Gluten-Free July 4th

Gluten-Free July 4th

The Fourth of July is a wonderful time to celebrate with friends and family and what better way to celebrate than by having an outdoor party? Whether one of your guests has gluten sensitivity or you do yourself, the thought of having to prepare gluten-free dishes may be overwhelming.  However, you can still easily prepare a variety of festive foods that are delicious, gluten-free, and will satisfy all of your guests!

Before serving your main meal, you’ll probably want to provide some snacks to hold your guests over while they mingle and enjoy the summer sun.  There are plenty of gluten-free options such as gluten-free pretzels, chips, and crackers that you may consider. For instance, all chips made by the brand Terra are certified gluten-free.  Make sure to check the packaging to ensure whichever you choose is labeled gluten-free.

*If serving both gluten-containing and gluten-free pretzels, chips, etc., make sure you are serving them on separate dishes with sepearate dips to avoid cross-contamination.

Fresh vegetables accompanied with gluten-free dip or hummus are also a great option.

For a Fourth of July party, barbecuing is a staple.  Go the safer route by choosing 100% pure poultry, beef, or pork. If you’d like to marinate your food before grilling, do it yourself using gluten-free dressings or marinades. Opt for buns or rolls that are labeled gluten-free (such as those by the brand Udi’s).

Here are a few starters that are perfect for your summer family party – simple to prepare and delicious.


Bruschetta (serves 12)

A gluten-free version of a classic Italian favorite. From Marlisa Brown’s “Gluten-Free, Hassle-Free Cookbook.”

1 loaf (6 ounces) gluten-free Italian bread (such as Everybody-Eats Inc.’s gluten & nut-free bread)

Gluten-free cooking spray (for example, PAM Original cooking spray)

1 teaspoon onion power
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups chopped tomato, seeded and liquid drained
1 small red onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray
  3. Slice Italian bread into ¼-inch-thick pieces and arrange on baking sheet.
  4. Spray top of Italian bread with cooking spray and sprinkle with onion and garlic powder.
  5. Bake until outside just starts to brown. Store I an airtight container until ready to use.
  6. Combine all other ingredients in bowl and refrigerate at lease one hour (best if kept overnight)/
  7. Serve bruschetta mixture with crisp bread slices on the side.
  • Try varying the base recipe by adding additional ingredients, such as chopped roasted peppers and zucchini.

Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes (serves 6)

A crispy and zesty dish – perfect for summer. From Marlisa Brown’s “Gluten-Free, Hassle-Free Cookbook.”

½ cup crushed gluten-free potato chips (try Terra or Food Should Taste Good potato chips)

12 oz real crabmeat
1 Tbsp diced minced onion
1 egg
2 Tbsp gluten-free low-fat Bleu cheese salad dressing or mayonnaise
1 ½ tsp yellow mustard
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried paprika
Dash Old Bay seasoning
1/3 cup potato or tapioca starch
¼ cup corn oil

  1. Combine all ingredients except tapioca starch and corn oil until well combined.
  2. Form crab cakes into 6 patties or 12 mini crab cakes (if too wet, add more crushed potato chips)
  3. Coat each crab cake with tapioca or potato starch, pressing it to coat both sides.
  4. Heat corn oil in large skillet until hot, lower heat to medium.
  5. Fry crab cakes in corn oil until golden brown on both sides.

Try these side dishes that will accompany your grilled meat or poultry wonderfully.

 Sweet Potato Fries

Baked Sweet Potato Fries (serves 4)

A healthier alternative to french fries that are sweet and savory. From Marlisa Brown’s “Gluten-Free, Hassle-Free Cookbook.”

2 medium sweet potatoes, rinsed and cut into thin wedges (remove peels if desired)
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Gluten-free cooking spray

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Mix all spices together in a large bowl.
  3. Toss sweet potatoes in spices and coat well.
  4. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray aluminum foil with cooking spray and spread sweet potato mixture in one layer on cookie sheet.
  5. Spray tops of sweet potato fries with cooking spray.
  6. Bake in the oven until crisp, turning frequently and spraying when dry with cooking spray, about 30 minutes.

Chopped Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad (serves 4)

Refreshing and nutritious. From Marlisa Brown’s “Gluten-Free, Hassle-Free Cookbook.”

2 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces Brussels sprouts, cored and thinly slices
4 cups chopped baby kale
1 medium green apple, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
¼ cup raw, shelled sunflower seeds, toasted
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

  1.  Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add Brussels sprouts to skillet and sauté for five to six minutes, until softened and lightly browned.  Remove from heat.
  2. Place kale, Brussels sprouts, apple, celery, and sunflower seeds in a large salad bowl.  Toss to mix.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Pour over salad and toss.  Serve immediately.

And finally – dessert! Try these easy dessert recipes your guests are sure to enjoy.



Red, White and Blue Parfaits (serves 4)

Vibrant berries make for a sweet and festive dessert

2 cups gluten-free ice cream, gelato, frozen-yogurt, or Jello (for example, Breyer’s Natural Vanilla or Chocolate ice cream)

¼ cup of whipped cream
¾ pint of blueberries
¾ pint of raspberries

  1. Divide blueberries and raspberries evenly among four parfait glasses.
  2. Layer the berries with your topping of choice, alternating between blueberries and raspberries.
  3. Top off each parfait with whipped cream. Serve immediately.

Brownie Pops

Patriotic Chocolate Truffle Pops (serves 12)

Fudgy, decadent, and high in protein!

5 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of your favorite nut butter
1 can (15 oz) of black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 tablespoon salt
12 toothpicks or straws
¾ cup white chocolate chips (try Hershey’s Premier White Chips)
Red and blue food coloring
Gluten-free sprinkles (such as Wilton Silver Stars Edible Accents)

  1. Combine the cocoa powder, black beans, nut butter, maple syrup, sugar, and salt in a food processor.  Process until well combined and consistency is doughy.
  2. Roll dough into 12 evenly sized balls (to make star-shaped truffles, roll dough flat and use a star-shaped cookie cutter). Place on lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Heat white chocolate chips in microwave for approximately one minute or until melted.  Be careful not to burn!
  4. Separate white chocolate evenly between three bowls. Add 2-3 drops of red food coloring to one, blue food coloring to another, and leave the third white.
  5. Roll each truffle in desired color of chocolate.  Remove from chocolate by inserting toothpick or straw into truffle. Top each with your choice of sprinkles.
  6. Place truffle pops on lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for another 20 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.
  7. Remove truffle pops from the baking sheet. Serve and enjoy!


Tip: Rather than making each truffle red, white or blue, coat them all in the white chocolate and drizzle red or blue chocolate for decoration.


There you have it! Tasty and simple to prepare gluten-free dishes – perfect for your Fourth of July celebration!


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