From braised short ribs to chocolate pretzel crinkle cookies.

By Bridget Hallinan
Updated December 18, 2020
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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

Credit: © Kamran Siddiqi

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.

Get the Recipe: Garlic-Stuffed Pull-Apart Buns

Winter Chicory Salad with Kumquats and Date Dressing

Credit: Greg DuPree

Bring something refreshing and bright to the table with this winter chicory salad, which is packed with all kinds of chicories and leafy greens. 

Get the Recipe: Winter Chicory Salad with Kumquats and Date Dressing

Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Crème Fraîche

Credit: Erin Kunkel

Butternut squash, carrots, sage, nutmeg, bacon, and more come together in this cozy cold-weather soup.

Get the Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Crème Fraîche

Coconut-Creamed Swiss Chard

Credit: Victor Protasio

This vegan take on a classic side dish gets its richness from a combination of canned coconut milk and coconut oil.

Get the Recipe: Coconut-Creamed Swiss Chard

Rutabaga, Celery Root, and Potato Gratin

Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

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.

Get the Recipe: Rutabaga, Celery Root, and Potato Gratin

Gluten-Free Stuffing

The combination of mushrooms and sausage in this fantastic gluten-free stuffing is super-savory and comforting, making it a great addition to any Thanksgiving table.
| Credit: Abby Hocking

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.

Get the Recipe: Gluten-Free Stuffing

Spiced Brown Sugar Ham with Apple Jus

Credit: © Marcus Nilsson

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.

Get the Recipe: Spiced Brown Sugar Ham with Apple Jus

Braised Short Ribs

Credit: © Lucy Schaeffer

You can serve these tender short ribs over buttery mashed potatoes. As for the wine pairing? We’d recommend a robust Spanish red.

Get the Recipe: Braised Short Ribs

Banana Leaf-Wrapped Lamb Shank Tamales with Morita Chile Salsa

Credit: DYLAN + JENI

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. 

Get the Recipe: Banana Leaf-Wrapped Lamb Shank Tamales with Morita Chile Salsa

Gluten-Free Spaghetti and Meatballs

Credit: Jen Causey

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.

Get the Recipe: Gluten-Free Spaghetti and Meatballs

Honey-Pear Sweet Cream Galette

Credit: Erin Kunkel

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.

Get the Recipe: Honey-Pear Sweet Cream Galette

Vegan Coconut-Ginger Caramels

Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

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.

Get the Recipe: Vegan Coconut-Ginger Caramels

Chocolate Pretzel Crinkle Cookies

Credit: Greg DuPree

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.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Pretzel Crinkle Cookies

Gluten-Free Cacao Nib Meringues

Credit: Justin Walker

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.

Get the Recipe: Gluten-Free Cacao Nib Meringues

Coconut Arroz con Leche Tamales

Credit: DYLAN + JENI

These cajeta-drizzled tamales would make an equally delicious dessert or breakfast.

Get the Recipe: Coconut Arroz con Leche Tamales