Gluten Free Barbecue Ideas


Mention barbecue and I’m sent daydreaming of a warm breeze blowing the smell of sizzling meat and vegetables through the backyard.  In my mind, the barbecue is relaxation – it means time with friends  while enjoying a summer evening.

But the barbecue presents challenges since we eat gluten-free.  How do we deal with cross contamination when going to someone else’s barbecue?    Serving utensils, cooking utensils, and the grill  are tainted with gluten.   How do we handle potentially glutinous sides, condiments, sauces, and desserts?   Daydreams of breezes and relaxation are overcome with stress and concern.

With some experience, we now enjoy barbecue’s for what they are – time spent enjoying good company.  We treat other people’s barbecues as potlucks – meaning we bring our own sides, meats, and desserts.  With the sides and desserts, we make our own plates first before setting out the food so we avoid cross contamination.

We bring aluminum foil for grilling the meat.  Keep in mind the foil will slow down cooking time on red meats.  Grilling fish is a great alternative since it is often best cooked in foil anyway.  Pack it all into one of your eco-friendly cloth grocery bags and it won’t be a burden to carry.

We end up hosting an increasing number of barbecue’s at our house too so we have control.  It’s fun hosting a barbecue with a complete gluten-free menu (except for what the neighbors sometimes bring!).  Think it is hard to do? It’s not.  Take a look at the menu we have planned for our July 4th barbecue this year:


  • Chips and Salsa (Tostito’s chips and La Victoria Medium Salsa)
  • Queso Dip for dipping – we use On the Border Medium Queso
  • Veggie tray with Newman’s Own Ranch Dressing for dipping
  • Fruit salad

Main Course

  • Barbecue Chicken – chicken breasts marinated overnight in Sauce Goddess Sweet & Spicy Grill Glaze
  • Corn on the cob – soak in water for an hour plus, then grill
  • Cornbread muffins – we use Quaker Yellow Corn Meal and follow the recipe for Easy Corn Bread on the container (substitute the wheat flour with gluten-free all purpose flour from Eating Gluten Free)
  • Jennie-O Turkey Dog’s for the kids(no buns)


  • Gluten-free peanut butter cookies – we use the recipe from Incredibly Easy Gluten-Free Recipes with Jif Peanut Butter (you’re guests will ask you for this recipe)
  • Jell-O Instant Chocolate Pudding


  • Heinz ketchup
  • French’s Mustard (spicy and yellow)
  • Newman’s Own salad dressings


  • Wine (white and red)
  • Gin and tonic
  • Whiskey and ginger ale or cola
  • Juice boxes for the kids – we use Apple & Eve juice boxes

A menu that is simple, gluten-free, and relatively inexpensive.  No buns or bread necessary.  Of course, guests bring sides and desserts which contain gluten – and that is okay.  Make room for them and be sure that you have enough sides and desserts tucked away so you can serve your family without threat of cross contamination.

Enjoy your summer and let us know what barbecue menu tips have worked for you by leaving a comment!

Image credit:
Kabobs by Live Laugh Love

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Happy Gluten Free