12 Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Desserts Dietitians Love

gluten-free family thanksgiving

Which gluten-free desserts will you debut for your kiddos this holiday season? It can be a challenge to please those little taste buds, especially if you’re navigating the gluten-free world. But fear not; we’re here to help you make this Thanksgiving the sweetest one yet with this round-up of 12 gluten-free Thanksgiving desserts created by dietitians. 

Why make a list of dietitian-made recipes? Well, many dietitians consider ingredients in their recipes with nutrients in mind, like fiber and iron. Plus, they know how to develop recipes without gluten or common allergens such as wheat and dairy without compromising flavor. Spoiler alert: much of this mouthwatering list features yummy ingredients like squashes, pears,  apples, and peanut butter!

1. Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Muffins with Maple Glaze

gluten free butternut squash muffins
Sourced from jugglingwithjulia.com

Butternut squash is in season, so why not offer it in a new form for your gluten-free kiddo at Thanksgiving dinner or, better yet, the next day’s turkey brunch? Cut down your prep time by using pre-cut butternut squash.

Did we mention these miniature muffins are delicious, seasonal, and perfect for small hands? “They’re soft and light and topped with a delicious maple glaze,” says recipe creator Julia Whitney Robarts RDN, LDN.

Find the recipe here.

2. Gluten-Free Snickers Dates*

gluten free snickers dates
Sourced from cheerfulchoices.com

Here’s a yummy gluten-free dessert: a no-bake date-based treat that brings a natural sweetness, caramel flavor, and chewy texture your child can enjoy by the munch.  And believe it or not,  the plant-based goodies really do taste like Snickers. With chocolate and peanut butter on the ingredient list, why not bring this recipe to your Thanksgiving dessert spread?  Mackenzie Burgess, RDN, LDN, is the chef behind the recipe and says, “These five-ingredient Snickers dates are ideal for any holiday. Plus, they’re perfect for making ahead of time in a matter of minutes.”

Find the recipe here.

* Consider making this recipe for children over age four, as its ingredients can increase a young child’s risk of choking.

3. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies (can be dairy-free too!)

gluten free pumpkin cookies
Soured from nourishedbynic.com

Cookies made with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice? Sign us up! “These pumpkin thumbprint cookies are my absolute favorite fall cookie!” says Nicole Addison, RD, MHSc. Pumpkin cookies make the ultimate season hand-held confection for any gluten-free Thanksgiving. “They’re pillowy soft, packed with comforting flavors, and always a hit,” says Addison. If your child is dairy-free, you can use a dairy-free cream cheese. According to the reviews, these gluten-free Thanksgiving cookies are delicious, even without the icing.

Find the recipe here.

4. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

gluten free pumpkin chocolate chip cookiwa
Source by foodbornewellness.com

If you’ve got a chocolate lover on your hands, dazzle them with this gluten-free pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe. “These cookies can hold their own with the best chocolate chip cookies out there. They are super soft, sweet, and oh-so-tasty with the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor and spice to give you all the fall feels,” says Amanda McGillicuddy RDN, LDN, the recipe creator. 

Find the recipe here.

5. Gluten-Free Pear Crisp

gluten-free pear crisp
Sourced from onepotwellness.com

“With minimal prep and simple ingredients, this pear crisp is a breeze to make for Thanksgiving dinner. This pear crisp is great on its own, but it’s also fantastic with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, or a drizzle of caramel sauce,” says Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD, CPT. Her recipe includes a unique balance of flavors, from sweet anjou pears to tangy and sweet balsamic vinegar. Just don’t forget to use gluten-free oats if your child has celiac disease.

Find the recipe here.

6. Gluten-Free Oatmeal Date Cookies (vegan)

Sourced from melissastraub.com

If your family is gluten-free and vegan, this one’s for you. The recipe includes almond flour, dates, plant-based milk, and natural peanut butter.  You can prep and bake these hand-held treats in less than 30 minutes, which makes things much easier for you to focus on other Thanksgiving dishes. Involve your child in the baking process for bonding and skill-building! Melissa Straubman RDN, LDN shares, “This recipe has no butter or margarine and way less added sugar than most oatmeal cookies. But they are still chewy and delicious!”

Find the recipe here.

7. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Dessert Hummus

gluten free pumpkin pie hummus
Sourced from kcampbellnutrition.com

Hummus may sound like a strange addition to your Thanksgiving table, but hear us out. Pumpkin pie dessert hummus is rich in fiber and nutrients like potassium and vitamin A, which kiddos need! Aside from nutrition, this dessert can bring some fun, dippable activities that will keep tiny hands busy and engaged at the kid’s table. “Get creative by adding spices like pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon during processing,” says Kiran Campbell RDN, LDN. Create a kid-friendly gluten-free charcuterie board with these treats for memorable Thanksgiving fun.

Campbell recommends pairing this flavorful hummus with GF graham crackers, GF pretzels, GF ginger snaps, or apple slices.

Find the recipe here.

8. Gluten-Free 2-ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies (dairy-free and egg-free)

gluten free peanut butter cookies
Sourced from enwnutrition.com

Imagine whipping up an entire dessert for the holidays with just two ingredients that only take 5 minutes to put together before baking. The recipe is straightforward for even toddlers to help you make, though we can’t promise it won’t be without a mess.  Ashley Petrie, RDN, LDN is behind the quick, easy, and convenient recipe that’s gluten- and dairy-free. 

Find the recipe here.

9. Almond Flour Apple Crumble

gluten free apple crisp
Sourced from bucketlisttummy.com

Apple season is in full swing, so we’re bringing you another apple recipe because you can’t have too many, right?  This recipe uniquely incorporates a protein-packed trio with quinoa, oats, and almond flour. “The almond flour adds some protein and fat and helps fluff up this dish. You wouldn’t even know there’s quinoa in it,” says recipe creator Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN. Finally, you can put your pantry bag of quinoa to use in a dessert recipe. Grab all your ingredients, and don’t forget you’ll need gluten-free oats. Unlike other apple crumble recipes, this one uses mini chocolate chips; need we say more?

Find the recipe here.

10. Gluten-Free Apple Butter

gluten free apple butter

Another delicious recipe from Kiran Campbell RDN, LDN! This smooth, spiced spread is a versatile treat that can be enjoyed in many ways. Whether you use it as a topping or a dip, apple butter can be a kid-friendly gluten-free hit. Drizzle it over vanilla ice cream or use it as a dip for GF oatmeal cookies. Its warm, comforting taste and apple-pie-like flavor are fit for Thanksgiving that’s also rich in fiber, especially since the apples are cooked with the peel still on.“This recipe is great because it’s an easy fall-inspired recipe to make, and kids love the natural sweetness and all the creative foods to dip into it. 

Find the recipe here.

11. Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Apple Crisp

gluten free peanut butter apple crisp
Sourced from foodbornewellness.com

If you have a little one who loves peanut butter and apples, try marrying their preferences in this unique recipe. It’s sweetened with coconut sugar and the natural sweetness of baked apples. “This gluten-free peanut butter apple crisp is the perfect sweet and salty treat. The Honeycrisp apples are packed with a sweet-tart flavor, balancing the toasty peanut butter crumble to create a decadent dessert that can’t be beaten,” says Amanda McGillicuddy RDN, LDN, the recipe creator. 

Find the recipe here.

12. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars (dairy-free and egg-free)

gluten-free pumpkin bars
Sourced from eatingwithfoodallergies.com

Impress your kiddos and Thanksgiving dinner guests with these ultra-moist, pumpkin-infused delights. “These gluten-free pumpkin bars are the ultimate fall dessert! They’re free from common allergens like dairy, eggs, and wheat, but they’re so delicious nobody will know the difference,” says Kristi Winkels RDN, LDN.

Find the recipe here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sweet treats can kids with celiac disease eat?

Kids with celiac disease can eat and enjoy many sweet treats, including fruit, yogurt, fruit popsicles, GF muffins, GF cookies, and GF sweet bread.

What baked products are gluten-free?

Many baked products can be made gluten-free using gluten-free ingredients such as gluten-free flour, including cookies, cakes, muffins, pies, and cheesecake.

What do gluten-free people eat on Thanksgiving?

People who are gluten-free eat many Thanksgiving foods commonly enjoyed during Thanksgiving, like turkey, stuffing, bread rolls, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, and mashed potatoes. It’s just critical that the dishes are made with gluten-free ingredients only.

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