Gluten-Free Grains and Side Dishes

Gluten-free whole grains and vegetables are a healthy part of any meal. Pair these naturally gluten-free side dishes with your favorite main dish for an unforgettable meal.

  • Wilted Kale with Bacon and Vinegar
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Wilted Kale with Bacon and Vinegar

    Kale is a sturdy green that holds up to the bold, salty bite of bacon. Red onion, sherry vinegar, and maple syrup are other key ingredients in this satisfying side.
  • Curried Quinoa Salad with Cucumber-Mint Raita
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    Curried Quinoa Salad with Cucumber-Mint Raita

    This Indian-inspired dish features quinoa, a high-protein grain that cooks relatively quickly. Cucumber-Mint Raita tames the heat of Madras curry powder, while mango and currants provide sweetness in this sensational salad.
  • Creamy Corn Risotto
    Photo: Johnny Miller; Styling: Sarah Smart

    Creamy Corn Risotto

    Fresh kernels steep in milk before they're added to the rice, so the risotto absorbs every last bit of corn flavor. This gorgeous side is the perfect summer dish.
  • Grilled Eggplant with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
    Photo: Johnny Miller; Styling: Sarah Smart

    Grilled Eggplant with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

    Serve Grilled Eggplant with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce as a sort of warm side salad. The tangy-sweet pepper sauce makes a perfect flavor pairing for the tender, creamy flesh of the grilled eggplant.
  • Basic Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Basic Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

    Basic, yes. Boring, no. Start with this recipe, and then try some variations. The key to perfect, fluffy spuds is not overworking them with an electric mixer; a ricer (or food mill, if you have one) or potato masher is the best tool for the job.
  • Sauteed Snap Peas with Ricotta Salata and Mint
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl

    Sautéed Snap Peas with Ricotta Salata and Mint

    Floral lemon zest (but no tart juice) allows the sweet pea flavor to shine. Chop mint, grate lemon rind, and crumble cheese while the peas cook. Serve with sandwiches, grilled chicken, or pork chops.
  • Bean Salad Quinoa
    Photo: Jason Wallis; Styling: Cindy Barr  

    Bean Salad Quinoa

    Cannellini beans, plum tomatoes, and red onion add a variety of colors and textures to this superfast side.
  • <p>Creamy Gorgonzola Teff with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes</p>
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Food Styling: Blakeslee Wright Giles; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen

    Creamy Gorgonzola Teff with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes

    Teff is a tiny grain that cooks in 20 minutes. It's porridgy, like polenta, with a deep, toasty flavor. It works well with sweet flavors, but creamy Gorgonzola and herb-roasted tomatoes are the savory stars in this recipe.
  • Beet-Citrus Salad with Pistachios
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl

    Beet-Citrus Salad with Pistachios

    This is a fresh, bright, zero-effort side, thanks to precooked beets and precut fresh citrus. It makes a lovely accompaniment to grilled salmon, pork, or chicken.
  • Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Anchovy
    Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl, Cindy Barr

    Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Anchovy

    Minced anchovy fillets deliver bold flavor to this simple side. Broccoli retains all of its flavor and even gains deliciously crisp bits when roasted.
  • Cabbage with White Beans, Turnip, and Pecorino
    Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl, Cindy Barr

    Cabbage with White Beans, Turnip, and Pecorino

    This monochromatic dish is anything but boring. Creamy, earthy, crunchy, and bright, the variety of flavors and textures make this a great dish to serve alongside roast chicken or pork.
  • <p>Sorghum with Summer Corn, Tomatoes, and Tarragon</p>
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Food Styling: Blakeslee Wright Giles; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen

    Sorghum with Summer Corn, Tomatoes, and Tarragon

    Sorghum is a mild pearl-shaped grain, like a chewier version of Israeli couscous when cooked. Sweet summer veggies like corn, tomatoes, and asparagus pair well with the grain's slight sweetness in this recipe.
  • Nutty Almond-Sesame Red Quinoa
    Photo: Jason Wallis; Styling: Cindy Barr  

    Nutty Almond-Sesame Red Quinoa

    We love the color and texture of red quinoa, but regular quinoa also works well in this recipe. Sliced almonds bring out the pleasant nuttiness of this protein-packed grain.
  • Wilted Kale with Coconut, Ginger, and Lime
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Wilted Kale with Coconut, Ginger, and Lime

    Coconut milk, ginger, and lime juice bring Asian-inspired flavor to this nutritious side dish.
  • Slow-Roasted Grape Tomatoes
    Photo: Raymond Hom; Styling: Pamela Duncan Silver

    Slow-Roasted Grape Tomatoes

    Slow-roasting little grape tomatoes intensifies their sweetness, allowing you to enjoy summer flavors year-round. Serve as they are for a side dish, on crostini with ricotta for an appetizer, or tossed with pasta and olive oil for a main dish.
  • Tabbouleh-Style Amaranth Salad
    Photo: Oxmoor House

    Tabbouleh-Style Amaranth Salad

    Need a change from brown rice and quinoa? Amaranth is a ancient grain that is naturally gluten-free and a source of complete protein. Try it in this Middle Eastern salad tossed with veggies, herbs, chickpeas, and feta.
  • Bitter Greens Salad with Spiced Mirin Dressing
    Photo: Rob Culpepper; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Bitter Greens Salad with Spiced Mirin Dressing

    It's common to add a touch of sweetness to salad dressings for bitter greens. Instead of sugar or honey, here we use the richness of mirin, a sweet rice wine.
  • Quick Classic Baked Beans
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Stylist: Cindy Barr

    Quick Classic Baked Beans

    Our baked beans are cooked mostly on the stovetop and then briefly broiled for crusty edges. If you want extra herby flavor, garnish with fresh thyme leaves.
  • Steamed Green Beans with Lemon-Mint Dressing
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Stylist: Cindy Barr

    Steamed Green Beans with Lemon-Mint Dressing

    If you don't have mint, tarragon or basil would be equally delicious in this speedy side. If desired, top with fresh lemon rind for a little extra zing.
  • <p>Cheesy Buckwheat with Kale and Mushrooms</p>
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Food Styling: Blakeslee Wright Giles; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen

    Cheesy Buckwheat with Kale and Mushrooms

    Buckwheat is an earthy grain and pairs well with smoky flavors. In this recipe, bacon, kale, mushrooms, and Gruyère are the flavor boosters.
  • Golden Buttermilk-Chive Mashed Potatoes
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Golden Buttermilk-Chive Mashed Potatoes

    Yukon gold potatoes give this dish its desirable color and buttery flavor. Mashed spuds work well with almost any dish, so be sure to add this recipe to your arsenal.
  • Lemon-Snap Pea Quinoa
    Photo: Jason Wallis; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Lemon-Snap Pea Quinoa

    The natural sweetness of sugar snap peas is balanced by tart lemon juice in this superfast side.
  • Yogurt Rice with Cumin and Chile
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl

    Yogurt Rice with Cumin and Chile

    Using whole packages of precooked rice and yogurt saves the time of measuring in this 5-minute side. Serve with grilled lamb chops, roasted chicken, or grilled salmon.
  • Wilted Kale with Golden Shallots
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Wilted Kale with Golden Shallots

    Sautéed shallots add bite to this simple side, packed with vegetal flavor. The recipe calls for Lacinato kale, also called Tuscan, dinosaur, or black kale.
  • Pineapple and Orange Salad with Toasted Coconut
    Photo: Johnny Miller; Styling: Heather Chontos

    Pineapple and Orange Salad with Toasted Coconut

    Serve this tropical side with your favorite gluten-free grilled entrée. Assemble the night ­before, but stir in and sprinkle with coconut just before serving.
  • <p>Toasted Millet with Cilantro Vinaigrette</p>
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Food Styling: Blakeslee Wright Giles; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen

    Toasted Millet with Cilantro Vinaigrette

    Millet is a fast, fluffy, and nearly foolproof gluten-free grain. Its corn-forward flavor makes it perfect for spicy, highly-seasoned recipes like this one.
  • Classic Risotto Milanese
    Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Classic Risotto Milanese

    Saffron gives Classic Risotto Milanese its golden color. Enjoying a warm bowl of this comforting side will leave you wanting for more of its rich, creamy, earthy flavor.
  • Pickled Tomatoes
    Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Pickled Tomatoes

    Toast the spice seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they become fragrant and start to release their flavorful oils. Use Pickled Tomatoes to brighten sandwiches and grilled meats.
  • Balsamic and Grape Quinoa
    Photo: Jason Wallis; Styling: Cindy Barr  

    Balsamic and Grape Quinoa

    White balsamic vinegar and seedless red grapes bring subtle sweetness to this superfast side.
  • Turnip and Leek Mashed Potatoes
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr  

    Turnip and Leek Mashed Potatoes

    Get an extra boost of nutrients by adding turnips to basic mashed potatoes. The result is a creamy and earthy side with a hint of onion flavor from the leek.
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