Oh, how time flies—New Year’s Eve is right around the corner! If you are having a party and are gluten-free yourself, or are inviting guests who are gluten-free, don’t just put out the typical potato chips and dip. Sure, those things are (usually) gluten-free, but the end of the year—and the beginning of a new one—is a special occasion. Why not serve some food that’s special, too? Below, check out my favorite recipes for gluten-free party food that you and your guests are sure to love!
Chicken Nugget Bar: Chicken nuggets aren’t just for kids! They’re the perfect finger food for people of all ages. Why not have an adult-style chicken nugget bar? Set out dishes filled with delicious gluten-free dips, like barbecue sauce, honey, honey mustard, peanut sauce, and tangy orange sauce. Serve a tray of Golden Platter’s gluten-free chicken nuggets to go with the dips. In order to avoid cross-contaminating the dips with gluteny chicken nuggets, only serve gluten-free nuggets at your chicken nugget bar.
Better Chips and Dip: Tortilla chips are good, but everyone serves those. Serve something a little different at your party. Beanitos are a bean-based chip that packs more protein and fiber than traditional tortilla-style chips. They’re hearty, crispy, and crunchy, and you can choose from chips that are made with black beans, white beans, and even pinto beans. Serve them alongside a fun, flavorful salsa, like Rojo’s Zesty Garlic Salsa or Southwest Fire Roasted Salsa.
No-Crust Mini Quiches: Crustless quiches are not only great for breakfast, they’re also delicious appetizers. They’re naturally gluten-free, made in a muffin tin, and you can really add whatever gluten-free ingredients you like. The base of the quiche is, of course, egg. But beyond that, you can add diced or shredded gluten-free meats, like ham or bacon; veggies like spinach, diced peppers, and tomatoes; and whatever spices and cheeses you enjoy. Experiment with this basic crustless quiche recipe, adapting it to your tastes.
Mac and Cheese, Please: Speaking of things that can be made in a muffin tin, these mac and cheese bites are made in a mini muffin tin. These are one of my favorite snacks ever, and your guests are sure to love them, too. The mac and cheese bites will get slightly crispy around the edges and satisfyingly cheesy throughout. These are sure to be a crowd-pleaser, so you might want to make a few batches! Try this recipe from Simply Gluten Free.
Crispy Egg Rolls: Gluten-free egg rolls are hard to come by. Luckily, Feel Good Foods offers a variety of egg rolls that are safe for gluten-free folks to enjoy. They make Vegetable, Chicken and Vegetable, and Shrimp and Vegetable egg rolls that are really delicious. Bake them in your oven and serve them with gluten-free sauce for dipping. I’ve found Feel Good Foods egg rolls at my local Whole Foods.
Pretzel Dipping Station: Being from Philadelphia, one of the things I missed most when I had to go gluten-free was soft pretzels. They’re a staple here in the Philly area, and for a while they were just one of those things that nobody seemed to be making gluten-free. Thankfully, Tonya’s Gluten-Free Kitchen makes delicious gluten-free soft pretzels that fill my tummy and warm my heart. Choose from original soft pretzels or original soft pretzel pieces, both of which come frozen. All you need to do is drip some water on them, toss on some kosher salt (included in the box of pretzels), and microwave them until they’re soft and hot. Then, serve them with a variety of gluten-free dips, like cheese sauce, spicy mustard, or even melted chocolate. They’re delicious and addictive! Find them at your local Wegmans.
Buffalo, Without the Chicken: Cup4Cup’s co-founder Chef Lena Kwak was kind enough to share her Gluten-Free Buffalo Cauliflower recipe for this article. This flavorful appetizer will please the gluten-free vegetarians at your party (or anyone else who likes tasty food!). The cauliflower is spicy and crispy on the outside, while tender on the inside. Read on to learn how to make this easy snack!
- ½ cup (70 g) Cup4Cup gluten-free flour
- ¾ cup water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 medium heads of cauliflower cut into thumb-sized pieces
For Buffalo Sauce:
- 1 cup prepared buffalo-style wing sauce, such as Frank’s
- 2 tablespoons butter, cold
For Blue Cheese Sauce:
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (Be sure to read the label carefully! Not all blue cheese is gluten-free. Look for blue cheeses that are free of gluteny ingredients like wheat and rye, among others.)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 475°F.
2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with pan spray.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, water and salt until smooth and free of any lumps. The batter will be thick.
4. Working in batches, dip and toss the cauliflower into the batter to fully coat each piece. Shake off any excess batter and transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Space each piece of cauliflower about 1 inch apart.
5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes and until the cauliflower is crispy and is beginning to brown.
6. While the cauliflower bakes, prepare the buffalo sauce. Pour 1 cup prepared buffalo sauce into a sauté pan and bring to a boil. Whisk in the butter and stir until it is emulsified. Turn down the heat and hold warm.
7. To make the blue cheese sauce, combine all ingredients together in a bowl and whisk to combine. Refrigerate until needed.
8. Once the cauliflower is baked, remove it from the oven. Transfer the cauliflower into a large bowl. Pour the sauce into the bowl and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately with the blue cheese sauce and veggie sticks.
The baked cauliflower can get soggy once tossed with the sauce and left out for a long time. To keep the cauliflower crispy, serve only half of it at a time. Prepare the cauliflower as directed above through step 5. Take half of the baked cauliflower, toss if with half the sauce and then serve. Hold the other baking sheet of cauliflower in a 200°F oven until ready to use. Then, toss with the remaining sauce and serve.
Disclaimer: Some of the products mentioned in this article were provided to me for review purposes. Under no circumstances has this affected the integrity of the article.