Sponsored: Gluten-Free Summer BBQs

Time to Celebrate

Summer might as well be synonymous with outdoor soirees. There’s no better way to relish the sun, seasonal produce, and quality time with friends than at a backyard BBQ. With these tips and recipes, planning a gluten-free event will be a summer breeze.

Menu Planning

The possibilities for gluten-free combinations of vegetables, meats, and even fruit are endless.

Consider what’s in season when choosing gluten-free sides. In the US, strawberries, asparagus, peppers, and zucchini often hit the market early in the summer, while corn, tomatoes, and eggplant typically peak later in August. All make great additions in a salad or on the grill. Or, experiment with non-traditional, but also gluten-free, options on the grill like peaches or our recipe for Grilled Romaine Hearts (recipe below).

Planning gluten-free proteins for the grill take careful consideration, but the choices are plentiful. Steer clear of processed meats, such as sausages and hotdogs, and pre-marinated proteins unless they're explicitly labeled as gluten-free. Instead, opt for unseasoned proteins and spice or marinate them at home using gluten-free seasonings. For example, create your own Mediterranean marinade with equal parts olive oil and lemon juice, a few mashed garlic cloves, 1-2 tsp of salt, and dried oregano.

Grill Safety: Avoid Cross-Contact

If your menu isn't entirely gluten-free, prevent cross-contact by grilling gluten-free items on a thoroughly cleaned grill first. Take these steps to ensure a gluten-free grill:

  • Clean Thoroughly: Use a stiff grill brush to scrub away any leftover food particles from the grill grates. Follow up with a damp cloth to ensure all potential gluten residue is removed.
  • Create a Barrier: If you can't clean the grill extensively, or if you're using a public grill, consider using non-stick grill mats or heavy-duty aluminum foil to create a barrier between the grates and your food.
  • Wrap Food: Aluminum foil can be used to wrap food to ensure gluten-free meats and vegetables remain safe.
  • Separate Supplies: Always use separate barbecue tongs and serving utensils for any gluten-free menu items.

Check out our recent blog on gluten-free party appetizers for more helpful tips on avoiding cross-contact in the kitchen.

Gluten-Free BBQ Sauce

Unfortunately, most ready-made barbecue sauces contain wheat starch. Seek BBQ sauce options that are certified gluten free or opt for a homemade version. Also read the labels of ketchup, hot sauces, grill seasonings and soy sauces closely, as many can contain malt vinegar or other gluten-containing ingredients.

If you’re in a pinch and can’t find a suitable gluten-free BBQ sauce or don’t have time to make your own, mix mayonnaise, spicy mustard, tomato paste, salt and pepper with a few of your favorite herbs, like chives, parsley, dill or marjoram. Customize a simple recipe like this homemade gluten-free Spicy Cilantro Aioli with your favorite herbs. For those who crave the sweet, spicy and sour profile of a traditional BBQ sauce, try a fruity chutney made of apricots or mango, plus a little chili to give it a spicy kick!

Gluten-Free BBQ Recipes

Spice up your summer BBQ routine with these less-traditional grill recipes.


Grilled Romaine Hearts

This spin on a classic salad is refreshing, satisfying and so easy to whip up in a flash.

  • Heat grill to medium. Halve 2 romaine hearts lengthwise and brush with olive oil.
  • Place romaine hearts cut side down on the grill for 2-3 minutes, or until charred. Flip and grill for another 1 minute, until slightly wilted and soft.
  • Remove from grill and place on a platter. Top with a sprinkle of salt, juice from half a lemon, ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan and ½ cup toasted Schär Gluten Free Bread Crumbs.

    Prep Time: 10 minutes


    Spiced BBQ Cheese

    Grilled feta makes a great appetizer when served with Schär Gluten Free Cracker or can become a main when paired with grilled vegetables and pesto on a Schär Gluten Free Hamburger Bun.

    • Heat grill to medium. Put one slice of feta on a piece of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with olive oil, Italian herbs and sun-dried tomatoes and close firmly.
    • Grill for 7-8 minutes. Remove from grill and serve with crackers or on a bun, as desired.

    Prep Time: 15 minutes


    Grilled Summer Peach Parfait

    Ripe summer peaches get extra juicy and sweet after a few minutes on the grill and make for an ideal base for a gluten-free open-faced parfait. They’re best made fresh and eaten right away, so plan to keep your grill slightly warm after grilling your mains. Use an aluminum wrapper to grill peaches if gluten-containing items were on the grill.

    • Heat grill to medium. Halve 4 large ripe peaches and remove the pits.
    • Place peaches cut side down on the grill for 2-3 minutes, or until charred. Flip and grill for another 1 minute, until soft.
    • Remove from grill and place on a platter. Serve with vanilla ice cream, crumbled Schär Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies and cinnamon so guests can build their own open-faced parfaits.

    Prep Time: 10 minutes


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    NCA thanks Schär for their generous sponsorship, and for sharing these fantastic tips and recipes!