When you’re gluten free, attending social events, which are usually food centered, can be very challenging. The good news is that summer cookouts have a lot more gluten-free food options than winter holiday parties! These 10 popular cookout foods are often gluten free. Asking the cook a few questions should clear up whether you’re able to eat any questionable dishes.
This list not only helps you know what foods to look for at a cookout, but it gives you ideas that you can suggest to anyone who asks you what they could make that would be safe for you to eat. Most of these ideas are simple, easy options too.
Before you go to a cookout, be sure to check out these Summer Cookout Gluten-Free Tips. It’s important to remember that cross contamination can easily occur with stray crumbs from hamburger and hot dog buns, cakes, and cookies. Getting your food first can really help. Have your phone ready so you can look up information about about store-bought ingredients such as barbecue sauce and baked beans. If you can at least find the list of ingredients, you should be able to tell if it’s gluten free (see Reading Labels to Determine if a Food Contains Gluten).
And remember to bring a dish that you can eat and pack a snack just in case you don’t find enough food that’s safe to eat.
1. Baked Beans
If the beans are homemade, ask the cook about the ingredients. If they are from a can, ask about the brand and try to look up ingredients. Bush’s beans are gluten free.
2. Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are usually made from gluten-free ingredients. The most common problem would be if the mayonnaise used to make them was not from a fresh jar. If they use mayo to spread on their bread and dip the knife back in the jar, gluten can get transferred to the mayo.
If you want to make deviled eggs to take, here’s my recipe.
3. Potato Salad
The same is true for homemade potato salad as what I said about deviled eggs. Ask about the mayonnaise. If the potato salad is store bought, try to get a hold of the container. Some brands do contain wheat but others are gluten free.
4. Cole Slaw
Ditto again. Most cole slaw ingredients are gluten free, but if it’s homemade double check on cross contamination, and if it’s store bought ask if you can see the container.
5. Fruit Salad
Fresh fruit is gluten free and abundant in the summer. If you are unsure about whether there has been cross contamination where it was prepared or at the cookout, see if you can find a sink to rinse off the fruit.
6. Garden Salad
Fresh vegetables are also gluten free and abundant this time of year. Look for salads without croutons or any other questionable additives.
This Chopped Veggie Salad would be a great dish to take with you!
7. Corn on the Cob
The nice thing about corn on the cob is that the corn is protected by the husks, at least for a while. This should be a safe option for you. Just use common sense to look out for any problems such as butter that might have crumbs in it.
Watermelon is a great refreshing summer treat that is naturally gluten free. Especially if it’s freshly cut, there’s no reason not to enjoy it!
Watermelon is also great in this Watermelon Avocado Basil Salad.
9. Hamburgers (no bun)
Many people buy pre-made patties that are 100% beef and gluten free. Ask for a burger straight from the grill and not placed near the buns. Other meat is likely gluten free also, but check the ingredients on things like hot dogs or barbecue sauce. You can eat your burger with a knife and fork, make a lettuce wrap, or bring your own gluten-free bun.
If the host made their burgers from ground beef, ask about any ingredients that were added, especially soy sauce, which often contains wheat.
Lots of chips are gluten free (though some do contain gluten). You’re safe with plain potato chips (not Pringles) or plain corn-only tortilla chips. If they’re flavored, ask to see the bag, unless it’s a brand you know is safe.