Gluten-Free Easter: Recipes and Candy

Looking for gluten-free Easter recipes and candy? Easter is a big holiday in the United States, one that involves a lot of food that often isn’t gluten-free. This can make celebrating easter difficult.

Just like any other holiday, navigating Easter while gluten-free can be hard. That’s why in this complete guide to a no-gluten Easter, I’m going to share with you some GF Easter recipes and candies to enjoy!

Table of Contents

Risky Easter Foods and Recipes That May Contain Gluten - Tayler Silfverduk, RD

What is Easter and How do People Celebrate it?

When celebrating a gluten-free easter, it’s important to remember what we’re celebrating with Easter. Easter is a major Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. It is on a Sunday every year, and many people celebrate it.

It is common for people to attend church for Easter service and this is where the first risk of gluten exposure happens: communion wafers. If allowed, you may use gluten-free communion wafers but know that this is not condoned by the Vatican. Instead, some suggest only drinking the wine for communion.

Following church service there is often an Easter brunch or dinner. These central celebratory meals often feature gluten. On top of that, egg hunts are also a common activity that is done on Easter.

Eggs filled with candy are hidden around a yard or house and children look for them, hoping to get as many treats as they can. Easter baskets are typically given on easter too. They are baskets filled with Easter goodies from candy to toys to sometimes gift cards. Both Easter egg hunts and Easter baskets can be sources of gluten exposure too due to candy sometimes containing gluten.

If you are attending an event for Easter where food will be served, consider bringing your own, so you can still eat with everyone else while staying safe. You can also host your own Easter meal and make some delicious gluten-free recipes that everyone will enjoy! Later on, in this blog post, we’ll talk more about some gluten-free Easter recipes you can make!

Typical Easter Foods and Recipes That Aren’t Gluten-Free

When it comes to a gluten-free Easter, it’s important to know where the risks lie when it comes to food.

On Easter, candy is a big part of the food that is enjoyed. A lot of candies contain barley malt and other gluten ingredients. There are also many pastries and bread that are served that also have gluten like Hot Cross Buns.

Additionally, mashed potatoes are often served as sides at dinner, they may seem gluten-free but can be thickened with wheat flour, so always double-check with the host.

Other foods that might hide gluten include deviled eggs. Some mustards (especially the artisanal ones) can contain gluten, so it’s important to double-check on ingredients to ensure they are safe.

I know it can feel overwhelming to keep a pulse on everything that could gluten you. Being a gluten-free guest during the holiday seasons can feel like a lot, and it’s possible. Whether that means you’re bringing your own food, co-hosting, hosting, or communicating closely with the host, don’t let celiac rob you of enjoying the holidays.

For more on strategies that simplify celiac-safety during the holidays, check out my Celiac Crash Course!

Gluten-free Easter Candy - Tayler Silfverduk, RD

Gluten-Free Easter Candy

Now that we’ve got the basics of Easter down, let’s talk about gluten-free Easter candy. When looking for gluten-free candy it’s important to know how to check food labels for gluten.

First, you want to check for a gluten-free claim or certification on the label. If you see “gluten-free”, “no gluten” etc. written anywhere, that means this candy per FDA law must have <20ppm of gluten and thus, be celiac-safe.

If you don’t see a gluten-free claim, you will want to look for gluten-containing ingredients. Gluten commonly shows up in the ingredients list of candy as:

  • Malted barley
  • Barley malt extract
  • Barley malt
  • Enriched wheat flour
  • Wheat flour

You will also want to check for ingredients that may contain gluten, like natural flavors. If you see natural flavors on a candy that’s not labeled gluten-free, contact the manufacturer to check on its gluten-free status. To make your life easier I’ve listed some gluten-free Easter candies below:

  • Cadbury Eggs (in the USA, these are made by Hershey which does claim they are gluten-free however, the ingredients do not contain gluten. Use your own judgment here).
  • Dove Chocolate Eggs
  • Dove Chocolate Bunnies (dark and milk chocolate) 
  • Gimbal’s Gluten-free Jelly Beans
  • Almond Joy Eggs
  • M&Ms Easter Pastel
  • M&Ms Eggs
  • LifeSaver Gummies – original and bunnies
  • Peeps
  • Easter ROLO
  • Snickers Milk Chocolate Easter Minis
  • Yum Earth Easter Gummy Fruit and Fruit Pops
  • Hershey’s Marshmallow Eggs
  • Hershey’s Bunny
  • Hershey’s Eggs
  • Tootsie Roll Eggs

As always, double-check the ingredients to verify these products are suitable for your needs. If you need help identifying safe gluten-free food and medications, I show you how in the Celiac Crash Course. Complete with workbooks and simulations to help you become a confident label-reader!

Gluten-Free Candy to put in Easter Eggs

Now that we know what Easter candy is gluten-free, we can talk about what easter treats you can put in Easter eggs. Some of my gluten-free favorites include:

  • York Peppermint Patties
  • Ring Pops
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Miniature
  • Sour Patch Bunnies
  • Mini Snickers
  • Smartie’s Candy Rolls

Remember, the candy you celebrate Easter with doesn’t have to be specifically Easter themed. You can rely on regular gluten-free candies to fill gluten-free Easter eggs and baskets with.

You also don’t have to put candy in Easter baskets! You can fill Easter baskets up with other fun things like colored pencils, coloring books, kid’s books, gluten-free play dough, legos, and more.

Gluten-free Easter Recipes - Tayler Silfverduk, RD

Gluten-Free Easter Recipes

When it comes to celebrating a gluten-free Easter, you’ll need some delicious and safe Easter recipes to lean on. My advice is to make a list of all your Easter favorites and try to explore some gluten-free recipes online. Pinterest is a lot of fun for this. And if you’re looking for a more done-for-you approach, below are some recipes that you can prepare for the whole family!

Vegan Caramel Chia Pod - Tayler Silfverduk DTR - vegan caramel, calcium rich breakfast, gluten-free breakfast, mealprep breakfast, mealprep recipe, #vegancarmel #veganbreakfast #glutenfreebreakfast #celiacfriendly #caramelchiapudding #caramelpudding #drizzilicious #glutenfreerecipe #plantbasedrecipe #plantbasedbreakfast, plantbased breakfast, chia seed pudding, chia pod, chia pudding, #chiapod #chiaseedpudding #chiapudding
This Vegan Caramel Chia Pod is a delicious Easter brunch option to serve to guests.

Gluten-Free Easter Brunch

First up on the gluten-free Easter recipe list are Gluten-free Brunch recipes! Easter brunch is a common meal featured during this holiday so here are some recipes to serve up:

  • Egg Casserole – First up, this simple and easy dish is perfect to whip up for a large crowd! Especially if you’ve got guests you weren’t expecting to feed!
  • Gluten-Free Ricotta Pancakes – Another delicious thing to serve for Easter Brunch are pancakes! These gluten-free ricotta pancakes are delicious and you can add a little Easter twist by making faces on top of them with cut out fruit, whipped cream and chocolate chips!
  • Hash Brown Egg Nests – Who doesn’t love potatoes and eggs for brunch? This recipe is a fun Easter twist on a brunch classic.
  • Vegan Caramel Chia Pod – Make a big batch of this delicious chia seed pudding and layer it in small mason jars for guests to grab and eat during Easter brunch!
Avocado Egg Salad​ - Tayler Silfverduk, celiac dietitian
This Avocado Egg Salad is a quick and fun spin on a traditional Easter dish.

No Gluten Easter Appetizers

Second up on the gluten-free Easter recipe list are gluten-free appetizers. These are lighter foods to help keep people from getting hangry before the main event!

  • Easter Egg Deviled Egg Chicks – These adorable deviled eggs are a fun spin on traditional deviled egg plates shared on Easter. The ingredients all should be naturally gluten-free, just double check on the dijon mustard, mayo, and olives.
  • Muffin-Tin Quiche with Spinach & Potato – These are easy to make and easy to serve quiches. They have potatoes, cheese and greens, they’re delicious and easy to make as an appetizer with little mess. They can be enjoyed at brunch or dinner.
  • Tomato Basil Skewers – These are simple skewers with tomato, basil, and cheese. They are refreshing and not too heavy to eat before a meal. These will be a hit if you bring them or serve them!
  • Avocado Egg Salad – A fun twist on egg salad that may be served on Easter, this recipe uses mashed avocado instead of mayo. A must-try if you like avocado! Bonus: make this if you need a gluten-free recipe to use leftover Easter eggs with.
Tater Tot Casserole Recipe (gluten-free)​ - Tayler Silfverduk, celiac dietitian
Potatoes, vegetables, and beef come together to form a delicious Easter dinner in this Tater Tot Casserole

Gluten-Free Easter Dinner Recipes

Next up on the gluten-free Easter recipe list are dinner recipes! Easter dinner is typically a big deal and involves a lot of delicious foods. Below are some favorites you can make!

  • Brown Sugar Ham Glaze – This glaze can be put on a store-bought ham or you can cook your ham yourself. This sweet, savory glaze will be delicious. Glazed ham is very common on Easter, so this will surely be a hit!
  • Crispy Chicken Thighs – If ham isn’t your thing, here’s a chicken recipe! Who doesn’t love some good crispy chicken? This is an easy one-pan meal with chicken and roasted vegetables.
  • Roasted Lamp Chops – We got ham, chicken, and now lamb. These are flavorful roasted lamp chops, perfect for an Easter Sunday. They are simple to make and really melt in your mouth.
  • Tater Tot Casserole – A fun twist on common Easter dinner ingredients, you got potatoes, corn, and beef!
Strawberry Blondie Recipe (gluten-free and made with chickpeas) - Tayler Silfverduk, celiac dietitian
Throw the Strawberry Blondie ingredients in a blender, pour into a loaf pan, bake and BOOM! A quick and easy Easter dessert.

Gluten-Free Easter Dessert Recipes

Last but not least on the gluten-free Easter recipe list are desserts! Rule number one of living with celiac disease: always bring your own delicious dessert! 

  • Gluten-Free Bunny Munch – This is a great Easter treat to snack on! It’s sweet and salty with peanuts, popcorn, pretzels and candies. This is festive and easy to share, you can pack it into Ziplocs or just bring a large bowl!
  • Gluten-Free Easter Bunny Sugar Cookies – These are easy to make Easter bunny-shaped sugar cookies. They’re simple but delicious, everyone will love them! They’re also vegan.
  • Gluten-Free No-bake Mini Egg Cheesecakes – These are easy to make no-bake cheesecakes with mini egg candies. They’re made in glasses with yogurt, animal cracker crumbs, and whipped cream.
  • Strawberry Blondies – Make some delicious and indulgent strawberry blondies to serve after your Easter dinner. These are quick and easy too!
  • JELL-O Egg Jigglers – A fun twist to gluten-free treats on Easter are this JELL-O Egg Jigglers. And yes, JELLO is gluten-free.

Putting All The Eggs in The Basket...

Celebrating a gluten-free Easter can feel overwhelming but hopefully, this blog post gave you some ideas of foods you can still enjoy. Easter is a holiday where there are a lot of options for you to stay safe. There are a lot of gluten-free candies and recipes that can be easily modified. You don’t have to sacrifice enjoying yummy foods this Easter!

And if the Holidays are hard and you feel like you need more strategies and support to simplify your celiac safety strategies, check out the Celiac Crash Course! This self-paced course gives you strategies and skills to stay celiac-safe at events like this AND you’ll get access to 2 months of live virtual support group meetings to ask questions and trouble shoot problems with celiac specialists and peers. Check it out here.

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