How to Host a Gluten Free Dinner Party
Inviting some friends or relatives over for a dinner party is a great way to get connected or celebrate. Nowadays, many people have gluten sensitivity or intolerance, which can make people feel unwelcome at dinner parties. However, you can easily host a gluten-free dinner party! To do this, ask your guests about their dietary restrictions, and provide options for everyone. With a little preparation, you can throw a delicious, fabulous dinner party, regardless of dietary restrictions.
Inviting Your Guests
Invite 3-10 guests to your dinner party 1-3 weeks in advance.Typically, 8 is the perfect number of dinner party events, but you can invite more or less people depending on your plans. Invite your guests no more than 3 weeks ahead of time, or they may forget about the event.
- To make your guests comfortable, it is helpful to invite guests that know each other already. If your guests don’t know each other, be sure to help introduce them at your dinner party so everyone feels included.
Request each of your guests respect the gluten-free food preference.When you invite your guests, mention that the dinner will be entirely gluten-free. It’s okay if all of your guests do not eat gluten-free all the time, as long as they know what to expect and honor the food restrictions by not bringing food with gluten.
- This way, the dinner party can easily cater to gluten-free guests.
Ask each of your guests if they have any other food allergies.In addition to gluten-free dietary restrictions, your guests may have food allergies including nuts, seafood, or dairy. Some guests may also maintain a vegan, vegetarian, or ketogenic diet. Knowing the food preferences of all of your guests ahead of time helps you prepare an all-inclusive menu.
- If a few of your guests are vegetarian or vegan, you can still serve meat. Just put it on a separate plate, for instance.
- If any of your guests have serious food allergies, avoid picking menu items including that ingredient. For example, if someone is allergic to nuts and they eat a salad with almonds, they can have an allergic reaction.
Planning the Menu
Ensure your alcoholic beverages are gluten-free before serving them.Many liquors are naturally gluten-free, but not all of them are. Check the label before you plan on serving a specific liquor. In addition, wine is gluten-free and is a great choice for dinner parties. Select a white and red wine so your guests have options.
- If you are unsure if your liquor has gluten in it or not, serve wine instead. This is a safe choice no matter what.
- You can also throw some chopped grapes and apples into your wine to serve sangria! This is a great idea if you are hosting a dinner party in the summer.
- If serving gluten-free liquor, pick 1 or 2 cocktails, such as a rum punch or Long Island iced tea.
Look for naturally gluten-free options before using specialty ingredients.Before you go out and buy gluten-free pastas or baking supplies, try including dishes that already are gluten free. This way, you can save money while still including delicious dishes.
- For example, steak and salad is a gluten-free option. You can add corn on the cob and baked potatoes for a delicious meal!
- You can also serve things like a veggie tray, grilled asparagus, and shrimp cocktails.
Decide on a main course and a 2-4 side dishes.After you figure out your appetizers, move on to the main entree. Risotto is a great gluten-free option for your main course, since it is filling and delicious. In addition, you can serve 100% buckwheat soba noodles as a pasta option for spaghetti and meatballs or fettuccine alfredo. Then, pick a few vegetables to serve as side dishes. Potatoes are great, filling options.
- Host a taco night! Grab some corn tortillas and use rice, beans, salsa, sour cream, and lettuce to stuff your tacos.
- Other pasta alternatives include brown-rice noodles or quinoa pasta.
- In addition, you can cook breakfast for dinner as another option.
- For other ideas, search online for “gluten-free dinner ideas.”
Clean your pots, utensils, and serving platters before using them.If a crumb of gluten winds up in the dish of someone with celiac disease, they can get sick. To avoid this, wash all of your pots, pans, mixing tools, and platters before you use them. Hold your item under warm water, and scrub it with dish soap and a sponge for 30-60 seconds. Then, rinse the item thoroughly. This way, no one will get sick!
- If you are using an electric mixer to prepare a dish, be sure to wash it thoroughly. It is best to use a separate mixer for gluten-free dishes.
- You can also use your dishwasher to clean your items.
Wipe down your cooking surfaces with an all-purpose disinfectant.If there are gluten remnants on your kitchen counter or table, it can contaminate your meals. To prevent this from happening, spray an all-purpose cleaner on your countertops, and wipe them down with a clean towel.
- You can also use disinfecting wipes, for instance.
Check your food labels for gluten ingredients.It is very common to have gluten hidden in your ingredient list. If possible, use fresh ingredients at all times to avoid any gluten additives. Look at your spices, broths, and condiments to make sure there are no gluten ingredients.
- If an item has wheat, barley, or rye in the ingredients, it is not gluten-free.
Wash your hands before you touch any food.Use soap and water to scrub your hands for about 30 seconds, and rinse them with cool water. If you've handled any food items with gluten or cleaned an item that may have had gluten, this is particularly necessary.
- This helps prevent contamination as well as sanitize your hands before cooking.
Label each dish reflecting any dietary concerns.After you make your dishes, use a piece of cardstock to label what it is. If the dish is vegetarian or vegan, make a note on the card. If the dish has sensitive food ingredients like nuts or dairy be sure to mention it too.
- This way, everyone knows what to watch out for when filling their plate.
- If you are hosting a potluck, ask your guests to fill out a label when they arrive.
Serving Your Meal
Set up a beverage station near the dining area before your guests arrive.Use a small table to house your cups, sodas, cocktails, wine, and other mixers. Place a bucket of ice and cocktail napkins on the table, as well. You can lay down a decorative tablecloth so the station looks nice.
- This way, your guests can easily refill their drinks or try your alcoholic beverage.
- If you’d like, ask your guests to label their glasses to easily keep track of them. You can leave out cocktail charms for glasses or a permanent marker for plastic cups.
Serve your drinks and appetizers when your guests first arrive.Mix your cocktails and prepare your appetizers 1-2 hours before your guests show up. This way, you can greet them with a delicious beverage and tasty snack.
Cook your main course in advance and reheat it after serving cocktails.To make the food preparation as easy as possible, make your main course the morning of your party or the night before. Then, heat it up in the oven for about 20 minutes when your first few guests show up. This way, it is ready to eat when everyone gets there.
- Your preparation will depend on what dish you are serving. For example, if you are serving a large salad as the main course, you will not put this in the oven.
Arrange your food buffet-style so everyone can easily select their food.If you have space in your home, set up a buffet table and place all of the food on the table when it is ready. When it’s time to eat, ask your guests to serve themselves from the buffet table. This way, everyone can easily select the dishes that fit their dietary requirements.
- You can add a tablecloth, table runner, or centerpieces to decorate your spread.
- If you don’t have room for a buffet spread, you can place the dishes on your dining room table.
Offer dessert 20-45 minutes after everyone eats dinner.Dessert is the perfect finishing touch of a great meal. After everyone cleans their plate, bring out your dessert options. The time in between dinner and dessert can vary, based on you and your guests’ preferences.
- For example, your guests may be ready for dessert right after dinner, or they may be extremely full and need a few minutes to digest.
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