Web Only ArticleJuly 20, 2015

Dinner Is Served:
12 Best Gluten-Free Dinner Recipes

Menu-planning? Here are our reader-ranked 12 best gluten-free, allergy-friendly dinner recipes, each of them simple to make and super-satisfying.

[Updated Oct. 9, 2015]

We're always on the lookout for great-tasting and simple gluten-free recipes for dinner. We like variety; we want to be able to choose from beef, chicken and turkey, seafood, pork, ribs, pasta, and vegetarian dishes. And we like the cooking process to be quick and easy, so that even after a busy day, our big meal will be served on time.

Dinner bell

Photo: Doug Coldwell

After all, when that dinner bell rings, everyone comes running... right?

Actually, yes. There's a commonly held belief in today's world that the days of family dinners are gone—that our busy work, school, and play schedules prevent us from sitting together at 5:30 or 6 p.m. to enjoy a meal together.

A December 2014 study, however, shows that 88 percent of Americans still eat dinner with other members of their household frequently: “basically every day,” or at least “a few times a week," according to The Corporation for National and Community Service, which conducted the survey. The numbers show that the percentage of famlies that eat together frequently is down only slightly—from 90 percent—since a 2011 study.

With that in mind, let’s look at 12 stellar dinner recipes—our readers’ highest-ranked gluten-free suppertime dishes. Check 'em out, and start filling in your menu planner.

 Gluten-Free Plum Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

No. 12: tasty Gluten-Free Plum Barbecued Baby Back Ribs.

12. Gluten-Free Plum Barbecued Baby Back Ribs:

The very sight of these melt-in-your-mouth ribs (see photo above) will have you ready to fire up the grill. Author Robert Landolphi tells you in his recipe how to prepare this appetizing meal, from tenderizing the meat to flavoring the ribs (overnight) to roasting them (four hours in the oven) to finishing them off on the grill.

Yes, this one takes time, but the payoff will make it worth the effort. Click here for instructions. 

Meatloaves with Mushroom Gravy

No. 11: Whether you call them "meatloaves" or "meat loafs," these unique creations make a satisfying dish.

11. Mini Meatloaf Servings with Mushroom Gravy

These mini-meatloaves, made as individual servings, will cook in half the time of a standard-sized meatloaf. Ingredients include a binding brown rice, shredded carrots, and scallions. The recipe also includes a mushroom gravy. Click here to read author Matthew Kady’s instructions.

Gluten-Free Chuckwagon Pies

No. 10: You've gotta admit... these Gluten-Free Chuckwagon Pies look like a fun meal, don't they?

10. Gluten-Free Chuck Wagon Pies:

(For Internet search purposes, note that "chuck wagon" is also spelled as one word, chuckwagon.)

Here’s a dish that the kids will find appealing: bite-sized pies filled with ground beef, black beans, brown rice, red peppers, and more. Our author, Terry Traub, notes in the “Comments” section that the recipe’s rice flour “should be white rice flour; brown rice would be very grainy.”

Also, Traub notes, “in measuring shortening, it is possible to use too much. Put ½ cup of water in a 1-cup liquid measuring cup, and then add shortening until the water level reaches a cup. That will give you an exact ½-cup of shortening.”

Click here for the recipe and reader comments.

Gluten-Free Potato Italian Sausage Gnocci

No. 9: Our Gluten-Free Potato Italian Sausage Gnocci has a lot going on, in a good way.

9. Gluten-Free Potato Italian Sausage Gnocchi: 

Homemade gnocci, our editors note, is “much easier to make than you think.” They then show the way by presenting a simple-to-follow recipe for Potato Italian Gnocchi by author and chef Mary Capone.

The instructions include links to recipes for Capone’s Marinara Sauce or Gluten Free & More's beet-based tomato marinara sauce as gnocchi topping options. Click here for complete instructions.

Gluten-Free Lemon-Ginger Marinated Chicken

No. 8: Give our Gluten-Free Lemon-Ginger Marinated Chicken a try... and tell us what you think.

8. Gluten-Free Lemon-Ginger Marinated Chicken

If you like your chicken dishes zesty, this recipe is perfect. It includes one lemon working with gluten-free soy sauce, thyme, oregano, cloves, and ground pepper to provide a mouth-watering dish.

The recipe, from Sueson Vess, serves four to six; if you have leftover chicken, she suggests using it sliced and served cold over lettuce for tomorrow’s lunch. Click here for directions.

Gluten-Free Summer Chicken Pasta Salad

No. 7: Sometimes, you just want a light dinner. How about our Gluten-Free Summer Chicken Pasta Salad?

7. Gluten-Free Summer Chicken Pasta Salad

Sometimes you just want a light but tasty dinner dish you can whip up in minutes, right? With that in mind, we give you our Summer Chicken Pasta Salad, a satisfying and healthy entrée that takes minimal ingredients and can be pulled together in four quick steps.

All told, you'll need less than a half-hour for this one. Click here for the details.

6. Gluten Free Spaghetti Pie Dinner:  

Make this one a day ahead of time by cooking the pasta, refrigerating it overnight (covered), and baking it with the recipe’s ingredients the next day. Parmesan cheese, cottage cheese, mozzarella, ground beef, egg, chopped onion, green pepper and oregano all go into this dish along with gluten-free tomato sauce.

You’ll need a 9-inch pie plate, and you'll bake this Spaghetti Pie Dinner for 20 to 25 minutes. The complete recipe is here.  

Gluten-Free Summer Squash Lasagna

No. 5: vegetarian delight... our Gluten-Free Summer Squash Lasagna.

5. Gluten-Free Summer Squash Lasagna:

Our chef, food editor Beth Hillson, points out that this vegetarian gluten-free dish is “as colorful as it is flavorful.” It can be served warm or at room temperature, she notes, making it an ideal choice for summer fare.

You’ll use a 9 x 13-inch pan with a 2-inch-high rim, and baking time is around 30 minutes (or until bubbly hot). The recipe calls for four eggs, but Hillson writes that flax gel is a suitable substitution.

Click here to find the complete recipe here. 

Oh—and if you like your lasagna with meat, read on. Entry No. 2 below is what you're looking for.

Gluten-Free Andouille and Shrimp Jambalaya

No. 4: Spice things up with this Gluten-Free Andouille and Shrimp Jambalaya.

4. Gluten-Free Andouille and Shrimp Jambalya:  

Author Sueson Vess comes up with a treat here for Cajun food lovers: a gluten-free dish featuring Andouille (a spiced smoked pork sausage pronounced “ahn-DOO-ee) and shrimp jambalaya.

Our recipe also provides an alternative dish using chicken instead of shrimp. Click here for complete instructions.  

3. Gluten-Free Marinated Chicken Breasts

Robert Landolphi, author of Gluten-Free Every Day, presents a recipe intended for a cookout feast. The star of the meal: chicken breasts marinated in a mixture of Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, onion powder, olive oil, thyme, kosher salt, ground pepper, chopped mint, and—to sweeten your taste buds—a teaspoon of honey.

Landolphi recommends sealing the chicken and mixture into a bag, shake ingredients together, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. On the day of your cookout, you’ll have these servings cooking on the grill for around 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Click here for Landolphi's full recipe.  

Gluten-Free Lasagna

No. 2: the ultimate comfort food, lasagna — and our recipe makes it gluten-free.

2. Gluten-Free Lasagna:

In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, you’ll combine gluten-free lasagna noodles with ground beef, tomato sauce, chopped onion, mozzarella, Parmesan, oregano, garlic, salt, quinoa, and mushrooms.

Before baking, you’ll bring the ingredients to a boil; if after simmering the sauce appears too thin, says our editor, add a ½ cup of uncooked quinoa to thicken.

Baking time for this tasty lasagna meal is 45 minutes. Find our full recipe here.

Tuscan Chicken with Gluten-Free Pasta

And at No. 1, our readers' favorite dinner recipe: Tuscan Chicken with Gluten-Free Pasta.

1. Tuscan Chicken with Gluten-Free Pasta:  

In less than a half-hour, you can have this gluten-free and nutritious chicken-and-pasta meal on the table. "This simple, nutritious one-dish meal pleases the entire family and can be ready in less than 30 minutes," author Sueson Vess says.

"For extra veggies, add roughly chopped and sautéed greens (kale or spinach)," Vess adds. "Or slice and sauté a zucchini and add before serving." She also provides her recipe for Easy Marinara Sauce to use as a topping.

Click here to view complete instructions.  


Compiled by Larry Canale. Original recipe authors noted above.

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