My Brilliant, 3-Step Trick for Making Gluten-Free Sandwiches That Feel Fancy Enough for Dinner

published Jun 26, 2022
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waffle sandwich with a fork on a plate
Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling Duncan Fitzpatrick

Shopping for gluten-free groceries is a game of trial and error. I’m always more than willing to give something a try. When something is a miss, I make a mental note so that I don’t mistakingly buy it again. When something is a hit? Well, then I buy it on repeat.

Credit: Michelle Lau
There are both regular and gluten-free options.

With that, please allow me to introduce you to one of my best discoveries of all time: this Cheddar Bay Biscuit Mix from Red Lobster. (Yes, it comes in a gluten-free version!) Admittedly, it’s been a very long time since I’ve stepped into a Red Lobster, the seafood-themed chain of restaurants dotted throughout the U.S. But it’s impossible to forget about their legendary signature biscuits.

Standing in the baking aisle, with the memory of those warm and fluffy biscuits floating in my mind, I couldn’t wait to try out this mix. That night my friend and I made them just as the box instructed (simply adding shredded cheese, water, and butter). The result? The dozen biscuits turned out beautifully. Straight from the oven, we couldn’t even tell they were gluten-free. Better yet, they didn’t even seem like they were made from a box. They smelled amazing and tasted even better. On my next trip to the grocery store, I picked up another box (see, I told you, on repeat!) and then I started getting creative …

Credit: Stephanie Ganz
Yes, this is the cute Dash mini waffle maker.

I mixed up the recipe, just as the instructions indicated. Then, instead of putting the biscuit dough into the oven, I dropped spoonfuls onto the griddle of my $13 Dash Mini Waffle Maker. (I’d read all about it on this very site, bought one, and have been waffle-ing all sorts of things ever since.) I figured the Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit Mix could work as a savory waffle. And it does! It takes a little longer to cook up (versus plopping the dough on a cookie sheet), but let me tell you, it’s time well spent! Nowadays, my kitchen is basically a gluten-free savory waffle factory.

My Brilliant, 3-Step Trick for Making Gluten-Free Sandwiches That Feel Fancy Enough for Dinner

  1. Use Red Lobster’s gluten-free Cheddar Bay Biscuit Mix.
  2. Cook the batter in a mini waffle maker.
  3. Add toppings to build your ultimate open-faced sandwich.

What do I do with these cheesy waffles? While I’ve eaten plenty along with a bowl of soup, my new dinner trick is to use the waffle as the base for an open-faced sandwich. I don’t know what it is about an open-faced sandwich that makes it feel fancier and more dinner-worthy — it’s just how it is. My absolute favorite is when I pile a golden cheddar waffle with more cheese, a mound of flavorful shredded chicken, and some salad greens (a drizzle of balsamic salad dressing makes a nice addition, too!). It’s an especially nice treat during lazy summer nights when I don’t really feel like cooking and when I definitely don’t want to turn on the oven.

Are you gluten-free? Tell us about some of your favorite groceries in the comments below!