15 Gluten-Free Recipes for Christmas
From braised short ribs to chocolate pretzel crinkle cookies.
Cooking a gluten-free menu can be tricky to begin with, but it's even harder around the holiday season, when wheat pops up in everything from Christmas cookies to dinner rolls. Luckily, there are plenty of options that allow you to serve a festive meal that everyone will love, whether or not they want to avoid gluten.
Need a main course? Try a spiced brown-sugar ham, or braised short ribs (better yet, served over fluffy mashed potatoes). Looking for desserts? Chocolate pretzel crinkle cookies, a honey-pear sweet cream galette, and cacao-nib meringues are all great options. We even have a recipe for garlic-stuffed pull-apart buns, drenched in garlic butter—and yes, totally gluten-free. Find these recipes and more of our favorite gluten-free holiday dishes below.
Garlic-Stuffed Pull-Apart Buns
These gluten-free buns get a double dose of garlic. First, they’re filled with a mixture of garlic, parsley, and butter—then, they’re brushed with garlicky butter, which gets an extra kick from red pepper flakes.
Winter Chicory Salad with Kumquats and Date Dressing
Bring something refreshing and bright to the table with this winter chicory salad, which is packed with all kinds of chicories and leafy greens.
Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Crème Fraîche
Butternut squash, carrots, sage, nutmeg, bacon, and more come together in this cozy cold-weather soup.
Coconut-Creamed Swiss Chard
This vegan take on a classic side dish gets its richness from a combination of canned coconut milk and coconut oil.
Rutabaga, Celery Root, and Potato Gratin
In lieu of Gruyère, this three-root gratin uses nutty, savory Parmesan. Want to make it ahead? You can prepare everything the night beforehand through step three and then bake (let it come to room temperature first) the next day.
Who says stuffing has to be just for Thanksgiving? Thanks to gluten-free bread, this recipe from Kay Chun is also free of gluten, and makes for a delicious, savory side dish.
Spiced Brown Sugar Ham with Apple Jus
Ham is a popular Christmas main, and this one is served with a simple but flavorful apple jus made from Fuji apples, apple cider vinegar, and the pan juices from the cooked ham.
Braised Short Ribs
You can serve these tender short ribs over buttery mashed potatoes. As for the wine pairing? We’d recommend a robust Spanish red.
Banana Leaf-Wrapped Lamb Shank Tamales with Morita Chile Salsa
These showstopping tamales feature ultra-tender lamb that’s been cooked low and slow—if you’d like, you can prepare the lamb mixture up to two days in advance.
Gluten-Free Spaghetti and Meatballs
If you’re in the mood for pasta, this recipe for spaghetti and meatballs is entirely gluten-free. The secret to binding the meatballs? Instant potato flakes.
Honey-Pear Sweet Cream Galette
This gluten-free galette comes from Sarah Ann Hahn, aka "the Gluten-Free Cowgirl." The crust recipe calls for a mix of brown rice flour, sweet white rice flour, and arrowroot flour.
Vegan Coconut-Ginger Caramels
These vegan caramels get a boost of flavor from a red Thai chile pepper and fresh ginger. If you want to send them as a gift, be sure to wrap each caramel individually in parchment paper before packing in a container.
Chocolate Pretzel Crinkle Cookies
Instead of flour, these cookies use very finely ground gluten-free pretzels. The best part? If you have leftovers, you can freeze them for up to three months.
Gluten-Free Cacao Nib Meringues
These gluten-free meringues have a super short ingredient list: egg whites, granulated sugar, bittersweet baking chocolate, cacao nibs, and unsweetened cocoa powder. In three steps, they’ll be ready to enjoy.
Coconut Arroz con Leche Tamales
These cajeta-drizzled tamales would make an equally delicious dessert or breakfast.