My Family’s Favorite Gluten Free/Paleo Thanksgiving Sides | Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from this crew! A little something different for you this Monday… I’ll be logging off from business stuff for the most part while teaching classes here and there throughout the week. Today, I wanted to share a little something to help inspire your Thanksgiving menus! (With a personal twist!)

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love that it really kicks off the festive holiday season, the warmth of the kitchen is my favorite as things go in the oven and are cooked on the stove, and we always look forward to seeing my aunt on TV in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! (She’s piloting Red Titan from Ryan’s World this year!!) Like many families, we cook pretty much all day long. That said, most of the things we’re cooking are actually fully gluten and grain-free/paleo! We’re all gluten-free for health reasons, and many of us also eat grain-free for the same reasons! I remember being a little sad at first, thinking about what was going to change around the holidays when it came to my dietary needs, but honestly? Things only changed for the better!

My mom and sister worked really hard for a few years to curate and test some recipes that have now come to be tried and true in our Thanksgiving menu. We had a few recipes turn out so-so (or as total flops!) throughout the years, but we also had some ROCKSTAR recipes that continue to make the menu year after year. Thankfully, there are SO many amazing chefs and bloggers out there that really helped us put together a Thanksgiving feast that I really look forward to each year! The best part of all of this too is that we’re all able to happily enjoy the rest of the evening because the food doesn’t make us sick!

So… this year, I decided to make a bit of a virtual Thanksgiving recipe book from my family to yours… focused on our FAVORITE paleo Thanksgiving sides! Whether you are putting the finishing touches on your menu or have pivoted plans and now need a little something to make on your own… I hope you can find some (relatively) healthy inspo here! These are all tried and true recipes and will be on our table this year. They’re also ALL gluten-free/dairy-free/grain-free!

Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy, y’all!

Charcuterie and Appetizers

We love incorporating Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers into our charcuterie boards. The Sea Salt Cracker is THE best with goat cheese! We’ve also had good luck with Trader Joe’s various gourmet meat selections/prosciutto. I couldn’t find them to link, but you’ll be able to find them near the lunch meat/dairy section. Be sure to double-check the ingredients!

As an honorable mention here, we have also loved making turkeys out of veggies in years past. There are so many ways you can do it. Click here for some Pinterest inspo!

Salad

No link for this one either… my sister found the recipe randomly on someone’s IG story! This year, we’re making a balsamic and pear arugula salad! This isn’t the most exact recipe, but we’re mixing arugula with balsamic and olive oil and topping with goat cheese, sauteed onions, pears, walnuts, and a little extra balsamic and salt to taste!

Bread and Stuffing

Hands down, one of my favorite things at the Thanksgiving table was always the pre-dinner bread! I was sad when I knew my Pillsbury crescent rolls would be a thing of the past when I was diagnosed with Celiac, but my mom has a recipe for grain-free garlic knots that MAY just be better than what I was enjoying before! Click here for the recipe from A Girl Worth Saving. They’re light and crispy on the outside. I love them with a little sea salt sprinkle on top!

Simple Mills also has an awesome almond flour bread mix if you need something solid and easy in a pinch! You can make these into rolls or can enjoy as a loaf. This bread is SO good dipped into olive oil with a sprinkle of Trader Joe’s garlic salt and Italian seasoning.

Honestly, I’ve never been stuffing’s biggest fan, but my brother and mom love this one! They’ve been making it for years, and instead of using bread as the stuffing, the recipe uses sausage. I’ll say… this Caramelized Onion Sausage Stuffing smells SO good while it’s being made though it isn’t my personal favorite item on the table! Find the recipe from PaleOmg here!

Trader Joes also typically has a gluten-free box of stuffing. My dad is able to eat certain grains (but is gluten-free!), and he loves this each year!

Sides

Fun fact: cranberry sauce tends to have some pretty significant additives. Most frequently, these additives are something that contains a grain (Usually corn!). My mom has been making this fresh cranberry sauce for years, and she always knocks it out of the park. It isn’t my favorite dish on the table, but my cranberry sauce loving family members really enjoy it! Find the recipe from Against All Grain HERE!

Ok real talk: if you ask me, mashed potatoes are probably the best thing on the Thanksgiving table… other than maybe the wine (which is also grain-free!). I LOVE this twist on a classic! These garlic mashed potatoes do call for an Instant Pot, but they really are so easy to make! I made them when I first moved to Baltimore as a fun side dish to a celebratory dinner I made for myself. I haven’t had these on Thanksgiving, but I did give the recipe a try before, and they are AMAZING! They are also dairy-free too! Find the recipe from Good Noms, Honey here!

We love putting fresh veggies on the table on Thanksgiving! We’re not super big into casseroles which means we get a little more creative in this department when it comes to traditional Thanksgiving menus! In the past, we’ve steamed or sauteed green beans (Adding a little garlic is so good!), have grilled or sauteed asparagus, and have also done a mix of veggies on the grill! This year, we’re toying with the idea of putting Brussels sprouts in the air fryer! I’ve done this before and they are SO good! Here’s a recipe to help get you started!

Dessert

Ok so this may not technically be a Thanksgiving side, but let’s be honest, dessert is a pretty important piece of the menu! We’ve had amazing luck with this pumpkin pie recipe from Sarah Fragoso (It is at the bottom of the post!). I feel like the dessert category can often be hard as a grain-free person, but we’ve had great luck with this pumpkin pie! I’m not a big pie person, and I LOVE this one. We’ve made dairy-free ice cream in the past too and have done paleo cookies as well. If you’re in a pinch for cookies, Simple Mills has a lovely chocolate chip cookie mix!

PS though all of these recipes are found online, we have found a few of the recipes in the following books! I highly recommend both books!

Everyday Paleo

Against All Grain Celebrations

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