, 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk, whipping cream, cornstarch, orange and vanilla extract. Mix well. Add pumpkin mixture and combine thoroughly. Add batter to springform pan. Bake in center of oven for 50 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees. I placed a pan filled with water on the rack beneath the cheesecake to eliminate cracking and maintain moistness. Remove cheesecake from oven and cool for at least 1/2 hour before removing from pan.  Refrigerate prior to serving.

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Maureen Stanley was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2005. Way back before gluten-free was “mainstream“. Maureen created Hold The Gluten blog and podcast in 2008 as a way to connect members of the gluten-free community across the world.

1 Comment

  1. Don’t forget all the traditional casseroles can now be created. Pacific Natural had recently brought out condensed soups. Now a green bean casserole is possible with only a small adaptation of the crispy onions – caramelized them instead! As long as I have all the veggies I am very happy. No turkey, stuffing, or gravy for me please (never cared for them!)

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