Quick Gluten Free Thanksgiving

Gluten Free Quick Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

Gluten Free Quick Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. The internet is abuzz with recipes and tips for feeding a crowd. But what if you don’t have a crowd to feed? What if you don’t have all day to prepare a feast? What if there is no way on this earth you will ever use up a whole turkey, even with a zillion left-over turkey recipes?

Does this mean you have to be deprived on Thanksgiving? No! Here is a whole gluten free Thanksgiving dinner for six that is quick, easy, and stress free. It comes from the chapter Easy Entertaining in my book Simply Gluten Free Quick Meals.

A few little tricks will help you have the taste, look, and abundance of a traditional Thanksgiving feast without, you know, having to cook a whole Thanksgiving feast!

First, replace the turkey with Cornish Game Hens; they are special, adorable and everyone gets his own drumstick!

Instead of cranberry sauce and gravy, I combine the two into a Cranberry Gravy. It complements the game birds perfectly and is ready in about 10 minutes!

What would Thanksgiving be without dressing? With a little help from Kinnikinnick Panko Style bread crumbs, you have an easy Skillet Dressing that is done in minutes!

To round out the menu, there are Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Oven-roasted Balsamic Onion Green Beans, both quick and easy, both delicious.

And I haven’t forgotten about dessert. The Pumpkin Mousse Pie is super simple and there is no fussy pie crust to make; just use some graham style crumbs from Kinnikinnick or gluten free graham crackers. Whip up everything else in the mixer and let the pie set up in the fridge. You can make it the day of or the night before.

Thanksgiving is a special day and it deserves a special dinner whether you are feeding two or twenty.

The recipes follow but first, here is my quick cook strategy for getting it all on the table quickly!

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees for the pie crust. Prepare the crust and while it is in the oven, make the filling. Once the crust has baked, crank the oven up to 450 degrees.
  • Get all your vegetables prepped, chopped, minced and sliced for the entire menu; this will make the flow of cooking go so much better.
  • Cut up the game hens, season and brown them so they are ready to go in the oven.
  • Get the sweet potatoes on the stove and cooking. If they are done before you are ready to mash them, they can wait for you off the heat in the hot water.
  • The green beans and game hens can go into the oven at the same time.
  • Use the same skillet you browned the game hens in to make the cranberry gravy. Just drain out the oil and wipe it clean first. Saves time with clean up later.
  • The skillet dressing and cranberry gravy can be made while the hens and beans are in the oven. Start the dressing first because it takes a bit longer.

Gluten Free Quick Thanksgiving

Gluten Free Quick Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes:

Gluten Free Cornish Game Hens


3 Cornish game hens
1½ teaspoons kosher or fine sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons gluten free poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Remove everything from the cavity of the game hens and either discard or reserve for another use. Halve the hens by cutting along both sides of the backbone with scissors or kitchen shears. Cut along one side of the breast-bone to separate into two halves. Rinse the halves and pat dry with paper towels. Combine the salt, pepper and poultry seasoning and rub all over the game hen halves.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add the hen halves in batches, skin side down (do not crowd the pan). Sauté until golden brown, about 4 minutes, flip and sauté the other side for two minutes. Transfer hens to a roasting pan, skin side up, and roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted at the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees and the juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife. Cover with foil and let sit for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.


Serves 6

Gluten Free Skillet Dressing


4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoons gluten free poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon black pepper
1¼ – 1½ cups gluten-free chicken stock
2 cups gluten-free panko style bread crumbs


Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, poultry seasoning and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add 1¼ cups chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the bread crumbs, stir to combine, take off the heat, cover the pan and let sit for 8 – 10 minutes. If the dressing seems too dry, add a little more chicken stock. Taste and add salt if needed.


Serves 6

Cranberry Gravy


12 ounces (about 3 cups) fresh or frozen whole cranberries
1 cup orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
1½ cups gluten-free chicken stock
1/3 cup sugar
Salt & pepper to taste


Combine cranberries, orange juice, chicken stock and sugar in a large skillet and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue to cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half and the berries pop, about 8 – 10 minutes. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper.


Serves 6

Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes


3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
4 – 6 tablespoons cream, half and half or milk


Put the cut-up sweet potatoes in a large pan and cover with cold water. Cover the pan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the sweet potatoes and return to the hot pot. Put back on the stove over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute to remove extra moisture. Mash the sweet potatoes coarsely in the pot with the salt and pepper. Add the butter and maple syrup and mash to combine. Add the cream, half and half or milk, a little at a time and mash until you reach the desired consistency.


Serves 6

Oven Roasted Balsamic Onion Green Beans


1½ pounds green beans; stem ends snapped off
1 medium red onion, peeled, halved and each half cut into 6 wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the green beans and onion wedges in the prepared baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread into an even layer. Roast for 10 minutes.

Combine the balsamic vinegar with the honey in a small bowl. When the beans and onions have roasted for 10 minutes, remove from the oven, pour the vinegar/honey mixture over the beans and onions and toss with tongs to coat. Return to oven and continue to roast for 12 – 15 minutes or until the onions and beans are dark golden brown in spots and the beans are starting to shrivel. Transfer to a serving dish and serve.


Serves 6

Pumpkin Mousse Pie


1 – 8 ounce package gluten-free graham crackers (or 1 ½ cups gluten-free graham style crumbs, firmly packed)
¼ cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 – 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons whiskey (optional)
1 – 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup brown sugar
2½ cups heavy cream
2 – 3 tablespoons English Toffee Bits


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Break crackers up and place in food processor fitted with a steel blade and grind into crumbs. Or place the crackers in a plastic food bag and crush with a rolling pin. Combine the crushed crumbs with granulated sugar, melted butter and salt. Mix well. Press the mixture into a 9 inch pie plate, pressing down firmly. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes then put in the freezer for 10 minutes to finish cooling and firm up.

With a hand held mixer, beat the cream cheese, pumpkin, whiskey (if using), vanilla (if not using whiskey, use 2 teaspoons, otherwise use 1 teaspoon), cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg until smooth and creamy.

In a clean bowl with clean beaters, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Mix a little of the cream into the pumpkin mixture, then fold in the rest. Smooth the mixture into the cooled pie crust and refrigerate until serving. Just before serving, garnish the top of the pie with the English Toffee Bits.


Serves 6- 8

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Simply Gluten Free are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Cornish Game Hens Cranberries Dinner Dressing Gluten-Free Gluten-Free Recipes Gravy Green Beans Kinnikinnick Mashed Potatoes Mousse Pie Pumpkin Thanksgiving
Previous Post

Easy Gluten Free Mushroom Tart

Next Post

Gluten Free Cinnamon Apple Muffins

  1. November 19, 2012

    Wow, you’ve done all the hard work (thinking) for us! This looks great. :)

    1. Carol Kicinski
      November 19, 2012

      Thanks Alta – Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Donna
    November 19, 2012

    This is just fantastic! Thank you.

  3. November 20, 2012

    Wow, what a line-up! I was actually thinking of doing cornish game hens, and will mark this version to make!

    1. Carol Kicinski
      November 20, 2012

      Thanks Alisa – Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. This is one of my favorite recipes in your book – just smart kitchen cooking! So glad you decided to share it with the world.


    1. Carol Kicinski
      November 20, 2012

      Thanks Amy! Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. Pingback: Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipes — The Coupon Project

  6. Pingback: Easy Mushroom Tart | Recipe | Simply Gluten Free

  7. Pingback: Salmon Cakes with Two Quick Sauces | Recipe | Simply Gluten Free

  8. Pingback: Chicken Liver Pate with Mushrooms | Simply Gluten Free

  9. Pingback: Gluten Free Pear Cranberry Almond Crumble Recipe | Simply Gluten Free

  10. Pingback: Gluten Free Eggs Benedict Strata Recipe | Simply Gluten Free

  11. Pingback: Thanksgiving Hack – Super Easy Gluten Free Yam Casserole Recipe

  12. Pingback: Gluten Free Savory South of the Border Bread Pudding Recipe

  13. Pingback: Gluten Free Herb Brined Roasted Turkey

  14. Pingback: Gluten Free Sweet Potato Meringue Pie Recipe - Simply Gluten Free

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *