Homemade Gluten Free BBQ Sauce

This is a simple BBQ sauce that you can make at home in small batches.  My husband said he likes it better than his favorite store brand, very high praise indeed!  Use it to baste and glaze meats, as a dipping sauce, even a pizza sauce.

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Whisk the ingredients together and warm in a small saucepan.

Try using it on my BBQ Beef Short Ribs or my BBQ Chicken Pizza!

Notes ♪♫ I keep this recipe lower in sodium by choosing unsalted ketchup and low sodium Worcestershire sauce.  Use garlic granules (or powder) instead of garlic salt.

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Gluten Free Mushroom Sauce

This sauce was something I threw together to accompany a weeknight meal, almost an afterthought.  I am usually not one for sauces and gravies, but Mr. Cucina loved this Mushroom Sauce so much, that I thought it deserved a post of its own.

The first time I made it we were having pork chops.  Since then, my husband has declared it to be wonderful ladled over poultry, steaks and meatloaf as well.

Using Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream was unexpectedly good.  At first, you really taste the yogurt tang, but as the sauce rests it becomes less pronounced.  It gives the sauce a smooth, velvety texture.

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  • 4 oz. button mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 4 oz. sweet onion, small dice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. arrowroot starch/flour
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 3 oz. plain Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste


Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. butter to a small skillet.  Add the onion and cook until translucent.

Add the mushrooms and stir, cooking several minutes longer or until they release their liquid.  Set aside to cool.

In a separate saucepan, melt 1 tbsp. butter.  Add the arrowroot flour and whisk, whisk, whisk!

Lower heat and continue cooking (don’t stop whisking!) until the roux has some color, like this.

Stream in the wine and broth, whisking constantly to keep lumps from forming.  There’s our sauce taking shape!

Next stir in the mushrooms and onions.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the yogurt.

This sauce goes well with so many things.  Beef, poultry, pork…  I am especially proud of this next recipe for Sausage Stuffed Turkey Rolls.  Paired with the Mushroom Sauce and a side of wild rice, this was a great meal.  Check it out here!

Notes ♪♫ Don’t shy away from making a roux!  I used to be so intimidated about doing this, but it’s easy when you use arrowroot.  A beautiful, smooth roux every time!

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Fast and Easy Gluten Free Gravy

I have a wonderful recipe for Thanksgiving Turkey Gravy that I make every year.  I start with fresh turkey legs or thighs, roast them and braise with aromatic veggies to make a rich, flavorful stock that makes the most amazing gravy.  And while I love this make ahead recipe, I can appreciate that not everyone wants to go to all that trouble.

So, for all who are short on time and need a fast and easy recipe, this versatile gravy is for you!  It can be made a day ahead or morning of the holiday, no pan drippings needed!  It can be paired with pork, chicken, turkey, veal or even beef just by varying the base broth.

Arrowroot flour is gluten free and makes the smoothest roux, no lumps ever!

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4 Servings



Whisk together the broth, onion powder and garlic powder in a microwave safe container.  Microwave for 90 seconds.

In a small nonstick saucepan, melt butter then whisk in the arrowroot flour to make a roux.

Continue whisking until the roux begins to take on a little color like this.

Then slowly stream in the warmed broth and whisk until smooth.

Continue simmering and when it reaches the color and thickness you prefer lower the heat and keep warm.

This is a gravy that you can whip up while you make dinner, even on a busy weeknight.  I made it to go with grilled turkey cutlets and Mr. Cucina said it was very good!

Notes ♪♫ One of the things I love about this gravy, is that in addition to being gluten free, you can control the salt content.  For those on a low sodium diet, start with salt free broth, unsalted butter and use garlic and onion powder (not salt).  You can always adjust the taste by adding salt, but you are in control!

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Organizing Your Gluten Free Pantry

Beginning the Year with Organization 

Some people begin the New Year with resolutions for dieting, exercise and other life goals.  For me, the New Year means it’s time to clean and organize.  The packing away of the Christmas tree, finishing the last of the holiday leftovers and tidying up the kitchen.  It’s time to make room for some new things that Santa brought me, and donate anything that is gathering dust.

Along with that, it’s time to give the pantry an overhaul.  That means wiping down the shelves, getting rid of ingredients that are past the expiration date and putting everything in order for a New Year of baking!

What’s in my (gluten free) pantry?

For several years now I have wanted to give you a tour of my home pantry with all the gluten free must haves!  So why the procrastination?  Well, with all of the myriad cooking and baking ingredients I have purchased since going gluten free, things had gotten out of hand.

My pantry areas were so full of stuff, that often I would purchase something only to find that there was already a full box or bag in the cupboard that had gotten lost behind all the other ingredients!

What a mess!

The New Year is a great time to pull everything out for a good look at what I have on hand and reorganize how I store it.  For those who are just beginning the gluten free diet, I hope this post will be helpful in understanding where to get started.

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One of the first things that I did after my Celiac diagnosis was to designate pantry areas where no gluten is allowed.  Pull everything out and scrub the shelves clean.  Segregate all gluten containing ingredients to be donated or thrown away.  Give unopened items to the food pantry or family members.  Discard opened items, or if your household is not 100% gluten free move  all gluten containing ingredients to a separate area of the kitchen.

As you will see in the photos, I like to use ball jars to store my grains.  When I set up my gluten free pantry, I washed them in the dishwasher and got some new lids.  I also added a few new plastic containers and  Lazy Susans to complete my gluten free storage space.  A label maker is nice, but sometimes I just make labels from the product packaging and tape them on.

If you are new to gluten free baking you might be overwhelmed by the array of flours, starches and other ingredients used to make breads and pastries.  Like many, I invested quite a bit of time and money stocking my pantry to get started.  Over time I learned which ingredients I would use most often and pared down my list accordingly.  Today, grains that I use frequently are purchased in bulk and those occasional ingredients are kept in small quantities.

Keeping a well-stocked pantry means that I can experiment with new recipes without having to run to the store.  But an organized storage area is essential to not getting overwhelmed.

So, what should you buy first?  My “Frequent use” list is a great place to start.  I also provide you with a full list of what’s in my pantry by category; Grain/Flour, Starch, Seeds, Nuts and Other/Misc.  I also made you a printable checklist to take along when you go shopping.  You’re welcome!

It takes a while to know what you like.  For me it was trial and error baking many loaves of bread, rolls, pancakes and sweets.  Some ended up in the trash, and others I choked down but would never make again.  Today, after 5+ years gluten free I have my go to recipes, the ones that taste good not only to me but also my gluten eating family.  These are the ones that I make again and again, with consistent results.  The ingredients become part of my master list.

Frequent use list:

Master List:


Check out my post on Using a Grain Mill to learn why I stock whole grains like millet and buckwheat that I can easily mill into flour for baking.




  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts

Other Baking Ingredients:


Here is your printable Gluten Free Ingredient Shopping List!  What are some pantry items that you can’t be without?  Let me know in the comments!

Notes ♪♫ You may be unfamiliar with ingredients like xanthan gum and psyllium husk, but they are key in baking gluten free and will help with the structure and consistency of your gluten free breads.

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Onion Gravy

This is one versatile gravy that can be made a day ahead, no pan drippings needed!  It can be paired with pork, chicken, turkey, veal or even beef just by varying the base broth.  Making a gravy is not my favorite thing, especially trying to pull one together from pan drippings just as a holiday meal is about to be served.  Take the pressure off the big day and make a delicious onion gravy the night before!

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  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sweet onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp. gluten free corn starch
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of gluten free broth, warmed (I used 2/3 cup each of chicken, beef and vegetable broth)
  • 1 tbsp. brandy
  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream (optional or use half and half, or milk)



Pulse the onions in an electric chopper to make the prep work fast and easy.  You should have 2 cups total, minced.

In a heavy skillet melt the butter, add the onions and season with salt and pepper.  Stir frequently and cook slowly over medium low heat until the onions begin to break down, about 20 minutes.

Have the corn starch, broth and a whisk ready for the next step.  Sprinkle the corn starch evenly over the onions and whisk whisk whisk for 1-2 minutes.  Don’t stop!

Stream in the warmed broth and continue whisking.  The gravy will thicken.

See how the onions have almost melted into the gravy?  If you don’t want the little bits of onion that remain you can strain the gravy or puree it with an immersion blender.  If you like a little texture definitely leave them in.

Transfer the gravy to a small sauce pan, then stir in the brandy and cream.  Cover and keep warm until serving.

This gravy was made with a combination of chicken, vegetable and beef broth (2/3 cup each) and has a pale cream/light brown color.  I’ll be serving it with a pork roast.  You can use all chicken, beef or vegetable broth, or a combination as I did here.  Experiment with each or make a blend to create the shade and flavor you prefer.

Notes ♪♫  If making a day ahead, cool the gravy to room temperature and refrigerate.  The day of the meal gradually reheat and thin with a little extra broth if needed.

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Gluten Free Steak Marinade

Summer is here and it’s time to fire up the grill!  This Gluten Free Steak Marinade has been one of my most popular posts, and no wonder!  It’s an easy and tasty blend that goes perfectly with steaks and kabobs!  And now, for those of us who want all of the flavor but with less salt, I’ve added a lower sodium option.

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Lower Sodium Option:


Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a glass bowl or baking dish.

Add steaks or beef tips, turning to coat.  Cover and rest at room temperature for 1 hour, turning the meat halfway through.  Then cook or grill as usual.  For dinner ideas, check out my ribeye steak or beef kabobs!

Notes: ♪♫ Soy sauce contains gluten, so choose one that is specifically labeled gluten free.  I actually prefer the flavor of gluten free soy sauce, Kikkoman is one of my favorites, and I also love San-J brand gluten free tamariIf you are limiting sodium, try the lower salt alternative using Coconut Aminos, I have successfully substituted it for soy sauce in many of my recipes.  Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce is gluten free in the US, but thanks to my reader Denise for pointing out that in Canada the ingredients may be different and are not gluten free.  McCormick clearly lists gluten containing ingredients in their labeling.  I use their Montreal Steak Seasoning on steaks, burgers and kabobs.

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Gluten Free Oyster Crackers

Oyster Crackers.  Those cute little soda crackers that restaurants give you with chowder and soup.  Some are round and some are hexagon shaped.  Yes, they are off limits on a gluten free diet.  So today I’m making my own gluten free version, at home, from scratch!

Gluten free dough can be finicky to work with so I opted for the diamond shape, which is easy to cut.  The dough will be sticky and handles like pie dough.  The trick is to keep it cold.  Here’s how to make it…

~8 servings 

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Cut the butter into small pieces and refrigerate it (keep it cold) while you gather the other ingredients.  Cut 2 sheets of parchment paper to size for 2 cookie sheets (half sheet pans).  Pre-heat the oven to 375º.

Whisk together the dry ingredients and place in small food processor or mini chopper with the butter.  Pulse a few times, then add the water to form a coarse dough.

It will look shaggy, like pie dough but should hold together when you give it a squeeze.

Press the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes at room temperature.

Divide the dough ball in half.  If it is too crumbly to handle, mist it with water and knead a few times.  Cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap and roll the dough into a circle 1/8″ thick.  I used a pie dough roller, but you can use a regular rolling pin or just press it with your fingers.

Gently slide the parchment onto the baking sheets for support.  Put the dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.  Don’t skip this step!  The dough needs to be cold throughout the entire process until it goes into the oven.

Use a pizza cutter to cut the chilled dough into 3/4″ diamonds.  Refrigerate it for another 10 minutes.  Again, don’t skip this step!

Just before baking, lift up the dough with a spatula and shake gently to separate the crackers and spread in a single layer.

Be sure they don’t overlap and have space in between.

Bake 17 minutes on the middle rack (not too close to the bottom or they will get singed).  Rotate once during baking.  Cool in the pan, then lift the edges of the parchment paper and slide them into a bowl for serving.

The Oyster Crackers were excellent, they were crisp and held up well in a bowl of chowder!  Store in an airtight container or ball jar at room temperature for 1 week.  They are great for snacking!

With this recipe a success, soups and chowders are definitely back on the menu at My Gluten Free Cucina!

Notes ♪♫  I used King Arthur Gluten Free All Purpose Flour in this recipe.  Note that it does not contain xanthan gum, and I did not add any.  I have not tried making these with any other flour, so if you do let me know how it comes out!

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Homemade Espresso Powder

Like many, I’m getting ready to do a little holiday baking.  Desserts are not my forte, but I do like to indulge in the occasional treat.  That being said, I really do not want to spend money on pricey, seldom used ingredients like Espresso Powder.  So with a little research, I learned how to make a small amount at home that cost me ZERO$$$!  That’s right, the only ingredient needed are spent coffee grounds.

So get your morning coffee brewing and let’s get started.


  • used coffee grounds


Brew coffee and reserve the grounds.  Let them drain for a bit, then spread the grounds in an even layer onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake the grounds for 1 hour at 250º, then turn off the oven and leave the pan in for another 2 hours.  The grounds should be very dry to the touch.

Transfer the grounds to a coffee grinder and process into a fine powder.

Store in an air tight container, I used a small Ball jar.

Use in recipes that call for espresso powder.

Notes ♪♫ I’m a New England girl, and we love our Dunkin Donuts coffee!  That’s what I used in this post, of course you can use real espresso or any roast you prefer.

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Easy Mexican Spice Blend

Whisk together an easy Mexican spice blend for all your Cinco de Mayo recipes.  I prefer to purchase single spices for my pantry to create my own mixes.  It is both easy and economical.

This is a spicy blend!  You can use more or less as desired to suit your palate.  I do like it spicy, but of course it depends on who you are cooking for.


  • 1 tbsp. crushed Chipotle Chile
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. onion granules
  • 1 tsp. cumin


Measure the ingredients then grind in a coffee grinder or use a mortar and pestle.  Store in an airtight container.

Notes: ♪♫  Single spices are much more likely to be gluten free, while some purchased blends may contain gluten.  To be certain, always check labels and if necessary contact the manufacturer.

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Tomatillo Sauce – Salsa Verde

I remember the first time I ever had Tomatillo Sauce.  Now, let’s just say I am an Italian girl, so please forgive my first thought – what the heck is a tomatillo?  Also known as Salsa Verde or Green Salsa, I started ordering it with my favorite Mexican chicken dinner and found I really liked it.

Then one day in the produce section I spotted the tomatillos.  Aha!  So that’s what they look like!  Not very impressive with their dry wrinkled husks, but I was curious enough to try making a small batch of Tomatillo Sauce at home.  This is a mild sauce, so if you want something spicier you will need to add jalapeno or hot pepper flakes.  For great flavor, be sure to use fresh cilantro and use both the leaves and stems.

Recipe makes about 1/2 cup and can be doubled or tripled if using as a dip.


  • 4 tomatillos (about 4 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Mexican Spice Blend or more to taste
  • juice of 1/2 small lime (about 1 tbsp.)


Peel and wash the tomatillos, then cut in half.

Place the tomatillos with the next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a small sauce pan.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes on low heat.

The tomatillos will cook down until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Cool slightly, then transfer to a blender or small electric chopper.  Add the lime juice and spice, then puree the ingredients until smooth.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

This sauce is delicious brushed on grilled chicken, veggies or any savory food.  You can also serve it with chips as a salsa.

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