Gluten-Free Etiquette for Hosting Great Summertime Parties and BBQs!

* View or print the recipe only with the “Print Recipe” or “Jump to Recipe” links above.

But if you do, you’ll miss out on a lot of great info!

GfreeDeliciously is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read our affiliate policy to learn more.

Knowing what steps to take to accommodate gluten-free guests at your celebration will go a long way to making you feel less awkward, and your guests feel calm about the day and the food you serve.

Share your mealtime LVE

Gluten-Free Etiquette for Hosting Great Summertime Parties and BBQs!

Gluten-Free Etiquette for Hosting Great Summertime Parties and BBQs!

Knowing what steps to take to accommodate gluten-free guests at your celebration will go a long way to making you feel less awkward, and your guests feel calm about the day and the food you serve.
Gluten-Free Etiquette for Hosting Great Summertime Parties and BBQs!

It’s Summertime…

Around many a backyard patio, you’ll find hosts everywhere scurrying about, fussing over their grills and picnic tables full of seasonal food, goodies and summer treats for family and friends. 

But what if you’re expecting gluten-free guests at your gathering? How do you make them, and you feel comfortable that they won’t get sick?

Knowing what steps to take to accommodate gluten-free guests at your celebration will go a long way to making you feel less awkward, and your guests feel calm about the day and the food you serve.

Serving gluten-free options for your party can be a little tricky especially if you’re not familiar with all the areas where gluten can hang out, hidden gluten in everyday foods, and where cross-contamination can spoil your best gluten-free hosting efforts.

And, while you’re apt to drive yourself crazy if you were to try to ward-off every potential source for cross-contact, helping your guests stay safe is relatively simple when you follow these tips:

Look for the Certified Gluten-Free logo included on the packaging of many brands.

Steer Clear of Cross Contamination

Cross-contamination is when a gluten-free food becomes contaminated with gluten – enough gluten to make someone on a gluten-free diet, sick. Also referred to in the food industry as cross-contact, cross-contamination can occur in a variety of different places, including your kitchen, on utensils, pans, serving dishes, and grills. It also can occur in pre-packaged foods… If the nutrition ingredients don’t list wheat, it’s still safer to steer clear if a gluten-free listing is not on the packaging.

Serve gluten-free wraps as a traditional bun alternative.

 1.  What You Can Do

  • Label and separate your utensils – Tongs, sauce brushes, spatulas, your grill brush, and serving knives, forks, spoons and cutting boards. Keep gluten-free utensils, cooking and grilling supplies separate from the food that your other guests will be eating. The reason is so important – for example, if a gluten-eating person uses a pair of tongs from the meat platter and places it on a wheat-containing bun, and the tongs touch the bun during the process, the tongs have been contaminated and could cause your gluten-free guest to become ill. The same goes for toppings, lettuce, tomato, onion – serve these on a separate platter with their own set of tongs for serving.
  • Squeeze bottles are best – Jars and bowls + knives and spoons for condiments = the possibility for disaster. Squeeze bottles make it a whole lot easier for everyone.
  • Clean your grill space and grates before the party – The grill and space around it could have gluten on it from the previous grilling on the same surface. Designate a section of your grill – Use the top rack as the strictly gluten-free area on your grill.
    Use aluminum foil (even in your dedicated grill space) to be extra safe!
  • Avoid basting, toasting or roasting on the upper rack above foods meant to be gluten-free – Basting with marinades that contain gluten, toasting buns, or direct roasting vegetables and other food items that are spiced with gluten-containing ingredients above foods meant to be gluten-free is a sure recipe for disaster and your guests getting “glutened” by mistake.
  • Avoid mix-ups – Cook gluten-free meats and foods first – Use separate utensils (label them gluten-free or choose ones with different color handles) for flipping and serving and serve foods on a separate plate for your gluten-free guest.
  • Bring your grill master up to speed – Talk with the person doing the grilling. Educate and emphasize the importance of being careful about how they grill for your gluten-free guests. If gluten-free meats are on the menu, double-check that the spices and sauces are safe, and be cautious about marinades, consider leaving some meat un-marinated for your gluten-free guests.
  • Invest in a small travel-size grill – Are you still having anxiety about grilling for your gluten-free guest? Consider this option to be completely sure that your food isn’t touching left-over gluten on your mainstay grill.

2.  Know Your Meats

  • The majority of meats for grilling are gluten-free; however, there are exceptions to every rule. Be sure to ask your butcher or read the nutrition ingredient listing to identify brands that use wheat fillers that would make an ordinary hotdog, brat, hamburger or sausage unsafe for celiac or gluten-sensitive guests. Hotdogs, bologna, brats and other sausages commonly contain hidden gluten. Look for the gluten-free logo included on the packaging of many brands.

3.  Marinade, Sauce, Season, and Spice Knowingly

  • As in grill meats, gluten can hide in marinades, sauces, seasonings, and spices. Gluten-containing thickeners are sometimes crucial components to the manufacturer ingredient recipes for these items. Make sure to do your research before flavoring the meats you’re planning to grill. Be sure to purchase and use a gluten-free soy sauce for preparing your original marinade. Read the labels of barbeque sauces and look for the gluten-free logo included on the packaging of many brands.

4.  Banish the Bun

  • A great substitute for traditional buns is to provide a lettuce wrap, potato wrap, or gluten-free tortilla for all of your guests as a healthier alternative to the bun. Most grocery stores offer unique lettuce varieties that will work well, adding variety and visual appeal to your meal. Gluten-free corn tortillas can also be a great substitute for a bun, especially for south-of-the-border themed parties. Another trend is to ramp up the nutrient level of grilled foods traditionally served on a bun by serving them in sweet potato skins. Just bake the sweet potato in foil, when tender, hollow them out and use the skins to wrap your burger or hot dog in natural potato-y goodness. Or how about wrapping your burgers or dogs with bacon? You can’t beat adding bacon to increase the flavor. Make sure you read the package to make sure it is gluten-free.

If you’re still really set on impressing your gluten-free guest by serving buns, look for a great tasting gluten-free brand available at most major grocery stores. A small pack of buns for them to enjoy at your party (labeled and served on a separate plate) will usually cost under seven bucks, and isn’t your friend or family member worth it?

5.  Other Foods

  • You can serve many other foods that should inherently be gluten-free, but only if the proper steps are followed during preparation, plating, and serving. Again, use separate dishes, tongs, and utensils for serving gluten-free foods. Get creative when thinking about what to serve. Instead of crackers use sliced cucumbers or other items from the veggie tray for eating with homemade spreads and dips. Hummus is delicious! Yogurt and sour cream-based dips work as a tasty option for everyone. Fruit skewers are a fun way to serve up fresh fruits. Peel-N-Eat Shrimp with gluten-free cocktail sauce is always a winner! Most potato chips are gluten-free. Ice slushies, melons, and popsicles make great treats for dessert on hot summer days. And, who could resist root beer floats? Just make sure the ice cream you purchase is also gluten-free. The list goes on and on.

6.  Wash Your Hands and Tools

  • Cooks and servers should always wash their hands after handling gluten-containing foods and before handling gluten-free foods. No, a quick wipe across your grill apron doesn’t cut it here. Be safe, keep wet wipes handy by the grill and at tables for quick hand cleaning. Finally, consider serving gluten-free guests first.
About Tools - Myth Buster Fact: It’s a common misconception that cooking or grilling at high temperatures can eliminate gluten. Wrong! Gluten is a particle; it’s not bacteria so it cannot be destroyed and killed with heat. The only way to remove gluten is to clean the surface thoroughly.

Now, don’t you feel better? You’ve learned a lot on how to avoid the pitfalls of planning your summertime party or barbeque when accommodating gluten-free guests. So, take a moment. Kick back, grab a cool beverage of your choice. It’s time to relax and enjoy your fun-filled times with family and friends. Happy Summer!




We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.


Tomato Soup

Did you fix this recipe? Share your mealtime LVE

If you have given it a try, let us know how you like it!

Leave a comment below, share it, and rate it – it’s super helpful for other readers and us. Just click the blue-green comment bubble on your screen’s bottom-right to jump to the comment area.

And as always, don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #CookingGfreeDeliciously on Instagram. We love seeing what you cook up!


Where there's a whisk, there's always a way to enjoy it gluten-free...

Kymberley @gfreedeliciously

Kymberley @gfreedeliciously

Hi, I'm Kymberley, the creator of G-Free Deliciously and the Amazing, Glorious Journey Programs. I pray that my work will inspire you to honor your body through God and Good Food from the inside out, all while enjoying your Amazing, Glorious Journey!

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Take a peek at the behind
G-Free Deliciously

Being creative, cooking, fresh veggies, the violin, decorating for holidays, sewing, hand-quilting, cowgirl boots, country music, fresh herbs in pots, blowing dandelions to the wind, walking barefoot in the grass, hanging out with eclectic interesting people, reading, writing, warm lazy summer days, and yoga!

Gluten, cilantro, mixed vegetables (the frozen kind I grew up with), negativism, rudeness, narcissism, overstaying a welcome,
not helping out, liars, promiscuity, cockiness, know-it-alls, being overly-dramatic, goal-less-ness, poor hygiene, chauvinism, lacking a sense of humor, excessive competitiveness, Laziness, horrifying spellers, people-bashing, criticism and mockery of others and their beliefs, flakiness (because flaky people are really unappealing), more swagger than substance, people who constantly manage others (those folks who think they have all the answers…)

Lambrusco, my iPad, popcorn suppers, dark chocolate, cookbooks, Almond-Rocca, historical romances, sun-bathing, weekend coffee with a good book in bed, PBS cooking shows, romantic comedies, cozy sweaters, fuzzy socks, and fragrant bubble baths with soft music and wine…

Say please and thank you, LAUGH, Pray often, ENCOURAGE others, Be KIND, HONEST, HAPPY, Keep your PROMISES, Be GRATEFUL, Wash your hands, FORGIVE yourself and others, LISTEN, Have FAITH, Be CONFIDENT, Honor your parents, CHERISH your children and grandchildren, TREASURE your family, ABIDE in GOD’s love, Be POLITE, Guard your HEART, SEEK your purpose, FEED your mind, body and soul, Be HOPEFUL, Resist temptation, Lay your burdens down, TRUST your gut, CONNECT with nature, Know that GOD made you perfect just the way you are, SERVE others, LIVE to love, Be COURAGEOUS, Shine bright, OPEN your mind, RESPECT differences, HONOR your inner hunger, SING loud, Be PROUD of who you are, Practice PATIENCE, Never give up, WEATHER the storms of life, Say I love you, LOVE one another

  • I’ve traveled to 32 states in the USA where I’ve enjoyed the food, history, people and the local culture while visiting.
  • Among the states, I’ve lived in are Arizona, California, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
  • My favorite island is Maui.
  • I’ve also been to Canada and Mexico.
  • I rode horses as a kid, and barrel-raced.
  • I broke my neck when I was 18 and went to senior prom in a neck brace.
  • As a little girl, I grew up living next door to my grandma and grandpa on a small lake in rural southern Michigan.
  • The first thing I learned to cook was pancakes.
  • The craziest thing I ever made was mint-flavored green cupcakes when I was 13. My family didn’t like them much…

Thanks for stopping by

Kymberley @gfreedeliciously
Coach | Cook | Creator | Publisher
Host of the #GfreeTogether Podcast

I'm so happy you're here,

where my passion is to nourish everyday life GfreeDeliciously. I’m a Certified Health & Lifestyle Coach, Certified Gluten-Free Practitioner, Accredited Gut Microbiome & Gluten-Free Health Specialist, and self-taught Gfree lifestyle expert on [most] gluten-free things. From a young age, I loved cooking, so when I received a celiac diagnosis, I set out on a mission to reimagine traditional foods – preparing them a bit differently to eliminate gluten. Here, you’ll find hundreds of tested and perfected, easy gluten-free recipes made with natural, whole foods with clean ingredients that your entire family can enjoy. Gluten-free foods created for all food lovers gathered at the same table. Foods that promote a healthy, happy gut – satisfying meals and treats that never, ever compromise on taste, are simple to make, and save you time – even when life gets busy. So, no matter how you eat, the recipes should be perfect!


Signup for a FREE Basic Pass +eNEWS UPDATES

GfreeDeliciously's Playing with Food

An artful gluten-free home, health, and cooking eNewsletter with recipes and more – for all food lovers gathered at the same table…

Learn more about our SUBSCRIPTION PLANS!



Recent Posts

Follow Me


Now Playing:

Be sure to visit Wildtree.com/GfreeDeliciously
for everything you need for cooking this and more from Wildtree!

Visit the Wildtree G-Free Deliciously Store to get everything you need to make these delicious recipes.

When You Support

Our Advertisers

You Support Us

Thank You!

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links on this page are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products listed and recommend them because they are companies that I have found helpful and trustworthy. Please let me know if you have any questions!


Make Food Delicious!

Check out the exciting changes at Wildtree!

✨ New Website ✨ Lower Prices

✨ Fresh New Look !!





Art of Tea Organics





Clean Eating
(for real life)

Get the ULTIMATE Guide to
Shopping for CLEAN FOOD & Buying Organic Food in the Market!

On G-Free Deliciously

More to explore...

Come back for new recipes weekly...

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

The “Print Recipe” link above will ONLY WORK on a recipe page.



FREE when you sign up!

For our Playing with Food eNewsletter on GfreeDeliciously


GfreeDeliciously's Playing with Food

An artful gluten-free home, health, and cooking eNewsletter with recipes and more – for all food lovers gathered at the same table…

NO Need to Look for Your Calculator:

Adjusting the serving size of recipes is easier than you may think.

To change the number of portions that a recipe makes go to the “Servings” quantity in the recipe section below. Hover over the servings amount and a slider box will appear above the amount. Slide the toggle to adjust the desired number of portions you want to make. Please note that when adjusting the serving amount the ingredient measures will change to decimal equivalents. Need help with cooking and recipe conversions? Head over to Good Cooking’s Cooking & Recipe Conversions Guide for their online collection of helpful links!

Get a FREE Basic Pass

To unlock a whole lot of free stuff...


FREE when you sign up!

For our Playing with Food eNewsletter on GfreeDeliciously


GfreeDeliciously's Playing with Food

An artful gluten-free home, health, and cooking eNewsletter with recipes and more – for all food lovers gathered at the same table…