Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes

| November 13, 2010 | 46 Comments
  • 46 Comments

Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls Recipe
Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls. Photo by Jeanne Sauvage

Thanksgiving, routinely a flour-heavy culinary event, is my favorite holiday — so you can imagine what a bummer it was to learn that gluten was a key factor in the health problems I’d been battling for many years. While I was relieved to find the culprit in my health drama, I have to say that a lifetime of Thanksgivings sans pie, stuffing and dinner rolls made for a grim holiday season indeed.

I’m never one to back down from a challenge. Slowly, as I learned to bake using a completely new set of rules, I discovered that gluten-free baked goods can rival their wheaty counterparts. I learned how to make a gluten-free version of Thanksgiving stuffing, a fantastic butternut squash pie, and everything else that a normal person would sit down to enjoy with their loved ones. Sure, at first my family balked at my “weird” cornbread, but once they came around, they discovered that what I was making tasted good. Actually, I’d venture to say that my from-scratch versions tasted better than a lot of the prefab, processed stuff that my family normally layed out on the table during the holidays. But that’s another post.

Somewhere out there, I know there’s a person who’s just gotten a diagnosis of celiac disease, or maybe someone they love has gotten the diagnosis. Either way, they’re suddenly in a similar position as I was all those years ago, wondering what the hell to make for Thanksgiving dinner when you can’t use white flour. Well, guess what? You’re in luck! These days gluten-free resources are ripe for the picking, unlike a decade ago when they’d look at you funny if you walked into the grocery store and asked for brown rice flour and xanthan gum. Now, gluten-free blogs abound and bookstores have entire shelves dedicated to gluten-free cooking. To say we live in a time of gluten free bounty would be an understatement.

So what did I miss most about Thanksgiving once I learned I was gluten intolerant? What was the first thing I just had to recreate so that I could enjoy this holiday like a normal person? You might laugh at the simplicity of my needs, but I’ll share anyways: it was the humble dinner roll. More than anything, I wanted a soft, warm roll that I could spread with a swath of sweet cream butter and soak up the pools of meaty gravy on my plate.

This year I found a gluten-free dinner roll recipe that puts mine to shame. This recipe comes from Jeanne Sauvage, an intrepid gluten-free baker who chronicles her adventures at The Art of Gluten-Free Baking. These light, airy rolls are perfect for soaking up any leftover turkey goodness, or for enjoying on their own whenever the carb fiend demands more than a bowl of rice.

Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls Recipe
Photo by Jeanne Sauvage

Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls for Thanksgiving
By Jeanne Sauvage of The Art of Gluten-Free Baking

Makes: about 20 rolls

Ingredients for Jeanne’s gluten-free all-purpose flour mix:
1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 1/4 cup white rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
2 scant teaspoons xanthan gum

Prepare the flour mix:

1. Sift ingredients together and store in the refrigerator.

Ingredients for dinner rolls:
Melted butter for pan and brushing tops of rolls
Tapioca flour for coating pan
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups warm (not hot) milk
2 tablespoons active dry yeast, such as Red Star
3 cups Jeanne’s gluten-free all-purpose flour mix (recipe above)
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Prepare the gluten-free dinner rolls:

1. Butter muffin tins well and dust with flour.

2. In a small bowl, whisk sugar into warm milk. Add yeast and whisk to dissolve. Set aside to allow the yeast time to proof — you’ll know this is happening when it starts to get foamy on top.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

4. In bowl of stand mixer, beat together eggs, apple cider vinegar and oil. Add yeast mixture, beat well, then add flour mixture, beating on high with paddle attachment for 3 minutes.

5. Spoon dough into prepared muffin tins, filling to 3/4 of each cup. With a butter knife that has been dipped in tapioca flour, cut a deep slash in the top of each roll. Don’t worry if there’s a little extra tapioca flour left on the rolls.

6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put muffin tins on top of stove to rise in close proximity to warmth of the preheating stove. Let rise until they have just about doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes. Once rolls have risen, brush the top of each with melted butter and bake in preheated oven until the tops are a nice golden brown, about 20 minutes.

7. Remove rolls from tins and place them in a towel-lined basket to keep warm. These rolls keep well, although you’ll probably eat them all the day you bake them!


I’d like to share a few more recipes that I’ve grown to love over the years as I crafted the perfect gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner spread. These dishes are from people who truly love — and live — the art of gluten-free eating. You’ll find them not only satisfying, but seductive, gratifying, and tantalizing to every centimeter of your palate.

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Category: baking and bakeries, health and nutrition, holidays and traditions, recipes

About the Author ()

Stephanie is a writer and cookbook author recovering from her former tech-startup life. On the side she's also a media consultant, specializing in all forms of digital goodness: audio, video, print, design, and social media. After leaving the tech world nearly a decade ago, Stephanie made a career jump to her lifetime love, writing. She currently writes for the Huffington Post, KQED's Bay Area Bites, NPR, and other select media outlets. Her first cookbook,Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese, is due out in fall 2013 on Little, Brown with coauthor Garrett McCord. Being a recovering techy leaves an indelible mark, and everything Stephanie does is infused with her deep fascination with digital technology. She has been blogging since 1999, before blog engines even existed and a great readership consisted of a handful of friends who occasionally thought to check out your site. In 2005 she started her first food blog, which she repurposed in 2007 to become The Culinary Life. Stephanie can be called many things: food writer, essayist, professional recipe developer, cookbook author, social media consultant, videographer, documentary maker, website developer, archivist of life. Despite all of these titles, she most commonly responds to Steph.
  • http://www.Iamglutenfree.blogspot.com Ellen @ I Am Gluten Free

    Those are some mighty fine looking rolls. Perfect for a Thanksgiving feast (or any time of the year!).

  • http://celiacsinthehouse.blogspot.com Wendy @ Celiacs in the House

    Stephanie
    There are so many gluten-free blogs and so many good recipes out there that it is often hard to find just the right one. My kids have been missing the elusive soft dinner roll and Jeanne’s recipe looks like it is the one. Thank you for sifting through the Internet and the great GF bloggers to find just what I needed to make our Thanksgiving meal complete.

  • http://chezsven.blogspot.com Alexandra

    Wow! Those dinner rolls look so good! Thanks for this recipe. You are right, It is getting easier to find gluten-free mixes even. Today I saw gluten-free pie crust in a box at the local grocery store.

  • http://frugalkiwi.co.nz Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi

    As a fellow gluten sensitive, I have to say “THANK YOU!” for posting this. These rolls looks divine.

  • http://www.elanaspantry.com Elana

    The dinner rolls looks absolutely amazing and this post will be a tremendous help to all of my newly diagnosed GF friends this Thanksgiving. Thanks!

  • http://wordstoeatby.blogspot.com/ debbie koenig

    Holy cow, those are gorgeous! I had no idea something gluten-free could look so lovely.

  • http://stephanieodea.com Stephanie O’Dea

    Excellent topic and round-up! We’re so lucky to live in the Bay Area–there are so many wonderful foods and resources available. I’m cooking for 30 this year, and am so happy to be able to “outsource” some of the food to dedicated gluten free facilities. My mom is picking up pies and rolls from Zest bakery, for instance.

  • http://www.marthaandme.net Marthaandme

    These rolls look really, really yummy! I think there is a perception that GF food is tasteless and unappealing -these prove it wrong!

  • http://www.Iamglutenfree.blogspot.com Ellen @ I Am Gluten Free

    Could there be more perfect-looking (and I’ll bet tasting) gluten free rolls? They look like the most fantastic Parker Rolls that I’ver ever seen.

    I’m so glad you wrote “slowly, as I learned to bake using a completely new set of rules…”. I’ve learned, over the six years since my Celiac diagnosis, that gluten free baking is truly an art. And it takes time, thus the reference to “slow”. I think of the people who crossed our country in covered wagons, bound for new lands and new ways of life. In some ways, that’s what we’re faced with. And if we do so with a positive attitude, gluten free cooking and baking becomes a fun challenge. It’s all about learning the new rules, and once you learn them, it’s easy.

    Thanks for sharing. I look forward to ordering Jeanne’s book. Looks like a valuable one to add to my collection!

  • http://www.geezersisters.com/ Ruth Pennebaker

    What a helpful post this time of year. I’m sending it to a good friend whose husband has to avoid gluten. Many thanks.

  • http://www.adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com/ Heidi @adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com

    Great article Stephanie and thanks for sharing Jeanne’s lovely dinner roll recipe (as well as all the other palette tempting gluten-free delights)!

    Heidi

  • http://www.goodfoodstories.com Casey@Good. Food. Stories.

    Those rolls look 150 percent more mouthwatering than the frozen Parker House rolls my family always looked forward to at the Thanksgiving table. Who needs gluten?

  • http://www.momfoodproject.com Serene

    These look wonderful. I skipped rolls in my gluten-free Thanksgiving because my mom always either forgot them or burned them, so we rarely had anything but brown-and-serve, if that. If I’d seen this beforehand, though, I might’ve gone for it. I’ll certainly bookmark this for next time I have gluten-free company, though. Thanks!

  • http://www.origamimommy.org Christine

    This is incredible – I can’t believe these are gluten-free!

  • Kim Maes

    One of the biggest challenges for our family after going gluten-free was that first Thanksgiving. Knowing that there are so many wonderful resources out there now really takes the fear out of creating great gluten-free holiday meals. This roll recipe looks absolutely amazing and I have a feeling these just may make it on to our Thanksgiving table this year, instead of my typical cornbread muffins! Thanks for sharing! ;)

  • http://glutenfreeeasily.com Shirley @ gfe

    Those are some might fine looking rolls, Stephanie! Looks like a great recipe form Jeanne–thanks so much for sharing it! :-) I actually find that much of holiday meals can be gluten free, like turkey (no gluten stuffing, please), ham, mashed potatoes, simple green beans, cranberry sauce, salads (hold the croutons and dressings that contain gluten), and more. Other menu items like the bread and pies require some adjustments. You’ve shared links to recipes from some of the best in the gf world. :-) Hopefully, those reading will take advantage of them and have a safe and delicious gluten-free Thanksgiving.

    Shirley

  • http://www.wasabimon.com Stephanie Stiavetti

    I love Zest! Actually, I should do a post here about gluten free bakeries – maybe post a roundup. Thanks for the idea. :)

  • Sheryl

    Beautiful rolls! I’m glad you found a way to keep Thanksgiving working for you despite your dietary restrictions.

  • http://www.thewholegang.org Diane-thewholegang

    Great looking rolls! Gluten free really means free to eat great food. Thank you for sharing this great info and the recipe.

  • Veronica

    Mmmm! Those rolls look delicious! I am definitely going to try some of these recipes! Especially looking forward to trying the butternut squash pie :)

  • http://www.imadetoast.com Kathleen

    I made these a couple months ago for Adopt A GF Blogger. They turned out fantastic.

  • Lisa

    thanks! more gluten free recipes perty please!

  • Chef Basket

    I appreciated your recipe for gluten-free rolls. I think rolls tend to be under-appreciated during the holiday meals and this is a fine looking recipe!

  • Susan

    It must be tough to eat GF on Thanksgiving. Thanks for the recipes!

  • http://www.lexieskitchen.com Lexie | Lexie’s Kitchen

    Could have fooled me. A must try recipe!

  • http://www.filmgecko.net Jane Boursaw

    Amazing. These rolls show that gluten-free cooking isn’t missing a darn thing. Can’t wait to try them.

  • Dennis LeGear

    Nicely written piece makes me want to try this recipe, the pictures have me dreaming of soping up warm gravy with a delicious roll. Also the links have lead me to some very nice information, Thanks

  • Meredith

    Love this! These rolls sound great. I’m excited to read this column – glad it’s a feature here.

  • Pingback: Thanksgiving Curried Butternut Squash & Apple Soup (gluten free, dairy free)

  • http://gfreemom.com nicola @ gfreemom

    Oo – a round up of gluten free bakeries would be amazing! I’ve made gluten free dinner rolls using store bought gluten free flour to date, but these look amazing and may well push me into the realm of mixing my own flours. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://gfreemom.com nicola @ gfreemom

    p.s. Alison at sure foods Living posted a gfree bakery round up in June. Just found her post: http://surefoodsliving.com/2010/06/new-gluten-free-bakeries-in-the-bay-area/

  • sarah henry

    Who knew? Thanks for sharing a recipe that will work for several of my dinner guests.

  • Alta

    These look SO good. Definitely gotta try for Thanksgiving!

  • Iris

    Yum! Adding these to my Thanksgiving recipe roundup.

  • http://glutenfreerecipesite.com/ sarah @ gluten free recipes

    Those rolls look really good. I have been tryig to find a good gluten free recipe that uses ingredients I can actually find. I found a really tasty looking recipe the oher day, but it had lots of things I had never even heard of before. I also wanted to make bread that works out cheaper than buying the store bought ones.

  • micheal jefferson

    I can’t find sweet rice flour for your rolls recipe. What could I use in place of it and how would I adjust the measurements?

  • Kris

    Micheal,

    Look at Amazon for Koda Farms Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour. I just found it myself and am going to order it. Most stores do not carry sweet rice flour.

  • http://www.wasabimon.com Stephanie

    Usually, you can find it in Asian grocery stores as well!

  • Jimbo

    Has anyone actually made these? Is there a sub for sweet rice flour? I am new to gluten free cooking for my sweet wife.

  • Leslie

    Just made these for Thanksgiving Dinner. My nephew has celiac and diabetes so dinner was gluten-free. They were so easy and moist and everyone raved about them!

  • http://www.52perfectdays.com/ alexa

    Can the milk be replaced with so delicious coconut milk or a soy or almond milk?

  • http://www.wasabimon.com Stephanie Stiavetti

    Hi Alexa,

    You can try. The finished product will be thinner, but if you use half coconut milk and half coconut cream, it may work out well!

  • http://www.facebook.com/brittani.m.woodruff Brittani Mass Woodruff

    I’ve used any rice flour for the rice flours and any starch flour for the starch. BEST bread recipe I’ve ever tried!!! The texture is AMAZING for GF bread.

  • Jenny Darling

    I love these rolls (we also cook it as a loaf). I altered the recipe for my dietary needs and it worked great. I use 2 Tbs ground flax seed mix in 4 Tbs water in place of the Eggs. I also use either soy or coconut milk in place of the dairy milk. Just remember to cook till internal temp. Is between 180° to 200° and cover with tinfoil if getting to dark on the outside but not finished internally.

  • Jenny Darling

    Oh and I forgot sweet rice isn’t available up here in Alaska so I split the sweet rice measurement up into 1/2 brown rice and 1/2 white.

  • stealthyPhanta

    You can get sweet rice flour delivered (even in Alaska) from Vitacost.com. AzureStandard is another good place to order gluten-free flours, although they don’t seem to have the sweet rice flour. I still order from both, even though I live in Texas currently. If you are in Anchorage, look for Organic Alaska to place your AzureStandard order or try New Sagaya Market for all rice flours.