One thing we quickly learned in our gluten-free journey is the power of having a meal plan. Having that plan can ensure we always have a gluten-free option for dinner, aren’t struggling to find something quick to eat, and aren’t running out the door for fast food. The hard part is finding gluten-free meal plan ideas—that’s what I’m here for today.

You can jump onto Pinterest and search “gluten-free recipes” and instantly get overwhelmed. It is helpful to have clear direction on the type of food you want to make each week. My ebook, Going Gluten-Free: Meal Planning, teaches you all of that (and more).

If you’re just getting started with meal planning, here are a few gluten-free meal plan ideas.

Benefits of a Gluten-Free Meal Plan

Adopting a gluten-free meal plan can lead to many benefits. For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it’s essential to avoid gluten to maintain overall health. When you have to stick to a gluten-free diet, meal plans help you stay on track and ensure that you aren’t left without dinner.

Meal planning is also good for:

  • Helping you avoid eating out.
  • Managing your grocery spend.
  • Ensuring you are eating foods that will help fuel your body.

Let’s talk about some ideas for gluten-free meal plans.

Essential Gluten-Free Ingredients for Your Pantry

A well-stocked pantry is crucial for your weekly meals. Knowing what is in your pantry before going to the grocery store will help you not end up with too much or too little of any ingredients you might need.

Key ingredients include:

  • Gluten-free flours such as almond, coconut, and rice flour.
  • Variety of grains like quinoa, millet, rice, and buckwheat on hand.
  • Nuts, seeds, and gluten-free oats are also so easy to throw on something.
  • Gluten-free baking powder

Having a stocked-up pantry will help you guarantee that you won’t be stuck without something to cook when you’re in a pinch.

Must-Have Gluten-Free Staples

There will be some things you come across that you will always want to keep in your home. They will be part of your go-to meals and the base of your favorite gluten-free recipes.

Stocking up on gluten-free staples ensures you’re always prepared to whip up a meal if your meal plan changes. Here are a few that I recommend always keeping on hand:

Make sure you read the ingredients and look for certified gluten-free labels. Having a variety of spices and condiments will also help you be ready for last-minute gluten-free meal plan ideas.

Creating Balanced Gluten-Free Meals

Creating balanced gluten-free meals involves incorporating a variety of nutrients. Pre-made food is possible on a gluten-free diet as long as you keep a close eye on ingredients. However, when starting your gluten-free lifestyle, you will likely notice that you cook more often than before.

Focus on a mix of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. Some quick ideas are simple: lean meats, fish, eggs, and legumes provide protein, while avocados, nuts, and olive oil offer healthy fats. Incorporate a rainbow of vegetables and gluten-free grains like quinoa and brown rice for carbs.

Having, this balance ensures your family gets all the essential nutrients they need.

Gluten-Free Breakfast & Lunch Ideas

Breakfast is an area where people often struggle with gluten-free ideas. However, there are plenty of options that ARE gluten-free.

  • Almond flour pancakes topped with fresh berries.
  • Overnight chia pudding with oat milk and fruit is a quick grab-and-go option.
  • Smoothie bowls loaded with greens, fruits, and nuts offer a nutrient-dense start to the day.
  • Breakfast burritos using almond flour tortillas.

These breakfasts are not only gluten-free but also packed with vitamins and minerals. When it comes to lunch, you can keep it simple or get creative with gluten-free lunch ideas.

  • Salads using quinoa, mixed greens, and a variety of colorful veggies. Top with grilled chicken or chickpeas for added protein.
  • Gluten-free wraps filled with lean meats, avocado, and fresh veggies make a delicious and portable lunch.
  • Sweet potato fries and a hamburger on a gluten-free bun.
  • Taco bowl with rice, homemade taco seasoning, and some guacamole.

These options keep you full throughout the afternoon but are easy to change up so you don’t get bored.

Gluten-Free Meal Plan Ideas For Dinner

Dinner doesn’t have to be an extensive homecooked meal. However, having gluten-free meal plan ideas handy each week will ensure that you are able to still stick to your gluten-free lifestyle without relying on fast food or restaurants.

There are hundreds of recipes for a variety of gluten-free dinners, but here are a few basics you can always return to.

  • Prepare gluten-free pasta dishes with spaghetti sauce or pesto sauce.
  • Bake chicken with a side of roasted sweet potatoes or steamed broccoli.
  • Create stir-fries with vegetables and gluten-free soy sauce.
  • Taco, nacho, stuffed pepper night all with a simple taco meat base.

These dinners are all customizable to your family’s taste and specific dietary needs. They are also easy to keep simple ingredients on hand for last-minute meals.

One-Pot Gluten-Free Family Dinners

One-pot meals are huge timesavers for busy families.

  • Cook a beef stew with potatoes and carrots.
  • Make a simple chicken and rice casserole.
  • Enjoy a chili in the winter.
  • Try a vegetable-packed minestrone soup.

These one-pot dinners simplify cooking and clean-up while providing easy gluten-free options that the entire family will love.

With a pantry stocked with essential ingredients and a repertoire of delicious recipes, gluten-free cooking is both manageable and enjoyable. Being gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorites. There is still a variety and creativity that come with the gluten-free diet.

For more gluten-free meal planning tips, tricks, and advice, don’t forget to grab the guide Going Gluten-Free: Meal Planning.

Going Gluten-Free: Meal Planning


Kristin Longacre

Hey There, I’m Kristin, a gluten-free nutrition coach helping gluten-free families adjust to their new lifestyle.

Gluten-Free Meal Plan Ideas