With more people adopting a gluten-free diet, either out of want or need, there’s an increasing demand for delicious recipes that are free of glutenous ingredients, like wheat, barley, and rye. But with so many gluten-free cookbooks out there, it can be overwhelming to try to find the right one for you, especially if you’re new to the diet.
To make things easier, we set out to find gluten-free cookbooks with a wide range of recipes for breakfast, snacks, desserts, appetizers, and beyond. There are even dairy-free, grain-free, and vegetarian options, so if you have dietary restrictions or preferences, you’ll be able to find something that works for you.
The Whole Smiths Good Food Cookbook
The first cookbook to ever get an endorsement from Whole30, "The Whole Smiths Good Food Cookbook" by Michelle Smith is designed for people learning how to incorporate the diet's principles into everyday life. Smith’s goal is to optimize the nutrition of each recipe while providing rich flavors that appease the entire family.
All 150 recipes, from breakfast to dessert, are gluten-free. Most are also Whole30-compliant, meaning there are no grains, dairy, or sugar, but Smith does utilize a few grains and legumes throughout.
Recipes: 150 | Pages: 280 | Published: 2018 | Formats: Hardcover, e-book
Best for Beginners
The Easy Gluten-Free Cookbook
If you’re diving into gluten-free cooking for the first time, Lindsay Garza guides the way in "The Easy Gluten-Free Cookbook." Designed for the busy cook who wants to get a meal on the table fast, this book combines no-fuss recipes with minimal ingredients that take under 30 minutes to cook and/or require a single pot or pan.
This cookbook opens with basic guidelines on how to follow a gluten-free diet and then breaks the recipes down into eight chapters that cover breakfast through dessert. Garza also provides additional identifiers, like "vegetarian," "vegan," "nut-free," and "dairy-free" on each recipe, so you can easily pinpoint the ones that fit your lifestyle.
Pages: 162 | Published: 2017 | Formats: Paperback, e-book, spiral-bound
Best for Instant Pot
Paleo Cooking with Your Instant Pot
The Instant Pot is a kitchen lifesaver, but many of the quick and easy options aren’t appropriate for a gluten-free kitchen. In her cookbook, "Paleo Cooking With Your Instant Pot," Jennifer Robins aims to solve that problem. The 80 recipes aren’t just gluten-free; they’re also completely grain-free with no dairy or refined sugar.
Recipes: 80 | Pages: 192 | Published: 2017 | Formats: Paperback, e-book
Best for Air Fryers
The "I Love My Air Fryer" Gluten-Free Recipe Book
Air fryers have taken the world by storm, as the convenient and versatile appliance makes stunning meals and sides with little effort. In this book, Michelle Fagone offers a plethora of gluten-free recipes that can be made quick and easy in an air fryer. It covers appetizers, whole meals, sides, and even desserts.
The layout is clean and easy to navigate, highlighting important information, such as cook time and serving size. Beautiful pictures are included throughout the cookbook, as well. It’s a fantastic choice for new cooks or busy families who have dietary restrictions or preferences.
Recipes: 175 | Pages: 224 | Published: 2019 | Formats: Paperback, e-book
The Everything Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cookbook
If you’re following a gluten- and dairy-free diet, "The Everything Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Cookbook" is the comprehensive resource you need to stay on track. In the first chapter, author Audrey Roberts explains in simple language how to identify gluten and dairy sensitivities, how to recognize gluten- and dairy-containing ingredients in foods and recipes, and how to avoid them.
She then dives into a whopping 300 recipes that cover every meal and snack of the day. From soft pretzels to pressure cooker cashew chicken to red velvet cookies, there’s something to satisfy you with every turn of the page.
Recipes: 300 | Pages: 320 | Published: 2019 | Formats: Paperback, spiral-bound, e-book
Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Baking Revolution Continues with 90 New, Delicious and Easy Recipes Made with Gluten-Free Flours
Many people who switch to a gluten-free diet miss the comforting taste of bread. Fortunately you can make fresh and warm gluten-free bread in the comfort of your own home. “Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” contains 90 recipes of homemade breads, with highlights including brioche, roasted garlic rosemary bread, Wisconsin beer-cheese bread, yeasted Thanksgiving cornbread with cranberries, and sticky pecan caramel rolls.
The cookbook comes with a handful of helpful features, including an in-depth guide to gluten-free baking ingredients. Authors Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë Franḉois aim to teach people how to create artisan breads in their daily lives, five minutes at a time.
Price at time of publish: $35
Number of Recipes: 90 | Pages: 304 | Published: 2014 | Formats: Hardcover, e-reader
Whole Bowls: Complete Gluten-Free and Vegetarian Meals to Power Your Day
Many vegetarian cookbooks rely on pasta and bread to make a meal satiating, but Allison Day figured out a way to fill bellies without meat or gluten. "Whole Bowls" is a unique approach that turns every meal into a “power bowl” full of plant-based foods that are ready to eat in a pinch.
Each recipe is designed around the right balance of protein, starchy vegetables or fruit, non-starchy vegetables, grains, condiments, a crunch factor, and optional cheese. There are even dessert bowls, like Mexican chocolate pudding and bumbleberry pie, that help satisfy your sweet tooth.
Recipes: 50+ | Pages: 232 | Published: 2016 | Formats: Hardcover, paperback, e-book
Best for Meal Planning
Cook Once, Eat All Week: 26 Weeks of Gluten-Free, Affordable Meal Prep to Preserve Your Time & Sanity
"Cook Once, Eat All Week" sounds like a description of the American dream, but it’s really a gluten-free cookbook by certified nutrition consultant Cassy Joy Garcia that makes meal planning easy. In her cookbook, Garcia walks you through the process of batch-cooking or preparing an entire week’s worth of dinners with minimal time and effort.
To make things super simple, the cookbook is divided into 26 separate weeks. Each week includes a shopping list, the dinners you’ll prepare, comprehensive instructions on how to prep ingredients, and cooking instructions. The cookbook also contains storage and reheating tips to help you make sure your meals stay fresh and delicious all week.
Pages: 400 | Published: 2019 | Formats: Paperback, spiral-bound, e-book
Paleo Baking at Home
If you don’t know what you’re doing, gluten-free baking can be a disaster. Michele Rosen’s cookbook, "Paleo Baking at Home," is the ultimate resource for pulling off delicious treats, sans gluten and dairy. Rosen starts by providing a list of essential pantry items and baking equipment, and then jumps into 60 gluten-free recipes that are just as nutritious as they are tasty.
Whether you want to bake a chewy bagel or are looking for something more decadent, like a lemon-curd layer cake with lemon buttercream frosting, you’ll find it here.
Recipes: 60 | Pages: 176 | Published: 2020 | Formats: Paperback, e-book
Eat Happy: Gluten Free, Grain Free, Low Carb Recipes Made from Real Foods For A Joyful Life
Cutting grains out of your life doesn't have to make you sad, and that’s what Anna Vocino aims to prove in her cookbook "Eat Happy." She designed 154 gluten- and grain-free recipes that ensure a pleasurable eating experience. Vocino takes you through what you need in your pantry and refrigerator, and then provides a wide variety of recipes from appetizers like sausage-stuffed mushrooms to desserts like homemade ice cream.
Recipes: 154 | Pages: 248 | Published: 2016 | Formats: Hardcover, e-book
Best for Kids
201 Gluten-Free Recipes for Kids
Kids are picky eaters at the best of times—add in gluten sensitivity and it’s that much trickier to feed them something they like. Luckily this cookbook contains a whopping 201 gluten-free recipes that are kid approved. From chicken nuggets to turkey chili and orange-pineapple smoothies to trail mix, chocolate coconut brownies, and more, there are a range of recipes to try, all of which are organized by main ingredients.
Though the cookbook itself is rather straightforward and plain (there are no pictures and very few colors), the recipes within are both fun to make and to eat. It’s a great way to bring kids into the kitchen and learn cooking skills while spending time together.
Price at time of publish: $17
Recipes: 201 | Pages: 248 | Published: 2013 | Formats: Paperback, e-reader
How to Make Anything Gluten-Free
Many people with dietary restrictions or preferences worry they’ll miss out on certain foods or flavors. This cookbook is all about variety and taste when it comes to gluten-free cooking. It covers delicious desserts including salted-caramel cheesecake, comfort food classics such as homemade crispy margherita pizza, and even artisanal bread loaves.
The cookbook also includes a number of recipes that are dairy-free or vegan. Written by blogger Becky Excell, “How to Make Anything Gluten-Free” has 100 recipes to try. Complete with beautiful photographs and a bunch of handy tips, it’s a great choice for any food lover that wants to cut gluten out of their diet.
Recipes: 100 | Pages: 224 | Published: 2021 | Formats: Hardcover, e-reader
For a bounty of recipes free from grains, dairy, and sugar, take "The Whole Smiths Good Food Cookbook" for a spin. Beginners looking for a little more guidance can put their trust in "The Easy Gluten-Free Cookbook," featuring simple single-pan recipes ready in 30 minutes or less.
What to Look for in Gluten-Free Cookbooks
One thing to consider when buying a gluten-free cookbook is the approachability of the recipes. If you're an average home cook, are the recipes doable? Do they seem like ones you could make, or do they seem overly involved? Are the ingredients hard to find, or can you source them easily at your local grocery store? These factors will determine whether or not you will use the book to your utmost advantage.
Do you need to avoid gluten specifically or all grains? Here's where these cookbooks distinguish themselves. Paleo cookbooks will contain recipes that are gluten-free, but they will likely skew toward being grain-free, too. Grain-free cookbooks contain recipes with absolutely no grains in them at all. Gluten-free recipes (and therefore cookbooks) may contain other grains such as millet, quinoa, legumes, buckwheat, and/or oats.
It's a simple consideration, but it may make or break your level of engagement with a cookbook. Are there photos? If so, how many of the recipes are photographed? Photography is expensive, and not all cookbooks feature a photo for every recipe. But are there enough photos to give you a sense of the style of the recipes, how they'll look on the plate, and whether or not they are appetizing?
What does gluten-free mean?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. It often acts as a binding agent and gives food structure. Unfortunately, some people have a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten and can experience unpleasant or even threatening symptoms. For example, gluten can damage the small intestines of people with celiac disease and make it difficult to absorb nutrients. Even those without celiac disease may experience discomfort, headaches, bloating, or rashes after consuming gluten.
That said, gluten is not inherently harmful to most people. For those who do have a gluten sensitivity, they may need to adopt a gluten-free diet by avoiding foods with wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. It can be easier said than done, however, as gluten is found in many foods beyond bread.
Fortunately, there are many alternative gluten-free foods. There are even ways to recreate favorites such as breads, doughs, pastas, and pancakes without the use of glutinous ingredients. Gluten-free cookbooks detail step-by-step directions to making gluten-free recipes at home. Many, if not most, restaurants have gluten-free options on their menus, too. Today, it’s easier than ever to eat gluten-free.
What else do cookbooks offer besides recipes?
Good cookbooks will often have sections devoted to technique, especially if the book focuses on a specific cooking style (such as Instant Pots or slow cookers, for example), They might also provide a short list of ingredients or tools that would be helpful in executing the recipes. Sometimes cookbooks will even offer a glossary of terms that are specific to the style of cooking or the culture or country from which the recipes come. In the case of gluten- and grain-free recipes, a glossary can be very helpful to anyone who's new to this way of eating.
What makes a good recipe?
A recipe that's regarded as good is one that you can easily follow. The instructions are clear, understandable, and written in a logical manner. The ingredients are written in a list in the order in which they are used in the recipe. Most good recipes will also give you some information about the background of the recipe—its story—and suggestions about what to serve with it, substitutions for ingredients that you might not have or like, and information about storing and freezing the dish. A good recipe will have all the bases covered.
Are recipes in a cookbook tested?
The cookbook author will have already developed and/or tested the recipes in order for the recipes to be published, but often, some publishers and authors will go beyond that process and hire testers. In this case, recipe testers will keep an eye out for whether or not the recipe works as it's written and if there are steps that can be simplified, added, or clarified. The recipe tester is looking out for the reader, keeping their concerns and questions in mind as the recipe is tested and tasted. It's not uncommon for a recipe to be tested three or four times before it's printed in a cookbook—especially if the recipes are complicated or require an unusual technique.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist who has written several gluten-free cookbooks, including "The Healthy Gut Cookbook" and "200 Under 20g Net Carbs." She understands how big of a problem gluten can be for many and knows how important it is to have a collection of easily accessible, delicious recipes to help you stay on track.
Allison Wignall, who updated this article, grew up with a number of dear friends with celiac disease. As a result, she learned from a young age to appreciate the importance of gluten-free recipes and being aware of dietary restrictions. Her work has been featured in publications such as Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, and Southern Living.
Food and Drug Administration. Gluten-free labeling of foods.
What is Gluten? Celiac Disease Foundation.