Dinner Cheat Sheet for Gluten Free Cooking Newbies

I’ve already given a gluten-free cheat sheet for baked goods  and breads. This is a very long dinner guide. I know it can feel overwhelming when faced with changing how you eat! Hopefully this will ease the transition and show you that gluten-free cooking can be a walk in the park. If you have any questions or want a full recipe, let me know in the comments!


These are the easiest recipes to transform into gluten free because there are so many great gluten-free pasta options. I like Tinkyada brown rice noodles (elbow pasta, fettuccine, lasagna noodles, shells, and other noodles available), but I also liked the consistency of corn-based noodles. Here are some favorites:

Chicken alfredo with broiled broccoli – Mix the broccoli with the sauce and noodles and it tastes great! I also have a great simple alfredo sauce recipe I’ll share eventually.

Lasagna – Make it and freeze individual pieces for easy dinners.

Photo Via Flickr by Sea Turtle

Spaghetti – So fast and filling!

Mostaccioli– This is a great lasagna-like recipe. It rocks. And it’s easy.

Stuffed peppers – Ground beef cooked with onion and garlic, mixed with two cups of rice and about two cups of canned tomato sauce. Put into sliced-open and seared or boiled green bell peppers, sprinkle with cheese, bake for 15-20 minutes. A pretty fast and easy recipe, especially if you already have leftover rice. I’m pretty sure this recipe originally came from Betty Crocker.

Pizza – For a night when you have a little more time. Check out my Carbohydrate Cheat Sheet for good pizza recipes.


With my recent discovery of how much I love avocado and cilantro, I make a burrito bowl or stuffed peppers probably once a week. Look online for salsa chicken or easy enchiladas!

Burrito Bowl – Love how you can make your own bowl at Chipotle? Replicate it at home with a little cilantro and lime in the rice, salsa chicken or beef in the crockpot, or just plain old taco meat (awesome for last minute dinners that need to be fast).

Mexican Stuffed Peppers – Love love love this recipe. I posted about it here. And the green salsa (that’s candida diet friendly) that it calls for is AMAZING. you’ll love it, I promise, so make a triple batch 🙂

Baked Enchiladas – Any enchilada recipe will do with gluten-free replacements like corn or rice tortillas. This is a great recipe for rice tortillas, which tend to be stiff, because this keeps them moist and yummy. Hardly distinguishable from gluten versions.

Crockpot salsa chicken or beef – There are several versions of this:

  1. Take a can of salsa, a sliced onion, and a sliced pepper, and dump it over a few frozen chicken breasts.
  2. For a beef or venison roast, pour a can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce over the roast (but watch out because this can be spicy! Also, a venison roast will need to cook for a solid 9 hours to get tender enough.
  3. For either chicken or beef, use a small can of chopped green peppers, a packet of taco seasoning, and some broth.

Whichever version you choose, cook on low for 7-9 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. All options are great with a burrito bowl or on sandwiches.

Beans and rice – Cook the beans in the crockpot, cook rice, and serve with salsa, sour cream, and avocado. Surprisingly filling.

Baked Chicken

I love making baked chicken dishes because they generally include few ingredients and can cook really fast. I like to cut deep slits in each chicken breast to help it absorb the flavor better and help it cook faster. For the lemon pepper chicken, I sear the meat on a pan first because I think it adds some extra flavor.

Lemon pepper chicken – Dash of lemon juice and lots of lemon pepper. Sear first, then bake at 350 for about a half hour.

Incredible chicken – This is from a Ravinia Festival cookbook. It calls for butter, garlic salt, and brown sugar. I don’t really measure anymore and it always tastes amazing.

Heroin chicken – A quick Google search will turn up several versions of this recipe.

Stir Fry

Another fast meal that can be ready in a half hour—especially if you slice up chicken and freeze it for easy cooking.

Cilantro lime chicken – An amazing recipe that I plan on sharing with you soon!

Asian lettuce wrapsI use this recipe from Allrecipes.com. I added a half head of cabbage instead of some of the other veggies and made my own hoisin sauce replacement. I loved it. Hubby liked it, too, but it wasn’t his favorite. Just make sure you use gluten-free soy sauce!

Other Favorites

The grill will become your best friend. There are so many great recipes out there! I also love my crockpot if only for how easy it makes pulled pork.

Pulled pork – A splash of apple cider vinegar and salt is all it takes, and then choose your favorite BBQ sauce for it (make sure it is gluten free!). 4-5 hours on high, or 7-9 hours on low, or until it pulls apart easily with a fork.

Hamburgers and brats – Sauté some onions with this and eat with mustard. It tastes so good I don’t even miss the bun! Although you could use lettuce or GF bread. If you toast your pamela’s bread, it just starts to warm up and curl over on itself, perfect for holding a hotdog or brat.

Kielbasa and cabbage – This is another super easy meal. Quarter a head of cabbage, and put it in a big pan with one or two packages of sausage. Let simmer until a little brown on the bottom, or until cabbage is cooked through. The sausage will give its flavor to the cabbage.

Poppy seed chicken – Yet another recipe coming soon! You can look up versions on the internet, though.

Baked or grilled salmon – Try it with a little white wine, mayo, and herbs and it tastes amazing. Also great with tons of butter, lemon juice, and some other herbs. I also just made salmon fish sticks that were awesome.

BBQ chicken – Pretty easy. Just continually add your favorite sauce as they grill.

Oven-fried chicken tenders or fried chicken – So good. The tenders cook super fast. Can be a bit messy but oh so good. This skillet fried chicken recipe is easy and pretty fast, too.


I love breakfast foods. Particularly biscuits and gravy—one of my favorite dinners! Other options:

  • Waffles
  • Omelets
  • Eggs and toast
  • Baked GF oatmeal
  • Rice cereal or grits

So if you are going gluten free and wondering what in the world you will make for dinner, here are a ton of recipes that I use or that my family uses on a regular basis.

What about you? Do you have an awesome go-to dinner? I’d love to hear it!


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