It’s that time of the year for grilling, fireworks, and lounging out by the pool. With the Fourth of July coming up just around the corner, certainly many of us are getting out our aprons and lighting up the grill to enjoy good food and drinks with friends, families, and neighbors. Preparing for the festivities means assembling a variety meals to suit everyone’s tastes and tolerances. Surely if you are brainstorming some dishes to make for those gluten-free individuals in your life, here are some of the best gluten free side dishes for cookouts worth considering.
What is Gluten?
Before we can start making gluten free side dishes, it is important to know what gluten is. Gluten is a protein found in many grains, such as barley, rye, and wheat. It is a common component of dishes such as pasta, breads, cereals, and baked goods. There are many naturally gluten free foods, including vegetables, fruits, meat, beans, nuts, dairy products, and eggs.
Common Ingredients Found in These Recipes:
Many of these dishes include the naturally gluten free foods that are listed above. However, here are some other ingredients to consider when making gluten-free dishes:
Vinegar: Most vinegars are gluten free, including white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and distilled vinegar. The big one to avoid is malt vinegar which is derived from barley.
Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise is a staple in many recipes and is often gluten free, containing ingredients such as eggs, salt, oil, vinegar, lemon, and mustard. However, some brands contain malt vinegar and should be avoided.
Hollandaise Sauce: Homemade hollandaise sauce is gluten free and is made with eggs, lemon juice, butter pepper, and cayenne pepper. Check the package of any pre-made sauce to make sure it does not include wheat flour or any other gluten containing products.
Pasta: There are several gluten free pasta options that replace wheat flour with potato, rice, or corn flour. Common brands that you can find in the grocery store are Ronzoni and Barilla gluten free noodles, and they come in a variety of different shapes.
Bacon bits: Most bacon is gluten free, however some brands may add flavorings that contains gluten. Two brands that carry gluten free bacon bits include Hormel and McCormick.
Salad Dressing: Salad dressings to avoid are any that include malt flavoring, malt vinegar, and soy sauce. Some dressings that are commonly gluten free include ranch, vinaigrette, Italian dressing, and Caesar salad dressing.
When shopping for any of your ingredients, keep an eye out for that gluten free label to know which products are the best choice.
Gluten Free Sides
Here are 10 gluten free side dishes that are also time and money savers. They contain a few ingredients and take anywhere from 5 minutes to 1 hour to prepare.
1. Side Salad
Simple side salads consist of romaine lettuce, diced tomato, shredded carrots, and cucumbers. Additional ingredients include cheddar cheese, bacon bits, red onion, and chopped up boiled eggs. It is best to serve with a gluten free dressing such as Wish Bone’s ranch dressing.
2. Mixed Vegetables
Whether served raw, grilled, or sauteed, vegetables are an easy side dish to add to your meal. Raw vegetables are best served with a side of ranch dressing, while hollandaise sauce adds extra creamy and buttery flavor to sautéed vegetables such as asparagus.
3. Corn on the Cob
Another option is corn on the cob, a sweet, juicy side dish that is perfect for any cookout. It takes about 5-10 minutes to boil corn on the cob and 15-20 minutes to prepare when grilled. Coat with seasonings such as chili powder, garlic powder, or paprika or simply serve with some salt and butter.
4. Fruit salad
The delicious and refreshing quality of a bowl of fruit makes this a wonderful summer side dish. Some fruits that mix well together include blueberries, cherries, pineapple, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, pomegranate, kiwi, grapes, and oranges. I particularly like combining the sweetness of fruits such as strawberries and kiwis with more tart fruits such as pomegranate.
Coleslaw pairs well with a variety of meat dishes, making it a great option to bring along to any cookout. Whether the grill is cooking up hot dogs, hamburgers, steak, or pork, the light and tangy taste of coleslaw will serve well as a complement. The ingredients typically consist of shredded cabbage and carrots, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, white wine vinegar, and sugar.
6. Broccoli Salad
The main ingredients of a broccoli salad include broccoli florets, onion, craisins, and also sunflower seeds. Additionally options include subbing the sunflower seeds for almonds or pecans, subbing the craisins for raisins, and adding bacon bits and grapes. Also the dressing is made with mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
8. Macaroni Salad
This traditional dish can be made gluten free by preparing it with gluten free elbow noodles. It typically contains celery, red onion, mayo, shredded carrots, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. This dish is best served cold and should be refrigerated until ready to eat.
9. Corn and Avocado Salad
Corn and avocado salad is a creamy, earthy dish that is perfect to make during the summer. The ingredients for this recipe include corn, tomato, avocado, red onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, oil, salt, and lastly pepper. You can use canned corn for this recipe, but it is better with grilled corn off the cob.
10. Crustless Tomato Pie
This recipe is a must try for pizza lovers. It contains the mild flavor of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with the earthy, pungent taste of basil, scallions and garlic. Combine these ingredients with some salt, butter, scallions, pepper, basil, and eggs and finally you have yourself a crust less tomato pie.
Thanks for checking out this article! Let us know what you think about these dishes in the comments below. Also, be sure to check out more gluten free recipes on our website!