From winter squash gnocchi to triple-layer chocolate macaroon cake.

By Bridget Hallinan
December 04, 2019

Cooking a gluten-free menu can be tricky to begin with—from sourcing ingredients to finding good recipes—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 an indulgent, festive meal that people who can't eat gluten (and those who can!) will love. 

Looking for appetizers? Buckwheat-cheddar blinis topped with smoked salmon are a good bet (yes, buckwheat is gluten-free). Figuring out your main? You can stick with the classic Christmas ham, but if you’re in the mood to switch things up, roast chicken will also work beautifully. As for dessert? You can do cookies, cake, or both. We particularly love how festive raspberry macarons are, with jewel-red jam poking out between the pink cookies. Find the recipe and more of our favorite gluten-free holiday dishes below.

Justin Walker

Buckwheat-Cheddar Blini with Smoked Salmon

Despite the name, buckwheat is gluten-free, and it makes for earthy blini flavored with sharp cheddar cheese and chives. The finishing touch? Thin strips of smoked salmon and a dollop of sour cream.

Get the recipe here.

Crispy Kale with Lemon-Yogurt Dip

This healthy snack would make a great appetizer, and you can scale it up as needed depending on your number of guests. The kale is roasted with extra-virgin olive oil and garlic until it’s crunchy—then, it’s paired with an incredibly simple dipping sauce of yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and oil, with a touch of salt and pepper.

Get the recipe here.

Caesar Salad with Crispy Tofu Croutons

Crisp tofu cubes replace bread croutons in this salad, which pairs beautifully with a zesty Sauvignon Blanc.

Get the recipe here.

Scallops with Blood Orange, Fennel and Pistachios

Winter is citrus season and scallop season, so it’s the perfect time to make this flavorful salad.  

Get the recipe here.

Garlic-Stuffed Pull-Apart Buns

Kamran Siddiqi

These gluten-free buns get a punch of flavor from garlic-parsley butter. The ingredient list may look long, but you can find what you need in a health food store.

Get the recipe here.

Sautéed Spinach with Pancetta and Dried Cranberries

Con Poulos

This side dish has a very Christmas-esque red and green color scheme, thanks to the addition of the pancetta and dried cranberries. Bonus: it only takes 30 minutes to make, and serves 10 to 12 people.

Get the recipe here.

Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa Salad

John Kernick

This gluten-free option also doubles as an excellent vegetarian main course. The halved baked squashes are stuffed with a salad comprised of arugula, Granny Smith apple, golden raisins, quinoa, and fresh herbs.

Get the recipe here.

Honey-Bourbon-Glazed Ham

Petrina Tinslay

Ham is a Christmas staple, and this version is spiced with fennel, coriander, and star anise. (Make sure you get gluten-free soy sauce for the glaze.)

Get the recipe here.

Roast Chicken with Salsa Verde and Roasted Lemons


Jonathan Waxman’s crisp and juicy roast chicken is paired with a bright, seven-herb salsa verde.

Get the recipe here.

Gluten-Free Winter Squash Gnocchi

These gnocchi have a subtle sweet squash flavor, complemented by fresh sage. If you want, you can also make them gluten-free and vegan by substituting the ghee with coconut oil or vegan butter.

Get the recipe here.

Creamy Seafood Risotto

This recipe would be perfect for the Feast of the Seven Fishes, since it knocks out three different fish in one meal—lump crab meat, shrimp, and clam juice.

Get the recipe here.

Creamed Spinach Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese

Kamran Siddiqi

Instead of the typical bread crumb topping, this mac and cheese is topped with crushed rice cereal.

Get the recipe here.

Baked Butternut Squash-and-Cheese Polenta

Quentin Bacon

This crusty polenta is mixed with Parmigiano-Reggiano and Gouda. You can serve it with sautéed mushrooms, braised greens, or tomato sauce.  

Get the recipe here.

Gluten-Free Cacao Nib Meringues

Justin Walker

These cookies have crispy exteriors, which give way to soft, chewy insides—cacao nibs, unsweetened cocoa, and bittersweet baking chocolate add rich flavor.

Get the recipe here.

Raspberry Macarons

Michael Turek

With their pink color and jewel-red raspberry jam filling, these macarons will make a festive addition to your dessert spread. However, if you’re not into raspberry, we also have plenty of other gluten-free Christmas cookies you can try.

Get the recipe here.

Gluten-Free Gingersnap Ice Cream Sandwiches

Gingersnap cookies bring the holiday flavor in these ice cream sandwiches, which are filled with dairy- and gluten-free ice cream. The recipe serves 10 people, but you can easily double it, depending on how many guests you’re hosting. 

Get the recipe here.

Triple-Layer Chocolate Macaroon Cake


This tasty cake only has six ingredients—heavy cream, bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate, eggs, sugar, and dried unsweetened finely grated coconut. Make it seven if you want to add delicate chocolate curls for a garnish.

Get the recipe here.