Holiday shopping for those with gluten sensitivities is made easy with this Gluten Free Holiday Shopping Guide! This shopping list is full of gluten free pantry staples, helpful kitchen appliances, and more to help you create holiday meals that meet all your guests’ dietary needs. Keep reading to gather your shopping list!
Disclosure: Lindsay Cotter is a certified nutrition specialist, and does not have a medical degree. The information in this post comes from reliable medical resources, but should not be taken as medical advice. We recommend that you consult with your doctor before starting any new eating program or making changes to your diet.
Making a List & Checking it Twice
Are you ready for the holiday season? I know I am! I can’t wait to see my friends and family and serve all our favorite recipes like Almond Flour Apple Coffee Cake, Baked Pears with Vegan Stuffing, and Vegan Green Bean Casserole. While I love celebrating with my loved ones, serving meals that meet everyone’s dietary needs isn’t always an easy task. Whether you have plant-based guests, are serving those with dairy intolerances, or need gluten free options, finding delicious recipes and knowing what foods to prepare can definitely present a challenge.
So, to make your holiday meal prep easier, I gathered up a complete gluten-free shopping list to help you create wholesome meals that can be adjusted for all your guests’ dietary needs! From pantry staples to seasonal favorites, I’ve got you covered with everything you’ll need to prepare the perfect holiday feast. I’m even sharing my favorite kitchen tools and recipes so you can take the stress out of cooking and enjoy the season. Mix and match your favorite items, or choose them all for holiday shopping in a breeze!
Reasons to Add Gluten Free Products to Your Holiday Shopping
Typically, the holiday season is full of gluten-containing comfort foods such as bread, pasta, cookies, casseroles, and more! Don’t get me wrong, these items are super tasty. However, if you or your loved ones suffer from gluten intolerances, they can cause more trouble than they’re worth. Therefore, it might make sense for you to go gluten-free in order to accommodate both your own dietary needs as well as those of your guests.
By eliminating gluten from your holiday menu, you can easily take the stress off yourself and those around you. Don’t worry, though! You don’t have to miss out on all your favorite foods. By knowing where to look and what tools to use, you can enjoy mashed potatoes, cocktails, and all your other holiday staples with just a few easy swaps.
Nutrition Tip: If you’re unfamiliar, gluten is the general name for proteins found in foods such as wheat, rye, barley, and triticale that helps them maintain their shape. (Source)
How to Navigate the Grocery Store
Gluten free holiday shopping doesn’t have to be overwhelming or require you to go to a million different grocery stores and take hours if you know where to look! Although there is sometimes some confusion regarding what the term means when it comes to food labels, “Gluten-free” is a voluntary claim that manufacturers may choose to use in the labeling of their foods. Even though it is a voluntary label, manufactures who choose to label their foods as gluten free are required to meet the FDA’s definition and standards surrounding the claim. (See details here.)
That being said, most gluten free foods are located in central areas around the store including:
- The produce section
- The deli case
- The gluten free section within each aisle – i.e gluten free pasta, breads, cereals.
- If your grocery store doesn’t have a dedicated gluten free area within the store or labeled on each aisle —> Definitely make a request!
Gluten Free Labels vs. Ingredients
Of course, there are also gluten free foods mixed into all of the other hundreds of items at the store. So, it is important to always double-check the nutrition labels to ensure that there are no sneaky ingredients included in items that at first glance appear to be gluten free. Luckily, many manufacturers have chosen to include a gluten free label (see below) on their products to help consumers determine safe-to-eat foods in seconds!
Where to Look
When scanning a nutrition label, there are a few key areas to look at which indicate whether or not a food is gluten free including:
- The Ingredient List – Manufacturers are required to disclose any and all ingredients used in a product. They are listed underneath the nutritional information in order of the largest to smallest amounts used. So, when scanning a food label, be sure to watch out for gluten-containing ingredients such as wheat, rye, triticale, etc. (Find more here.)
- Allergen Statements – Many foods that are manufactured in a facility that also produces products with gluten and soy will have an allergen label (as shown above) stating that they may contain such ingredients.
- Certified Gluten Free Label – Many products contain an easy to spot certified gluten free label that indicates that the item has been approved for such labeling by the FDA.
Pro-Tip: To take the guesswork out of gluten free shopping, opt for single or minimal ingredient foods!
Ingredient & Preparation Tips for Gluten Free Holidays
If you’re new to gluten free cooking, you’ll probably be surprised by how easy it is to still enjoy your favorite foods by making simple swaps and additions to your meals.
Easy Substitutes & Pantry Staples
For a fail-proof way to cook gluten free, swap out common gluten-containing ingredients with allergy-friendly alternatives, and stock up on the ingredients below to cook with ease!
- Gluten Free Flour
- Gluten Free Noodles
- Veggie Noodles
- Naturally Gluten Free Foods (rice, quinoa, potatoes, chicken stock, herbs, vegetables)
- Gluten Free Condiments See note below about store bought condiments or, create your gluten free dips, sauces, and spreads like Roasted Jalapeno Crab Dip, Nomato Sauce, and Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce (refined sugar free) .
Note: Many condiments can easily be made gluten free. However, if you’re buying store-bought, don’t forget to look for the gluten free label as some brands contain sneaky gluten additives. See how to read a label above!
The Best Kitchen Tools for Allergy-Friendly Meal Prep
For those with severe allergies, it might be best to use separate kitchen tools to make sure there is no risk of contamination with gluten. Take a look at my favorite kitchen tools, and find out how I use them below!
Air Fryer – Perfect for frying or baking, air fryers can also be used to keep gluten free foods such as bread and casseroles warm without risking cross-contamination in the oven.
Instant Pot – Great for a wide variety of allergy-friendly options, instant pots are a useful tool to keep items separate, sauté allergy-friendly ingredients with ease, and more!
Multi-Cookers – My favorite kitchen tool, multi-cookers like the Omni Plus 10-in-1 are super handy for those who need more space to cook or a separate oven for food allergy-friendly options!
In addition, some of my top tips to keep gluten free foods separate include:
- Utilizing different appliances to cook and warm gluten free foods.
- Serving allergy-friendly foods in color-coordinated containers.
- Keeping cutting boards and parchment paper separated to avoid cross-contamination.
Gluten Free Holiday Recipes + Printable Planner
Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, & Air Fryer Recipes included
Now that you know where to look for gluten free foods, how to identify them, and have created a complete guide for holiday shopping, you’re probably looking for gluten free recipes to make, too! No worries, I’ve got you covered with nourishing meals that can be made with a variety of kitchen tools, cooking methods, and flavors to satisfy everyone’s taste buds!
Need a handy dandy way to organize your meals? We got you covered in this meal plan printable PDF. SAVE HERE.
I hope you found this gluten free holiday shopping guide helpful! Of course, if you have any additional questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. We’re happy to help!