30 Gluten-Free Recipes Even Your Southern Mama Would Serve
There’s something about Southern cooking that just doesn’t do well with rules. We like our casseroles filled with creamy, cheesy components and our main dishes deep-fried and saucy. That means we’ll be darned before dealing with a gluten allergy or swearing off wheat-based products stops us from getting our fill of Southern comfort food, at least every now and then. We Southerners aren’t ones to go down without a fight—especially when it comes to our dinner. Need gluten-free foods? We’ll make it work.
Surprisingly enough, you probably already make many of our classic recipes that happen to be conveniently gluten-free. Gumbo is fair game, as long as you’re using okra as a thickening agent in lieu of a flour-based roux. King Ranch Chicken calls for corn tortillas, which means even gluten-free eaters can indulge on the Tex-Mex casserole. And the Lowcountry staple, shrimp and grits, can be devoid of any pinches or sprinkles of gluten-based substances. Going gluten-free suddenly seems a lot less scary, if we say so. These 30 gluten-free recipes give every bit of the Southern comfort you crave, and every celiac in your life will get to enjoy, as well.
Recipe: Chicken Bog
This dish gets its name because the chicken is decadently bogged down in rice. A pot full of chicken and rice will never stop being the ultimate comfort food.
Shrimp and Okra Gumbo
Recipe: Shrimp and Okra Gumbo
Many gluten-free eaters think gumbo is forever off the menu. (The roux, one of its most important components, calls for flour.) But this recipe relies on okra to thicken it up, making it flour-free.
King Ranch Chicken
Recipe: King Ranch Chicken
This Tex-Mex dish comes to us from an era when casseroles were king and—luckily—uses corn tortillas! The pinch of flour used to thicken the filling can be turned gluten-free in a jiff.
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
Recipe: Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
This hallmark of Creole cooking comes with a bonus appeal: It's friendly for gluten-free and dairy-free Southerners alike. (Vegetarians? Well, we can't all be perfect.)
Braised Cola-and-Bourbon Brisket
Southern-Style Collard Greens
Recipe: Southern-Style Collard Greens
You'll never fail with this Southern dish by your side. Its favorite friends—ham hocks and bacon—think gluten should just keep on walking.
"Frog Moore" Stew
Recipe: "Frog Moore" Stew
This dish is less stew-like than the name would leave you to believe. (It’s usually drained from the boiling water completely.) The Lowcountry fave includes red potatoes, fresh corn, smoked sausage, shrimp, and Old Bay seasoning.
Recipe: Melting Potatoes
These ain't your normal roasted potatoes—trust us. They're cooked in a way that makes the inside incredibly soft and almost mashed-like, but the outside wonderfully crispy.
Savannah Red Rice
Recipe: Savannah Red Rice
Tomatoes, and often hot sauce, give this rice dish its fiery hue. Savannah red rice is a regional delicacy that might come packed with seafood, sausage, or chicken.
Harry Young's Burgoo
Recipe: Harry Young’s Burgoo
Meet Brunswick stew's Kentucky cousin, the burgoo. Flavored with chicken (and pork or mutton), vegetables, and spices, this recipe gets naturally thickened by okra to get that signature stewy finish.
Recipe: Gluten-Free Cornbread
Consisting of only 7 ingredients and taking 10 minutes to throw together, this gluten-free cornbread recipe lets your cast-iron skillet handle the rest.
Recipe: Eggplant Rollups
This lightened-up Italian dish will satisfy your cravings for something warm, cheesy, and marinara-laden. No lasagna noodles required.
Old-School Squash Casserole
Recipe: Old-School Squash Casserole
Simply leave off the crushed crackers on top, and this iconic Southern casserole meets your gluten-free requirements.
Southern Shrimp and Grits
Recipe: Southern Shrimp and Grits
This recipe's buttery Parmesan grits and rich, tomato-based sauce make us forget all about gluten. Genius.
Classic Hoppin’ John
Recipe: Classic Hoppin’ John
Gluten-free Southerners can still get their fill of this classic New Year's Day dish that promises prosperity, thanks to its perfect blend of Carolina Gold rice, black-eyed peas, and bacon.
Recipe: Chicken-and-Collards Pilau
This one-pot recipe is a Lowcountry staple packed full of quick-cooking basmati rice, aromatic veggies, collard greens, and Cajun smoked sausage.
Ms. Clara's New Orleans Red Beans and Rice
This classic Lousiana dish is oh-so simple to make, combining Andouille sausage, red beans, and—you guessed it—rice with Cajun seasoning.
Recipe: Ham-and-Bean Soup
This soup is packed with the heavenly flavor of ham, and the brothy recipe doesn't call for any gluten-based thickening.
Recipe: Creamed Corn
Creamed corn hits all the creamy, milky, and perfectly salty notes—with only five ingredients.
Gluten-Free Banana Bread
Recipe: Gluten-Free Banana Bread
Because gluten-allergic gals deserve to enjoy this classic quick bread, too. This recipe is simple, but totally scrumptious.
Roasted Tomato Soup with Cheddar Cheese
Classic Pimiento Cheese
Recipe: Basic Pimiento Cheese
It would've been a five-alarm fire if Southerners thought this recipe had to be left off the menu. When it comes to pimiento cheese, a few dashes of Worcestershire and a couple sprinkles of cayenne do much more than gluten ever could.
Chicken-and-Brisket Brunswick Stew
This classic Southern stew combines meats (wild game and otherwise), spices, and seasonal vegetables with wild abandon. Most agree that corn, butter or lima beans, and tomatoes are essential. With all of those ingredients, no thickening roux is needed.
Deb Wise's Tamale Pie Mix-up
Recipe: Deb Wise’s Tamale Pie Mix-up
This layer-free tamale pie makes a homey meal with its filling of ground beef, cornmeal, tomato sauce, and corn.
Slow-Cooker Bolognese Sauce
Recipe: Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce
Serve this traditional meat sauce over whatever gluten-free pasta variety you prefer. Trust us, it's the real star anyway.
Spring Vegetable Frittata
Recipe: Spring Vegetable Frittata
This recipe fits in at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. So you can be the hostess with the most, even if you're hosting a gluten-free guest.
Fresh Vegetable Lasagna
Recipe: Fresh Vegetable Lasagna
Veggie lasagna might not sound as comforting as your usual beefy versions—but with three types of cheese, you won't be missing those noodles one bit.
Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe: Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls
These cinnamon rolls are delightfully classic with a simple cinnamon filling and cream cheese frosting.
Skillet Enchiladas Suizas
Recipe: Skillet Enchiladas Suizas
Mama does love a Tex-Mex twist, and this recipe makes for a hearty enchilada dish right in your skillet. Since corn tortillas are free from gluten, you're in the clear.