My top 3 Gluten-Free "Emergency" Meals

We rarely eat out and when we do, I like it to be deliberate and special. Deliberate does not equal desperate and calling Craig to pick up Chic-Fil-A because the day got away from me. And we are starving doesn't eq So I like to keep a few meals as spares. I don't often include them in my meal planning because I save them for when I need something easy.

They use ingredients I can easily keep stocked, normally have on hand or can have Craig pick up at the dollar store that he drives by on his way home from work. I like ground beef for these recipes because even if it isn't thawed, I can brown it by scrap off the outside of the frozen chunk as I go. Julia Child would probably not approve of that but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Unfortunately, a few of my favorites had to be abandoned when I gave up Gluten and beans (goodbye tuna melts and lentil casserole!) but others were fine or could be saved with a tweak or two. Here are my current go-to meals.

Breakfast for Dinner - German Pancake/Dutch Baby

We love breakfast for dinner around here but most fun breakfasts are not GF friendly, or they can be made that way but then I'm searching for a dozen different flours and suddenly my quick easy dinner ceases to be so. Eggs are obviously GF but since I eat eggs for breakfast 90% of the time, I need something a little different for dinner. German Pancakes are just different enough to work and the are fun. Who doesn't love puffy foods?
  • 1/4 cup butter (this can be reduced to a smearing of the pan or even some coconut oil for non-stick purposes if you're cupboard is low but its better with lots of butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (1/4 teaspoon if you are using salted butter and if you're gf you might be. Silly people putting gluten in butter, why?)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (I make my own from coconut flakes I buy in bulk from Tropical Traditions)
  • 6 Tablespoons arrowroot (or cornstarch)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk 
Preheat oven to 425. Put 1/4 cup butter in pan (9x13 or large dutch oven) inside to heat/melt while you make the batter.

Whisk coconut flour, arrowroot, and salt together. Add eggs and milk and whisk to combine. Take pan from oven, quickly add batter and replace. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked and puffy and edges are starting to turn golden brown.

It may fall when removed from the oven, that's okay. I like it served with lemon juice and some sort of sweetener (powdered sugar is the less healthy option, maple syrup if I'm being better) but the lemon is optional. You can add fruit to the center before you cook it but I prefer to serve it with fruit on the side. If I'm working with what I've got on hand, its often canned fruit or frozen fruit made into smoothies. And I once served it with cottage cheese so now my kids expect that but too. Kids are funny like that.


This is based on these recipes from heavenly homemakers but tweaked to be GF and cheaper/less meaty. I've also made a half batch using leftover taco meat.

2 Tablespoons Taco seasoning (I use homemade)
16 ounces brown rice pasta (Trader Joes and are brands we use and like)
6 cups of milk
2 cups of Cheddar cheese
1 lb ground beef

Get all your ingredients measured and ready. Heat milk and pasta over medium heat, stirring pretty much constantly until pasta is cooked. This will take about the time the package says to cook the pasta, plus maybe 2-3 minutes. In a separate pan, brown meat. Once brown, add taco seasoning - while still stirring the pasta/milk. If meat gets done before pasta, you can turn it off. Once pasta is done, turn off heat and add cheese to pasta and stir until cheese is melted. Then add meat/seasoning mixture and stir to combine. Add some veggies on the side and you've got a meal (we almost always have carrots on hand or I grab something out of the freezer).

Super Nachos

I'm don't even really have a recipe for this. It's basically taco salad but with a kid friendlier name. We also called them haystacks growing up because you start with a stack of tortilla chips, add taco meat and whatever you have on hand that might be somewhat taco-ish. Lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa, sour cream, thawed frozen corn. Back when I ate beans, I'd keep canned black beans on hand so I could make this even if I didn't have meat available. I don't make a dressing for this (which is fine because it's not a taco SALAD, its super nachos ;-) and I find the sour cream and salsa are enough but you could if you wanted.

I'm not realizing these aren't very pantry-ish since they rely on fresh milk, cheese and eggs. I almost always have those on hand anyway but I'd love to add a few more to my rotation, especially ones that rely more on pantry items.

 So what are you're favorite pantry/emergency meals? 

photo credit: Mel // Left of Centre via photopin cc

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