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For restaurateurs who have decided to offer any sort of gluten-free menu items, the path can be a rough one that will end up creating a win-win situation for your establishment.  It seems that everywhere you turn there is once again something that a person who has Ceilac Disease is not allowed to eat.

The list is depressingly long. Pasta, cupcakes, cookies, favorite breads (which includes sandwiches), many breakfast cereals, the list could go on and on. But instead of focusing on all the things one can’t eat, it’s often helpful to think about all the things that are gluten free and still delicious.

Restaurant owners take note: more and more people are discovering the health benefits of the gluten-free lifestyle, and will likely flock to your establishment once they discover a menu full of gluten-free options. It takes just a few items added to your inventory to make these dishes and the result is a great GF offering. 

Here are 10 popular gluten-free menu ideas to try.


Rice Crackers with Cheese – There are lots of great gluten-free cracker options available on the market today, many of them made with rice. They are still very tasty even with the absence of wheat or other gluten products, and therefore can be a great thing to have on hand as an appetizer staple.

Guacamole with Corn Chips – Make sure to check the corn chips to ensure there is nothing in them that contains gluten, but in general tortilla chips are free of gluten.

Fresh Veggies and Dip- Another great standby to have on hand and a healthy option as well. 


Pureed Winter Squash Soup – Soups in general are a good option, though some recipes might call for flour as a thickening agent. Squash soup is a good bet because once the squash is cooked you can simply puree the soup for a thick, hearty mid-winter dish.

Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles – There are some great rice noodles to be had in most grocery stores today. Alternatively, you could try dumplings made with a gluten-free flour mix. Always double check that there is no gluten in the stock as well.

Main Dishes

Pork Tacos – Substitute your favorite kind of meat or grilled veggies here, and just make sure to use corn tortillas. (Check to make sure they only contain corn and no wheat or other gluten-filled flour.)

Rice Pasta with Red Sauce – Rice pasta is a surprisingly good substitute for regular wheat or semolina pasta. Red sauce is a good bet because unlike a white sauce, it generally doesn’t contain any flour.

Beans and Rice – Noticing a rice theme? Rice is a great way to provide some carbs to reduce some of those bread cravings people with GF might have, deliver a great sauce, and it’s totally gluten free! Beans are another delicious way to achieve the same thing.


Flourless Chocolate Cake – Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. These cakes or tortes are some of the best treats around. While it’s also possible to make a gluten-free cake by substituting gluten-free flours, this cake requires no substitutions.

Crème Brulee or Flan – These delicious desserts are typically made with copious amounts of eggs and milk products, but no flour, making them a great treat for those going gluten free.

Always a great idea to have a professional double check any Gluten-Free menu items you are offering. 

As a result of all the blogs, websites, and smart phone restaurants reporting apps ~ having a great GF offering really can add a great deal to your business.  That party of 8 with the one GF restricted person will come to your restaurant over others to accommodate that one diner.  The best news, provide great service and they will tell two friends and they will tell to friend, and so on.    


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User Comments – Give us your opinion!
  • Sharna Kahn
    As a Celiac, living gluten free for over 25 years, a writer on gluten free food trends and gluten research, and a chairperson for a gluten free living support group, I appreciate your article content.

    That said, I strongly believe that your food suggestions to restaurants about naturally gluten free entrees is but one piece of a bigger effort. Kitchen operations is rife with opportunities for naturally gluten free entrees to be cross contaminated with gluten from other foods. While it is encouraging that more gluten free foods are coming available for food service, many food service organizations are not well enough informed or trained on how to safely serve the gluten intolerant patron from the receiving dock to the table.

    I am researching a series of articles, and working with a national non-profit on a survey, that will provide data on the interest and knowledge of the food service industry in serving this market segment and what, if anything, is planned for the future.

  • mike henry
    My sort of, kind of, customized "wheat free and sugar free" diet has little to do with gluten, but "gluten free" always catches my attention in the carb aisle. This is the first diet that actually works for me like the better ones are supposed to, slowly and surely (when I don't cheat).

    I really like millet and flax bread and rice, rice crackers and rice noodles (sub for pasta dishes). When on the road, just the simple step of skipping the sandwich, pizza, pasta, cookie or cracker option for a meal or snack makes the next choice very likely wheat free.

    Of course, sugar free is easier. Once I defined wheat flour as just as bad as its evil twin, sugar, it just all started to fall together. AND, it works!! Try it.
  • Bruce Culver
    The recent Dominos "gluten free" pizza fiasco is a great example of a company offering gluten free, but failing miserably with not managing the cross contamination. If you want repeat celiac patron business, show them you take care with the food prep and they will trust you.

    Also a huge key to repeat customer success is providing gluten free desserts. Celiacs have almost no options in the market today. As the article states, flourless chocolate cake is always an instant hit. Just do it!
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Betsy Craig
Betsy Craig brings 20 years of food service industry experience to MenuTrinfo, LLC a menu nutritional labeling Company. Her commitment to the betterment of the food industry and her desire to affect the dining public are the driving forces behind her new company Kitchens with Confidence, LLC.
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