FeaturesFebruary/March 2018 Issue

Gluten-Free Winter Comfort Dinners

What do a classic GF macaroni & cheese, shepherd's pie, and meatballs all have in common? They make us feel cozy on blustery winter nights! Check out these recipes for the tastiest gluten-free comfort foods you can cook.

Traditional staples, easy dinners and comfort foods are things we all crave these days. That’s why I devoted an entire chapter to the subject in my latest cookbook, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap (2nd edition).

These recipes are three of the comfort foods my family and I love. Simple to prepare, they’ll warm your home and your heart with a feeling of pride, give you a well-earned sense of accomplishment and leave you with more money in your pocket at the end of the day because they’re made from scratch.

gluten free macaroni and cheese

Jean Schwarzwalder

Macaroni & Cheese

PREP: 20 minutes
BAKE: 30 minutes


This recipe for macaroni and cheese is casserole-style with eggs, poured into a 9x13-inch baking dish, covered and baked until firm. This is also a great make-ahead dish. Just prepare the pasta and cheese mixture, pour it into a prepared baking dish, cover it tightly with foil and plastic wrap, and freeze it. When you’re ready to serve it, there’s no need to defrost it first. Just remove the plastic wrap but retain the foil, pop it in a preheated oven and bake until it’s bubbling and the eggs are set. This recipe can be made dairy-free and egg-free; see instructions.

Each serving contains 575 calories, 33g total fat, 19g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 193mg cholesterol, 633mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 6g sugars, 24g protein, 27Est GL.

gluten free szechuan meatballs

Jean Schwarzwalder

Szechuan Meatballs

PREP: 30 minutes
BAKE: 20–25 minutes


The secret to flavorful Szechuan meatballs is to allow the ground beef to marinate so it absorbs the flavors of the gluten-free soy sauce, honey, vinegar and ginger. Be sure to use ground beef that’s at least 90 percent lean. If you use beef that’s less lean, the fat drains onto the pan when the meatballs are baked and much of the flavor drains right along with it. The sesame oil in the marinade is much tastier and less greasy than the fat in the ground beef. This recipe can be made egg-free; see instructions.

Each meatball contains 114 calories, 7g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 48mg cholesterol, 256mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 2g sugars, 9g protein, 2Est GL.

gluten free shepherds pie

Jean Schwarzwalder

Shepherd’s Pie

PREP:45 minutes
BAKE:30–35 minutes


Shepherd’s pie is one of those classic comfort foods that never disappoints. The zucchini in this recipe is tasty with the tomato sauce and adds nice moisture. A mixture of red and sweet potatoes makes a colorful and savory crust. Feel free to play with the types of vegetables and potatoes you use.

gluten free on a shoestring by nicole hunn

Jean Schwarzwalder

Each serving contains 299 calories, 14g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 49mg cholesterol, 156mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 7g sugars, 15g protein, 13Est GL.

Recipes excerpted fromGluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap,(2nd edition) by Nicole Hunn. Copyright 2017. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. Photography by Jean Schwarzwalder.

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