It might feel overwhelming to begin a gluten-free diet, but having recipes ready at hand makes it that much easier to plan ahead for some healthy meals. Below you’ll find a list of twenty of the best gluten-free dinner recipes to liven up your weekday menus.
The recipes in the list below include several different cuisines and ingredients for a varied gluten-free diet that is healthy and delicious.
Why Would Someone Need Gluten-Free Dinner Recipes?
Gluten-free dinner recipes are useful for people who have a sensitivity or allergy to gluten, a type of protein that is found in foods that contain wheat and a few other grains. Gluten allergies can cause several uncomfortable physical symptoms, including the following:
- Abdominal pains
People who have more severe gluten allergies are known to have celiac disease. In severe cases, gluten allergies can cause intestinal damage. People with celiac and gluten allergies use gluten-free dinner recipes to avoid this ingredient in their meals.
Foods to Avoid If You Have a Gluten Intolerance
People who suffer from gluten intolerance should avoid several kinds of foods. Here are the foods that you should avoid if you’re trying to follow a gluten-free diet:
- Wheat berries
The most common ingredient that affects those on a gluten-free diet is wheat. Wheat is used in making many traditional foods that include the following:
- Baked foods (bread, cake, cookies)
- Some condiments (soy sauce, barbeque sauce, ketchup, gravy)
- Wheat-based pasta
- Snack foods like pretzels, granola, chips, and candy bars
The best way to avoid gluten in your diet is to read the list of ingredients on packaged foods or go with whole foods that you know are gluten-free, such as lean meats, vegetables, and fruits.
Tips for a Gluten-Free Diet
If you’re just starting out in following a gluten-free diet, there are a few tips you can follow that will make cooking gluten-free easier. Here are some tricks you can try to simplify a gluten-free diet and keep it healthy:
- Go with whole foods – Many healthy whole foods like lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts are naturally gluten-free. If you build meals around whole foods, you won’t have to worry about reading ingredient lists or using gluten-free processed replacements.
- Pick gluten-free grains – Just because you’re gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to keep away from all grains. There are many gluten-free grains. These include soy, rice, corn, amaranth, and arrowroot.
- Go easy on gluten-free processed foods – Gluten-free snacks and breads can help calm your cravings for bread and wheat-based products and keep your diet varied. However, these products often contain large amounts of processed grain and sugar. Too many gluten-free processed foods can cause weight gain over time.
- Do meal-planning and prepping – Planning out meals can make it easier to find gluten-free recipes and ingredients without falling back on processed foods. It also gives you time to vet ingredients in any processed foods you include to ensure they don’t contain hidden gluten.
Luckily, there are plenty of gluten-free bread and pasta substitutes. That way, you can make gluten-free meals that are almost indistinguishable from traditional wheat-based meals.
If you go with whole foods, you can make meals that are much healthier than most wheat-based meals, too.
Cuisines That Are the Most Gluten-Free Friendly
When it comes to gluten-free dinner recipes, you’re likely to find that some international cuisines are naturally easier to prepare with gluten-free ingredients than others.
Here are some of the cuisines where you’re likely to find plenty of gluten-free dinner recipe options:
- Central/South American
Using gluten-free dinner recipes from many different cuisines can help keep you from becoming bored by eating the same recipes over and over again. You might also find a cuisine to love that you’ve never tried before.
How to Prepare a Gluten-Free Dinner Recipe
The method you use to prepare a gluten-free dinner recipe will change from recipe to recipe, as will the list of ingredients. However, there are a few steps you’ll have to take to prepare any gluten-free dinner recipe:
- Read the recipe – If you’re preparing a meal by a recipe, it’s a good idea to read the recipe all the way through at least two or three times. This will help prevent you from accidentally skipping a step or ingredient along the way.
- Gather ingredients and cooking equipment before you start cooking – Measuring out any dry ingredients you need and cooking any raw ingredients like fruits and vegetables can make meal-time preparations much faster when it’s time to cook dinner.
- Double-check for gluten in ingredients – With gluten-free dinner recipes, it’s important to do a final check of the recipe and ingredients to make sure they don’t contain gluten. Be especially careful of nuts or grain-based ingredients that were processed in factories where gluten-based products were also processed.
For more specific gluten-free dinners, check out the list of twenty delicious dinners below. You’re sure to find something scrumptious and healthy to strike your fancy.
25 Gluten-Free Dinner Recipes to Wow Your Guests
1. Gluten-Free Chicken Chow Mein
Chicken chow mein is one of the most iconic Chinese takeout meals in the world. The inclusion of gluten-free noodles in this chicken chow mein recipe at Food-e Land makes it perfect for those with gluten allergies.
In addition, the homemade chow mein sauce helps protect from the gluten hidden in processed condiments.
2. Pickle Pizza
Pickles might not be one of the most conventional pizza toppings. However, this gluten-free version at Lemons for Lulu will help convince you how delicious this unusual pizza is. Gluten-free pizza crust makes up the base, while all of the other ingredients are naturally gluten-free.
3. Tuna and Chickpea Salad
While tuna salad is a classic dish, you will love this gluten-free version from Whole Made Living which includes chickpeas and plenty of seasoning and hot sauce to make it a flavorful take on the old favorite.
Tuna salad is a practical gluten-free dinner recipe to make for a quick meal since it can be made out of pantry ingredients.
4. Chicken Souvlaki Pasta Salad
If you’re looking for the flavors of a Greek salad with a base that is a little more filling, look no further than this chicken souvlaki pasta salad at Lemons for Lulu.
With fresh herbs, tomatoes, chickpeas, olives, and crumbled feta cheese, this gluten-free pasta salad invokes some Mediterranean flair at your dinner table.
5. Cast Iron Skillet Baked Spaghetti
The cast iron skillet baked spaghetti at Life Family and Fun is a delicious gluten-free option if you’re craving something indulgent. The recipe is easy to throw together in just a few minutes.
In addition, cooking everything in the skillet helps cut down on dishes after dinner. Keep this spaghetti gluten-free by incorporating gluten-free noodles.
6. Quinoa Cakes with Herbed Cashew Sauce
Here’s another gluten-free dinner recipe from Life Family and Fun that foregoes the gluten-free pasta substitutes for naturally gluten-free quinoa grains. These quinoa cakes can be made with either olive oil or coconut oil to keep things light and healthy.
7. Easy Gluten-Free Orange Chicken
One of the biggest challenges of going gluten-free is giving up your favorite takeout dishes. Thankfully, with this easy gluten-free orange chicken at Nutrition in the Kitch, you can have the tangy taste of authentic Chinese orange chicken stir-fry right in your own kitchen.
8. Best Vegan Fried Rice
Need a side dish for your gluten-free orange chicken or any other Asian dish? The vegan fried rice from Joyful Dumplings can be served as a side dish. However, it’s also filling enough to serve all on its own.
Vegetable fried rice is an excellent way to use up leftover rice from another meal to reduce food waste.
9. Easy Miso Glazed Salmon
For a healthy and practical weeknight dinner recipe, you should try salmon. This dish that can be put together quickly using only a handful of ingredients.
This gluten-free version at From Scratch Fast uses white miso, maple syrup, ginger, and rice vinegar to impart tangy Asian flavors to the fish. The salmon can be roasted and on the table in less than twenty minutes.
10. Coconut Milk Pasta Sauce
Even though pasta is associated with gluten, adding this dairy-free and gluten-free coconut milk sauce from Plant Based Jess to your gluten-free noodles is a delicious way to whip up a quick dinner.
Canned beans and roasted red peppers add extra nutritional value to this meal, but you can also use
11. Homemade Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Even if you’re eating gluten-free, that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare a dinner that everyone in the family will enjoy. These quick and easy gluten-free air fryer chicken tenders at Lemons for Lulu are a snap to make. Plus, they’re great for picky eaters.
12. Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup
Gluten-free dinner recipes don’t have to be complicated. This gluten-free lasagna soup from Nutrition in the Kitch can be made in the slow cooker while you’re busy doing other things around the house.
Using gluten-free lasagna noodles instead of traditional wheat-based noodles is the only major swap you need to make.
13. Hearty Minestrone Soup
Here’s another one-pot stop for an easy weeknight meal or just a laid-back evening on the weekend. Roots and Rosemary offers us this gluten-free minestrone soup that will surely be your newest fall or winter craving.
This recipe is perfect for days when you don’t feel like dirtying up a ton of pots, pans, and dishes. You’ll get a hearty soup that is jam-packed with healthy vegetables and fresh herbs.
14. Santa Fe Salad
Sante Fe salad is a bright and colorful addition to the dinner table, and this gluten-free version from The Nessy Kitchen is a rainbow of healthy ingredients.
Featuring greens, avocado, black beans, corn, tomatoes, and jalapenos, the result is a spicy and bright salad topped off with a homemade Sante Fe style ranch dressing.
15. Crock Pot Guinness Irish Stew
If you’re looking for another easy gluten-free crock pot recipe, look no further than this Guinness Irish stew at Lemons for Lulu. The Guinness beer in this recipe gives the beef broth in the stew a deep and complex flavor thanks to the inclusion of coffee and chocolate notes.
Be sure to brown both the bacon and the beef before including it to get the best taste in the final result.
16. Easy Vegan Taquitos
Mexican is a cuisine that isn’t just delicious, it has plenty of dishes that are suitable for gluten-free variations. The vegan taquitos at Botanical Barbara aren’t just vegan and gluten-free, they’re corn-free too.
Layers of jackfruit and refried black beans make these taquitos satisfying and healthy without making them heavy.
17. Grilled Chicken Drumsticks
Whole foods are one of the easiest ways to eat gluten-free if you’re new to the diet. The grilled chicken drumsticks from I Heart Umami are dressed with a gluten-free Thai sweet and spicy sauce that is full of lime, peach, and chili flavors.
18. Gluten-Free Tabouli with Quinoa
Traditional tabouli isn’t healthy for people on a gluten-free diet. However, that is easily rectified by replacing the traditional bulgur in the recipe with naturally gluten-free quinoa instead.
This fresh and delicious Lebanese salad at Bowls Are the New Plates is great as a light main dish or it can be served as a side dish against a heartier entree.
Related: 45 Gluten-Free Desserts that are Healthy and Delicious
19. Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche
Breakfast for dinner? You can do it as easily on a gluten-free diet as you can on a traditional wheat-based one.
For a protein-packed quiche, try this recipe from Joy-Filled Eats that is packed with tangy, rich sun-dried tomatoes, and it’s just as good for a light supper with a salad as it is for breakfast or lunch. A quiche is a great option for low-carb diets, too.
20. Keto Butter Chicken
Indian food has many dishes that can easily be converted into gluten-free recipes. Certainly, butter chicken is one of the most popular dishes in Indian cuisine.
The marinade, butter sauce, and rice in this keto-friendly butter chicken recipe at Wholesome Yum are all naturally gluten-free.
21. Gluten-Free Taco Casserole
Casseroles are a practical way to get a hot and hearty meal on the table in a hurry. The gluten-free taco casserole at Breadish can be thrown together in minutes thanks to the inclusion of a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken.
In addition, the casserole can be easily frozen and baked later for meal prepping too.
22. Grilled Greek Chicken Salad
Salads are great for a gluten-free diet since they help you incorporate more whole vegetables into your meals. However, it’s important that they’re filling and tasty as well as healthy.
The grilled greek chicken salad at Erin Lives Whole combines fresh grilled chicken, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, and pepperoncini peppers for a tangy combination that will please the whole table.
23. Salisbury Steak
Salisbury steak may not sound that great if the only exposure you’ve had to it is in frozen dinner kits. However, homemade Salisbury steak is a comforting beef-based dish that is wonderful during colder autumn and winter months.
This salisbury steak from Laura Lea Balanced uses full-fat coconut milk and almond flour rather than wheat-based flour to keep things gluten-free.
24. Cottage Pie
Eating gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to a life of salads. Cottage pie is a traditional casserole made of seasoned beef filling. Then it is
topped with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes. It is a satisfying dish from Sun Cake Mom is as indulgent as any wheat-based meal you could make.
25. Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
There are tons of variations on the classic lasagna. But this gluten-free version at Erin Lives Whole really shakes things up by including a spicy buffalo sauce with shredded roasted chicken and thick gluten-free lasagna noodles.
This lasagna is low in calories yet full of nutrition and fiber for a hearty dinner.
Gluten-Free Dinner Recipes FAQ
Will I Lose Weight If I Eat Gluten-Free?
Eating gluten-free can help people with gluten allergies prevent negative symptoms. However, it doesn’t necessarily ensure a healthy diet.
Many packaged gluten-free processed foods like snack foods and wheat substitutes are full of calories and refined sugar. Naturally, gluten-free foods like meat and cheese can be high in fat, while gluten-free grains like rice are packed with carbohydrates.
To lose weight on a gluten-free diet, follow these tips:
- Watch portion sizes – Going gluten-free doesn’t make a difference in your calorie intake if you eat meals that are too large. Weigh out your food to ensure you’re not over-serving yourself and track your nutritional intake.
- Go with whole foods – Incorporating more whole fruits, vegetables, and lean meats into your diet can help you lose weight on a gluten-free diet. Try to reduce or eliminate high-calorie gluten-free options like processed foods, white rice, high-fat meats, and sugary foods.
Which Rice Is Gluten-Free?
All types of rice are naturally gluten-free. However, when choosing ingredients, you need to ensure that you’re purchasing a brand of rice that was not processed in facilities that were also used to process gluten-based products.
This is because cross-contamination can still aggravate gluten allergies.
What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Eating Gluten?
Even if you don’t have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you can still experience significant positive health benefits from reducing or eliminating gluten from your diet. Here are a few of the advantages you might experience:
- Clearer skin
- Lower inflammation in all body systems
- Better energy levels
- Less bloating and digestive problems
- Less concentration/focus issues
Gluten-Free Dinner Recipes Conclusion
Using the list of excellent gluten-free dinner recipes provided above, anyone can easily convert to a gluten-free diet to see if can experience any positive health impacts from it. With the right meals in your arsenal, the swap to a gluten-free lifestyle isn’t just painless, it’s delicious!