Gluten free bees! Catering options

posted 1 month ago in Food
Post # 2
1441 posts
Bumble bee

There are so many options! Gluten is only present in wheat, barley, and rye, but it ends up being difficult to avoid because of the sheer number of things that have wheat or wheat additives in them.

Many simple, traditional dishes are already gluten-free. For example, your standard meat, potatoes, and a vegetable would be gluten free (assuming any sauces/marinades used are gluten-free, but that should be easy.) If you’re looking for more gluten-free carb options, rice and quinoa are good go-tos. You could do a risotto or paella instead of a pasta, for example. 

Other modifications should be simple — leave croutons off the salads, if you’re doing bread and dip also do a cruditee and dip or offer corn or rice based chips, etc. For passed apps, you could consider caprese skewers, lettuce cups, veg or meat kabobs… 

Post # 3
5619 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2019

cjm18 :  I would be concerned that the caterer was not being helpful, I mean it really isn’t hard, there are so many options. Like, soup (GF stock base) and Girlfriend roll, prawn cocktail no bread, rissotto, a nice salad. 

Post # 4
1376 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

There are a lot of gluten free option,  just make sure an option is pasta free.  We have brisket and chicken plus a mashed potato bar and green beans and salad.  These are all gluten free. 

Post # 5
942 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Our vegan option also doubles up as Gluten free (stuffed peppers). Oddly enough our meat options were not Girlfriend (I guess from being breaded)

Post # 6
2205 posts
Buzzing bee

I am also concerned the caterer isn’t being helpful. This is a common request now, and no matter what their personal beliefs are on it, should be at minimum able to tell you what THEY provide that is gluten free. And, you would think this is such a common request, it would be easy for them to do so. Some foods wouldn’t normally have gluten, but it could be in the spice mix or sauce they use, so really they need to tell you what your options are. 

I would honestly look into other caterer that will be more helpful and work with you to provide for your guests. 

Post # 7
2495 posts
Buzzing bee

Are they celiac or gluten-sensitive?

If they are celiac, they I would talk to your venue about letting you bring in certified gluten-free meals from wherever because I would not trust a caterer who has to get guidance from you to tell them how to do gluten-free.  This is generally more commonly seen with kosher meals.  (Though truthfully, someone with celiac is likely packing their own food.)

Otherwise, so many things are naturally gluten-free.  If you are doing traditional meat/starch/veg then you just need to watch for flour thickened sauces like gravies, breading and dredging in flour, and seasonings/condiments (no soy sauce).  Mexican and Indian cuisines lend themselves quite well to gluten-free cooking as well.

I think apps are the harder thing to do than a balanced meal because apps are generally a fully composed bite with some sort of bread-based component.  I would see if your caterer can make them each a plate of the gluten-free items first to avoid cross-contamination.  Corn chips, salsa, hummus, cheese and fruit skewers, chicken satay are all pretty easy.

Are you doing cake?  Do you have any certified gluten-free bakeries?  Most venues don’t have an issue bringing things in as long as it is from a licensed bakery.  I would pick up some cupcakes so they don’t feel like they are missing out.  Even Trader Joe’s sells gluten-free cupcakes.

Post # 8
1410 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

You can pretty much make anything gluten free – the issue comes with hidden ingredients (like standard flour as a thickening agent), and potentially cross contamination. So unfortunately, communicating with your caterer is essential because they will be the only ones who can tell you what can / cannot be made gluten free. Are you dealing with an allergy or sensitivity/preference?

My Maid/Matron of Honor is legitimately allergic to gluten, and my other bridesmaids all had sensitivities. As such, I outright went into every food decision (including choice of caterer, cake baker, and rehearsal dinner venue) to accommodate a gluten allergy. We ended up making our groom’s cake gluten free, having macarons (automatically gluten free because it uses almond meal unless you make the filling oreo or something that contains gluten), and our baker even made some of our sugar cookie favors gluten free.


Our entire food menu was also gluten free except for 2 out of 3 appetizers and the mac and cheese:


Pretzel bites with mustard (NOT gluten free)

Crab cakes (also not gluten free, but if your caterer is willing, they likely could make this gluten free)

Braised lamb shank on chickpea cake with yogurt sauce


Farmer’s Market Salad

Truffle Mushroom Soup (also vegan)

Beef tenderloin with lobster grits and arugula

Seared quail with apple gastrique

Brussels Sprouts with House made Bacon

Whole Roasted carrots with carrot top pesto

Garlic and Gruyere Mac and cheese (not gluten free, but our caterer had the option  to make it so. It just wouldn’t have been nearly as good. We figured we had enough other food that it was ok).

Post # 10
1410 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

cjm18 :  Do you have a menu to choose from? I feel like this is how we went about it. I was sent a menu of alllllll of their options, and talked about things that sounded good to us. When I voiced my interest in one entree (the tenderloin), I’d mentioned potentially the duck and she said that was good and she recommended the quail too. Thats when she said she would make sure the entire menu except for the mac and cheese would be gluten free (and obviously the pretzel bites. I can’t remember if the crab cakes were gluten free or not). Then we had tastings to actually choose what we were going to serve.


It is a narrowing down process. I think what you should do is go through the menu and choose (A few) several options from the offered categories that you’d be interested in. From there, they will narrow down what can be made gluten free. And then have tastings of the actual items in question, prepared as they would be for the wedding (gluten free) and make your choices after tasting them. I think we ended up having 3 tastings. 2 big ones, and the third was to narrow down our soup choice. Highly recommend doing the tastings – we wanted soups prepared without a cream base, and were surprised with what we ended up liking (the truffle mushroom was phenomenal – Darling Husband HATES mushrooms but LOVED this soup. And the smoked parsnip was surprisingly a miss, as we usually love smoked everything).

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