Thanksgiving–The GFE Way

With Thanksgiving on Thursday here in the U.S., I thought I’d do a quick roundup of gfe Thanksgiving recipes for folks who are still not sure what dishes they’d like to make. Of course, these dishes are all gluten free, but many are free of other allergens (or adaptable in that regard—notes included). These gfe recipes may be made without certain ingredients that folks have come to expect in foods, but they are never short on taste. These are recipes that everyone will love! Oh, and they are gluten free easily, gfe—meaning they are naturally gluten free or easily made gluten free by a simple substitution or two.

Some folks balk at anything green on the table for Thanksgiving (other than the ubiquitous green bean casserole, which Mr. GFE adores and I’ve made gluten free several times), but serve up this Great Salad and folks who never eat salad will be sampling it, and enjoying it. Trust me … I’ve seen it happen numerous times.


If you serve a turkey breast (or even a small turkey or roaster chicken), my super easy Traditional Turkey Breast (two ingredients—one is the turkey breast) and Special Turkey Breast recipes, both cooked in the slow cooker, are wonderful options. Son popped in for a visit yesterday and ended up taking the rest of the Special Turkey Breast home with him. He initially declined my offer saying he didn’t want to cut us short, but when I packed him up for him, he said “that turkey is so good!” That was after I’d fixed him a plate.

Special Turkey Breast 116

Special Turkey Breast

Another main dish option is Susie’s Crab Casserole–a real treat for the seafood lovers.

Crab Casserole 037

Then there’s stuffing, or dressing as some folks call it—Surprise Stuffing. I confirmed that wonderful stuffing can be made using tortilla chips. Now there’s no need to find the perfect gluten-free bread or make bread in preparation to make stuffing/dressing. (Note: This recipe is linked to the Slightly Indulgent roundup over at Amy’s Simply Sugar & Gluten Free blog. You’ll want to see her homemade, healthy ketchup recipe! By the way, the Slightly Indulgent roundup is moving to Tuesdays next week.)

Tostito Stuffing 028-1

 Even with stuffing on the table, folks often want a “bread” as well. My personal favorites are popovers and cornbread:



Desserts can be made gfe by focusing on flourless cakes and crustless pies. You won’t believe it, but you and others won’t even miss the flour or the crusts. There’s the classic Flourless Chocolate Cake (no special ingredients like almond flour or even separation of eggs required for this one) and Mediterranean Chocolate Cake (a classic chocolate cake flavor, also naturally dairy free). There’s even Flourless Chocolate Banana Honey Walnut Cake for those who are gluten free, dairy free, grain free, and refined sugar free. This latter flourless cake gives you enough chocolate and sweetness, but doesn’t leave you wanting more.



Flourless ChocBanHonWalnut-2

For the crustless pies, usually only a small amount of gluten-free flour is needed. Take your pick: pumpkin, coconut, or apple. Most likely you can use the concepts in these recipes to adapt your own favorite pie recipe to crustless and gfe.

Pumpkin Pie 142



Do you have guests staying over? Consider making one or more of the following for a very special breakfast: Banana Maple-Nut Muffins, Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole, or Volcano Pancake. Your guests will be so grateful and none of these breakfast dishes are hard to make. The muffins and casserole can be made ahead, and the puff pancake (which also can be made into a cheesy side dish) comes together in minutes. It’s a visual delight and huge crowd pleaser! Some friends recently confessed that they make this on a whim all the time–just as a decadent afternoon treat. (They are not gluten free, so they just use standard all-purpose flour.)




If you are still looking for more recipe ideas, please look at Diane’s (The W.H.O.L.E. Gang) summary of the Progressive Dinner Party we held last week. There are 15 fabulous recipes in all—from drinks to desserts—courtesy of myself and seven other top-notch bloggers: Diane (the “Engergizer battery” originator of this dinner party roundup), Stephanie (A Year of Slow Cooking), Karen (Cook4Seasons), Ali (The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen), Shauna (Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef), Jean (Gluten-Free Organics and More), and Seamaiden (The Book of Yum). Their recipes will wow you with flavor and beauty, but not necessarily difficulty—I love that! Plus, they’re all gluten free, but look for other allergen accommodations as well. Head over to The W.H.O.L.E. Gang  … Diane has all the individual links right in her post for you! Plus, you’ll get to see her Thanksgiving menu plan … what the heck is Spatchcock Turkey anyway? Diane will tell you. If you’re planning to cook a whole turkey, this recipe might be a Thanksgiving blessing you didn’t expect.

Have a wonderful gfe Thanksgiving all! Best,

Not just gf, but gfe!

This post is linked to What can I eat that’s gluten free?.

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


33 Responses to “Thanksgiving–The GFE Way”

  1. Iris on November 23rd, 2009 10:13 am

    What a wonderful roundup! I love seeing what other people have for special holidays!

    • Shirley on November 23rd, 2009 11:34 am

      Iris–You’re a dear with your always positive comments! Please know that I don’t plan on serving all of these at our Thanksgiving. ;-) Just giving everyone ideas … and I already thought of a few more I should have included. LOL


  2. Pam on November 23rd, 2009 12:16 pm

    Awe boy…what time is thanksgiving? I’ll be there….wholly yum! Shirley, I found a recipe for a crustless bacon quiche that I am going to be making. I appreciate you stopping by, sweetie!

    Thank you and enjoy!

    P.S. your blog is the best! BTW, I LUV popovers and cornbread…delish!

    • Shirley on November 24th, 2009 9:27 am

      Hi, Pam–LOL … come over the river and through the woods and join us! ;-) We’ll have plenty, for sure. I’m not making every one of those dishes (they are just ideas for folks), but I am making most of them and with my mom, sister, and a friend also bringing food, we’ll have a feast!

      Oooh, crustless quiche is very good. I actually have a post here on crustless quiches, but I’ll look forward to reading about your quiche adventures at your blog. Now look what you’ve done … I’m wanting quiche for breakfast!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and always saying the nicest things—I truly do appreciate your dedication and support here at gfe!


      • Pam on November 24th, 2009 10:23 am

        OMG….your quiche looks wonderful! I love quiches, because they are so quick, easy, and good!

        Thank you for the shout out you awesome lady!

        Now you go and enjoy the day! I’m warming up my sled so that I can be there by Thursday…lol!!!

        • Shirley on November 24th, 2009 8:13 pm

          Thanks for stopping back after viewing my quiche recipe, Pam. LOL on warming up the sled—love that! I’ll have lots of new things for you to try when you get here. ;-)


          • Pam on November 25th, 2009 11:06 am

            Can’t wait! Shirley, have a wonderful T-Day!


  3. Lauren on November 23rd, 2009 7:21 pm

    Everything looks fabulous! I know you’re going to have a delicious Thanksgiving =D.

    • Shirley on November 24th, 2009 9:29 am

      Hi, Lauren–Thanks! Yes, it will be delicious, but will we be able to move afterwards? I’m hoping for no rain so I can at least take a walk a while after the big meal. That will help with the food guilt. ;-)


  4. Jenn/CinnamonQuill on November 23rd, 2009 8:40 pm

    You’ve now left me with an intense craving for popovers! Ahhh! It sounds like no one at your house will go hungry this holiday. Yum! Ever thought about hosting a blogging gathering…at your house?! You do all the catering ;-) It would be delicious!

    Anyway…I’ve been loving The Almond Flour Cookbook and am just about through my Honeyville flour! Elana’s chocolate chip cookies are the new standard over here. Thank you again for the wonderful book!

    • Shirley on November 24th, 2009 9:34 am

      Hi Jenn–Good to see you! Yes, who doesn’t like popovers … I’ve been thinking I’ll have to make a triple batch for this crowd. ;-) I’ve hosted a virtual blogging gathering at our mtn property! But, no real-time blogging events yet … although I’d love to host one! Let’s talk …

      I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying your prize of Elana’s cookbook. Wowsers on being almost done with your 5 lbs of Honeyville flour—that’s a lot of baking, dear! Those chocolate chip cookies are fabulous!


  5. Laura on November 24th, 2009 1:37 am

    Thank you so much for ALL the wonderful recipes! This is my first holiday season gluten,dairy, soy free, etc…I love all the options out there. Can’t wait to bring some new dishes to the table and hopefully win over a few more family members.

    • Shirley on November 24th, 2009 9:40 am

      Hi, Laura–It’s nice to see you here again at gfe! That first holiday season can seem daunting giving the SAD’s inclusion of all the no-no’s on your list. Focus on the foods that are naturally free of those and make some simple substitutions and it will quickly come together for you though. The key to winning over family members is NOT telling them what the dish doesn’t have. They’ll immediately start thinking deprivation and ugh if one does that. Let them enjoy the wonderful goodness of the dish itself. ;-) I’m so glad that you are finding so many options here at gfe and elsewhere. It’s like buying a certain kind of car and suddenly seeing that car everywhere else, the options have always been there … we just start seeing them and realizing how good they are!

      Hope you have a wonderful holiday season! Come back for more gfe recipes, and always ask if there’s something in particular you are looking for, and I’ll try to help. :-)


  6. Ali on November 24th, 2009 3:14 am

    Wow Shirls, that is one impressive post! Just look at all of those photos! There are quite a few I have obviously missed – like the hashbrown casserole, yum!

    Hope you and MR. GFE have a wonderful Thanksgiving. xxxooo Ali :)

    • Shirley on November 24th, 2009 9:45 am

      Hey Ali–Thanks, dear! I’m betting you can come up with a great Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen version of that hash brown casserole. No matter how that one is adapted, I’m betting it will be a crowd pleaser!

      Thanks so much for the Thanksgiving wishes! It truly is one of my favorite holidays … family, friends, food, gratitude, and all that being together in that regard brings—what could be better? I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving, too. Just keep that decadent chocolate dessert away from the little guys this time. ;-)


  7. Wendy on November 24th, 2009 1:18 pm

    I am so thrilled to find this site right in time for Thanksgiving. I was just about to give in and prepare something non-GF and let my family eat most of the meal without me. Now, I’m whipping out grocery lists to see what I can pick up this afternoon. Thank you! Best of all is the popovers. This was a staple in my husband’s family for every holiday, and we haven’t made it since I was diagnosed three years ago. He will be so excited when I surprise him with this special treat.

    • Shirley on November 24th, 2009 8:21 pm

      Hi Wendy!–Welcome to gfe! I’m so happy you found gfe and my recipes, especially the popover one. ;-) They are a huge favorite around here and I’m planning on making them. I hope you and your husband enjoy them. I haven’t met anyone yet who didn’t though. I really like using my gf flour mix of Asian white rice flour and cornstarch for that recipe, plus xanthan gum (when needed—it is for those, of course). By the way, I’m also thinking about converting the knockoff Red Lobster garlic cheese biscuits. ;-)

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, Wendy. I hope you’ll report back on how everything goes. Happy Thanksgiving!


  8. Amy @ SS&GF on November 24th, 2009 10:25 pm

    What a great round-up! You have everything someone would need from beginning to end. I had to check out some recipes of yours that I hadn’t seen before. I know I’ve seen your flourless chocolate banana honey walnut cake before but I haven’t made it…not sure why. It’s calling my name!

    • Shirley on November 25th, 2009 3:17 pm

      Thanks, Amy! Some people might wonder why I didn’t include an appetizer, but there’s usually no room to eat an appetizer and all the other food we have on Thanksgiving. LOL Plus, I’m saving my favorite appetizer recipe for the Holiday Food Fest and Linda’s party food theme next week. ;-) That flourless chocolate banana honey walnut cake is very good. I made some brownies with honey, almond flour, and walnuts today and I was reminded of that cake because of the chocolate honey flavor.

      Happy Thanksgiving!


  9. SnoWhite on November 25th, 2009 9:02 am

    wow – what a great looking gf thanksgiving! My turkey does not fit in our crockpot — but I’m still bookmarking your special turkey recipe :) And, I’m sending the chocolate cake recipe to my MIL who is GF.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Shirley on November 25th, 2009 3:34 pm

      Hi SnoWhite–I’m thinking that you might be want to be on the lookout for a nice big oval crockpot … Chrismas list perhaps? Put the word out to the universe. ;-) I actually have a Westbend slow cooker that is rectangular that I often cook turkey breasts and roasts in as well. But, if you see a good deal on the boneless turkey breast, they easily fit in a regular crockpot. (Someone with a helpful butcher could even get their regular bone-in turkey breast turned into boneless before they left the store. I think it would have to be fresh vs frozen though.) Don’t forget you can use this recipe on a whole chicken, too. One friend of mine does that often—that’s more likely to fit in your crockpot. Anyway, I’m honored you’re bookmarking the recipe and hope to hear back from you when you do make it. :-)

      Hope your MIL will like the chocolate cake, too. I’m wondering which one you sent … the ultra rich or the more classic one.

      Thanks so much for the comments and the Thanksgiving wishes! Happy Thanksgiving Eve! (We love celebrating even the “eve’s” in our family.)


  10. Sagan on November 25th, 2009 9:33 am

    I’m drooling LIKE CRAZY right now. This all looks amazing.

    I always make my own ketchup, very similar to that recipe, and it’s a million ties better than any storebought ketchup!

    • Shirley on November 25th, 2009 4:25 pm

      Hi, Sagan!–LOL … It will be quite a feast tomorrow for sure. I’m not making all of those recipes, but I’ll be trying some new things, so there will be a LOT of food!

      Cool on making your own ketchup! To be honest, I would have never thought of it, but I love Amy’s way of doing it in the crockpot. Slow cooking makes lots of recipes much easier. ;-)

      Too late to wish you a happy Thanksgiving since you guys celebrated last month. I really like that idea … sure gives one plenty of time before Christmas! ;-) Thanks so much for stopping by! Must visit both your living in the real world sites again—healthy and rhetorically—soon. You’ve been busy with your POM … me, too (but behind the scenes so far). Looks like your POM giveaway ends today. Hope you get tons of entries! I’ll be having one over the weekend. ;-)


  11. RobinSue on November 25th, 2009 9:36 am

    Happy Thanksgiving Shirley! I am off to cook ALL day!

    • Shirley on November 25th, 2009 4:28 pm

      Thank you, dear Robin! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, too! I’ve been cooking, but not enough … still lots to do and that pesky cleaning thing … LOL


  12. Lauren on November 26th, 2009 10:55 pm

    THANK YOU for your surprise stuffing recipe!!! I just hosted my second completely Gluten Free thanksgiving, and just HAD to make this recipe! Noone could believe it was GF, and noone could guess the secret ingredient!!!! The coolest thing is, only my dad is gluten free, but we all agree we aren’t “missing anything” at thanksgiving – mashed potatoes and green beans and cornbread and now STUFFING! Thanks so much!

    • Shirley on November 26th, 2009 11:18 pm

      Hi Lauren–You’re welcome. :-) Looks like you are new here … welcome to gfe! I’m so happy that your surprise stuffing was both a success and a surprise—very cool indeed! Your last point is wonderful; once we have a collection of naturally gluten-free dishes that we love, we are set for the holidays. And, you can add a gfe-type dish here and there as time goes on. ;-) (For example, I made a successful crustless pecan pie this Thanksgiving. )

      Thanks so much for letting me and the gfe readers know of your success with this recipe. BTW, I made it again today and it was chosen over the glutenous stuffing just by its appearance. When I told those who were eating it what the surprise ingredient was, they—like your family—were very surprised, too. It will definitely become part of Thanksgiving whenever I’m hosting.


  13. Linda on November 29th, 2009 5:26 pm

    That’s a great roundup! Thanks for linking up.

    • Shirley on November 29th, 2009 10:34 pm

      Hi Linda–Thanks! I love your weekly roundups. :-) You always share a great recipes, reviews, etc. and everyone else does, too.


  14. Sarah on November 16th, 2010 8:35 pm

    Thank you for all of the amazing recipes!! I can’t wait to try them!

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