Gluten-free dinner ideas

If you’re following a gluten-free diet, you’re not going to want to eat ho-hum substitutes while the rest of your family scarfs down the homemade lasagna you made them. And if your kid is the one on a restricted diet, they’re definitely not going to appreciate a special meal either. The good news is there are plenty of easy and kid-friendly gluten-free dinners that the whole family can enjoy—without the extra work (some meals are ready in 30 minutes or less) or FOMO.

From protein-focused dinners, to rice dishes and grain-free meal ideas, here are our favourite kid-friendly gluten-free dinner recipes that are easy enough to make all week long. We’ve even included some keto, paleo and vegan recipes for your gluten-free dinner plan, plus tips for getting your kids involved with meal prep.

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Ready in: 40 minutes

Why we love it: This easy and kid-friendly gluten-free recipe is better than take-out! It’s crispy, salty, flavourful and everything you crave in a traditional fried rice. If you’re gluten-intolerant, just make sure that the soy sauce and hoisin you use are certified gluten-free. (You can also make this dish keto-friendly by skipping the hoisin or making your own low-carb version.)

How kids can help: With a kid-safe nylon kitchen knife, your child can help with the chopping prep and you can be their best friend for letting them. They’ll also love cracking the eggs and measuring out the cups of frozen vegetables.

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It’s simple to make cauliflower rice in a food processor, but if you’d rather skip this step, you can save time by using a ready-made version, like Green Giant’s Riced Cauliflower Veggies, which is 100 per cent gluten-free.

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Honey mustard salmon packets

Ready in: 30 minutes

Why we love it: There’s something about salmon—perhaps the richness, fattiness and pretty pink colour—that is very kid-friendly and this dish is no exception. Add the sweetness of honey to this recipe and it’s a win-win.

How kids can help: Bigger kids can help slice the veggies into rounds, while younger ones can whip up the marinade and spread it over the fish fillets.

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HEALTH HIGHLIGHT
The salmon in this healthy, gluten-free dinner idea is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 foods help decrease inflammation, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of cancer and improve the function of the cells that line your arteries.[1]

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Ready in: 45 minutes

Why we love it: Another fun salmon recipe, this twist on sushi makes for an easy, kid-friendly gluten-free dinner. The toppings are easily adaptable to your family’s favourites. If you can get sushi-grade raw salmon, go for it—otherwise smoked salmon does the trick. You can also serve the fresh rice cakes on roasted seaweed sheets. (Kids dig that salty flavour and crunch!)

How kids can help: Your kid will love forming the rice into patties with their hands. (Just make sure they’re well washed!) If they’re still interested in helping after that, they can assemble all the toppings, including smoked salmon, red onion, capers and sesame seeds.

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If smoked salmon is too pricey, you can swap with canned fish and mayo for a delicious, budget-friendly and gluten-free alternative. (Tuna mayo is a classic onigiri filling in Japan![2])

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Easy vegetable chicken pho

Ready in: 20 minutes

Why we love it: This simplified, faux version of a Vietnamese classic makes an easy, kid-friendly dinner (and hot lunch for school the next day). Best of all, it’s ready in 20 minutes.

How kids can help: Since this recipe requires chopping raw chicken and matchstick-thin veggies, kids may be better suited to topping duty. They can also lay out all the fixings, such as fresh herbs, bean sprouts, lime and Sriracha.

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We’re always down for reinventing leftovers and this gluten-free chicken dinner recipe is an affordable way to use up the rest of that whole, cooked rotisserie chicken you picked up at the grocery store.

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Ready in: 45 minutes

Why we love it: If you’re following a gluten-free or keto diet, you can have your pizza and eat it too. You won’t even miss the regular dough—the texture and mild flavour of cauliflower is the perfect substitute for a low-carb pizza crust.

How kids can help: Leave the food-processing to the grown-ups—your kid will be happy spreading the sauce and topping the pizza with their favourite ingredients.

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Homemade cauliflower crust is a bit labour-intensive, so next time you’re making it, double the recipe for an extra easy and gluten-free dinner. It freezes perfectly.

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Easy Chicken and rice with vegetables

Ready in: 45 minutes

Why we love it: The whole family can get behind this hearty gluten-free dinner. It’s also packed with veggies, making it the ideal one-pot meal.

How kids can help: Put your kid to work washing the rice before cooking—and ask them to wait till the water turns clear. You can even wager guesses on how long it will take and time it for a fun experiment.

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This healthy and gluten-free chicken dinner recipe calls for boneless skinless thighs, which is one of the most affordable cuts out there. If you want to go even more budget-friendly, go for bone-in chicken thighs. They’ll add more flavour, too!

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Ready in: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Why we love it: Even your pickiest eater will like this kid-friendly dinner idea—yet it’s flavourful enough to suit grown-up taste buds too. Make this recipe gluten-free by substituting the sliced bread with gluten-free bread or bread crumbs.

How kids can help: Get those little hands mixing up the ground turkey with the eggs, gluten-free bread crumbs, cooked quinoa, tomato sauce, spices and seasoning. Just make sure they wash with hand soap before and after!

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HEALTH HIGHLIGHT
This recipe gets a lot of fibre and protein from the addition of quinoa.[3] If you want to boost the nutritional value even more, add shredded zucchini to this healthy, gluten-free dinner.

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Slow cooker lentil stew

Ready in: 4 hour and 15 minutes

Why we love it: This rich and flavourful vegan stew is also naturally gluten-free and paleo-friendly without trying too hard to be. While it needs to slow-cook for 4 hours, it only takes 15 minutes to prep.

How kids can help: Bigger kids can help you chop the carrots, sweet potatoes, onion, garlic and kale. Little ones can stir it all together with the broth and tomato paste.

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Vegetarian recipes are almost always going to be easier on the wallet than meat—another solid reason to work them into your weekly dinner rotation.

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greek chicken and potato salad

Ready in: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Why we love it: This light and summery chicken recipe is lemony, garlicky, creamy and so simple to throw onto the grill for an easy and kid-friendly gluten-free dinner.

How kids can help: Get them to whip together the yogurt marinade by simply mixing plain yogurt with lemon, garlic, salt and pepper.

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If you’re not up for babysitting your chicken on the grill, or the potatoes on the stove, simply throw the ingredients onto a sheet-pan for an easy tray-bake dinner.

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Curried quinoa salad

Ready in: 45 minutes

Why we love it: This vibrant quinoa side dish only takes 10 minutes to prep. Perfect for a crowd-pleasing side dish or for a potluck spread.

How kids can help: While you’re cooking the quinoa and sweet potatoes, your little sous chef can prep, measure and assemble some of the extra toppings such as mint leaves, sliced almonds, raisins, honey and yogurt.

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Shop Kitchen Tools for Great Gluten-Free Dinners

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