How to Cater for Gluten-Free Dinner Guests

Are you cooking for friends and family this month? If one of your dinner guests is gluten-free, don’t panic; it’s now much easier to cook a meal that meets their needs – and everyone else’s, for that matter.

In fact, have you thought of whipping up a gluten-free meal for everyone? Gluten-free meals are nothing if not tasty and varied, so there should be a recipe or two that all your guests can get on board with. Here are some things to consider before you cook up a gluten-free storm…

You Might Not Have to Change the Recipe Much

Love cooking spaghetti Bolognese or carbonara? You may only need to change the type of pasta you use for recipes like these, as a lot of foods are naturally free from gluten.

Healthline has some suggestions when it comes to gluten-free accompaniments like pasta – take a look here. The site says: ‘For pasta lovers, going gluten-free may seem far more daunting than a simple diet modification. Though traditional pasta is typically made using wheat flour, there are plenty of gluten-free alternatives available.’

The site is right, too, with brown rice pasta and quinoa pasta being just two options. Plus, many UK supermarkets cater for gluten-free cooks quite well, with lots of them now having an aisle or two dedicated to food that doesn’t contain wheat or gluten. Shop wisely and you and your diners can still enjoy popular pasta dishes.

Don’t Overlook the Drinks

You’ve bought gluten-free ingredients for your meal, so don’t slip up when it comes to drinks. Many of us forget that a lot of alcoholic beverages actually contain gluten, with beer being one of the worst offenders.

The BeyondCeliac website lists the drinks that are gluten-free, which includes bourbon, whiskey, gin, vodka, brandy, rum and more.

Beer, meanwhile, is fermented, which means it goes through a different creation process than your average spirit. ‘Regular beer is made with barley and is not safe for people with celiac disease.’ says the site, so do steer clear of it if you have a celiac diner in your midst.

Beware of Cross Contamination

Often, if your gluten-free diner is following a strict elimination diet – most people who are celiac must do so to avoid illness – it isn’t enough to simply serve a gluten-free meal. You must also ensure you keep foods with gluten well away from the non-gluten varieties, as even the slightest hint of gluten can make someone who’s celiac desperately ill.

Again, the BeyondCeliac website has some useful information on how to avoid cross-contamination when preparing a meal for someone who’s gluten-free. Be aware that even something as seemingly harmless as using the toaster can be detrimental to someone’s health – if, for instance, you’ve toasted non-gluten-free bread in it first.

Swot up on the cross-contamination facts on the link above.

Don’t Forget Dessert

There are as many delicious dessert recipes for gluten-free diners as there are tasty starters and main courses, so plan ahead and you can cook up something delicious. How about this raspberry crème brulee? It’s naturally gluten and wheat free and it’ll be a hit with everyone.

How do you prepare for guests who have food intolerances? Let us know your tips by commenting below.