Gluten-Free Meal Ideas

If you follow a gluten-free diet your meals and snacks can still be balanced and delicious. Below are some examples of gluten-free meals that you can enjoy throughout the day.

Breakfast

  • Gluten-free oats mixed with a sprinkle of cinnamon, nuts, and dried fruit
  • Slice of gluten-free toast or a gluten-free English muffin with peanut butter and a small bowl of fresh berries
  • Omelet made with 2 eggs, sautéed mushrooms, onions, peppers, and reduced-fat cheese
  • Fruit smoothie made with frozen fruit, low-fat milk, and yogurt free of gluten additives
  • Gluten-free cereal such as Rice Chex or Corn Chex with low-fat milk and a small piece of fresh fruit

*Add coffee or tea to any of these meals.

Lunch

  • Tuna salad made with light mayo, chopped celery, and chopped carrots; serve tuna salad on gluten-free crackers or wrapped in large lettuce leaves to make lettuce wraps
  • Salad made with mixed greens, sundried tomatoes, provolone cheese, red onions, and gluten-free deli turkey, all drizzled with olive oil and red wine vinegar
  • Chicken and cheese quesadilla fixed on a pure corn tortilla with a side of pinto beans
  • Yogurt parfait made with low-fat vanilla yogurt and fresh berries, plus a small handful of nuts (make sure the yogurt you buy is gluten-free)
  • Grain salad made with quinoa, corn, diced avocado, tomatoes, black beans, and chopped fresh cilantro (toss with olive oil and lime juice or toss with a spoonful of salsa)

Dinner

  • Rice noodles topped with sautéed vegetables and tofu
  • Grilled salmon filet with wild rice and a side salad (with gluten-free dressing)
  • Baked chicken breast with corn on the cob, and cooked broccoli seasoned with lemon juice and freshly ground pepper
  • Tacos made with pure corn tortillas filled with lean ground beef, black beans, tomatoes, romaine lettuce and reduced-fat cheese
  • Homemade chili or stew made with vegetables and lean meat or chicken (double check that all ingredients are gluten-free, especially if using broth)
  • Grilled kabobs with shrimp, peppers, and onions, plus a side of black bean and corn salad
  • Spinach salad with tomatoes, carrots, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, garbanzo beans, and grilled chicken drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Some ideas for gluten-free snacks and sides

  • Small piece of fresh fruit (some ideas: pears, apples, bananas, nectarines, clementines or 1/2 of a grapefruit) with a handful of almonds
  • Apple slices or a small banana with peanut butter or almond butter
  • Fresh vegetables (cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, broccoli florets, celery sticks, etc.) with gluten-free light ranch dip or bean dip
  • Seasoned steamed vegetables
  • Peanut butter spread on gluten-free rice crackers or a gluten-free rice cake
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Dried fruit and nut mix
  • Gluten-free pretzels with hummus
  • Small bowl of gluten-free cereal with low-fat milk
  • Air popped popcorn

If you are looking for quick and easy gluten-free recipes, sign up for Recipes for Healthy Living where you'll find a variety of new recipes each month.

Eating Out

You may find it hard to eat out when you follow a gluten-free diet. Some restaurants have gluten-free options on their menu or they may have ingredient lists on their website. A local celiac support group may be able to offer additional guidance and information about restaurants in your area.

Also, plan ahead if you are going to a wedding, out to eat, or somewhere else where food will be served. Always call to find out what your options are ahead of time. If needed, pack your own snacks and food with enough carbohydrate to get you through the day.


Gluten-Free Diets — Basic information on celiac disease and gluten-free diets.

What Foods Have Gluten? — Wondering what foods have gluten? You might be surprised.

What Can I Eat That is Gluten-Free? — Going gluten-free can be difficult, but you still have many choices.

Gluten-Free Meal Ideas — If you follow a gluten-free diet, your meals can still be balanced and delicious!


You can find additional resources and organizations that deal specifically with gluten-free issues by searching for "gluten-free" or "celiac disease" using your preferred search engine.

  • Last Reviewed: August 1, 2013
  • Last Edited: December 23, 2013

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