My gluten free Christmas dinner

Gluten free Christmas dinner

Updated 16th December 2023

A coeliac disease diagnosis is for life, which of of course means that even at Christmas there can be no ‘days off’ from a gluten free diet. However, with so many amazing dedicated gluten free products now up for grabs, and all the food available that’s naturally gluten free, there’s no need to miss out on anything… including a rather terrific Christmas dinner!

I love making our Christmas dinner each year. To take the pressure off thinking I have to achieve perfection, I work on the basis that it’s simply like putting together a special Sunday roast. And to make life easier – with no compromise to taste or food excitement – I make sure everything on our dinner plate is gluten free.

If I were to have my Christmas dinner at someone else’s house, I’d natter with them beforehand about what they were making, to ensure it would be suitable for my gluten free diet, and importantly chat to them about how best to prevent any risk of cross-contamination. Suggesting at this point, that ideally it would be better to prepare a meal that was suitable for all dietary needs, as this would make it a much safer and relaxing occasion for all.

I love to hear how other people set about preparing and enjoying their Christmas dinner (in fact I love hearing ALL their Christmas plans, from start to finish!). Sharing traditions, ideas and quirks can often spark inspiration for others. So, just in time for the big day, I thought I’d share with you what I get up to in our kitchen on Christmas Day, and how I pop together a gluten free Christmas dinner that we can all enjoy.


As there are only three of us for our Christmas dinner (me, Neil and my dad), we opt for a turkey joint. I order this from our local butcher and generally pick it up on Christmas Eve. I love this tradition! I order a joint big enough to give us ample meat for our dinner plates, with plenty leftover for butties.

To prepare the turkey for the oven; I pop it into a large roasting tray, pour in a touch of water and season the turkey skin with salt and *pepper before covering with foil (I tend to leave it out for about ½hr before putting it in the oven). Due to the size of our turkey joint, it only takes about an hour and a half on 180C Fan to cook. For the final half hour of cooking, I remove the foil and baste the turkey before returning it to the oven. Once fully cooked, I drain off and reserve the meat juices to make the gravy later (I tend to use the roasting tray to make the gravy in once the meat has been removed). I wrap the meat in foil and leave to rest on a plate for about 20 minutes before carving.


We have mash and roast potatoes on Christmas Day. King Edward potatoes are now my go to for mash and delicious crispy roasties. I put enough peeled and chopped potatoes into a pan of water for both mash and roast, place on the heat and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes.

I then add a good dessertspoon of goose fat to a deep roasting tin and pop it into the oven. Once the fat is hot, I remove the tray and with a slotted spoon (allowing any excess water to drain off) take enough potatoes for roasties from the water and gently lay them in the tray (just have to watch out for the fat spitting). I then pop the potatoes back in the oven (180C Fan) to cook for about an hour, checking them in-between and keep giving the tray a little shake or turn the potatoes with a spoon so they brown evenly.

I continue to simmer the remaining potatoes in the pan until they’re cooked and then drain, reserving the potato water for the gravy. I mash the potatoes, adding a good knob of butter (using my separate gluten free butter of course) and season to taste with salt and pepper before transferring the mash to an ovenproof dish and covering with foil.

I pop the mash back into the oven for about 10-15 minutes before serving up.

Roasted parsnips

Parsnips are a recent addition to our Christmas dinner plate.

For roasted parsnips, I simply peel and slice the parsnips up so they look like chunky chips. I then pop them into a pan of cold water, which I bring to the boil and continue to cook for about 10 minutes before draining well. I then add a dessertspoon of goose fat to a roasting tin and heat in the oven for a few minutes. Once the fat is hot, I carefully add the drained parsnips and roast in the oven (180C Fan) to cook for about half an hour or until golden brown.

As with the potatoes, I check them in-between cooking time and turn to ensure they brown evenly.

Carrots and Swede

I’ve inherited both my mum’s and grandma’s steamers and love to use them to cook vegetables or to steam puddings. When I cook carrots on their own, I always steam rather than boil them, as they taste incredible and are more vibrant in colour when cooked this way. However, when making mashed carrots and swede, I prefer to boil them, as I feel the texture is better and also I love to use the leftover veg water to make gravy, as it’s lovely and sweet and very tasty.

Sprout and carrots ready to cook


I LOVE sprouts, and in our house it’s compulsory that the sprouts we enjoy on Christmas Day are freshly plucked that morning from a sprout stick.

After removing the sprouts from the stick, I take off the outer leaves and score a little cross on the stalk with a sharp knife before popping them into a steamer basket. I generally steam them for about 15-20 minutes.


For a quick and easy and extremely tasty stuffing, I use Paxo gluten free stuffing and generally add some finely diced onion, turkey stock and then bake for about 20 minutes.

I’m also a huge fan of  M&S ready-made stuffing. All M&S stuffing that is suitable for a gluten free diet clearly states ‘gluten free’ on the front of the pack.

One year I had a bash at making stuffing from scratch, after my lovely friend Lizzi, shared a treasured family recipe with me. Lizzi has given me the OK to pass on her family stuffing recipe to you, should you fancy giving it a go.

Sage and onion stuffing
Approximately 760g chopped onions
50g of butter
5 slices of gluten free white bread
As many sage leaves as you want –  I leave them quite chunky rather than finely chop.
This amount will fill a dish 20cm x 22cm x 5cm

Melt about 50g butter. Add chopped onions and sweat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sometimes I feel there’s not enough and add more butter and onions as I go.
Once the onions are beautifully soft but not caramelised, remove from the heat and add the breadcrumbs. You could add an egg to bind, I guess, but I never do. Season and add as much sage as you like (I added about 5 leaves).
Bake for about 20 minutes in a preheated oven – 200C/400F/Gas 6/180C Fan

Homemade gluten free stuffing

Pigs in blankets

Good old M&S offer up yummy pigs in blankets that are suitable for a gluten free diet and I always pick a pack up for our Christmas dinner. There’s usually a few leftover, which we tend to enjoy with our turkey and stuffing butties in the evening.

Again, as with the stuffing, all M&S pigs in blankets that are suitable for a gluten free diet state so on the the front of the pack.

Gluten free pigs in blankets from M&S


My go to gluten free gravy mix is currently Bisto gluten free gravy granules. I pick it up in the free from aisle in the supermarket. To give the gravy a delicious homemade flavour, I use the fresh turkey stock and enough veg water to make the quantity I’m after. Once the turkey stock and veg water is simmering I gradually whisk in enough granules to make a rather delicious gravy. If I feel the gravy needs a helping hand with flavour, I crumble in enough of a gluten free stock cube until I reach flavour perfection!

Time to eat

I find it works best to plate all the dinner up for us on Christmas Day. If there was a few more of us, I’d pop everything on platters or in dishes and put them on the table for people to help themselves. Things stay hotter that way and there’s something so very comforting about this way of dining.

Christmas pudding

I’m a huge Christmas pudding fan, and to be honest this is the only pudding I’ve ever eaten after my Christmas dinner.

This year we’ll be eating homemade gluten free Christmas pudding. Other years I’ve picked myself up a tiny gluten free Christmas pudding from M&S and grabbed a standard pudding for Neil and my dad. However, M&S also have a larger gluten free pudding available that would be suitable for us all, if I was too short of time to make my own.

Gluten free Christmas pudding

Brandy sauce

We always have plenty of brandy sauce to pour over our Christmas pud! My mum used to always make her own brandy sauce and I like to do the same. You can check out the recipe I use here.

M&S also do an extremley delicious brandy sauce, which is currently suitable for a gluten free diet. It really is excellent, and of course is easier than making your own.

M&S gluten free brandy sauce Ingredients in the brandy sauce from M&S


Years ago, we’d have cheese and biscuits after our Christmas dinner. However, these days I’m too full to indulge after a large meal. But I still like to pick up a nice selection of cheese, to enjoy with gluten free crackers and maybe a tipple of port, as and when I fancy.

Although cheese is naturally gluten free, watch out for the added ingredients or coatings which may make it unsafe for people with coeliac disease to eat.

Port and cheese with mango and ginger

OK so there you go, that’s our Christmas dinner in a nutshell. Neil prides himself that he doesn’t eat a Christmas dinner until the 25th December, and he looks forward to it so much – I always hope when he sits down to tuck in, it lives up to his expectations.

However you plan to spend the 25th December, I hope you have the most wonderful time and get to tuck into MANY delicious gluten free morsels!

For now,
Liz x

*Check to ensure no gluten containing ingredients or ‘may contain’ or ‘not suitable’ warnings on the pack. If in doubt leave it out. 

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