20 Gluten-Free Ingredient Swaps for Classic Recipes

“How can I cook delicious meals without using gluten?”

Whether you’re new to the gluten-free diet or versed in its ways, you’re likely to ask yourself (and the internet) this question from time to time. Fortunately, gluten-free ingredients can be found at most major grocery stores these days.

“So, what’s the secret to crafting a delicious gluten-free dish?” you ask.

All you need is a recipe book and a list of gluten-free ingredients you can substitute for traditional ingredients. Here are 20 examples to help you get started!

1. Swap Coconut Aminos For Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a sneaky source of gluten as it’s typically made with fermented wheat. Coconut aminos are an excellent replacement for soy sauce since you can directly replace soy sauce using a 1:1 ratio in recipes, or as a condiment on the table. This will give you the same salty flavoring but with half the sodium and none of the gluten.

2. Swap Coconut Flour for Regular All-purpose

Coconut flour, which is newer to the market, is a unique alternative to all-purpose flour. Made from dried and ground coconut flesh, this white flour looks and feels very similar to your more traditional flours. However, coconut flour absorbs liquids quickly, so be cautious when making this swap. Start with ¼ cup coconut flour for every 1 cup of all-purpose flour.

3. Swap Endive for Hamburger Buns

When you want to pick up a burger without using a gluten-filled bun, wrapping it in lettuce is a great option! However, not all lettuce can stand up to the density and weight of burger patties. Raw endive is a super sturdy green that can hold your burger while simultaneously providing your body with an excellent source of vitamin K!

4. Swap Bell Pepper Slices for Tortilla Chips

While many tortilla chips are made from corn and naturally gluten-free, they may still be produced in a facility that has gluten present. Swapping the chips out for large bell pepper slices provides a lower carb option with a high kick of vitamin C.

5. Swap Kale Chips for Flavored Potato Chips

Flavored potato chips often contain seasoning or fillers that are gluten-based. Increase your veggie intake by swapping flavored potato chips out with kale chips. Kale chips are easy to make at home, will satisfy your cravings for salty, crunchy foods and provide you with over 45 types of antioxidants!

6. Swap Veggie Noodles for Regular Pasta

With all the veggie noodles flooding the grocery stores, they’ve become an easy gluten-free ingredient swap! Zoodles are noodle-like strands made from raw, spiralized zucchini. Zoodles are a low-calorie, low-carb option that often provides a much higher dose of fiber than gluten-containing noodles.

7. Swap Spaghetti Squash for Regular Pasta

Spaghetti squash is another excellent gluten-free swap for regular pasta. Spaghetti squash, unlike pasta, is loaded with antioxidants. Beta-carotene is a potent plant pigment found in squash that may help protect your cells and DNA from damage.

8. Swap Gluten-free Beer for Regular Beer

Going gluten-free, but worried you’ll miss beer? Luckily, gluten-free beverages have come a long way! You can now find beer made from gluten-free ingredients, such as sorghum, millet or even rice.

9. Swap Corn Tortillas for Flour Tortillas

While you can find gluten-free flour tortillas, they often contain large amounts of fillers and preservatives. Instead, get corn tortillas, sans the fillers. Every 2-ounces of corn tortilla provides approximately 6.3 grams of fiber, making it a gut-healthy choice.

10. Swap Crushed Walnuts for Standard Granola

Granola is a great portable snack unless your belly doesn’t play well with gluten. To get the same crunchy texture, keep a serving of crushed walnuts with you that can be eaten alone, stirred into yogurt or mixed into gluten-free cereals. Swapping walnuts also has the added bonus of providing you with an excellent source of copper, folic acid and omega-3 fats.

11. Swap Parmesan Crisp Crackers for Croutons

Love crunchy croutons in your salad? Don’t miss out on the crouton crunch! Replace traditional croutons with parmesan crisps. Not only does this help you eliminate the gluten, but it will pump up the protein in your meal.

12. Swap Quinoa for Couscous

If you want to keep the same texture as couscous, try swapping it for a healthy portion of quinoa. This pseudo-grain contains all nine essential amino acids and 6 grams of protein per cup.

13. Swap Chia Pudding for Standard Oatmeal

Although oats are naturally gluten-free, there can be a lot of cross-contamination during processing if the factory isn’t a gluten-free facility. A tasty and nutritious swap for your morning oatmeal is chia pudding. Just two tablespoons of chia seeds pack as much omega-3 fatty acid as 4 ounces of salmon!

14. Swap Cauliflower Crust for Standard Pizza Crust

Gluten-free pizza is now possible thanks to cauliflower crusts! The cauliflower creates a crispy crust for all your favorite pizza toppings. If you’re not up for making your own crust, grocery stores and pizza joints are now offering more gluten-free crust options.

15. Swap Olive Oil for Store-bought Salad Dressing

Store-bought salad dressings are filled with gluten-containing thickeners and flavorings. Skip these and easily make your own with olive oil and balsamic vinegar or a squirt of lemon.

16. Swap Ground Flax Seeds for Bread Crumbs

Replacing bread crumbs in a recipe isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Ground flaxseeds provide a very similar texture and density when sprinkled on a dish. What’s more, just one tablespoon of ground flax will provide you with 1.3 grams of protein and 1.9 grams of fiber, as well as plenty of vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fats.

17. Swap Black Beans for Cake Flour

Finding good dessert swaps can take a little trial and error, but pureed black beans fill the need perfectly for dark-colored desserts like brownies. Simply swap 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of high-fiber pureed black beans, bake and enjoy!

18. Swap Popcorn for Crackers

Most conventional crackers contain wheat or gluten-containing fillers and flavorings. One serving of popcorn can provide up to 70% of an individual’s recommended daily intake of whole grain in a naturally gluten-free way!

19. Swap Sweet Potatoes for Toast

While gluten-free toast is always an option, a fun way to boost your vitamin A is by using sweet potato toast in its place! Cut your sweet potato into a ¼” slice and pop it into the toaster. Once toasted, you can add your favorite toast additions, such as butter or even a fried egg.

20. Swap Frozen Pureed Banana for Store-bought Ice Cream

While ice cream can be as simple as milk and sugar, most store-bought ice creams contain chunks of cookie dough or other flavorful additions that contain gluten. Instead, enjoy a burst of potassium by whipping up your own homemade banana ice cream! Simply puree a frozen banana with a couple of spoonfuls of almond milk until you reach ice cream consistency.

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written by

James Gardikas

James Gardikas

Contributing Writer