Doing Turkey Dinner Gluten-Free

It’s the time of year when turkey seems to be everywhere. There’s nothing worse than being left out of the feast – except for eating food that is supposed to be safe and then getting sick afterwards. However, the good news is that it’s quite easy to cook a gluten-free turkey dinner!

To start, make sure that you talk with the person who has allergies to confirm what their needs are. Then, do some research. (If they are gluten-free for whatever reason, we have some good basic information here. You may also want to check out the Canadian Celiac Association and the American Celiac Disease Alliance.

Then, plan your meal. Here’s a basic menu to start with:

  • Roast turkey (without stuffing)
  • Mashed potatoes or hashbrown casserole
  • Boiled and/or roasted vegetables (with equal parts gluten-free Italian dressing and Parmesan cheese, roast veggies are easy and taste great!)
  • Gluten-free cranberry sauce
  • Stuffing and bread served on the side
  • A gluten-free dessert (parfaits like this are my favorite as they are easy!)

There are two keys to making turkey dinner safe for everyone. The first is to read the ingredients of everything that you are serving. Anything that says “May contain wheat” (or any other gluten-containing product) is out. This includes your turkey; pre-stuffed turkeys are out, of course. Glazed or seasoned turkeys might be OK but always read the ingredients!

The second important part is to watch out for cross-contamination. This means that you should buy a fresh jar, tub, etc. of any condiments that you will be serving. For example, if you mash your potatoes with the butter that you use every day (i.e. butter your toast from), it’s likely that the potatoes will now be contaminated with gluten. As well, serve your gluten-free guest first and provide them with uncontaminated condiments.

And most importantly… serve some wine, have some laughs, and enjoy the company of family and friends this holiday season.

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