Planning your holiday menu is a bit trickier when someone you’ll be hosting is gluten-free. What does it mean and what are the limitations? We found four dishes to feature on your menu that everyone will love.

Everywhere you turn these days, someone's talking about following a gluten-free diet. Whether for medical reasons or just as a lifestyle choice, going gluten-free can be challenging. Hosting someone in your home for Thanksgiving who has these dietary restrictions changes your menu options, but don't fret!

What does gluten-free really mean?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. In a person who has celiac disease, gluten triggers an autoimmune response that damages the lower intestines and leads to a host of other health-related issues. Being gluten-free is critical for someone who suffers from celiac disease and even the slightest amount of a food that contains gluten can make them seriously ill. Some people opt to be gluten-free because they are sensitive to gluten, or just find that they feel better when they avoid it.

When preparing and serving dishes that are gluten-free, it's important to keep utensils and preparation surfaces clean and separate from those used to prepare foods that may contain gluten. Cross-contamination is a big risk for the celiac sufferer, so taking precautions is important.

Pumpkin ginger soupPhoto provided courtesy of elanaspantry.com

Pumpkin ginger soup

Pumpkin has made it into everything from pancakes to lattes. And you have to admit, it's not quite Thanksgiving without a bit of pumpkin. A warm fall-inspired soup is a great side dish — and what could be tastier than a tweak of ginger to liven it up? Find the recipe for gluten-free pumpkin ginger soup at Elana's Pantry.

Cornbread stuffing with maple roasted acorn squash

Cornbread stuffing with maple roasted acorn squash

We aren't sure which is more enticing — the maple roasted acorn squash or the amazing cornbread stuffing that fills the squash bowl. Either way, one taste of this amazing gluten-free side dish and your whole outlook on Thanksgiving may change. Find this recipe for gluten-free cornbread stuffing with maple roasted acorn squash at Gluten-Free Goddess.

Photos provided courtesy of Gluten-Free Goddess

Pork roast with mushrooms and brown sugar apricot-pomegranate sauce

Pork roast with mushrooms and brown sugar apricot-pomegranate sauce (slow cooker)

A tender pork roast is a twist on the traditional holiday fare, but you may never go back to turkey once you've tried this. It cooks in your slow cooker, freeing you up to enjoy the holiday with family and friends. For the recipe for pork roast with mushrooms and brown sugar apricot-pomegranate sauce visit Gluten-Free Goddess.

gluten and dairy free pumpkin piePhoto provided courtesy of Jules Speaks Gluten Free

Pumpkin pie

We know what you're thinking — how can pumpkin pie be gluten-free? Jules knows how and her recipe is amazing. Even with gluten-free flour, this crust will taste just like the ones grandma used to make. For the complete recipe for gluten-free pumpkin pie and pie crust visit Jules Speaks Gluten Free.

Go gluten-free this holiday season — you just may find some tasty new creations to add to your rotation.

More family recipe ideas

Easy pork stir-fry with vegetables & hoisin sauce
Roasted pumpkin and crispy prosciutto macaroni and cheese
Speedy weeknight broccoli pesto pasta

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