11 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. Find these recipes and more of our favorite gluten-free holiday dishes below.

Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Crème Fraîche

Butternut Squash Soup with Creme Fraiche and Bacon
Erin Kunkel

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

Coconut-Creamed Swiss Chard

Coconut-Creamed Swiss Chard Recipe
Victor Protasio

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

Root vegetable gratin
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.

Spiced Brown Sugar Ham with Apple Jus

Spiced Brown Sugar Ham with Apple Jus
© 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.

Braised Short Ribs

Braised Short Ribs
© 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.

Banana Leaf-Wrapped Lamb Shank Tamales with Morita Chile Salsa

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.

Honey-Pear Sweet Cream Galette

Honey Pear Sweet Cream Galette
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.

Vegan Coconut-Ginger Caramels

Vegan Coconut Ginger Caramels
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.

Chocolate Pretzel Crinkle Cookies

Chocolate Pretzel Crinkle Cookies
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.

Gluten-Free Cacao Nib Meringues

Gluten-Free Cacao Nib Meringues
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.

Coconut Arroz con Leche Tamales

Coconut Arroz Con Lecha Tamales

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

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