Going gluten-free for the first time is no easy feat, and even GF pros can fall into recipe ruts, right? That’s why we put together this guide to help freshen up your diet with must-follow bloggers, fresh ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus Thrive Market’s top brands to stock in your pantry.
What Is a Gluten-Free Diet?
Gluten is a protein that naturally occurs in many grains (think wheat, rye, and barley) when two molecules—glutenin and gliadin—form a bond. Not everyone’s bodies absorb it well, which may lead to side effects while noshing on favorite foods like pasta, chips, or baked goods. For those with sensitive tummies, going gluten-free may help, which means eating foods that are naturally gluten free like fruits, vegetables, and lean protein (see our detailed list below).
Gluten-Free Diet Basics
The good news for gluten-free easters is there are loads of ingredients you can use to build a meal. We’ve included only a partial list here to get you started, but head to this post for even more foods!
Fruits and Vegetables
You won’t find any gluten in fresh fruit and veggies, so load up your plate with some of these tasty options.
- Bell Pepper
Meat and Fish
You’re good to go with animal protein, just be extra diligent in a restaurant. Some meats are breaded or prepared with other gluten-containing ingredients, so ask your server!
Yes, you can still play the grain game, with a few of the rules changed. There are lots of gluten-free grains available nowadays, so if you haven’t already, you can start experimenting!
Finding gluten-free baked goods in coffee shops, bakeries, cookbooks, and food magazines used to be a tall order. Not anymore! With the wide range of GF flours on the market, you can still enjoy many of your favorite foods using some of these star ingredients.
- Almond flour
- Amaranth flour
- Brown rice flour
- Buckwheat flour
- Cassava flour
- Chickpea flour
- Soy flour
Nuts and Seeds
Go ahead, go nuts. Whether you rely on them as a healthy snack or salad garnish, these nuts and seeds are mighty fine additions to everything from homemade crackers to gluten-free granola, and more.
Herbs are one of the best ways to add extra flavor to any meal. Be sure to include these varieties on your farmers’ market shopping list, or try your hand at growing your own!
Gluten-Free Brands You’ll Love
We stock more gluten-free brands than we can possibly list here, but we’ve managed to narrow it down to our most popular. Take a look and get to know some old standbys and new favorites.
It’s simple to eat gluten-free favorites with Chicago-based company, Simple Mills. From crackers to pancakes, even creamy frosting and cake mixes, no pantry is complete without some tried and true favorites.
PK founder Mark Sisson is one of the founders of the Paleo movement, and many products are deliciously gluten-free. Protein powder fuels morning smoothies, marinades infuse flavor to chicken dinners, and avocado oil mayo makes a quick lunch when mashed with canned seafood.
Founder Cynthia Tice is a self-proclaimed chocoholic, but she’s also a health nut, too. That’s why she developed a line of chocolate without all the added sugar. The bars and chips are sweetened with plant-based sweetener stevia and gluten-free so you can bake (and snack) with confidence.
Siete’s crunchy chips were created by Veronica Garza, who experienced multiple, debilitating autoimmune conditions as a kid. Going grain-free helped transform her health, and her future. She started Siete as a family business in South Texas to help inspire others and create GF options anyone can enjoy.
Otto’s is known for its cassava flour, a grain-free flour alternative that can often be used as a 1:1 sub in your favorite baked goods. It’s also a perfect addition to savory recipes like breaded chicken, sauces, and gravy.
Products to Stock Your Gluten-Free Pantry
When you’re avoiding gluten, keeping a well-stocked pantry is key. It means you’ll never have to wonder about ingredients, and you’ll always be able to make a quick meal when you need it.
No grain, all gain! Every bag of tortilla chips is free from corn, gluten, dairy, and soy. Instead, the chips are made with a blend of cassava and coconut flour, plus ground chia seeds before being fried in avocado oil and baked with sea salt. With a side of your favorite salsa, it’s a perfect snack or appetizer.
This healthy cooking oil delivers plenty of healthy fats plus a high smoke point of about 400°F. You can use it in any recipe that calls for olive oil, coconut oil, or butter. Try whisking up DIY salad dressing, or drizzling some on veggies before roasting.
These crackers are filled with Tuscan flavor thanks to sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Perfect for kids lunches, school snacks, or as a crunchy dip for hummus, this snack is made with a blend of almond flour, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds.
Be the hostess with the mostess with this cupcake mix that’s made with almond flour, coconut flour, and coconut sugar. It makes a not-too-sweet cake that will get any celebration started the gluten-free way.
Made with fair trade certified dark chocolate and sweetened with stevia, these tasty morsels are perfect to stir into GF muffins, cookies, or brownies.
Looking for a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour? Almond flour is a great option! Made from non-GMO ground almonds, it’ll lend moist texture and rich, buttery flavor to your recipes.
Another flour alternative, cassava flour is gluten-free, grain-free, and nut-free, all with a similar taste and texture to wheat flour. It’s made from yuca, a root vegetable that’s dried and ground to the perfect texture.
This three-ingredient cereal is made from only coconut meat, coconut water, and palm starch, and the organic coconuts are sourced from sustainable farms in the Philippines. It’s naturally sweet, gluten-free, and Paleo-friendly.
Granola and grains are usually two peas in a pod, but here’s a way to enjoy your favorite clusters, gluten-free! Made with organic buttery nuts, nut butter, dried coconut flakes, vanilla, and seeds, it’s the perfect topping for yogurt.
Gluten-Free Bloggers to Follow
We’ve got loads of recipe inspiration below, but there’s always room for more! Don’t miss these GF blogging all-stars, who make the most delicious and easy meals to enjoy day in and day out.
Nutrition specialist Lindsay Cotter is the gal behind this gluten-free blog that focuses on using real food to feed her active family. Her recipes are all about simplifying GF eating (check out the handy meal-planning guides!) and using fresh ingredients to make mealtimes delicious for all.
Although she’s not blogging as regularly these days, the archives of Shauna Ahern’s website are a treasure trove of resources, recipes, and tips for living a gluten-free lifestyle on a budget. She’s also written four cookbooks, perfect for gifting yourself or a friend!
A love for baking inspired Natalie to start her blog that offers gorgeous inspiration in the sweet treat department. Not every recipe is gluten-free, but there are plenty to choose from if you check out this tag, so get ready to find your new favorite dessert.
Cheryl Malik and her husband follow a mostly Paleo diet and avoid refined sugars, dairy, and grains. Her blog chronicles their journey and shares delicious recipes you’ll love to try out. From shrimp skewers to ice cream, her gluten-free archives are a must-visit.
Easy Gluten-Free Recipes
Start your meal-planning engines! From breakfast to dessert, we’ve got GF options for every meal of the day. The only problem? Deciding which recipe to try first.
Gluten-Free Breakfast Ideas
Don’t skip breakfast! Embrace the day with these tasty recipes that’ll start you on a gluten-free foot.
Whether you eat them now or freeze a batch for busy mornings, this portable breakfast increases your superfood intake with mulberries, goldenberries, and goji berry powder.
Wrapioca is a gluten-free eater’s BFF! It’s shaped like a tortilla but GF and paleo-friendly thanks to Brazilian tapioca. Try this wrap for breakfast and fill it with eggs, mushroom, and asparagus for a powered up way to start the day.
Waffled sweet potatoes are basically an upgraded version of hash browns. What’s not to love? Top your plate with avocado and a fried egg to make every bite even more filling.
The flavors of spring are front and center in this quiche that’s perfect for breakfast or brunch. The recipe celebrates all things green, like zucchini, peas, and asparagus, plus the almond-thyme crust is completely gluten-free.
These fiber-filled muffins skip the gluten and start with a Simple Mills mix that’s stirred up with carrots, raisins, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.
Craving a decadent start to the day? Feast your eyes on this chocolatey short stack made with buckwheat flour and stirred with melted dark chocolate.
Gluten-Free Lunch Recipes
Whether you’re packing lunch to-go or enjoying a meal solo at home, these recipes will satisfy midday munchies. (Find even more GF lunch recipes right this way!)
Spain is the inspiration for this traditional dish made with a spicy tomato sauce, perfectly cooked eggs, and crunchy tortilla chips. We love it any time of day, and you can’t go wrong with how easy it is to whip up.
Gluten-free wraps get a spring-inspired twist with herbs, veggies, and creamy avocado. Wrap it all up in Vietnamese rice paper rounds for a perfectly packable meal.
Hi, pad thai! This dish skips rice noodles and opts for shaved carrot strips instead. Even though rice noodles work for a gluten-free diet, we like the bright take on this South Asian favorite. The sauce is positively addicting, combining almond butter, coconut aminos, ginger, and lime for a perfectly balanced dressing.
Lunch in a hurry is possible with kelp noodles that come ready to eat (just rinse and drain). Toss them with a creamy sauce that uses avocado for richness then layers in flavors like basil, nutritional yeast, and garlic.
This Paleo, dairy-free, and gluten-free salad tops massaged kale with a bold dressing made with Dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, anchovies, and garlic for bold flavor. For added protein, top your bowl with with cooked quinoa or crumbled bacon.
Here are some recipes the whole family will enjoy! From quick-cooking stir-fries to easy salads, there’s something for everyone.
Whip up this traditional Peruvian stir-fry courtesy of Los Angeles chef Ricardo Zarate from Rosaliné restaurant. It pairs beef tenderloin, peppers, and onions with a vibrant sauce you’ll want to make in bulk.
Enjoy this flavorful Italian sauce from Piedmont, Italy laced with garlic, anchovies, olive oil, and butter. It’s traditionally served alongside meats and veggies for dipping, but for this GF dish, we boiled a box of chickpea flour spaghetti and added meaty sardines and salty capers to round out the meal.
Pad Thai flavors are front and center in this veggie-filled salad. A cashew butter-based dressing whisked with tamari, rice wine vinegar, and garlic powder gets tossed with a vibrant medley of zucchini, arugula, carrots, and more. Make it on Sunday and pack it for midweek lunches, or enjoy it during a weekend picnic with friends.
Fire up the oven for pizza night! This pie goes gluten-free thanks to Namaste Foods, whose flour blend features tapioca, brown rice, and arrowroot flours. Just mix with water and oil and this dough is ready to roll. We baked our pie in a sturdy cast-iron pan for a deep-dish feel, topped with classic flavors like tomato sauce, mozzarella, and plenty of fresh basil.
Marinating extra-firm tofu in orange juice and cayenne pepper punches up the flavor, and baking it locks in a wonderful crispiness. Serve slices over buckwheat soba noodles and baby bok choy for a satisfying meatless dinner.
Spirulina—a dark green powdered algae—gives traditional risotto a burst of antioxidants and a lovely green hue. Add zucchini, leeks, and artichoke hearts for a veggie-packed dinner any foodie will enjoy.
You probably already have most of the key ingredients for this recipe in your fridge. Whole-grain mustard and apple cider vinegar bring a delightful tanginess to the meat, and garlic and fresh herbs finish it off for extra flavor.
This dish is all about balance—turmeric, coriander, and cumin bring welcome heat that plays well with a refreshing cucumber and Greek yogurt sauce.
Easy Gluten-Free Desserts
Gluten-free sweet treats are easier than ever to make, and these four recipes prove it.
This tea-infused dessert takes the cake. Bonus: no baking required! Mascarpone (Italian cream cheese), whipping cream, and a simple syrup steeped with Earl Grey mix up for an ethereal filling that’s spread between layers of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. Everything's packed into a loaf pan before freezing and is ready to serve in 30 minutes!
Need a spring-inspired treat that’s potluck ready? You’ll love these bars from the beautiful new cookbook More with Less: Whole Food Cooking Made Irresistibly Simple by Jodi Moreno. The tender, gluten-free crust gets its hint of sweetness from maple syrup, and an almond-rhubarb filling nestles on top before baking. Rhubarb has a short growing season so if you miss them at the market, not to worry! Swap in any sliced fruit or berry, like peaches, blueberries, or apples.
Fudge for all! Not only is this delectable recipe gluten-free and vegan, but it’s perfect for anyone avoiding peanuts, too. The secret is a creamy nut butter made with seven nuts and seeds like cashews, Brazil nuts, and chia seeds that’s swirled with melted chocolate, vanilla, and coconut milk.
This pantry-friendly baking project is super moist thanks to EVOO, and the genius flour mix made with almond meal, coconut flour, pecans, and walnuts makes every bite gluten-free.