FOR BEGINNERS! Your favorite recipes can now be gluten free! And if you are new to the gluten free world this is a great place to start. I will go over the basics of converting recipes to gluten free, gluten free flour, and how to use them in cooking and baking with samples included.

Converting Recipes to Gluten Free

Gluten Free Flours

There are a ton of gluten free flours out there. Common ones we see are almond, buckwheat, brown rice, oat, corn, chickpea, coconut, tapioca, and cassava. The list goes on and on.

Each flour has a unique taste with different nutrients and composition. BUT, using gluten free flour is not typically enough. There needs to be a blend of flours, starches, and gums in order to work it’s magic.

Various types of gluten free flour. Coconut flour, Almond flour, and Gluten Free Flour blend.

My Choice For Gluten Free Flour

My absolute favorite to work with for everyday cooking and baking is King Arthur Flour’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure. It contains various flours, starches, gums, and vitamins which makes it so effective and delicious. BEST PART, you use the same amount of flour the original recipe calls for. There is absolutely no math and no guesswork with blends like it.

Similar gluten free flour blends include Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Blend, or Jules Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour. I have found the best results with these three brands although there are more. I recommend trying them for yourself and figuring out which one you like the best.

Converting Cooking Recipes to Gluten Free

Converting cooking recipes is so much easier than you think. If flour is being used…

  • As a thickening agent:
    • use equal parts of gluten free flour as the recipe states.
    • use starch to make a slurry. I typically use cornstarch but you can also use potato starch or arrowroot powder. Combine 1 tablespoon of starch with 2 tablespoons of water, stock, wine, or juice (whatever will work best in your recipe). Slowly pour the slurry into your dish, whisking constantly until combined and thickened.
  • As a breading or coating:
    • use equal parts of gluten free flour. Feel free to use any type of gluten free flour for this, I love using almond flour to coat chicken breasts. And for an even crispier result try replacing a few tablespoons of the gluten free flour with starch.
  • In a main ingredient:
    • swap them out for their gluten free version (pastas, buns, tortillas, pizza crusts). Some brands are better than others so you may have to do some experimenting to find what you like the best. Good thing is there are a lot of options you can find at the store or online.

Sample: Chicken Alfredo Soup with Tortellini Conversion

This Chicken Alfredo Soup with Tortellini has been such a huge hit on the blog so let’s convert it!

Chicken Alfredo Soup with Tortellini
This quick and easy 20 minute Chicken Alfredo Soup with Tortellini is creamy and tastes just like the beloved pasta dish! It is rich, hearty, and has souper (get it, soup-er! HA!) simple ingredients. What's even better is it is a ONE POT meal!
Full Recipe Here
Chicken Alfredo Soup with Tortellini ready to serve

The ingredients which contain gluten are the alfredo sauce and cheese tortellini’s. The solution is “souper” easy…

  1. Swap out the alfredo sauce and cheese tortellini’s for equal parts of their gluten free variety.
  2. Optional: If the soup is too thin after making it, mix up a slurry. Combine 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 2 tablespoons of chicken broth. Slowly pour the slurry into your soup over medium-high heat, whisk constantly until it thickens.
Gluten free measure for measure flour.

Converting Baking Recipes to Gluten Free

Converting baking recipes can be a little bit trickier because baked goods tend to be finicky. So here are a few notes:

  1. The directions or method of the recipe will not change.
  2. Your gluten free flour blend should have some type of gum in it (xanthan or guar gum). This is what creates and sticky and binding quality to your baked goods.
  3. None of what I am about to say will work with yeasted breads and recipes. That is an entirely separate and advanced topic.

The rule of thumb: For every 1 cup of all purpose flour measure out 130 to 140 grams of the gluten free flour blend.

I ALWAYS use a kitchen scale when I am measuring out gluten free flour because it varies in weight depending on what is in them. Even flour blends that are 1:1 can very, so I do it to be safe.

You can stop there if you want a simple conversion, but I like to do one more thing…

  • Increase or add baking powder. I found doing this give more height and texture to my gluten free baked goods.
    • When increasing the baking powder amount: increase by 50% to 100% of what the recipe calls for. 1 teaspoon of baking powder means an additional 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
    • When adding baking powder: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking powder added along with the flour.

A couple other tips in gluten free baking …

  • MIX, MIX, MIX! I like to mix my batter twice as long to help build up some strength and stability. Overmixing batter is almost impossible in gluten free.
  • Allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes in the bowl, this also helps to build up strength in the batter.

SAMPLE: Cherry White Chocolate Blondies

These Cherry White Chocolate Blondies are one of my all time favorite recipes on the blog. The flavors and texture together are incredible. Let’s convert it!

Cherry and White Chocolate Blondies
These blondies are a quick and easy, one-bowl, no- fail recipe! They are thick, chewy, and white chocolatey with a burst of fresh cherry flavor.
Full Recipe Here
Blondie Stack

The ingredients which contain gluten are the all purpose flour. The solution is to make the recipe as normal with a few ingredient tweaks…

  1. Substitute 1 cup all purpose flour to 140 grams (equivalent to one cup) King Arthur Flour’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure.
  2. Allow the batter to rest in the bowl for 30 minutes, prior to adding it to the 8×8 baking pan.
  3. Because this recipe had no leavening agent and it is only 9 servings, I will add a 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.

Use Your Instincts

My biggest piece of advice is to use your instincts and take tons of notes. Converting recipes means you are truly making it your own.

Is your soup not quite thick enough? Add more corn starch. Is your dough a little dry? Try adding an egg white or some Greek yogurt for moisture. Is it bland? Try adding more spices or a pinch of salt to elevate your flavors.

Click here to take a peek at my already gluten free recipes!

Converting Recipes to Gluten Free, sifting gluten free flour in action.

Thanks for dropping in! Be sure to subscribe to my weekly newsletter for fun NEW CONTENT and CONVERSATION delivered to your inbox.

If you love this Converting Recipes to Gluten Free for Beginners guide save it now so you can find it later. Also don’t forget to leave me a comment, or tag me on social media using the hashtag #EntirelyElizabeth. I would love to see this in action and know your thoughts. Thank you for your support!

Enjoy Entirely, Elizabeth