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What Are Your Family-friendly, Gluten-free Dinner Ideas?

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I'm all out of ideas! Can you tell me what you like to serve for dinner?

We have one vegetarian, one picky eater, one with celiac disease, one who'll eat anything, and a baby. Some days I cook 3 or 4 different meals!

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Wow-- No offense, but I wouldn't want to cook in your house. What I would make is a lot of rice pasta, but that does get to be boring fast. I would also make omelets, taco bar (w/ refried beans), eggplant pizzas, vegetable soup, chili, quesadillas, stuffed peppers, and nachos.

I hope this helps!

Symptoms on and off my whole life

Major symptoms starting 2005

Zero blood antibodies

Gluten free with positive dietary response since April 2007

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We do "Mexican Pizzas" at our house. I very thinly slice a variety of veggies - cauliflower, onion, broccoli, carrot and bell peppers - and sautee them (they cook really quick when they're small like this with no "thick" chunks) and sometimes use a fajitas seasoning packet (McCormick is gluten free and vegetarian). I also heat up some vegetarian Rosarita beans and add a little cumin and mild chili powder. I then spread some beans on one corn tortilla, add some of the cooked & seasoned veggies, then sprinkle cheese and place one more corn tortilla on top. I lightly fry the thing - just coat the bottom of a pan with some olive or canola oil (You could even spray the oil on a little heavily) and place the pizzas down. Flip it over after a couple of minutes and fry the other side. I then use a pizza cutter and slice into pizza wedges and serve. It has a very light crunch while still being soft. My nearly 4 year old and 21 month old both love them. And the 21 month old has been eating this since she was about 16 months old. In fact, it's about the only way to get her to eat any fruit or vegetables right now besides eating Lara bars.

I also do a poorman's version of a pesto vegetable risotto that both kids eat as well. And for super easy meals, I heat up Busch's vegetarian baked beans with a little brown mustard, diced onions, dash of cayenne, and tiny bit of distilled vinegar. Make some rice in a rice cooker (you can get a really cheap one at a place like Cost Plus World Market and it makes rice sooooooooooo easy), cut up some cauliflower, carrots and cucumbers and serve with Annie's Cowgirl Ranch dressing, and voila! Meal's complete in about a half an hour, with actual cooking prep time only about 15 minutes max.

I also do a baked pasta with a yummy, vegetable laden tomato sauce and lots of cheese, homemade baked mac & cheese served with veggies or salad on the side, and "breakfast" for dinner - eggs, fruit, and potatoes. I've even done waffles with frozen fruit syrup (just add a little maple syrup to a bunch of frozen berries, heat it up in the microwave for 30-45 seconds and place one top) with sliced cheese on the side. And doing "picnics" at night, especially in the summer is fun - Peanut butter sandwiches, fruit, vegetable and hummus chips or mini papadams (you can get some great ones again at Cost Plus World Market), maybe some nuts, etc.

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I'll second the rice pasta -- I cook it up with onions, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli and tomatoes (in olive oil) -- you can also add tofu, if no one's adverse to it.

We do the taco salad too, although we use ground turkey (which might not sit well with the vegetarian) -- but it's easy to do the meat separately and that person doesn't have to eat the meat.

We also like enchiladas (with corn tortillas, obviously) -- tofu can stand in for chicken there, as well.

One of our favorites is green chili, which we make with pork, but I've had vegetarian green chili before. Ground pork, green chilis, onions, garlic, gluten-free chicken broth, tomatoes -- cook them altogether and then thicken with cornstarch. We will make tortillas (flour for us, corn for my daughter) and have burritos with black beans and the chili -- very filling and yummy :)

Homemade spaghetti sauce (either on rice pasta or spaghetti squash); homemade pizza (with rice flour) and lots of veggies; and tuna salad are a few of our other favorites, meals that work for all of us.

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Gee, that IS hard! Well, you Celiac can't help it, the Baby eats Babyfood ro what ever you can send through the Baby-FoodBlender (Walmart got an Awesome one for only 20$ by DEX, I use mine every day) Well, the Vegetarian can eat what you guys eat, he'll/she'll just need to leave the meat away and as for the Picky eater- well, live sucks! He/she got no excuse not to eat the stuff what ever you cook! By accomodating the picky eater you just make it hard on your self and the picky one gets reinforcerd in his pickiness! Let me just say, no child has ever starved in front of a full plate. If he'she gets hubngry enough it will eat! Don't budge anymore, it'll be screaming , fussiness or hwat not, but if your picky one sees you won't be the Al'a cart Restaurant chef anymore this will eventually change. I know this is harsh, but I'm saying this because I'm sure off and on you think the same way you just feel bad ono akting on it! Well, don't! You got it hard enough as it is sweety!

As for Ideas, well this is a site that acutally has everything you need! The recepies are gluten free and are also easy to make into Vegan/vegetarian variety just by leaving suasage or meat out. check it out!


Also, der is an awesome cookbook, it's called, the Best Gluten-free Familydinner cookbook by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt!

I copied a description for you, so you can see what it is about, sounds like something that could make life easy for you!


Susi with Shayden and Brandy

Shayden, pos. with DQ 2, pos. for Glutensensitivity with Tissuetransglutaminase Stool TgA 45 Units

Brandy, pos. with DQ2 + DQ8, DX Celiac Nov.07, gluten-free since Nov. 1st 07, Tissuetransglutaminase Stool TgA 63 Units

Me: Gastroscopy negative f. Celiac, IBS, Oesophagitis, Hiatus-Hernia

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There is a new book out entitled "The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen." This may help!

There are certainly internet sites out there with recipes that are both vegetarian and gluten-free. Quite a few vegetarian recipes can be converted to gluten-free too.

I usually start off with some starch to be the main point of the meal, then add veggies to that.

Simple ideas:

For some reason, my family loves Bush's vegetarian beans. I heat them up, put them over gluten-free pasta, maybe throw in some spinach at the end.

Pasta is very versatile. Add some beans, veggies, pasta, salsa, whatever you have around. I've taken to throwing sturdier greens in with the pasta during cooking, but that may not be "family friendly" :lol: My kids are older and so much more adventuresome in their eating than when they were little.

I also like quinoa or rice dishes. Make the grain, then stir in other things. Lentils are another favorite.

I have a baked risotto recipe to which you can add whatever veggies you like at the end. Let me know if you want a link to it (or those internet sites I mentioned earlier).

Let's see ... another simple thing is sliced polenta (from a tube) with pasta sauce over it. Baked, chunked Yukon Gold potatoes take the same treatment.

Yes, you can tell I have all these recipes and links to other recipes. Then I usually just throw something together based on what I have on hand B)

McDougall diet (low fat vegan) since 6/00

Gluten free since 1/6/07

Soy free and completely casein and egg free since 2/15/07

Yeast free, on and off, since 3/1/07 -- I can't notice any difference one way or the other

Enterolab results -- 2/15/07

Fecal Antigliladin IgA 140 (Normal Range <10 units)

Fecal Antitissue Transglutaminase IgA 50 (Normal Range <10 units)

Quantitative Microscopic Fecal Fat Score 517 (Normal Range <300 units)

Fecal anti-casein (cow's milk) IgA antibody 127 (Normal Range <10 units)

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0501

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 06xx

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 1,1 (subtype 5,6)

Fecal anti-ovalbumin (chicken egg) IgA antibody 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae (dietary yeast) IgA 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Soy IgA 119 (Normal Range < 10 units)

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I make Risotto alot as a side dish, I make tacos, Cheesy Hasbrown Casserole, Tuna Melts....none of my ideas are veg. though.

~~~~Gluten Free since 9/2004~~~~~~

Friends may come and go but Sillies are Forever!!!!!!!


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We're in pretty much the same boat here. My picky eater in not the celiac and the celiac is also diabetic and vegetarian and extremely hungry and not picky! Oh what fun!

The lists others have offered sound pretty much like the menu at our "mom's all night kitchen"! I have recently discovered that we all really like trying new stuff and trying to break out of the same old, same old - even Mr. Picky. So we've been trying to mix it up a bit without pushing it too much (the kids are 7 year old twins).

Our staples are:

Tinkyada pasta (with red sauce, butter and parm. or in mac 'n cheese)

Mexican: burritos, tacos, nachos, quesidillas, enchiladas, enchilada casserole (or just chips and cheese for the picky kid)



Chili and corn bread

Sunshine burgers and oven fries

Crustless quiche (aka cheesey egg pie) with home fries

Breakfast for dinner: cheesey eggs, fried egg sandwich, pancakes, waffles, french toast

Baked tofu and brown rice with stir fried veggies

Our recent experiments have included:

Pasta prima vera with oven roasted veggies (very easy and deeelish!)

Mexican stuffed peppers

Zucchini casserole (zucchini & summer squash with tomatoes and gluten-free bread crumbs) over rice

Mr. Picky now knows that I am no longer catering his meals separately. Since he is not the celiac, he occasionaly can go out to eat or bring home some take out that he eats outside at the picnic table. But otherwise, he has a cabinet full of healty "snacks" like dried fruit, nuts, rice crackers, cereal, etc. and he can help himself to whatever he wants once he has made an attempt to at least try what I have prepared. As someone else mentioned - it is unlikely that he will starve to death with so much food around and it is really hard to muster up much sympathy in light of the challenges his sister faces.

Good luck and let me know if I can help out with any recipes. It is really helpful to keep pizza frozen in slices in the freezer at all times for a quick on the run dinner.


Daughter, Camryn diagnosed with diabetes 3/06

diagnosed with celiac (blood test and biosy confirmed) 5/06

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Make things that allow each person to build their own meal....

Rice bowls, tacos, tostadas, pizza.....

For tostadas or tacos, I'll chop up veggies and open a can of beans, then we'll bread fish or chicken with potato starch or sweet rice flour and cook it on the stove. Heat up some

Bearitos tostada shells in the oven. Then all the ingredients are there (tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, salsa, tostada shells, black beans, meat etc.) and each person just takes what they like to make their own tostada or taco.

Pizza works too (I like Chebe mixes). It's easy enough to throw different toppings on different parts of the pizza to suit each person, and it's easy to make. In my house we'll somtimes have cheeseless veggie pizza, cheeseless sausage pizza, another one with cheese if our dairy-eating family members are there etc.

Basically the concept allows each person to eat the ingredients they like, but you don't have to cook three or four entirely different meals.

"Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food." - Hippocrates

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How about:

Black Bean Chipolte Garden Burger, slice Pepper Jack Cheese melted on top with an egg over easy on top or scrambled eggs. Add salsa with avacados for the adventurous. Wrap in a corn or rice tortilla if desired. Gardenburger also makes Flame-grilled burgers, which are also gluten free.

Diagnosed by biopsy 2/12/07. Negative blood tests. Gluten-free (except for accidents) since 2/15/07. DQ2.5 (HLA DQA1*05:DQB1*0201)

Son, age 18, previously delayed growth 3rd percentile weight, 25th percentile height (5'3" at age 15). Negative blood work. Endoscopy declined. Enterolab positive 3/12/08. Gene results: HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201 HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0503 Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,1(Subtype 2,5) Went gluten-free, casein-free 3/15/08. Now 6'2" (Over six feet!) and doing great.

"Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance." Abigail Adams (1744-1818) 2nd First Lady of the United States

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