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How to Convert a Recipe to Gluten Free

You have a recipe box full of recipes from Grandma, but they're full of gluten! Find out how to adjust the recipes so they're gluten free.

By: Sara Raffensperger, Editor,
How to Convert a Recipe to Gluten Free

We've all been there. You have a collection of recipes passed down from your grandmother or great-grandmother, but they aren't gluten free. You might be wondering to yourself How to Convert a Recipe to Gluten Free and now you will have the answers. Short of just experimenting in the kitchen and finding out what works and what doesn't, there are a few specific techniques you can try to adjust a recipe so it's gluten free. It might be a good idea to write down the gluten free version if it works for you and store it with the original. So, when you pass on the recipe collection, whoever receives it has both versions.

When you get the celiac disease diagnosis or you're told that you have a gluten sensitivity, it can feel like everything you used to eat is now evil. You have to avoid some foods and it feels like you're avoiding all of the foods. Converting a recipe to be gluten free re-opens that world for you. You can still enjoy your favorite foods as long as you're careful with the ingredients. And better yet - once you learn how to make the gluten free versions, your favorite foods won't make you feel sick anymore!

Swap the flour

Sometimes all you have to do is change the flour to make a recipe gluten free. You can substitute all-purpose regular flour for all-purpose gluten free flour at a ratio of 1:1. If you're baking things like cakes or breads, add 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of flour to help with binding the ingredients together.

Another flour swap technique is to measure by weight. Each flour has a different weight and density. 1 cup of potato starch is not going to be the same weight as 1 cup of your favorite all-purpose gluten free blend. For every 1 cup of regular all-purpose flour, use 140 grams of gluten free all-purpose flour.

Check out our collection of recipes with flour substitutions!

Substitute for a naturally gluten free ingredient

Sometimes you're just going to have to come to terms that the recipe isn't going to be exactly the same when you make it gluten free. There are going to be substitutions that you have to make that might alter the recipe more than you want. If you're making a pasta casserole, it might be easier to use quinoa. It won't be easy to change all of these ingredients, but you'll feel better knowing that everything is gluten free.

For more substitution ideas, you can check out our article, Tricky Gluten Free Ingredients, to stock your pantry with naturally gluten free foods.

Look for a similar recipe online

The Internet is an endless resource that you can use to help with your recipe adaptation. If you're converting Grandma's chocolate cake to be gluten free, search for other gluten free chocolate cake recipes and see what those gluten free bakers do. Try some of their techniques and add the ingredients that make Grandma's special (like her dash of cinnamon or how she always adds extra chocolate).

Experiment with your ingredients

Sometimes there's no easy way to adjust the recipe so it tastes and feels the same without gluten. You might have to adjust the other ingredients as well when you try new flours. Some flours might be a bit drier so you might have to add more liquid ingredients. Cooking is a fun science, but you will need to figure out what your favorite flours require.

Find a similar recipe that's already gluten free

Once again, the internet is an invaluable resource to everyone learning how to cook gluten free and those looking to convert their classic recipes. Say your grandmother had a famous chocolate cake recipe that you want to make for your gluten free family. Find some gluten free chocolate cake recipes online and see what other people did. It's a shortcut that will give you ideas on what ingredients to swap and maybe you'll find a gluten free baking technique that you didn't know about and can implement in your quest for gluten free recipes.

For more help, check out our best Gluten Free Cooking Tips from Bloggers!

Do you have any recipe conversion tips or questions about converting recipes? Let us know in the comment section!

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your favorite foods won't make you feel sick anymore!

Changing to gluten free has been really difficult for me. I agree with the fact that there is a need to experiment but I dont have the time to do that. All the gluten free versions of food seem so expensive as well. Thank you for the tips and ideas you give on this site. They have been a big help!

Hi FoodLover! I totally get that experimenting is too time consuming. Another tip for gluten free conversion is to find a similar recipe to the one you want to convert that's already gluten free and see if the changes they make apply to your recipe. - Editor of FGF

The best conversion tip that i have is to download and print a metric to english converon chart so no matter which country the recipe is borne out of, you will be on target making it.

Flourlesss chocolate cake is actually better than cake with flour.

my tip is to use avocado in place of oil

I need help making divinity...hubby loves it I struggle making it!!

I need tips on getting sugar cookies and biscotti to rise more in a high altitude. I've been having issues with them coming out too flat.

When I stirfry veggies I use chicken broth instead of oil

pick me

i convert to vegan by adding tofu and removing meat in my recipes.

I do not know anyone who is gluten sensitive, but if I ever do I now have some tips to share.

I have three people in my life who are intolerant to gluten-containing products. This is such an awesome insight, thank you!

This will definitely help my Husband.

This is great info! Thanks!

this is great i have a friend who has this condition i will most definitely share this with here thanks

Interesting useful info

I WISH I knew more about converting my favorite recipes to gluten free!

I don't know how to convert recipes to gluten free but it would be useful to learn, as I have gluten-free relatives.

Has anyone done experiments that substitute ground beans for most of the grain in baking recipes? I tried some, but forgot to write down what I did. (sorry)

I have no knowledge of how to convert a recipe. I would love to learn.

This would come in handy. The Gluten free recipes are hard so having and exchange for products sounds a lot better.

I think the best advice is to not get discouraged if it doesn't come out right the first time. All cooking, whether it's gluten free or not, can be difficult and the best thing to do is just keeping cooking just keep cooking just keep cooking!

I don't have any hints on how to convert a recipe to gluten free and I am always looking for new hints and ideas.

Make sure you have the right amount of liquid. Many GF flours have a different absorption rate from wheat flour.

The only tip I can offer is to search out ingredient exchanges on the internet, that's what I do because someone else has usually already figured it out.

I don't have to follow a gluten free diet, but this information is super helpful for anyone who does. Living gluten free doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite foods!


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