salad and scallops in a white bowl

Tasty and Easy Gluten Free Side Dishes

Eating gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to compromise on taste or variety. Whether you are celiac, gluten intolerant, or simply choose to follow a gluten-free diet, you can enjoy a plethora of delicious, nutritious, and satisfying gluten free side dishes. From roasted sweet potatoes to blistered green beans and cauliflower rice couscous, there are so many options to explore that are naturally gluten-free and absolutely delicious.

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potatoes are a favorite comfort food and a healthier alternative to regular potatoes. Not only are they naturally gluten-free, but they are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. To make sweet potato fries, slice the sweet potatoes into thin strips, toss them in a light coat of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake them in the oven at 400-degrees until they are crispy and golden brown. For an extra kick of flavor, add some garlic powder, paprika, or cayenne pepper. Try Swapping sweet potatoes for Zucchini Sticks and watch them disappear! 

Sautéed Seasonal Veggies are how I got my kids to love vegetables!

Green beans, broccoli, asparagus, summer squash, cauliflower or sugar snap peas are many of our family’s favorite vegetables. Each vegetable is naturally a gluten free side dish all on its own or combined together. Preparing these vegetables are quick and easy. 

Vegetables are packed with phytonutrients and contain essential vitamins and minerals rich in antioxidants. Eating a rainbow of colorful vegetables daily is suggested to help keep our immune system strong and our body healthy. A gluten free side dish helps us eat colorful foods, besides it’s fun to create a seasonal veggie dish and include at any meal.  

We love to blanch the hardier vegetables like broccoli, green beans or sugar snap peas for 3 minutes, then sauté them in a little bit of olive oil, minced garlic or shallots until they are tender. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with flaked sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a tangy twist.

Veggies that cook up quick without blanching such as; summer squash, asparagus, cauliflower or halved baby brussel sprouts are great sautéed until fork tender. Cook in olive oil until browned. Add some sliced red onion in with the veggies while cooking. Just before serving sprinkle with some sheep or goat cheese crumbles. Yum!

Cheesy Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is a great gluten-free alternative to regular rice and can be made even more delicious by adding some pecorino Romano grated cheese. To make cheesy cauliflower rice, buy premade riced cauliflower found in the fresh produce aisle or freezer section. Or its super easy to chop or pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor until they resemble grains of rice. Sauté the cauliflower rice in a bit of olive oil and goat butter. Season with an Italian spice blend, salt and pepper, and then stir in grated pecorino cheese or another  type of shredded cheese of your choice. I love adding in other diced vegetables, ( more veggies ☺), like broccoli florets or diced zucchini and or mushrooms. Cook until cheese is melted and creamy.

It’s also a ritual to have a green salad included as a side dish for all our dinner meals. Besides green leafy salads, there are grain salads such as brown rice tabbouleh, lemony orzo, cauliflower mock potato salad, tomato and corn salad or pasta salads. There’s Cole Slaw, roasted vegetable salad, roasted beet salad or a Strawberry Spinach salad. 

Mashed potatoes or rice are also gluten free side dishes that Poppa Tim used to like at each meal. As we got older and the kids all moved out, our meals and our side dishes became centered more around non-starchy vegetables than starchy side dishes. I also follow specific methods for food combining when I eat animal proteins. I choose non-starchy vegetables vs starchy vegetables because they are easier on our body’s digestion. 


Can I use frozen vegetables for my gluten free side dish?

Yes, you can use frozen vegetables for your gluten-free side dishes. Just make sure to check the packaging for any added sauces or seasonings that may contain gluten.

Are all cheeses gluten-free?

Most cheeses are naturally gluten-free, but some processed cheeses may contain gluten. Always check the label to be sure.

Can I use regular flour for my gluten-free recipes?

No, regular flour contains gluten. Use a gluten free flour instead to thicken sauces or stir fry’s.

What are the most popular gluten free foods?

Whole foods are naturally gluten free and are popular. Proteins, fruits and vegetables. Foods that come from their original source. 

Here are some tasty Curry Girls Kitchen gluten free side dishes we think you will enjoy!

Brussels Sprouts and Carrots Sauté 

This delicious and easy-to-make side dish from Curry Girls Kitchen combines the flavors of seared Brussels sprouts, sweet carrots and red onions and fragrant garlic. This side dish is great paired with chicken, fish or meat. It can also be roasted on a sheet pan along with chicken thighs for an easy sheet pan dinner! 

Zucchini, Corn and Red Onion Hash

Another great gluten free side dish from Curry Girls Kitchen. The sweetness of the red onions caramelizes beautifully along with sweet corn and fresh zucchini. The dollop of butter adds creamy goodness. Oh My! This gluten free side dish is one of our favorite sides for all our Mexican and Southwest dishes.

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower and Parsnips

A healthier and gluten-free alternative to mashed potatoes, this side dish from Damn Good gluten Free is creamy, garlicky, and absolutely delicious. Great served in place of mashed potatoes for a great paring with meat, chicken, fish or in a veggie bowl!

Cauliflower Leeks and Capers, a little sweet and salty

Cauliflower is a favorite vegetable in our home. Adding leeks gives sweetness to this dish and the capers adds saltiness. It pares wonderfully with fish or chicken. 

I hope you were inspired to create fun new sides for your family, and that you learned how easy it is to make simple gluten free side dishes to accompany your meals. There are so many different tasty and exciting ways to combine vegetables, grains and salads to make a colorful beautiful plate! When I create a meal, I look at a plate as the palate of a beautiful artful creation. We eat first with our eyes. It signals our brain and then we start to salivate. I hope you have fun creating beautiful plates rich in color that will nourish your family in ways you never dreamed. 

Please leave a comment below, share your ideas with our community and let us know what you liked about this article. Here at Curry Girls Kitchen, we are passionate about promoting healthy living and providing helpful tips, courses, cooking classes and supportive coaching programs for maintaining a delicious gluten-free lifestyle. We also have the best gluten free “how to road map” cookbook, Damn Good Gluten Free.  To learn more about our healthy living resources and get delicious gluten-free recipes, make sure to sign up for our Curry Girls Kitchen newsletter 


Pegs and Megs

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