Recipe

The 10 Best-Ever Easy Gluten-Free Meals

After discovering that she had celiac disease, and facing significant changes to her lifestyle, author Kristine Kidd had only one objective: to eat as well as she always had. In Weeknight Gluten-Free, she presents more than 100 of her favorite quick dinner recipes developed during her self-described “year pof glorious experimentation.” These vibrant, but simple meals are free of wheat, rye, and barley, and so satisfying and delicious, you’ll never realize those ingredients are missing.

Emphasizing quick, flavor-packed meals, Weeknight Gluten-Free transforms easy-to-find fresh ingredients into tempting gluten-free dishes: oven-fried chicken stays crisp on the outside and juicy inside when cloaked with crushed tortilla strips; grilled wild salmon fillets make a filling supper when served atop chickpeas simmered with Moroccan spices; spice-crusted seared steak and peppers simmered in a creamy sauce become enticing, family-friendly tacos when folded into corn tortillas; elbow pasta, made from a mixture of quinoa and corn flours, mingles with cheese, chard, and crisp bread crumbs for a tempting take on macaroni and cheese that no one will guess is gluten free.

Featuring poultry, seafood, meat, and meatless dishes, along with a handful of desserts, each chapter includes advice about preparing the fresh ingredients that inspire the dishes. Sprinkled throughout the chapters are recipes for starchy, gluten-free staples that can replace wheat-based pastas, breads, or crusts in meals. For example, a genius recipe for microwave polenta takes just ten minutes and minimal stirring to prepare. You'll find it below, along with 10 full recipes excerpted exclusively from WEEKNIGHT GLUTEN-FREE—buy it today!

1
Mushroom
spaghetti carbonara

Ingredients

Makes 2 servings; can be doubled

Pancetta, 1 1⁄2 oz (45 g), chopped, or 1 tablespoon olive oil
Cremini mushrooms, 1⁄2 lb (250 g), sliced
Onion, 1⁄2, finely diced
Fresh sage, 1 tablespoon minced
Red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Gluten-free spaghetti, 6 oz (185 g)
Large eggs, 2
Parmesan cheese, 3⁄4 cup (3 oz/85 g) freshly grated
Dry white wine, 1⁄4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml)
Fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil leaves, 1⁄4 cup (1⁄3 oz/10 g) torn

How to make it

step 1

Place a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, onion, sage, and a pinch of pepper flakes. Sprinkle with salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Sauté until the mushrooms are tender, about 8 minutes. Remove the frying pan from the heat.

step 2

Add the pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water and stir well. Cook, stirring frequently, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork and mix in the cheese.

step 3

Remove 1⁄2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) of the pasta cooking water and reserve. Drain the pasta. Add the wine to the frying pan with the mushroom mixture and boil until reduced by half, stirring up the browned bits, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the spaghetti to the frying pan. Gradually whisk 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) of the reserved pasta cooking liquid into the egg mixture. Add the egg mixture to the frying pan and stir until it coats the pasta and is creamy, not wet and runny. If the egg mixture does not become creamy, set the frying pan over very low heat and stir constantly just until it becomes creamy, watching carefully (do not boil).

step 4

Immediately remove the frying pan from the heat. If needed, mix in enough of the remaining 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) pasta cooking liquid to form a silky texture. Divide between 2 warmed bowls and serve right away.

2
Grilled salmon with
Chermoula chickpeas

Ingredients

Makes 2 servings; can be doubled

Wild salmon fillets, 2 (6 oz/185 g each)
Olive oil, 2 tablespoons, plus more as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon zest, finely grated from 1 lemon
Ground cumin, 1 teaspoon, plus more as needed
Red onion, 1⁄2, chopped
Smoked paprika, 1 1⁄2 teaspoons
Ground coriander, 1 teaspoon
Cayenne pepper, 1⁄8 teaspoon
Chickpeas, 1 can (15 oz/470 g), rinsed and drained
Fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon
Fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoons minced

How to make it

step 1

Place the salmon on a plate. Brush with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt, black pepper, lemon zest, and a little cumin.

step 2

Prepare a grill for direct-heat cooking over high heat. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika, the 1 teaspoon cumin, coriander, and cayenne and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chickpeas and 3 tablespoons water and simmer until the beans are tender, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in the lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and keep warm.

step 3

Place the salmon skin side down on the grill, cover the grill and cook without turning until the salmon is just opaque in the center, about 8 minutes.

step 4

Divide the salmon and chickpeas between 2 warmed plates. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve right away.

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3
Thai-style tofu and
butternut squash curry

Ingredients

Makes 4 servings

Vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon
Green onions, 4, white and light green parts sliced separately
Fresh ginger, 3 tablespoons minced
Butternut squash cubes, 1 package (3⁄4–1 lb/375–500 g)
Coconut milk, 1 can (14 oz/430 ml)
Fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons
Asian fish sauce or gluten-free tamari, 11⁄2 tablespoons
Thai red curry paste, 1 tablespoon
Sugar, 2 teaspoons
Firm tofu, 1 package (14 oz/440 g) drained, cut into 3⁄4-inch pieces
Chard leaves, 2 cups (2 oz/60 g) chopped
Brown jasmine rice (page 214)
Fresh basil, 1⁄3 cup (1⁄2 oz/15 g), sliced

How to make it

step 1

In a heavy medium pot over medium-low heat, warm the oil. Add the white part of the green onions and the ginger and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the squash and stir 1 minute to heat. Add the coconut milk, 3⁄4 cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) water, lime juice, fish sauce, curry paste, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Stir in the tofu. Cover partially and simmer until the squash is just tender, about 20 minutes. Add the chard and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.

step 2

Fluff the rice with a fork and divide among 4 warmed bowls. Spoon the curry over. Sprinkle with the green part of the green onions and the basil and serve right away.

4
Shrimp in tomato-olive-caper
sauce with polenta

Ingredients

Makes 2 servings

Olive oil, 2 teaspoons
Yellow onion, 1⁄2, finely chopped
Red pepper flakes
Dry white wine, 2⁄3 cup (5 fl oz/160 ml)
Tomatoes, 1 can (14.28 oz/440 g), preferably San Marzano
Jumbo shrimp, (16–20 per pound), 10–12 oz (315–390 g), peeled and deveined, tails intact
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Kalamata olives, 1⁄4 cup (11⁄4 oz/40 g) pitted, quartered lengthwise
Capers, 1 tablespoon, drained
Fresh thyme, 2 teaspoons minced
Creamy Weeknight Polenta (included here), using thyme (omit the cheese)

How to make it

step 1

In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and a pinch of pepper flakes and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil until it is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes.

step 2

Sprinkle the shrimp lightly with salt and black pepper. Add to the frying pan, turn to coat with the sauce, cover, and simmer until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. Mix in the olives, capers, and thyme and simmer until the shrimp are cooked through, about 30 seconds. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

step 3

Divide the polenta between 2 warmed plates, spreading it out in a circle. Spoon the shrimp and sauce over the top and serve right away.

Creamy Weeknight Polenta

Ingredients

Makes 2-3 servings

Gluten-free medium-grind cornmeal (I like Bob’s Red Mill), 1⁄2 cup (2.5 oz/80 g)
Olive oil, 1 tablespoon
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, 2–4 tablespoons freshly grated (optional)
Fresh herbs, 1 tablespoon chopped

How to make it

Microwave Method
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, mix 2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) water, the cornmeal, oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and a generous amount of pepper. Place in the microwave and cook at the high setting for 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly, then return to the microwave and cook at the high setting for 5 more minutes. Stir well. Mix in the cheese, if using, and herbs, adjust the seasoning, and serve right away.
Stove-top Method
In a heavy saucepan, bring 2 1⁄2 cups (20 fl oz/625 ml) water, the oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and a generous amount of pepper to a boil over high heat. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly, stirring frequently, until the polenta is thick, about 18 minutes. Mix in the cheese, if using, and herbs, adjust the seasoning, and serve right away.

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5
Roast chicken and
vegetables with fall spices

Ingredients

Makes 4 servings

Chicken pieces, 2 3⁄4–3 lb (1.25 kg–1.5 kg)
Olive oil, 3 tablespoons
Sweet paprika, 2 teaspoons
Ground coriander, 2 teaspoons
Ground cumin, 2 teaspoons
Red pepper flakes, 3⁄4 teaspoon
Lemon zest, grated from 1 large lemon
Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon, plus more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
Butternut squash pieces, 1 package (14–16 oz/440–500 g)
Fingerling potatoes, 1 lb (500 g), halved lengthwise

How to make it

step 1

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 450°F (230°C). Pat the chicken dry, and place in a large bowl; add 2 tablespoons of the oil and turn to coat. In a small bowl, mix the paprika, coriander, cumin, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture for the vegetables; add the remainder to the chicken. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a generous amount of black pepper to the chicken and turn to coat. Arrange the chicken, skin side up, on half of a large rimmed baking sheet.

step 2

Place the squash and potatoes in the same bowl. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, season lightly with salt and black pepper, and toss to coat. Add the reserved spice mixture, and toss to coat. Arrange the vegetables on the second half of the baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast until the chicken and vegetables are cooked through, about 25 minutes.

step 3

Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a warmed platter or 4 warmed plates and serve right away.

6
Oven “fried” chicken
with baby spinach salad

Ingredients

Makes 4-6 servings

Olive oil, 1⁄4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml), plus more as needed
Gluten-free tortilla chips, 1 bag (51⁄2 oz /170 g) (I like Food Should Taste Good Multigrain chips)
Dried marjoram, 1 teaspoon, crumbled
Ground cumin, 1 teaspoon
Cayenne pepper, 1⁄4 teaspoon
Chicken pieces, 3 1⁄2 lb (1.75 kg)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons
Baby spinach, 4–6 oz (125–185 g)
Cherry tomatoes, 1 pint (12 oz/375 g), halved

How to make it

step 1

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Brush a large rimmed baking sheet with oil. Meanwhile, in a food processor, grind the tortilla chips finely and transfer to a pie plate. Mix in the marjoram, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Brush the chicken on all sides generously with oil, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the crumb mixture, 2 pieces at a time, and turn to coat on all sides, pressing into the crumbs to help them adhere. Arrange the pieces skin side up on the baking sheet.

step 2

Place in the oven and roast until the crust is brown and the chicken is cooked through, about 35 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes to crisp.

step 3

In a small bowl, place the lime juice. Gradually whisk in the 1⁄4 cup olive oil to make a vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a salad bowl, combine the spinach and tomatoes. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Divide the chicken and salad among plates and serve.

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7
Chinese-style peanut
noodles with seared beef

Ingredients

Makes 4 servings

Boneless beef top sirloin, 3⁄4 lb (375 g), trimmed, halved lengthwise, and partially frozen
Gluten-free tamari, 5 tablespoons (3 fl oz/80 ml)
Sugar, 1 3⁄4 teaspoons
Green onions, 4, minced
Asian sesame oil, 11⁄2 teaspoons plus2 tablespoons
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Creamy old fashioned–style peanut butter, 1⁄3 cup (4 oz/125 g)
Fresh ginger, 2 tablespoons minced
Balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons
Red pepper flakes, 1⁄2 teaspoon
Gluten-free spaghetti, 10 oz (315 g) (I like Schar)
Large red bell pepper, 1, halved lengthwise and seeded, then halved crosswise and cut into very thin slices
Vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon
Fresh cilantro, 1⁄4 cup chopped

How to make it

step 1

Cut the beef across the grain into 1⁄4-inch (6-mm) slices. In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the tamari and 3⁄4 teaspoon of the sugar and stir to dissolve. Mix in half of the green onions, 1 1⁄2 teaspoons of the sesame oil, and a generous amount of black pepper. Add the beef and stir to coat. Set aside.

step 2

In a food processor, combine the peanut butter, ginger, vinegar, pepper flakes, remaining 3 tablespoons tamari, remaining green onions, 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Add 1⁄4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) hot water and process until well blended to make a sauce.

step 3

Add the spaghetti to a large pot of boiling salted water and stir well. Cook, stirring frequently, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain, rinse briefly with cold water, and drain well. Place in a warmed bowl. Add the remaining 1tablespoon sesame oil and stir to coat. Mix in the bell pepper and sauce to taste. Mix to coat the noodles, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

step 4

In a heavy large frying pan over high heat, warm the vegetable oil. Working in batches, sear the beef in a single layer, about 20 seconds on each side. Transfer to a cutting board and halve each piece lengthwise. Divide the noodles among 4 bowls, top with the beef, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve.

Partially freezing raw meat
If your recipe calls for cutting meat into thin slices, it’s easier to accomplish if the meat is partially frozen. Put the meat in the freezer for about 30 minutes to firm it slightly before cutting. Be sure to use a sharp knife to ease slicing.

8
Turkey and
white bean chili

Ingredients

Makes 4-6 servings

Olive oil, 1 tablespoon
Large yellow onion, 1, finely chopped
Large red bell pepper, 1, chopped
Large clove garlic, 1, minced (optional)
Red pepper flakes, 1⁄2 teaspoon
Ground cumin, 2 teaspoons
Ground dark-meat turkey, 1 lb (500 g)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cannellini beans, 2 cans (15 oz/470 g each), liquid drained and reserved
Gluten-free chicken broth, 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml)
Diced green chilies, 2 cans (4 oz/145 g each)
Heavy cream, 1⁄3 cup (3 fl oz/80 ml)
Dried marjoram, 1 teaspoon
Fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped for garnish
Toppings of your choice such as finely chopped red onion, minced red jalapeño, diced peeled avocado

How to make it

step 1

In a heavy large pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, if using, and pepper flakes and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the cumin and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the turkey and sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper. Cook until the turkey is no longer pink, breaking up the meat with a spoon, about 4 minutes.

step 2

Add the beans and 2⁄3 cup (5 fl oz/160 ml) of their liquid to the pot along with the broth, green chiles, cream, and marjoram. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat and simmer to blend the flavors, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes; thin with more bean liquid, if desired.

step 3

Taste the chili and adjust the seasoning. Spoon into warmed bowls and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve right away with the toppings in bowls alongside.

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9
Sautéed pork
chops with kale salad

Ingredients

Makes 4 servings

Cider vinegar, 1⁄4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml)
Gluten-free Dijon mustard,1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon
Honey, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon
Olive oil, 1⁄2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) plus 3 tablespoons
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Black kale leaves, 4 cups (4 oz/125 g) thinly sliced (about 14 stalks with center ribs removed, from 1 large bunch)
Tart green apple such as Pippin, 1, cut into matchsticks
Center-cut loin pork chops, 4, each about 1 1⁄4 inch (3 cm) thick
Fresh thyme, 4 teaspoons minced
Dried marjoram, 2 teaspoons, crumbled
Shallot, 2 tablespoons minced
Dry vermouth, 1⁄2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml)

How to make it

step 1

In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar, mustard, and honey. Gradually mix in 1⁄2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) plus 2 tablespoons of the oil to make a dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, combine the kale and apple. Add 1⁄3 cup (3 fl oz/80 ml) of the dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

step 2

Lightly sprinkle the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper, and then sprinkle with the thyme and marjoram.

step 3

In a heavy large skillet over high heat, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the pork chops and cook until lightly browned, 1–2 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the meat feels firm but not hard when pressed and an instant-read thermometer registers 145°F (63°C), 3–4 minutes per side. Mound the kale on a platter and top with the pork chops. Let stand while you make the sauce.

step 4

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan. Set the pan over medium heat, add the shallot, and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the vermouth and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits on the pan bottom. Remove from the heat and mix in the remaining dressing to make a sauce. Season the sauce to taste, then spoon over the pork chops and serve.

10
Macaroni and cheese with
chard and sage breadcrumbs

Ingredients

Makes 4 servings

Olive oil, 1 1⁄2 tablespoons
Large onion, 1⁄2, finely chopped
Chard, 1⁄2 large bunch, stems trimmed, leaves chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Heavy cream, 1⁄2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml)
Gluten-free elbow or shell pasta, 8 oz (250 g), (I like Ancient Harvest)
Fresh sage, 1 tablespoon minced
Gluten-free bread, 1 slice, ground to crumbs in a food processor (about 1⁄2 cup/1 oz/30 g crumbs)
Aged Gruyère cheese, 1 cup (about 3 oz) grated
Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons freshly grated

How to make it

step 1

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion and sauté until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the chard and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until the chard is tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cream and remove from the heat.

step 2

Meanwhile, bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and stir well. Cook until the pasta is al dente, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes.

step 3

In a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, warm the remaining 1⁄2 tablespoon oil. Add the sage and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until browned and crisp, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

step 4

Reserve 1⁄2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the skillet with the chard. Add both cheeses and stir over medium heat until the cheeses melt and the pasta is coated, thinning with the pasta cooking liquid as needed. Season to taste with salt and a generous amount of pepper. Divide the pasta among 4 warmed plates. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and serve right away.

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