Hamburger, hot dog, chips

Cookout Season: how to have one that’s dietary restriction friendly

Memorial Day is the official kickoff to summer and to cookout season (I think some of you actually refer to cookouts at BBQs). This means hamburgers, hot dogs, barbeque, chips, and all of the desserts. Getting hungry, aren’t you? Same. For our friends and loved ones with dietary restrictions, cookouts can be frustrating event. If they’re going to someone else’s place for a cookout, they stress out over what they can actually eat and also not be offensive. You know Southerners get their panties in a wad if you turn down their famous potato casserole/macaroni and cheese/apple pie. Side note: if they opt to bring their own food, don’t take it personal. They just want to eat and fit in like everyone else. They’re just trying to save everyone the hassle.

Even if you don’t have dietary restrictions, in the event that you have a guest or two that does, here are some food options that you can offer.


*Hamburgers- To save you time to see if they have soy in them, I recommend Ballpark’s Flame Grilled Beef Patties. You can find them in the frozen section. They’re really good!

A picture of Ballpark's Flame Grilled Beef Patty
Ballpark’s Flame Grilled Beef Patties are delicious.

*Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Hamburger Buns- These buns are made from grains and have no GMOs. They are also soy-, dairy-, peanut-, and tree nut-free.

Canyon Bakehouse Hamburger Bun


*Hamburger buns from JP’s Pastry: JP’s Pastry is located in Raleigh, NC. We were first introduced to them at the Living Free Expo last year. They were at this year’s expo & Nikki really wanted to try their buns. Nikki thinks they taste really good. The only con is that they’re crumbly.

Hamburger, hot dog, chips
Nikki really likes these hamburger buns.


*Hot Dogs-Ballpark Deli Style Beef Franks or Nathan’s Beef Franks (obviously, don’t get the cheddar cheese hot dogs)

*Hot Dog Buns- Ener-G Gluten-Free Hot Dog Buns-they are also free of soy, dairy, and nuts. These buns are vegan and kosher parve.

Ener G Hot Dog Buns
These hot dog buns are perfect for your cookout!

*Chicken-Serve plain and do not cook in anything that has soy in it. If you want to serve fried chicken, panko crumbs is an excellent alternative. I suggest Ian’s Gluten Free Panko Breadcrumbs

A picture of Ian's Gluten Free Panko Crumbs
I promise that this is good on chicken.



*Fries- Alexia. They have a variety of fries, including sweet potato fries. Ore Ida is another option, but all of their products have soy in them.

*Beans-Bush’s Cocina Latina Fat Free Refried Beans

*Cheese: Follow Your Heart Provolone Style slices. They are vegan, lactose-free, dairy-free, casein free, and soy-free. American, Mozzarella, and Garden Herb are also choices. Daiya is another option. They offer Provolone, Cheddar, and Swiss. Daiya’s cheeses are also dairy- and soy-free. Both also offer shredded cheese as well.

An image of Follow Your Heart dairy free cheese.
Follow Your Heart is a new brand that is GFS approved.

*Mayonnaise: I personally think mayo is trash, but for those that like it, Just Mayo Hampton Creek is what you should have available. It’s egg free, dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free.

A picture of Just Mayo.
GFS Approved.

*Mustard: Mustard is also trash, but if you must have it French’s is gluten-free except for Twangy Sweet & Smooth BBQ Mustard. Annie’s Organic Yellow Mustard is also gluten-free (double check the ingredients for soy).

A picture of French's mustard bottle.
We aren’t fans of mustard, but if you must have it, this one is gluten- and soy-free.


*Ketchup- Nature’s Place Organic Ketchup is both gluten- and soy-free. Annie’s Organic Ketchup is gluten-free, but as with their mustard, check the ingredients to find out if they contain soy.

*BBQ sauce: Most BBQ sauces do NOT have soy and are also gluten-free. Sweet Baby Ray’s is the preferred brand at our house.

A picture of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
Sweet Baby Ray’s the best.

*Chips-Nature’s Place Tortilla Chips, Late July Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips (checks off the boxes for no gluten or soy, but also checks off no peanuts or tree nuts), Lay’s Original Chips (these are the only chips from Lay’s that are gluten- and soy-free)

A picture of Late July's Tortilla Chips
I dare you to stop after one.

*Pickles/Relish-Mt. Olive, Vlasic, and Heinz are all gluten-free (check packaging for soy information)


Beer-there are a variety of gluten-free beers, including Anheuser-Busch’s Redbridge beer and Bard’s Tale Beer. For non-beer drinkers, vodka and gin are options.

Hopefully this list of foods and beverages can help you with your cookout. There are a variety of other foods that are served at cookouts, but these are the standard choices. If you are like me & don’t have dietary restrictions, you may not have ever considered everyday items that may contain gluten, dairy, and/or soy.

If you have any other cookout essentials that you enjoy, please let me know in the comments. Be sure to subscribe to keep up with new posts!

Bonus: If you want tacos at your cookout, try this dietary friendly recipe.

As always, sharing is caring. Be sure to follow GFS on social media using the buttons below. If you’d like more food suggestions, sign up for the mailing list to receive a FREE Beginners Guide to Dietary Restriction Friendly Essentials Checklist.

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