Eating gluten-free around the holidays can be tough, but these 5 gluten-free Christmas recipes are my family’s very favorite. Traditional, tasty, and made just around the holidays!
Although you wouldn’t know it by the plants still sprouting in my front garden (55 degrees in December!) Christmas is exactly one week away. Insanity! I think I mentioned this last week, but it feels like the holidays have flown by this year especially.
FACT: holidays go by at the same rate every year. #namethatshow
We’ve missed a few of the usual markers indicating Christmas is coming – making snowmen and sledding because of the warm weather, Christmas shopping at the Mall of America with my Mom since G is so young, and the downtown Christmas Market due to rain – but I’m determined to get into the Christmas spirit, dang it! I’m excited to host Ben’s family who starts trickling into town this week, see my brother and SIL who will be heading in from Denver, and hug a few friends who will be in town for the holidays too. Oh, and feast on 5 of my favorite Christmas recipes!
To know me is to understand that I adore a good tradition, especially when it involves food. That said, the five recipes I’m sharing today are all family-favorites – ones we come back to again and again, year after year, decade after decade (Cajun Shrimp and Baked Ham, I’m looking at you) at Christmas time. From my family to yours, I hope you find one or two to love!
What are your family’s favorite Christmas traditions and dishes?
Fruit Christmas Tree
My Mom has made it her tradition to make a Fruit Christmas Tree with the grandkids on Christmas Day. I’m not sure who has more fun – the kids or Nana. :) Fellow Moms – assembling a Fruit Christmas Tree is an excellent way to burn a winter break afternoon, or it makes a beautiful, edible centerpiece for a holiday appetizer or dessert table.
Christmas Eve Cajun Shrimp
Growing up we traveled to Ohio, where our extended family lives, for Christmas every other year and I have the best memories of hammering away in my Grandpa’s workshop, playing endless games of ping pong with my cousins, and snagging sweet oranges to snack on from my Grandma’s cold, covered back porch. One memory I don’t look back on so fondly was having to eat unidentified white fish on Christmas Eve per my Slovakian Grandfather’s request. Let’s just say, as bad as we missed our family on the years we stayed home, we were not as sad to feast on Cajun Shrimp instead of cod (maybe?) on Christmas Eve. My Mom always makes a mild pan for me and her, and a spicier pan for my Dad and brothers. Whatever spice level you choose – this is an irresistibly delicious and special occasion-worthy dish.
Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls
Like many families, mine has always kicked off both Thanksgiving and Christmas with a pan of warm, gooey, Pillsbury cinnamon rolls (dibs on middle!) Since having to go gluten-free in early 2014 I’ve just gone without…until now. This fall I developed a decadent, dairy-free, gluten-free cinnamon roll recipe that saved the holidays as I knew it! This Christmas, since I’m eating egg-free for Gwen, I’m going to try and replace the egg in the recipe with Bob’s Red Mill GF Egg Replacer product. I’ll make a note in the recipe if it goes well.
Gluten-Free Breakfast Casseroles
Whether we’re with Ben’s family or mine on Christmas morning, there is always breakfast casserole involved. In fact, Ben’s Dad has made Crock Pot Breakfast Casseroles one of his specialties over the years (along with really good grilled steak and martinis!) They’re easy, crowd-pleasing, and make-ahead too – what more could you want? Here are a few of our favorites:
Brown Bag Baked Ham
The main event and perhaps my favorite thing on the Christmas dinner table – Brown Bag Baked Ham. I almost didn’t post this recipe here on IGE because it involves placing a paper bag in the oven (gasp!) but I had to. I just had to! My Mom has used this method for baking holiday hams my entire life – and her Mom before her – with zero mishaps. What WILL happen though, is that you’ll have the juiciest, tastiest ham of your life by simply placing a ham in a brown paper bag and baking it. No basting required.