Since gluten can be difficult for some to digest, and since many foods containing gluten can be heavy and overly filling, I’ve been on the hunt for some gluten-free side dishes.
Gluten is in bread, bagels, pasta, pizza, and most baked goods. So, yes, it’s in all the good stuff!
But it’s not uncommon for people to feel bloated or uncomfortably full after consuming too much, even if they don’t have an intolerance.
With that in mind, I’ve found 25 gluten-free options that will make your meals bright, tasty, and a little easier on the stomach.
This rice dish is gluten-free, vegan, and packed with nutrients.
Rice is naturally gluten-free, and it’s also filling without being too heavy, making it the perfect side dish for any meal.
Adding in roasted squash and mushrooms will boost the flavors, and I love the nutty crunch you get from the cashews (which are optional).
The issue with having veggies as a side is that they can be a touch bland if you don’t cook them right.
The good news is that with a few cloves of garlic and some sea salt, your green beans will soon be the start of the show.
Plus, they’ll only need around 5 minutes in the pan to be tender yet crunchy.
I make a variation of this salad at least once per week, and it’s excellent alongside everything from roasted chicken to cheeseburgers.
Thanks to the red onions, peppers, cucumber, and tomatoes, it’s super colorful, and the flavors marry so well if you give it enough time in the bowl.
The zesty mustard dressing is terrific against the creamy, salty feta and mild crunchy veggies.
You may not think this would be difficult, but it’s easy to ruin a tray of vegetables in the oven.
First, it’s crucial to pick veggies that cook at the same time. For example, root vegetables will take a lot longer to roast than, say, broccoli.
Put them on the same tray, and those little trees will burn before the potatoes are cooked all the way through.
Also, you’ll need a hot oven when roasting veggies. This will ensure they begin to caramelize and that the flavors will be more intense.
Sweet potato casserole is easy to make and a hit with everyone, so why would you only serve it during the holidays?
I like sweet potato with pork chops, spicy chicken thighs, and even oven-baked salmon.
Though this recipe does play into the sweet flavors using warm spices and a crunchy pecan topping, it doesn’t include marshmallows, which can be too sweet for some.
If you’ve ever had rubbery and lackluster asparagus, I understand the urge to ignore this green vegetable.
If you take the time to remove the ends properly and roast the little stalks instead of steaming them, you’ll be so impressed with the results.
To finish them off, just sprinkle over a bit of lemon zest, finely grated Parmesan cheese, and a few red pepper flakes.
When I was young, Sundays were for a big family roast dinner, and Mondays were for leftovers.
And there’s no better way to use up leftover mashed potatoes than by making colcannon.
In fact, I’m pretty sure how this recipe first came about.
In England, they call it bubble and squeak, and the idea is to mix in leftover cabbage, spinach, and onions into the potatoes.
They make their version into patties and fry them, but this recipe is more straightforward and is served like regular mashed potatoes.
Many people seek out gluten-free side dishes as a way to help cut down on carbs, too.
For example, though potatoes are gluten-free, cauliflower will help to make the dish a little lighter.
Also known as cauliflower cheese, this meal contains lots of cream, butter, and plenty of cheese.
I like a combination of mature cheddar and Gruyère because both melt nicely, and the flavors are second to none.
Brussels sprouts are big in my house, but they have to be roasted with bacon and onion, please, and thank you!
Seriously, even the pickiest eater will devour a bowl of these crispy and caramelized sprouts and then ask for more.
The trick is to use plenty of olive oil and to give the sprouts room on the tray.
If you add too many, they won’t have enough airflow to crisp the layers, and they will come out soggy.
Bread rolls are a classic side dish and the first thing people reach for when they sit down.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find light and fluffy bread rolls that are also gluten-free.
However, the quality of gluten-free flour has shot up in recent years, and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how good these are.
These Cracker Barrel baby carrots are so much more than just a bowl of orange veggies.
They’re crunchy yet tender and coated with a sweet and buttery glaze that will leave you wanting more.
I like the look of baby carrots, and they tend to be a bit sweeter, but you can easily swap them out for sliced carrots instead.
If you’re looking for something a little different, these crunchy and salty potatoes are a must-try.
They’re thicker than potato chips, so you still get some of that fluffy potato in each bite, but due to how they’re cut, you get a lot more texture.
Use a guide (like a chopstick) when cutting to ensure you don’t go all the way through, and use a pastry brush to apply the oil.
That way, you’ll know it’s getting between the cuts, too.
I can only think of a few meals that don’t work with coleslaw, like soups or stews.
Depending on how you season it, slaw is a terrific side to everything from garlic steak to spicy BBQ ribs.
This recipe is a lovely, mellow option that’s crunchy and sweet, as well as creamy and salty.
Rice is a quick and cheap gluten-free side dish. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to ruin and can be super bland.
To ensure your rice comes out fluffy, wash it before cooking in cold water, draining away the milky liquid and starches.
Toasting the rice with butter, olive oil, garlic salt, and parsley will also help to infuse it with flavor.
Sweet potatoes don’t just brighten your plate with their vibrant orange color; they enhance the savory notes by contrasting them with sweetness.
This recipe is exceptionally creamy and uses butter, heavy cream, salt, pepper, vanilla, and nutmeg for a wonderfully rich finish.
To some people, broccoli has that same offputting flavor as Brussel sprouts. They find it intolerably bitter, where other people don’t taste that at all.
Since I love sprouts, naturally, I love broccoli.
And this is the best way to cook it if you really enjoy the flavor and texture.
Steaming the vegetable will ensure it becomes tender but doesn’t take away the crunch completely.
If you haven’t joined the air fryer fan club, you might not think you need yet another appliance.
True, they take up a lot of counter space, and the basket is pretty small, but you can’t deny how well it cooks certain foods.
If you like fried foods but want a healthier alternative, the air fryer is the perfect appliance.
It circulates hot air and will make sure your potato wedges are perfectly fluffy on the inside while turning golden and crispy around the edges.
Some collard greens are slow-cooked until the leaves wilt and become tender.
This recipe speeds things up, and you can have a big bowl ready to eat in just 15 minutes.
Since these are cooked quickly in hot oil, they will become beautifully crisp, almost like seaweed.
Potato chips are a convenient and tasty gluten-free side to have with lunch. But they’re not the healthiest, right?
If you can’t give up your chip habit, why not try making your own? At least then you can guarantee they’re a little bit healthier.
It’s also an excellent opportunity to try out some fun flavors.
For example, this variety pack of popcorn seasoning is perfect for your homemade potato chips.
Much like Brussel sprouts, plenty of people think beets taste like dirt and won’t touch them.
If you’re one of those people, please give this salad a try! It might just be tasty enough to change your mind.
The combination of earthy beets, salty and creamy goat cheese, and lively vinaigrettes is perfectly balanced and lovely with some flaky white fish.
Mexican rice is typically made with tomatoes and seasonings to give it a lovely orange hue and burst of spicy flavors.
If you’ve ever made this kind of rice before and used taco seasoning, the good news is that most packs of seasoning are gluten-free.
Just double-check next time you’re at the supermarket.
Another great option is using canned tomatoes, green chilis, and chicken stock to boost the yummy taste.
Rice may be gluten-free, but it’s pretty high in carbs.
So, if you’re looking for gluten-free sides that are also low-carb, this cauliflower rice is the perfect middle ground.
You can buy cauliflower rice in the supermarket, but it tends to be a little expensive.
Since cauliflower is so cheap, it makes more sense to make it at home.
All you’ll need is a food processor to pulse the raw cauliflower to the right consistency before you sauté it lightly for a few minutes. It’s so easy!
This corn pudding is dangerously delicious. It’s creamy, sweet, crispy, and ready to go in the oven in just ten minutes.
It makes the perfect cornbread substitute since you still get that great flavor, just without any flour in the mix.
I like to add bacon and jalapeños to mine, but it’s scrumptious as is.
Green peas are another sweet and savory vegetable that has a lot of families divided.
Usually, I could take or leave them. But when they’re gently cooked in onion and butter, I almost always reach for seconds.
Fresh peas will be the best option here as they hold their shape in the pan, but you can use frozen, too.
Don’t add too much extra water when using frozen peas, as they will have more moisture even after you thaw and drain them.
Did you know you can microwave corn on the cob right in the husk? Not only will it cook the corn, but it will make removing the husk so much easier.
Just pop the cobs into the microwave for the recommended time and leave to cool slightly. Then, chop off one end, and the husk will slide right off.
Once it’s cooked, why not up your game and slather the corn in mayo, cotija cheese, and chili-lime seasoning?
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