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8 Starchy Side Dishes That are Naturally Gluten-Free

03/22/2015 08:53 am ET | Updated May 17, 2015

Forget pasta and grains: some of the tastiest, most satisfying sides are naturally gluten-free.

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This is one of those crowd-pleasing, make-ahead recipes that everyone loves. The dressing is smoky and sweet -- similar to the vinaigrette served at Chipotle. Serve with grilled chicken for a delicious, gluten-free meal. GET THE RECIPE

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Though it looks like couscous and eats like a grain, quinoa is the tiny seed of a plant related to leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard. Here, it's dressed up with sautéed carrots, shiitake mushrooms and pecans to make an earthy and hearty dish. GET THE RECIPE

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A quick ragout of white beans and sweet tomatoes in a robustly flavored broth. The tomatoes -- just barely cooked -- burst in your mouth when you bite into them, while fresh herbs and a splash of balsamic vinegar liven the dish up. GET THE RECIPE

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This dish is not really authentic -- true Mexican rice is more complicated and time-consuming to make -- but my kids claim it tastes just like the rice served at their favorite Mexican restaurant. GET THE RECIPE

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This fresh Thai-style salad is a healthy eater's dream: flavorful, chock-full of protein and veggies, satisfying and low in fat. Pair it with fish or shellfish for a light, gluten-free meal. GET THE RECIPE

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This dish involves layering thinly sliced potatoes with heavy cream and grated cheese, and then baking until the cream reduces and blankets the potatoes in a rich, creamy sauce. Definitely worthy of a special occasion! GET THE RECIPE

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This creamy and comforting polenta pairs beautifully with roasts and stews. Made with instant polenta and frozen puréed squash, it's quick and easy to make. GET THE RECIPE

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Cauliflower isn't a starch, but here it mimics rich and creamy mashed potatoes. You won't believe how similar it tastes, especially since it's good for you. GET THE RECIPE