3 Gluten-free make ahead meals

Claire Gallam

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With the number of people (kids, especially) being diagnosed with Celiac disease and gluten sensitivities, the times when gluten-free was just a fad are way over. If you or your family are a part of the millions who can't digest wheat, don't get discouraged. There are still so many delicious recipes out there, including these hearty make-ahead meals! Not only are each of these savory and mouth-watering stews and entrees gluten-free, they are easy to make and store for up to 3 days!

Italian seasoned spaghetti squash

With schedules pilling up, time-saving dishes are a complete life saver in so many American homes. So this week, save your time (and your tummy) with these gluten-free, make-ahead meals! Rest easy knowing you are feeding your family a nutritious meal and are able to spend more time with them too!

Italian seasoned spaghetti squash

Serves 4

Spaghetti squash is the perfect gluten-free alternative to pasta because it has the same texture and look as normal spaghetti! Paired with diced tomatoes and Italian herbs, this is a close runner up to traditional spaghetti! You can make this dish up to 3 days before you plan on eating it!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 can of Italian seasoned diced tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
  • 4 fresh chives, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds. Place cut side down in a deep baking dish and add enough water to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the dish and cover with aluminum foil.
  2. Bake for 45 minutes, until the squash is easily pierced with a paring knife. Turn squash over and cover with foil again and continue to cook another 15 minutes, until the squash is very tender.
  3. Remove from pan and allow to cool for a minute. Then, using a fork, gently remove the spaghetti squash and set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat butter. Add chives, squash and herbs, heat slightly. Add tomatoes. Heat for about 5 minutes until mixture is warmed and thoroughly mixed together. Serve with cheese and enjoy!

Chunky chicken chili

Chunky chicken chili

Serves 5

The perfect way to enjoy chili, regardless of the temperature outside! Hearty with beans and chicken but lighter than most, and can be made in a crockpot up to 2 days before you eat it!

Ingredients: 

  • About 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of organic, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • Liberal dashes of salt and pepper

Directions: 

  1. Put chicken in a 4-quart crock pot. Pour broth, beans, tomatoes, onion, carrot, garlic and all herbs over chicken. Add dashes of salt and pepper.
  2. Set on low and cook for about 7 hours. Once chicken is done, remove from crock pot and shred with two forks in a separate bowl. Add chicken back to the vegetable mixture and cook an additional hour so chicken soaks up the flavor.

Spicy pork Mexican stew

Spicy pork Mexican stew

Serves 4

This dish is perfect for the spicy, Mexican food lovers in your family. Made with zesty tomatoes and jalapenos, this dish will kick start your metabolism in addition to slightly burn your mouth! It can also be made up to 3 days ahead of time in a crockpot.

Ingredients: 

  • About 1 pound pork roast
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) zesty diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 14.5 ounces chicken broth
  • 12 ounces of canned corn, drained
  • 1 (14.5 ounces) can of black beans, rinsed
  • Liberal dashes of salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream for garnish
  • Cheddar cheese for garnish
  • 1/2 sliced avocado for garnish

Directions: 

  1. Place pork roast in a 6 quart crock pot. Pour the rest of the ingredients over it (including cilantro) and cover. Set on low heat and simmer for 6 to 8 hours, or until pork reaches 160 degrees in the center.
  2. Remove pork from soup mixture and shred using two forks. Place back into the crock pot, turn off heat and let sit for 30 minutes to absorb flavor. Garnish with sour cream, cheddar cheese and avocado!

More gluten-free recipes

Gluten-free BBQ recipes
Gluten-free pasta with truffle butter recipe
Gluten-free party recipes

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Claire Gallam
Claire is an aspiring nutritionist (and soon to be culinary student) with a serious addiction to bacon, wine, goat cheese and online shopping. She is recently married to a social media guru who loves *almost* everything she conjures up. In addition to writing for the Food section of SheKnows, she is a full-time recipe creator (and taste tester), a writer for FabulousFoods.com and a contributing writer for the Home and Gardening section of SheKnows. You can also follow her daily musings and find delicious healthy recipes on her food blog, The Realistic Nutritionist.

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