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20+ Gluten-Free Side Dishes (Perfect for Every Occasion!)

5 from 1 vote

What’s Inside: This collection of 20 gluten-free, dairy-free side dish recipes can serve as your go-to guide for learning how to make the delicious, healthy sides at home for any occasion, especially dinner parties and holidays. Plus, many of these are Paleo-, Whole30-, and AIP-friendly!


delicious and easy vegan mashed cauliflower that's dairy-free and low-carb

Making Your Favorite Sides Gluten-Free Is Easier Than You May Think!

Side dishes are often some of the favorite foods on someone’s plate, especially around the holidays. (You know the ones I’m talking about – the mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and stuffing.) But these dishes — homemade or store-bought — can often have flour added as a thickener, so it can be tricky when dining out or at a friends for holiday meals, even when a side seems like it shouldn’t have gluten in it.

Moreover, they take up precious real estate in your stomach from how they expand before being digested. You know that overstuffed feeling you get after a big meal, especially on special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas, that essentially immobilizes you and sets you up for a post-feast nap in your comfy clothes? Well, it doesn’t have to be that way!

 

Just getting started on AIP (or need a refresh)? Here's an easy 1-week meal plan using some of my most popular AIP recipes to make it stress-free and delicious.

 

That’s why I developed my own stockpile of delicious and healthy side dish recipes that are perfect additions to your holiday, potluck, cookout, and summer barbecue menus! It’s easy to make all of your favorite side dishes gluten-free (and dairy-free) so anyone can enjoy them whether they have a sensitivity to gluten or not. They all range in being Paleo, low-carb, and AIP-friendly. Yes, you can even enjoy most of these if you’re doing a Whole30, too! (But no one will be the wiser because they’re deceptively delicious)

tip!
People who have sensitivities to gluten are often sensitive to casein, too, which is a protein found in dairy. So take comfort in knowing these gluten-free sides are all dairy-free, as well!

My Favorite Gluten-Free Side Dish Recipes

I’ve rounded up 20+ of my favorite (and flavorful) gluten-free side dish recipes here for you, all in one convenient post. I hope you use this as a guide for what sides to make whether you’re hosting a get-together or bringing a culinary contribution to a meal surrounded by friends and family. Follow each recipe listed below to learn how to make delicious and easy side dish recipes year-round! Most of all, enjoy!

 

Bonus: Download The 20-minute AIP/Paleo Meal Prep System: Flexible Meals Everyone Will Love (Even The Picky Eaters)

 

Spanish Cauliflower Rice

5 from 2 votes
How To Make Spanish Cauliflower Rice recipe
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Sautéed Garlic Kale

This side dish takes just 15-20 minutes to make and is a nutrient-packed and flavorful compliment to any meal. If you struggle with getting more greens on your plate, this is my favorite way to do it!
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Ghee-Roasted Brussel Sprouts (Paleo, Whole30)

paleo roasted brussels sprouts via food by mars
Is there anything better than charred, crispy, green veggies? These roasted Brussels sprouts achieve their toastiness from ghee, making them Paleo- and Whole30-friendly.
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Herbed Mushroom Gravy

5 from 14 votes
homemade herbed mushroom gravy
Say goodbye to powdered gravy from a box. It's time to make it your own from scratch! You'll be so thankful you did.

Salads always make a great side or addition to any table! Look through my favorites right here.

Massaged Kale Salad with Squash and Pomegranates

5 from 1 vote
This hearty salad is so simple yet flavorful and is a really popular potluck or cookout side dish that's plant-based, gluten-free, Paleo, and AIP-friendly. It goes with everything and anyone can enjoy it.
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Creamy Dairy-free Mashed Cauliflower

5 from 3 votes
vegan mashed cauliflower that's dairy-free and low-carb
Mashed potatoes are great, but you know what’s as good or even better? Creamy mashed cauliflower! This easy mashed cauliflower recipe is vegan, low carb, keto-friendly and an AIP-approved mashed potato alternative. Can be made with fresh or frozen cauliflower too
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Best Greek Lemon Potatoes (Whole30, Vegan)

5 from 2 votes
How to make Greek Lemon Roasted Potatoes Easily!
These Greek Lemon Potatoes are made with simple ingredients and are roasted to perfection. Once you see how easy and flavorful they are, you’ll love to make them regularly as a go-to side dish! They're Whole30-friendly and Vegetarian.
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Cranberry Sauce (Refined Sugar-Free)

4.92 from 12 votes
Healthy Homemade Cranberry Sauce via Food by Mars (Refined Sugar-Free)
Skip the canned stuff (and the refined sugar) and grace your Thanksgiving table with heathy homemade cranberry sauce this holiday season!

Roasted Cabbage With Vegan Green Goddess Dressing (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)

Roasted Cabbage with Vegan Green Goddess Dressing
The deep roasted flavor from the cabbage and herbaceous, creamy dressing hits all the notes for me. If you have nuts, preferably hazelnuts – toast those up and throw them on top for added crunch.
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Paleo Chestnut & Bacon Stuffing

5 from 7 votes
paleo chestnut and bacon stuffing via food by mars
Made with paleo bread, chestnuts, veggies, herbs and BACON! This stuffing is easy and will please your crowd.
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Winter Squash Wreaths

4.63 from 8 votes
Overhead shot of rings of squash with kale and pomegranate seeds
Beautiful and delicious appetizer or side for your holiday celebrations!
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Watercress Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

4 from 4 votes
Watercress salad with lemon vinaigrette
Watercress has a delicate but peppery flavor making it the perfect base for this simple salad. Drizzle with my homemade, easy lemon-dijon vinaigrette!
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Everything Tahini Roasted Cauliflower

5 from 1 vote
Everything Tahini Roasted Cauliflower (paleo, Whole30) via Food by Mars
If Everything Bagel is your jam… you’ll swoon for these delicious cauliflower bites! A perfect side, snack, or appetizer.

Roasted Maduros (Sweet Plantains)

5 from 7 votes
oven roasted sweet plantains (maduros) via Food by Mars
These Oven-Roasted Sweet Plantains (aka Maduros) are super simple to make and the perfect balance of savory and sweet. Plus, they're Paleo, vegan, and AIP-friendly!
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Paleo Greek Spinach Pie (Spanakopita)

4.6 from 10 votes
Paleo Greek Spinach Pie via Food by Mars (gluten-free, low-carb, grain-free, dairy-free, AIP)
Gluten-free | Grain-free | Dairy-free | Low-carb | Vegan | AIP
I turned an old favorite into an allergen-friendly, delicious side or snack that you will love and have so much fun making. Using coconut wraps to replace phyllo dough, made this an easy swap to just add filling to! 
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Baked Zucchini Fries

5 from 10 votes
baked zucchini fries (paleo, low-carb, gluten-free) via Foodbymars
One of my favorite ways to eat zucchini, dredged in almond meal and spices – this 30-minute dish will be a crowd pleaser.
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Quick Roasted Spaghetti Squash

4.34 from 9 votes
Quick Roasted Spaghetti Squash (my favorite way to do it) via Food by Mars - Paleo, Whole30, AIP
A favorite way to make this classic spaghetti squash dish without soggy strands.
(Paleo, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Whole30, AIP)
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Paleo Stuffed Artichokes

5 from 2 votes
Paleo Stuffed Artichokes (AIP-friendly, Vegan, Whole30) via Food by Mars
A delicious set it and forget it stuffed artichoke recipe that will have you addicted! Using almond meal or tigernut flour makes this paleo, Whole30, or AIP. You can switch up the seasonings however you like and really make it your own, but this method is a sure fire way to amp up the flavor, texture, and skip the fuss when enjoying whole artichokes.
(Paleo, AIP, gluten-free, vegan, Whole30)
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Paleo Mashed Cauliflower + Parsnip Colcannon with Bacon (AIP, Whole30)

5 from 14 votes
Paleo Mashed Cauliflower + Parsnip Colcannon with Bacon (AIP, Whole30) via Food by Mars
A lower carb option to the traditional Irish mashed potato dish using cauliflower and parsnips for an AIP, Paleo, and Whole30 side dish that's perfect for your St. Patty's table!
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Vegan Pesto Potato Salad (Mayo Free, Gluten Free)

5 from 2 votes
Dairy-free Pesto Potato Salad (gluten-free, mayo-free, vegan) via Food by Mars
This creamy vegan pesto potato salad is a showstopper. It’s gluten-free, mayo-free, and Whole30. Healthy CAN be delicious!
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Creamy, Dairy-Free Coleslaw

sliced balsamic pork tenderloin with coleslaw on a plate
This creamy, crispy coleslaw is served alongside entrees like my juicy grilled pork tenderloin that’s perfectly marinated with balsamic vinegar for an easy low-carb meal.
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Puerto Rican Picadillo with Plantain “Rice” (Paleo, Whole30, AIP-friendly, Low FODMAP-friendly)

4.72 from 7 votes
Puerto Rican Picadillo with Plantain Rice (Paleo, AIP-friendly, Whole30, Low FODMAP-friendly) via Food by Mars
This Puerto Rican Hash is filled with delicious spices, sweet raisins and salty and briny olives making for a mega-flavorful dish! It’s traditionally served over white rice, but I was in the mood for plantains… so this dish has PLANTAIN RICE instead. 
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Easy Homemade Cauliflower Rice

5 from 2 votes
Easy Cauliflower Rice Recipe
Fresh or Frozen Cauliflower Rice tastes amazing with these key ingredients for the best flavor and texture. It's Paleo, low-carb, AIP, and naturally gluten-free.
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Broccoli Rice

5 from 12 votes
homemade broccoli rice
Broccoli Rice is a delicious and fun grain alternative and a change of pace from popular cauliflower rice!
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If you love trying these recipes, be sure to leave a star rating below and tag me @foodbymars in your beautiful food photos on Instagram!

More Healthy Recipe Collections

vegan mashed cauliflower that's dairy-free and low-carb

Creamy Dairy-free Mashed Cauliflower + 20 Gluten-Free Side Dish Recipes

5 from 1 vote
Mashed potatoes are great, but you know what’s as good or even better? Creamy mashed cauliflower! This easy mashed cauliflower recipe is vegan, low carb, keto-friendly and an AIP-approved mashed potato alternative. Can be made with fresh or frozen cauliflower, too. Plus, try some of my other favorite gluten-free side dish recipes!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Yeild: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 2 heads cauliflower, chopped into florets (or approx. 20-24 oz. florets, fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Bunch of fresh chives for topping
  • pinch of sea salt and pepper (omit for AIP) to taste

Instructions:

  • Bring water to boil and place florets in a steam rack on top, covering until tender and you can easily pierce with a fork (but they’re not falling apart), approx. 7-8 minutes or so. Alternatively, you may steam in the microwave for 3-4 minutes (do in 2-3 batches in a bow.) If using cauliflower rice, a steam basket won't work. You can try sauteéing in 1 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil in a non-stick or cast iron skillet just until soft and you'll need the amount of ounces as noted above.
  • Once ready, remove the florets and add to a food processor with extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper to taste. (you may need to do this in batches if you have a small food processor). You may alternativeely mash using a hand masher, an emulsion blender in a largee mixing bowl or pot if you don't have a food processor.
  • Transfer the mashed cauliflower to a serving dish and top with more oil or butter/ghee and fresh chives and sea salt if needed. Hot tip: check out my herbed mushroom gravy as a perfect topping.
Diet: American
Course: Side Dish
 

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