• Asparagus, polenta and feta pie (kourkouto) (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson
Cooking for a gluten-intolerant diet doesn't mean missing out on all the good hearty stuff.
22 Jun 2020 - 11:36 AM  UPDATED 24 Jun 2020 - 11:56 AM

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Get rizzi with it

Many wheat-loving cuisines have plenty of rice-equivalent dishes. Swap carbonara for risotto, ramen for rice noodles or wraps for banh xeo.

1. Food Safari’s risotto alla Milanese

Food Safari's risotto alla Milanese

2. Paella mixta

An easy and impressive serving option.

Meat and seafood paella

3. Penang char kway teow

*Just remember to check gluten in your Asian cooking sauces before serving up this stir fry to coeliacs.

Penang char kway teow

4. Banh xeo

These crispy pancakes are made with rice flour and coconut milk. Wrap a bit of pancake and filling in a lettuce leaf and dip in nuoc cham.

Banh xeo


Polenty of options

The humble yellow corn kernel can stand-in for anything from quiche pastry to sandwich bread with a little thought.

5. Venezuelan corn pancakes

Arepas make a great substitute for bread slices, or just a great snack stuffed with cheese and beans.


6. Polenta tarts

Kathy Tsaples' recipe uses cooked polenta mixed with a little gluten-free flour and olive oil to form tart bases.

Polenta tarts with beetroot and mushroom fillings

7. Polenta chips

Sure, potato chips are great, but have you ever had a polenta chip? Trust us. It's good.Polenta chips (scagliozzi)

8. Asparagus, polenta and feta pie

This slab of cheesey green polenta pie makes a great picnic addition, easy lunch, side dish or main meal.

Asparagus, polenta and feta pie (kourkouto)


Potatoes gonna potate

Just when you thought they couldn’t get any better, spuds came and held down the meatball fort, making a great replacement for breadcrumbs. They’re also not terrible mashed, boiled, baked or fried.

9. Italian meatballs with spaghetti

Grated potato with the water squeezed out stands in for breadcrumbs in Helen Tzougantos' Italian meatball recipe.

Gluten-free spaghetti and meatballs

10. Potato pave

Potato gets a little bit fancy when layered, baked and neatly sliced.

Potato pavé

11. Spicy Lebanese potatoes

Beef up plain roast potatoes with a bit of spice. These are great with a dollop of yoghurt and a lamb chop or two.

Roast potatoes

12. Pizza potatoes

Have your cake and eat it too.

Pizza potatoes


Grain drain

Other lesser-known grains and pulses, like chickpea flour, quinoa and buckwheat (not wheat) also offer fine substitutes or just great options when used in dishes from regions who have utilized them for quite some time.

13. Baked quinoa-crumbed chicken

Crunchy quinoa flakes give this crumbed chicken a slightly nutty note.

Quinoa crumbed chicken Helen Tzouganatos

14. Chickpea-battered chicken with tzatziki

You can find chickpea flour at many Indian supermarkets labelled as 'besan'.

Chickpea-battered chicken with tzatziki

15. Middle-eastern quinoa salad

Swap bulghur wheat or cous cous out for quinoa.

Middle Eastern quinoa salad

16. Cold soba noodle salad

Despite its deceptive name, buckwheat doesn't contain any gluten so is a great chewy noodle substitute.

Zaru soba


Don’t forget dessert!

Rice puddings, polenta shortbread and just a good old-fashioned cake with gluten-free flour are sure to please anyone, coeliac or not! And if in doubt, just remember, there’s no gluten in ice cream.

17. Almond polenta shortbread

This one goes down a treat with a cup of tea after dinner, or with morning coffee the day after.

Shortbread tart

18. Chocolate rice pudding

This traditional Filipino breakfast dish doubles as a carb-lovers dessert.

Chocolate rice pudding

19. Gluten-free blackberry yoghurt cake

Yoghurt keeps this lush blackberry cake light and moist.

Gluten-free blackberry yoghurt cake

20. Grilled mango sticky rice

Close to the classic, this mango sticky rice recipe is taken to new heights by quickly grilling fresh mango cheeks.

Mango sticky rice

Gluten-free cinnamon scrolls

Who doesn't love a tray of sweet bread swirled with cinnamon, sugar and butter? Now coeliacs don't have to miss out! 

Gluten-free carrot and zucchini slab cake

This cake is lovely and light and tender - and a good one for kids who are tricky about vegetables!

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