This Thanksgiving, be a hosting hero to your gluten-free guests.

No Thanksgiving is complete without an epic feast. Yet for those eating gluten-free, holiday meals can often feel like a time of disappointment or depravity due to a lack of accommodation by those doing the cooking. Why? Gluten can be found in many a Thanksgiving staple, from pie crusts, to cornbread, stuffing, gravy, casseroles, spice packets, and even some pre-seasoned turkeys. Consider the following suggestions to help make your dinner spread satisfying for all:

  • Offer gluten-free bread. You don’t realize how much of a bummer it is to not have a tasty tray of bread available to you at meal time until you can’t eat gluten. That said, this is one of the best ways you can make your gluten-free guest feel welcome. Good bread goes a long way.
  • Don’t nix the fixings. Put together separate gluten-free stuffing and gravy, and mark each of these substances clearly to let other guests know not to chow down on the gluten-free goodness you’ve prepared. Missing out on these items can change a meal completely.
  • Substitute with side dishes. If you need to gluten-free your Thanksgiving last minute, or you’re simply overwhelmed by the task of cooking, dietary accommodations aside, picking the right side dishes can save you time, energy, and frustration. Classics like mashed potatoes, steamed green beans, roasted squash, and cranberry sauce will accommodate the gluten sensitive and tolerant alike, while keeping things festive and filling.
  • Provide serious dessert. Flourless chocolate cake, caramel apples, meringue whips, and gluten-free cookies or brownies are all good starters. Ultimately though, the dessert most people want on Thanksgiving is pie. Some grocery stores sell pre-made gluten-free pie crusts (usually located in freezer cases), and boxed mixes are also increasingly available. Just remember that the sweet taste of treats will show your guests you really appreciate them, and providing several choices can easily make you a hero.

Is someone gluten-free having Thanksgiving dinner with you this year? If so, what are some ways you're accommodating this dietary concern (or others)?