Gluten-Free Blinis

Great for drinks parties, these really simple gluten-free blinis can be adapted to taste. I like to make classic basil pesto or sundried tomato blinis topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon.

A firm family favourite, I make these blinis for most family gatherings. They are versatile so you can adapt the ingredients easily and a little goes a long way; you can even add more milk if you want for a thinner blini. You can also freeze the blinis and then defrost overnight in the fridge, before heating through in a foil parcel in the oven for a few minutes.

Gluten-Free Blinis

Tasty delicious blini pancake bites - a perfect starter or nibble


Green Pesto Blinis

(makes around 30 depending on size)

  • 120g gluten free self raising flour
  • 150ml milk (plus 1-2tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp pesto (shop bought is fine or make your own Pesto)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and black pepper

Sundried Tomato Blinis

(makes around 30 depending on size)

  • 120g rice flour
  • 180ml milk (plus 1-2 tbsp)
  • 1½ tbsp sundried tomato paste
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt and black pepper

Topping ideas

  • cream cheese (usually ½ pack is fine for 1 batch - you can use any variety)
  • smoked salmon
  • roasted red peppers
  • fresh herbs (basil and chives work well)
  • toasted pine nuts


  • Put all the ingredients, except the oil, into a bowl.
  • Using a hand whisk, mix well removing as many lumps of flour as possible.
  • Once mixed, cover and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the fridge and whisk in the oil. If the mixture has stiffened up too much you may need to add a little milk to loosen; I usually add 1-2 tbsp at this stage.
  • Heat a little oil in a frying pan and put spoonfuls of batter into the pan. I tend to use a dessert spoon and cook 5-6 at a time (but you can make the blinis any size you like).
  • Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, until they puff up and little holes appear in the top side.
  • Carefully turn the blinis over and allow to brown.
  • Remove from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • Continue frying until all the batter has been used up. This is a little time consuming but quite enjoyable - try not to eat too many while you are cooking!
  • Once cooked, the blinis are ready for serving or store in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Alternatively freeze for another day.
  • To serve spread each blini with soft cream cheese and finish with either smoked salmon or roasted red peppers. You can also top with fresh herbs and toasted pine nuts if you wish.

You can use rice flour or standard gluten free flour in both of these recipes. If you use rice flour, you will find you need a little more milk (see the Sundried Tomato Blinis recipe above).

These blinis are simple to alter according to your preferences. For the blinis you can use any flavour pesto. There are lots available in shops or make your own Pesto according to your preferences. For the topping you can try different toppings. I normally use extra low fat soft cream cheese, but you can use the garlic and herb version too. You can use any cured meats or marinated vegetables - peppers, sundried tomatoes, artichokes etc... I like the jars of red peppers and always have one in my fridge on standby. Have fun and experiment. I must admit I have tried lots of different things and they all taste good, but I usually return to the good old smoked salmon with green pesto blinis! Enjoy.