Top 10 Staples of a Gluten Free Kitchen

The key to a hassle-free, gluten free diet is a well-stocked pantry. Below we list the top ten ingredients we keep stocked in our kitchen, to make gluten free cooking fun and full of variety. Most of them can be easily found at your local supermarket, an Asian grocer, or a natural foods store.

  • Rice. The basis of most Asian cuisines, this inexpensive and healthy grain comes in several varieties so you won’t get bored. Try fragrant Thai Jasmine rice, sticky Bhutanese red rice, or nourishing brown Basmati. Impress skeptical eaters with a gourmet risotto or use up leftovers the traditional way in fried rice.
  • Quinoa. This Incan grain was rediscovered recently and has caught on like wildfire. Very easy and quick to cook, it has a nutty, slightly bitter flavor that pairs well with a little salt and butter. Quinoa has all the necessary amino acids and the most protein of all the known grains. Use it as a companion to your favorite meats and vegetables, mix it with peas or mashed root vegetables, or cook it into your gluten-free muffins. Buy it prewashed.
  • Gluten-Free Bread. It’s easier to buy than to make! And you can use it not only as sliced bread but as source material for GF croutons, stuffing, and bread crumbs.
  • Gluten-Free Crackers/ Tortilla Chips. Always keep something you can dip into something else when you need a snack. There are a lot of popular gluten-free dips out there: hummus, guacamole, salsa, and my mom’s favorite, artichoke-parmesan.
  • Eggs. Frittatas, omelets, and scrambled eggs are three ways for you to take anything you have in your refridgerator and quickly turn it into a satisfying golden meal. Or poach an egg and use it to top a warm salad. Hard-boiled eggs travel well for snacking on at school or the office.
  • Kasha. Also known as roasted buckwheat. This very inexpensive, traditional Eastern European grain is pure comfort food. Mix it with egg, toast it for a few minutes in a pot, then pour in the broth of your choice and simmer a half hour until all the liquid is absorbed. It’s delicious tossed with grilled onions, stir-fried vegetables, or GF pasta. Or all three…mmmm.
  • Rice noodles. The basis of pad thai, rice noodles come in various lengths and thicknesses. You can buy them cheaply in bulk at many Asian grocers. Use them as a substitute for rice or pasta, and they are much quicker to prepare than either one! Just make sure to rinse them after soaking in hot water so that the starch doesn’t clump the strands together.
  • Lettuce. You can have a great, healthy GF meal every time you make yourself a salad. Give those GF sandwiches some texture and crunch. Or use Bibb or Boston lettuce as a wrapper and fill with leftovers for an elegant appetizer.
  • Corn Meal. Whether you’re making grits for breakfast, polenta for dinner, or GF cornbread as a snack, no grain is quite as American as corn. You can buy fine or stone-ground corn meal, and it comes in white, yellow, or blue.
  • Corn Tortillas. Tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, nachos, and tortilla soup are just some of the delicious possibilities. You can also make a really nice lasagna using slices of corn tortillas instead of noodles. The best tortillas only have corn, lime, and salt as ingredients. They are best purchased 50 or 100 at a time from Mexican grocers. Or you can make your own from masa harina; fresh tortillas are ambrosial.

13 thoughts on “Top 10 Staples of a Gluten Free Kitchen”

  1. My wife has Celiac and I agree there are some absolute musts to always have in the house. One that we found, which is not on this list and we use ALL THE TIME is Rice/Corn Pasta. Rice gets monotonous. As an Italian family we need Sunday dinner pasta dinners and cant do without the rice/corn pasta. A little tip… italian markets sometimes sell this and when they do it is much better than the supermarket brands. Find the italian versions of the corn pasta and you will find the best flavor. Sometimes you really cant even tell the difference.


  3. Clara….I know how you feel…….but don’t give up!! It does take time. There are a lot of foods you can eat that are in your regular grocery store. Double check….but I believe Chi Chi’s has a corn bread mix that is gf.and it is pretty cheap. Do you have the grocery guide? It is a HUGE help. I find more and more things in there. It really saved me on knowing what I can eat. I too was very depressed when I found out but when you have the guide……you see how much you really can eat. Good Luck and stick with the gluten free diet!!

  4. My daughter and I both have celiac disease and were diagnosed in 2001. I totally agree that it seems daunting at the beginning, but now it hardly bothers us. I admit that it does help if you like to cook. All meal does not have gluten in it;corn meal is free of gluten and it really is not that hard to make your own cornbread. I make mine in a cast iron 12 inch skillet and freeze it. It makes great stuffing for turkey or chicken.Best of luck and please know that with time it becomes a lot easier and so many restaurants now are really making an effort to serve us gluten free food!

  5. Hi I have been on this diet since early adolescence – and I am now 68; since I was so young I just ate what I was told to eat – dating made it really difficult to follow the diet because of all the teasing and insults – I now realize that I didn’t look or act sick because I was in the beginning stages of the illness. I am now so
    thankful because I don’t have diabetes or hypertension or any major debilitating
    disease that the average person seems to have and I work at least 80 hours a week . So anybody reading this who feels like they can’t follow the diet – keep
    trying and it will be second nature pretty soon and you will feel so much better
    than you did eating gluten. You’ll look great and your friends will think you’re younger than you are.

  6. I’m not having to bad of a time going gluten free except for bread. I have tried at least 6 different gluten free breads, frozen, loaf, and mix and I would rather eat saw dust than any of the. I asked friends to try the different ones and they all agreed, the breads are ineditable. Does anyone have a recipe or a brand name for a gluten free bread that actually tastes alright? So far, I am using lettuce as bread for sandwiches.

  7. We buy Udi’s too. It is the very best we have found. We really like their pizza crust too. There are several restaurants here that will make pizza fir us when we bring in our own crust. Don’t give up! Concentrate on what you CAN eat instead of what you can’t. Take old tries and true recipes you love a tweak them to be GF. You will find you can eat almost anything. Remember too it is your future health in the balance. Our family members who did not stick to GF eating now have neurological problems, diabetes, etc.

  8. Hi All,

    I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance about 6 months ago. Since I have cut out the gluten in my diet, so many good things have happened to me. First, I have lost 16 pounds without doing anything else. My arthritis stopped in its tracks and all corns on my toes and between my toes are all gone. I love not eating wheat/gluten products. I make it really simple for myself and I don’t stress out about it. I use the KISS method (keep it simple stupid). If the food I buy has an ingredients list, I don’t eat it. I only eat real food like meat, eggs, veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds and very few GF snacks when the urge hits. I make coconut bars with shredded coconut, brown rice syrup, and dried organic pineapples or chocolate chips or whatever fruit is around that is organic. Yummy!!! I get my “good” fat w/o any gluten. I eat out sometimes and I always ask to speak to the chef if the wait staff can’t help me. Because of all the problems I had trying to find what was wrong with me, I have now become a certified nutritionist. I have also joined our local GIG (gluten intolerance group) which has helped out tremendously. Find one in your area :) Hope this helps !

  9. Those of you looking for decent tasting GF bread…. I buy Pamela’s brand bread mix in bulk from We make it in the bread machine. All 4 of my kids will eat it especially the day I make it. And only one is GF. We also buy Pamel’s brand pancake mix which can be used for many different things like cookies, doughnuts and banana bread. The package & website have many recipes.

  10. For all interested., type in gluten free, you will have a lot of variety, I think their most popular GF mixes are Bob’s Redmill, and Betty Crocker. Though I found their “Wonderful Bread” to be a flop. It didn’t rise, and tasted terrible, But then I can’t adjust to the bean flour, I don’t care for it one bit. Still searching for good GF bread I can bake at home. But I did come up with a GREAT scone recipe!

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