7 Gluten Free Recipe Substitutions (Plus Free Recipe!)

Can you still be gluten-free and enjoy nutritious food? Absolutely, and I’m going to prove it to you with a simple salad recipe you’re going to love!

This recipe calls for the grain orzo pasta, which is contains gluten. No problem! Substitute the orzo with a gluten-free grain. You can do this with so many recipes.

Here are some easy wheat-product substitutions that you can use in your gluten-free cooking:

Quinoa: Use it as a substitute for rice. It’s high in protein, minerals, and essential fatty acids.

Rice: Speaking of rice, if you’re going to use it, choose gluten-free brown or wild rice which are high in fiber, B vitamins, iron, selenium, and manganese.

Buckwheat: This hearty grain (which is not actually a wheat despite its name) provides minerals, antioxidants, dietary and soluble fiber, and minerals. Buckwheat pancakes anyone?

Amaranth: Use it to thicken stews, sauces, and soups. It’s high in iron, protein, calcium, magnesium, and lysine, and it’s a lower carb choice than most other gluten-free grains.

Teff: Teff is another great substitute for rice or quinoa. It’s high in protein, iron, and calcium.

Oats: While oats are gluten-free, they are very often contaminated with wheat during processing, so be careful with this substitution. Make sure you only buy oats in packaging that is clearly labeled “Gluten-Free” to be sure you’re not using a contaminated product. Oats are very high in dietary fiber, so it’s worth the effort to find pure oats for your cooking!

Gluten-Free and Nutritious Salad Recipe

When I came across this recipe, all I could think about was fresh, simple, do-able, and nutrient-dense! There isn’t much more to say except you, your family, and your guests will love it!


Makes 12 Servings

Pine Arugula Lemon Orzo Salad


For the Salad

1.5 pounds orzo pasta

1/4 cup of olive oil

3 cups of arugula (about 4.5 ounces)

3 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 cup shredded ricotta salata or parmesan cheese

18 fresh basil leaves, torn

1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

1/4 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts

For the Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 generous tablespoon lemon zest

1 garlic clove, grated

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar


  1. Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain and spread out on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and let cool.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the Dressing (olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, grated garlic clove, salt, pepper, and sugar) and whisk until completely incorporated.
  3. You can do the above two steps ahead of time and store each item separately, in airtight containers, in the refrigerator overnight. Just prior to serving (and up to several hours ahead of time), mix the salad dressing with the pasta, and then, throw in the arugula, tomatoes, ricotta salata or parmesan cheese, basil leaves, toasted pine nuts and green onions.

I like to add extra greens to my salads (arugula, spinach, or kale) for added nutrition. Accompany this salad with delicious grilled chicken, fish, or steak and you have a gluten-free, nutritious, and yummy meal.

That’s all there is to it! See how easy it can be to eat gluten-free and still enjoy nutritious food?