The Best Ever Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Menu

By: EatingWell Editors

Planning a Thanksgiving menu is work in itself—add in a factor like a gluten allergy or gluten intolerance and it can become that much more complicated. We went ahead and did the planning for you and created a delicious gluten-free menu everyone will love. Whether you're a seasoned gluten-free cook or are still learning the ins and outs of the diet, these mouthwatering recipes and step-by-step guide will make cooking your Thanksgiving feast easy, organized and stress-free. Keep scrolling past the menu to see the detailed instructions for making this delicious gluten-free menu.

To be safe, always double check food labels for hidden sources of gluten and read up on other tips for navigating the holidays with food allergies.

This menu is meant to serve 6 people, with plenty of leftovers. If you feel like there is too much food, not enough food or find some recipes aren't your style, take a look at our other healthy gluten-free holiday recipes for different ideas and inspiration.

 

The Menu

 
 

Starter

Apple, Fig & Brussel​s Sprouts Salad

 

Main Dish

Cider-Brined Tur​key

 

Side Dishes

 

 

 

The Plan

We mapped out e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g in detail—just follow the directions and you'll be in good shape. Don't get overwhelmed. Breathe. You've got this.

3+ weeks before:

For your holiday turkey, we recommend using a natural, organic or heritage turkey. It won't contain the sodium solution that's added to most conventional options and will have a better taste and texture. If you choose to go with a specialty turkey, like the one we call for in the Cider-Brined Turkey recipe, preorder from a local farm or grocery store several weeks in advance to be sure they don't sell out.

1-2 weeks before:

Time to finalize your head count and confirm who will be coming. Check that you have enough plates, silverware and wineglasses and take inventory of what's in your kitchen. You can ask to borrow anything that's missing from friends or family. Next, make your shopping list. Look in your pantry to see what you already have and go from there.

6 days before:

Do one last grocery shop to pick up the fresh produce and any remaining ingredients. Start thawing your turkey. If you're using a 12- to 14-pound turkey (as called for in the Cider-Brined Turkey recipe), you'll need a good 4 days to thaw the bird fully. This recipe calls for 1-2 days to brine the bird, so starting the thawing process 6 days out ensures the bird will be defrosted in time to start brining. The safe way to thaw a turkey is in the fridge—not on the countertop, or with a hair dryer, or by pouring hot water over it. Food poisoning is a sure way to guarantee you NEVER get to host a dinner party again.

3 days before:

Make Ahead:

• Make the Orange-Cranberry Sauce and store in the refrigerator.
• Make the Gluten-Free Pecan Pie through Step 2. Follow the directions for soaking the dates for 2 days in the refrigerator.

2 days before:

Make Ahead:

•Follow directions for the Cider-Brined Turkey through Step 2 to start brining the turkey. For a rich gravy, use the giblets from the turkey to make a stock. Hold in the refrigerator until tomorrow. You could also use a prepared stock, if preferred. If you're not using a 12- to 14-pound turkey, you'll want to adjust the cooking time below to match your needs. A good rule of thumb is to allow 10 to 15 minutes per pound in a 350°F oven.
• If you're making the cornbread for the Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing from scratch, make that today.

The day before:

Take the time today to get as much organized as possible. Pull out the dishes and silverware, and even set the table if you have time. Print out the recipes and double check that you have everything you need from the store.

• Make the Classic Devile​d Eggs. Loosely cover and refrigerate until tomorrow.
• Finish the Gluten-Free Pecan Pie and hold in the refrigerator until tomorrow.
• Make the Vegan Pumpkin Pie and hold in the refrigerator until tomorrow.
• You can do some additional prep work to save time on the remaining three dishes. Trim the green beans and chop the mushrooms for the Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole recipe. Peel and chop the potatoes for the Buttermilk-Sage Mashed Potatoes. Thinly slice the Brussels sprouts for the Apple, Fig & Brussels Sprouts Salad. Store the precut vegetables in the refrigerator in airtight containers.

Thanksgiving Day:

The best way to organize your time today is to work backwards. If you're planning to serve dinner at 6:30 p.m., follow the guide below or adjust accordingly. Remember to clean as you go, so you don't have a pile of dishes in the sink when guests arrive. Take the morning to exercise, relax, shower or get last-minute things set up in the house.

1:35 p.m.: Preheat the oven to 275°F. Follow Step 1 for the Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing.

2:00 p.m.: Prepare the Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole up to Step 6 and hold in the refrigerator until there is room in the oven. Hold off on putting the crispy onions on top until you're ready to bake, otherwise they'll become soggy.

3:00 p.m.: Turn the oven up to 425°F. Remove the turkey from the brine and follow the directions to finish the last prep steps. Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In the meantime, get the Slow-Cooker Hot Cider with Brandy going—this needs at least 2 hours to get hot and aromatic.

3:35 p.m.: Put the turkey in the oven and roast until the skin starts to brown (30 to 40 minutes).

3:45 p.m.: Make the Buttermilk-Sage Mashed Potatoes as directed. Put in a heatproof serving dish and cover with foil to keep warm.

4:15 p.m.: Turn the oven temperature down to 350°F. Continue roasting the turkey until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, 1 to 1 1/2 hours more. Finish prepping the ingredients for the Apple, Fig & Brussels Sprouts Salad. Wait to add the dressing until you're ready to eat.

4:30 p.m.: Take the cheese out of the fridge and arrange nicely on the cheese board with the other accompaniments.

4:45 p.m.: Prepare the Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing as directed.

5:15 p.m.: Put the stuffing in the oven on the top rack.

5:16 p.m.: Open wine. Drink wine. You're almost there!

5:30 p.m.: Take the Classic Deviled Eggs out of the fridge. Guests are likely starting to arrive at this point.

5:45 p.m.: Remove the foil from the stuffing and continue to bake until lightly crisped on top, about 15 more minutes.

6:00 p.m.: Check the turkey—if it's done, take it out of the oven, tent with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes before serving. Now you can make a gravy with the turkey drippings using homemade or prepared stock. Use cornstarch rather than flour to make a gluten-free gravy from sc​ratch. Take the stuffing out and cover with foil to keep warm. Turn the oven temperature up to 400°F. Top the green bean casserole with the crispy onion slices and cook until bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes. Put the other dishes back in the oven to heat up. Take the Orange-Cranberry Sauce out of the fridge.

6:30 p.m.: Eat!

Whenever you're ready, get out the pies, turn on the coffee pot and whip out the aperitifs.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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