Gluten-Free Comfort Foods
What if you woke up one morning and found that most of your favorite foods had to be eliminated from your diet for good?
That used to be the scenario for the 1 in 133 Americans with celiac diseaseanything made with wheat, barley, rye, or malt became off-limits due to gluten content. That meant no bread, no granola bars, no pasta, no pizza. Not even beer or veggie burgers. Even more people deal with some level of gluten intolerance, sometimes called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which includes a wide range of symptoms, from digestive upset to weakness and fatigue.
The solution? Supernutritious, gluten-free recipes that are tasty enough to become your new comfort-food favorites. The recipes and shopping tips on the following pages are a great resource, whether you’re already savvy about gluten-free cooking, just getting started, or looking to learn more.
GLUTEN-FREE PANTRY ESSENTIALS
Gluten is a sticky plant protein that gives dough heft and elasticity and lends instant thickness to sauces. But gluten isn’t the only game in town. Try the following stand-ins:
brown or white rice flour
corn flour (masa harina)
xanthan gum (replaces gluten in baked goods so cookies stay together and breads rise)
USE YOUR NOODLE
A handy guide to the best gluten-free pastas for your recipes.
Tasting notes Bold, nutty flavor with a chewy texture and firm, dense bite. Check the package to make sure no wheat flour has been added.
Best shapes Spaghetti and spirals hold their shape and won’t stick together.
How to use it Serve with Asian-style sauces and stir-fries or cheese sauces that complement buckwheat’s flavor.
Tasting notes Reminiscent of popcorn; for best texture, choose a blend of corn-quinoa pasta.
Best shapes Elbows, rotelle
How to use it Add to baked pastas or toss lightly with cream, cheese, or pesto sauces that complement the corn flavor. Don’t use in pasta saladsit can get tough when cooled.
Tasting notes Compact but tender texture and neutral flavor; look for brands that blend potato and rice or corn.
Best shapes Long strands, such as fettuccine and spaghetti, that benefit from potato pasta’s tenderness.
How to use it Toss with light, brothy sauces that coat the strands and keep them from sticking together.
Tasting notes Whole-grain flavor; closest in texture to whole-wheat pastas.
Best shapes Shells, rotelle, pagodas
How to use it Try spicy or bold-flavored sauces that stand up to the flavor.
Tasting notes Mild, neutral flavor; firm, somewhat grainy texture easily absorbs other flavors.
Best shapes Firm ones (e.g., penne, shells) that won’t fall apart or turn gummy if overcooked.
How to use it Serve with tomato-based sauces that stick to the noodles.
get the recipes
Corn Spaghetti with Fresh Grilled Corn and Smoked Mozzarella
Here, pasta made with corn flour is featured in a Southwestern-inspired dish that makes good use of the fresh poblano chiles.more
Because pancakes don’t require a lot of blending or cooking time, the batter can be made with just one gluten-free flour instead of a combination of flours.more
Rice, Potato, and Soy Spaghetti with Roasted Broccoli “Pesto”
Roasting broccoli gives it a rich flavor, and causes tiny florets to fall off the stalks, which coat the spaghetti and give it a pesto look. The sauce is perfect for the delicate texture of soy spaghetti, which must be handled carefully to keep it from breaking.more
A good recipe for homemade bread is worth its weight in gold to gluten-intolerant bakers. This soft, chewy loaf fits the bill.more
Gluten-Free Veggie Burger
Simple, speedy, and satisfying, this patty recipe is made with TVP (textured vegetable protein), which can be found in the bulk section of natural food stores. These burgers get their meaty flavor from dulse, dried seaweed flakes that are a good source of B vitamins and iron.more
Mock Oatmeal Raisin Bites
While oats do not contain gluten, most commercial brands of oatmeal are processed with wheat products, meaning they’re off-limits for people with gluten intolerance. These cookies have the same chewy texture as oatmeal cookies, without risk of gluten contamination.more
Hot casseroles often use wheat products as thickeners. Here, potato starch and brown rice flour do the job. You can use any gluten-free pasta in this recipe.more