My Favorite Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Substitutes

Even if you avoid gluten and dairy products, sometimes you still want a bagel and cream cheese. Obviously, gluten free/dairy free substitute treats are still usually sugary and high in refined carbs, but sometimes that’s exactly what you want.
Here’s my personal list of the best gluten free and dairy free stuff.
Everything on the list is BOTH gluten-free AND dairy-free.

some people wonder about eggs – eggs are not dairy, though in some contexts they are considered dairy because when grocery stores got refrigeration, it was costly, and eggs and dairy products were kept together. now many things are refrigerated at the grocery store, but sometimes people still consider eggs to be dairy. for the purposes of food sensitivities, “dairy” refers to things made from animal milk.

Bready Things

Udi’s and Canyon Bakehouse are my two favorite brands. In particular, Canyon Bakehouse’s Rosemary and Thyme Foccacia is fantastic – great for paninis, bruschetta, and garlic bread. Lately my favorite thing to do is to use it as a pizza crust! (blog post on that coming soon!)
Both brands also make good sandwich bread (though in general, gluten-free bread is better toasted), and Udi’s makes bagels, hot dog buns, and hamburger buns as well. I particularly like the Mighty bagels (cranberry!) and the Everything bagels, which are even better than hamburger buns if you want a hamburger bun!
Udi’s has started to branch out into prepared products such as burritos – the ones I’ve seen have dairy in them.

Pasta Things

Tinkyada is my favorite brand of dry pasta, and it comes in all the standard shapes.
For fresh pasta, RP’s brand is just absolutely outstanding, in particular the spinach fettuccine.

Cakey Things

By far, Namaste brand is my absolute favorite cake, brownie, waffle, pancake, and anything else kind of mix. Reliable, delicious, and free of way more than just gluten and dairy, this is a mix that won’t let you down!

If you’re looking for cheesecake, you’re in luck! Daiya makes one that’s really pretty believable! In fact, I like it better than the various cashew varieties on the market. My favorite is the strawberry variety…

if you’re local, FoMu makes the absolute best gluten free dairy free cakes, and ice cream cakes. They definitely have ALL the sugar, but holy-cow, they’re tasty!

Cookie Things

Canyon Bakehouse makes excellent Brownie Bites
White Lion Bakery makes a very tasty cranberry cookie.
Glutino’s Lemon Wafer Cookies are just like I remember lemon wafers when I was a kid.
Kinnikinnick Vanilla Wafers are pretty much vanilla wafers, which were my go-to college study food. Yay, nostalgia in a cookie!
Immaculate Baking Co. break and bake chocolate chip and double chocolate chunk are delicious! Definitely super high in sugar, but sometimes that’s what you’re looking for. Especially if there’s a gaggle of 13-year-olds sleeping over. (Not all of their products are gluten free, so read the labels carefully.)

Though really when I want cookie things, my favorites are currently Ginger Chamomile cookies and Phoenix cookies.

if you’re local, FoMu also makes the fantastic gluten free dairy free cookies!

Cracker Things

Simple Mills is one of my new favorites. Their crackers are the best I’ve had yet (though the cheese flavor one has actual cheese in it so that’s not dairy free).
Mary’s Gone Crackers is also very good; I particularly like the Everything variety.
Glutino ritz-like crackers are alright, but Simple Mills has completely eclipsed them, in my opinion.

Cheesey Things

The Daiya Monterrey Jack block does the best imitation of hard cheese I’ve found so far. I don’t like any of their other varieties, and the pre-shredded is nowhere near as good as the block. But if you want some cheezey satisfaction, the Monterrey Jack definitely will give you that. You’ll know it’s not exactly cheeze, but it’s close enough that you don’t mind to much. It doesn’t melt like cheese does, but it does get warm and soft and that’s also sufficiently satsifying.

Kite Hill, on the other hand, is pretty much indistinguishable from the real thing. They make cream cheese, ricotta, goat-style, and soft-ripened (brie!) cheeses, all from almond milk. They’re out of this world, you really must go get some now!

Creamy Things

Kite Hill takes the cake again in the yogurt competition – in fact, it’s not even a competition. Kite Hill has it hands down.

And if you’re looking for a sour cream replacement, it’s Kite Hill again! They make a chive cream chese that I love in place of sour cream, and their plain yogurt works well also.

There are some whipped cream replacements out there, but I don’t really like any of them. Instead, I put a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for a couple hours, and then drain off all the coconut water, retaining the now-solid creamy part. I add in some vanilla and a bit of honey, and whip it up by hand – it makes a fantastic whipped cream! Thai Kitchen has the best consistency, and 365 brand sometimes won’t whip up at all. Native Forest is generally reliable.

Ice Creams

If you’re in Boston, you’re lucky, because the absolute best dairy free ice cream comes from FoMu. If you’re not from Boston, do consider a vacation here – it’s that good.

There are a lot of dairy free ice creams on the market now. Even Ben & Jerry’s has one, though I haven’t tried them yet and I’m not impressed with the ingredient lists (and, some aren’t gluten free). Coconut Bliss is by far the best, and NadaMoo is pretty good too. So Delicious used to make one called Turtle Trails, which we loved, but they don’t make it anymore. Their Cherry Ameretto is good, but overall Coconut Bliss is better.

Milky Things

Of all of the not-milks out there, Califia Farms is by far my favorite, the Toasted Coconut/Almond milk to be specific, but all of the varieties are good. In particular, they are carageenan free, and since some people are sensitive to that, bonus!

If I can’t get that, I generally just go with 365brand unsweetened almond milk.

I don’t really bother with other fake milks – almond really is the tastiest and it foams up nicely for hot chocolate and lattes, bonus!


What are your favorite gluten-free and dairy-free substitutes? Share them in the comments!

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