Family Favorite Gluten Free & Dairy Free Recipes
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Recipes that are gluten free, dairy free, delicious, and kid approved are challenging to identify. That is especially true if you add criteria like “grain free” or “cram as many nutrients as you can into a picky eater’s diet.” There are countless recipes out there to try, but you could try tens, even hundreds before finding one your family really loves.
I’ve been through years of testing recipes that are both gluten and dairy free, and had 4 picky family members to try them out on. So, I’ve compiled a list of some of our top go to recipes for you to benefit from. Every recipe on this list might not be your new family favorite, but you are bound to find at least a few of them useful, and at the very least, a nice change of pace. They are certainly all a good starting point if you are new to trying to eat this way and you need to find something fast that your young kids will actually eat.
Breakfast or Snacks (Gluten Free & Dairy Free)
This is the best paleo banana bread recipe we have ever had. I have not only made it countless times for my family, but also taken it to potlucks and brunches and received tons of compliments on it. It’s the real deal. It’s not dry at all (for lack of a better word that people don’t cringe at.) 😉 We love it in bread form, but it bakes up super quick in muffin form and is easy to freeze, hand to kids, and/or take on the go that way.
-Healthy Breakfast Muffins
One of the easiest ways to get veggies in my kids in the morning (and me, honestly) that does not involve fussing, is in a muffin, bread, or cookie. That’s just the truth. Plus, I can put any of those things in the freezer and quickly pull them out as needed. This muffin is not only eaten by my kids, but it includes a vegetable that they don’t eat otherwise (butternut squash). I love that I can add variety to their diet and a flavor to their palate, without hearing endless complaints about it. Adding chocolate chips (dairy free for us, of course) sure doesn’t hurt either.
We. love. pumpkin bread. My husband grew up eating absolutely delicious pumpkin bread from an old family recipe that calls for nearly equal parts sugar and flour. It’s the best. It is also full of wheat flour and butter so we haven’t made it in years. I’ve been on the hunt ever since to find an acceptable replacement. This recipe is it. And it is more than acceptable. It is honestly a recent find for us, but we all love it so much. It has the rich spices we crave, just the right amount of pumpkin and sweetness, and the perfect crumb for a quick bread. I made it into a loaf and muffins. I haven’t even tried the glaze yet honestly; the bread was just what we needed on its own. I’ll save the glaze for when I’m feeling fancy or want to take it somewhere to share. We now have muffins in the freezer for breakfast and I can’t wait until it is time to have them for breakfast again. So good.
We love granola. We love it plain, with yogurt, with milk, or any other way we feel like having it. There is almost always some in our pantry and we prefer for it to be a nutrient dense, low sugar, homemade version. This is our go-to recipe to achieve that.
This is a weekend staple for us. Everyone loves it. It is filling and feeds us for at least 2 days. We like it with milk, almond butter, and honey on top to round it out and ensure we get full. For a special occasion or change of pace, I’ve even added extra cinnamon, a bit more sweetener (like more molasses or maple syrup), and drizzled homemade icing on top instead of honey. It’s like cinnamon rolls. We eat any extra for snacks, dessert, or throw servings in the freezer for a later day.
The absolute best “on the go” breakfast recipe. Even my toddler can eat it without much mess (nothing a towel on her lap can’t handle). They are actually filling and great for double batching and throwing in the freezer. I try to pack as many nutrients as I can into breakfasts my kids won’t complain about and this is a simple way to do it. This recipe is also very flexible and forgiving so I can try adding more nutrients or changing up flavors without ruining them.
-Sausage Balls (gf/df)
As she states at the bottom of the recipe, you can omit the cheese. We have omitted the cheese and they are still delicious. I have also added half the amount of vegan cheese alternative and I would eat it again, but I prefer them without it. I have also added grated carrot and every member of our family (5 year old, 2 yo, and baby in the womb included) still loved them (plus, we had more sausage balls and more nutrients that way – so many wins!). We prefer to use “Hot” sausage (like Jimmy Dean’s Hot Sausage), but we don’t always. Adding a dash of red pepper flakes, fennel, or even just more pepper can also add some flavor so they don’t turn out too bland without having to use the “hot” sausage.
I stumbled upon this recipe while trying to find a better way to empower my young toddler to eat more protein and healthy fats. She loved dates and bars, but the nuts in those were usually too big for her. Making my own allowed me to chop the nuts very tiny or even use nut butter. Now, we like to have these on hand at all times (more as a snack than a breakfast). This recipe is another extremely flexible one so have fun with the flavors and add-ins to create something that really suits your needs!
Lunch or Dinner (Gluten Free & Dairy Free)
-Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
This one requires a few easy modifications, but it is so good that it was still worth listing. These meatballs are bursting with flavor (even with the modifications). You have to try them! We use a whole egg instead of just egg white (because I’m lazy in that way), gf bread crumbs/almond flour/gluten free flour, and omit the cheese (this makes them easier anyway). We also use ghee (milk fat doesn’t bother us, but milk protein does) for the sauce or just use plain hot sauce and usually dip them in ranch too. The kids eat them plain or even dip them in ketchup or barbeque sauce.
Pulled pork is so versatile. This recipe is basic, delicious, and easy. I use the slow cook function on our Instant Pot to make it or sometimes just use the pressure cook function if we need it done faster. We typically have it on roasted sweet potatoes (whole or chopped). Sometimes we have some green beans or other vegetables on the side. Different family members like to eat it in different ways honestly. I usually serve it with barbeque sauce and pickles on the side. My intention is to have “loaded” sweet potatoes. However, my husband and kids like to keep everything separate. My husband prefers mashed sweet potato while my son prefers cubed, roasted sweet potatoes. I like to use cubed, roasted sweet potatoes and pile all of the ingredients atop one another like loaded potatoes while my daughter would like all sweet potatoes and nothing else. However you prefer it, I think your taste buds will thank you for this one.
-Change Your Life Chicken
Everyone should try Change Your Life Chicken at least once and everyone should have the recipe in their arsenal of go-to allergy friendly meals. In reality, it is just chicken and vegetables, but it is cooked in a way that brings those ingredients’ natural flavors to life and makes them melt in your mouth. It is actually, honestly not one of my personal absolute favorites, but it holds a place here because it is so popular, so versatile, so easy, and (as I mentioned) very allergy friendly. Every bite is full of rich, juicy flavor and all you really need are the main two ingredients (chicken and veggies) and some salt. You have to try it to see. The magic is in the process. Also, if you don’t already follow The Lazy Genius, you should go take care of that right now.
This recipe is super quick to make and inexpensive. We use coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce. Honey also works as a sub in place of the brown sugar. Often, I double the “sauce” ingredients and add in cooked broccoli (chopped “tiny bite size” to get my 2 year old to eat it without fuss) or peas and carrots.
-Eggroll in a Bowl
This recipe has gotten a lot of hype with the keto crowd and it is with good reason. It is quick, so versatile, nutrient dense, and even my kids will eat it! Win, win, win, win! We use the coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce (as mentioned in the recipe), and I often add more eggs to it to add more protein and stretch the meal further with inexpensive protein. Using pork in this recipe is ideal, but for the sake of convenience and budget, I’ve used beef/turkey/chicken instead of pork several times and we love it (and can hardly tell the difference) with any of them. Serving this with or on top of rice is also a wonderful way to make it more kid friendly and filling (cauliflower rice also works and keeps it grain free).
This list is by no means exhaustive (we obviously eat more than just 5 dinners on a regular basis). However, it only includes very well loved recipes which I think is more helpful and valuable to you than an exhaustive list. I hope you find at least one your family really enjoys to help you out on your gf/df journey. If you have any questions, please comment below or contact us and I’ll do my best to help!