A Gluten-Free Food Blogger Brunch (and Basil Chicken Pesto Salad Puffs)


Yesterday, a group of Dallas-area food bloggers and friends got together for our first-ever gluten-free brunch, hosted by Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. It was an intimate party (there were five of us), and boy, was it a lovely meal, and an excellent opportunity to meet other gluten-free bloggers. Also attending the brunch was Amy of I Am A Celiac, Kerri of Food Sparks, and Katie, a gluten-free friend that does not blog (yet – we might convince her otherwise).

For those of us with dietary restrictions, sometimes pot lucks and meals at others’ houses can cause anxiety, (will I get sick?) or cause many of us to not eat at all. Not so at this brunch! What a delight to visit and everything is gluten-free! There was certainly an abundance of food.

Amy of Simply Sugar and Gluten Free made cucumber basil water (posted on her blog), which is the most amazing, refreshing drink I think I’ve had to date. Definitely seeing this served in the near future in my house. She also baked up a storm, making two varieties of scones, blueberry crumb bars, (which I loved – even took a few home!) and strawberry muffins.

Amy of I Am A Celiac brought deliciously savory gluten-free jalapeno sausage, black beans and roasted potatoes, and a baked good from the nearby gluten-free bakery (for the life of me, I can’t think of or find the name of the place!).

Katie brought a lovely fruit salad and deviled eggs (complete with homemade mayonnaise!), and Kerri brought fresh juices and some homemade jams – strawberry and raspberry chipotle.

And I brought these.

Basil chicken pesto salad puffs. I used my gluten-free, dairy-free pate a choux recipe, and filled the puffs with chicken salad. I wanted a fresh, unique chicken salad, and since my garden is currently overflowing with basil, I opted for pesto as a main component. I found that Alisa at Go Dairy Free had a dairy-free pesto recipe that was very easy to make. I followed this recipe, and boosted the flavors and complexity with the addition of sun-dried tomatoes, apples, walnuts, lemon, and a bit of dijon. I added mayonnaise, but not much – just enough to keep the salad moist and blend the flavors together. Stuffed into the puffs, this salad was bright, slightly sweet, and fresh.

It was most refreshing to enjoy time with fellow bloggers (and fellow gluten-free friends). Spending time with like minds who share the same passions rejuvenates the soul. I returned home with renewed energy and new ideas. We’ll have to get together again soon!

Basil Chicken Pesto Salad Puffs

2 T olive oil

2 lbs chicken breasts

Salt and pepper

1 recipe gluten-free, dairy-free cream puffs

1 recipe dairy-free basil pesto

1/2 c mayonnaise

1 1/2 t dijon mustard

1/3 c sundried tomatoes, chopped

1/4 c toasted walnuts, chopped

2 apples (I used Fuji, but I imagine Granny Smith would be even better), peeled and diced

1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large, heavy skillet to medium heat. Add olive oil and allow to heat until shimmering. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and saute, 5-6 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. (Work in batches if you need to) Remove and set aside. When all chicken is cooked, place in airtight container and chill in refrigerator overnight.

Prepare cream puffs as directed in recipe and allow to cool to room temperature.

Prepare pesto as directed in recipe.

Remove chicken from refrigerator and dice into 1/2 inch dice. Stir together pesto, mayonnaise, and dijon mustard. Toss apples in juice from the lemon. Combine diced chicken, pesto mixture, apples, sundried tomatoes, and walnuts in a large bowl and stir gently until evenly mixed. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut a small hole in the top of each cream puff. Gently spoon chicken salad into each cream puff, filling the entire inside cavity. Chill until ready to serve. (These can be refrigerated for a few hours, but the cream puff will become soft over time.)

Makes 15-18.


Filed under Appetizers, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes

27 responses to “A Gluten-Free Food Blogger Brunch (and Basil Chicken Pesto Salad Puffs)

  1. That spread looks amazing!! What an absolute pleasure to be able to have a brunch with good (gluten-free!) friends – it looks like such a fun time :).

  2. Beautiful food. Just proves the gluten-free crowd can enjoy an elegant brunch without the gluten.

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  4. Oh, how wonderful for all of you! I wish I could have been there to meet you, Amy, and the other girls. The food looks awesome, including your puffs, of course. 🙂 Brilliant idea on filling them with this basil chicken pesto concoction!


  5. What a lovely brunch and a fantastic party for such a sweet group of gluten free bloggers! Looks like you had a wonderful time! The food looks amazing!! I can’t wait for Amy’s book!

  6. That looks lovely! Wish I could have joined in! All the food looks absolutely delicious, and how nice to be able to attend a brunch where you know you can eat everything!

  7. What a great brunch! Definitely a good spread of goodies. I like your dish Alta. Yum!

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  10. What a GREAT potluck and your puffs look wonderful! Loved this post! I’m going to have to become gluten-free just so I can come to the next one. 😉

  11. Gorgeous spread! I’m hungry!

  12. I think you guys should have this gluten free brunch more often! This truly highlights that you can be gluten-free / sugar free without compromising. Your basil chicken puff is a sophisticated and delectable appetizer.

  13. I started to read your post and then decided to look at the pictures first. As I did, I thought, “I bet they were at Amy’s house.” It just looked like her. It sounds like a wonderful time with great food and I’m terribly jealous. 🙂

  14. wow, that’s a wonderful variety of delicious dishes! it sounds like the event was a nice time to enjoy good food with others who understand gluten-free foods and the like. thanks for sharing!

  15. I love your pictures, Alta. You have such an eye for how to make food look good. I had the best time. It was so much fun and I’m thrilled that we’re going to do it again soon. 🙂

    Thanks again for the beautiful flowers and for making your pate a choux…I loved every last bite!

  16. Sounds like so much fun! What a gorgeous table setting. The food looks fabulous – you puffs sound yummy.

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  19. I am in LOVE with this recipe.

  20. KatieC

    Alta – It was so great to meet you! I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing you again soon. 🙂


  21. Wow!! What a gorgeous bunch of stuff there! It must have been SO much fun to just eat whatever you wanted with no worries.

  22. Brilliant idea on filling them with this basil chicken pesto concoction!

  23. Wow that looks so good. Those puffs make me want to run home and cook them so I can eat beautiful puffy bread! I love puffs they are so cute!

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  27. those cream puffs look awesome! i will definitely give them a try at my next party.

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