Gluten-Free 4th of July Recipes

As July 4th draws near, family and friends prepare for celebratory bonfires and cookouts. Some families, however, may need to prepare a little differently to meet the needs of children with celiac disease, wheat allergies and gluten-intolerance.  It is estimated out of every 133 Americans has celiac disease. Therefore, grilling out, particularly pot-luck style, can be an unsettling experience for parents whose children must strictly avoid gluten.

Instead of turning down the invitation to a cookout this holiday weekend, try making one of these simple, but delicious, gluten-free recipes to bring along with you. You can ensure that your child will have a safe option, and these dishes are sure to impress even those without sensitivity to gluten.

Baked Beans

1- 28 ounce can  baked beans with pork (drain off about half the liquid)

2 tbsp  packed brown sugar

1 onion, chopped

1/2 cup ketchup

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (make sure it is gluten free)

3 slices bacon


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. In a 2 quart  casserole, combine the pork and beans, brown sugar, onion, ketchup, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.

3. Top with the bacon slices.

4. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 1  hour, and 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened and bacon is cooked.

Buckeye Bars*


1 cup margarine, softened

1 ½ cups peanut butter

1 lb. confectioners’ sugar

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1.       Combine margarine and 1 cup peanut butter in a mixing bowl.

2.       Add confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat until mixed together completely.

3.       Pat mixture into a 13″ x 9” pan.

4.       Combine chocolate chips and remaining ½ cup peanut butter in a saucepan.

5.       Cook over very low heat until melted.

6.       Spread over peanut butter layer.

7.       Refrigerate.

*Be sure to let other cookout guests know that this dish contains peanuts.

 Quinoa Dip 

1 cup quinoa, cooked in OJ according to directions

1 avocado chopped

1 tomato chopped

2 cloves garlic crushes

1 mango diced

1 can black beans

1/8 cup chopped  cilantro

Juice of 1 lime


1. Mix everything together in a bowl. Serve with tortilla chips

In the Celiac Disease Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, I help patients with celiac disease that are very accepting of what they can and cannot eat, whereas other patients and their families have a tough time adjusting. One way parents can support their children is by being proactive and preparing a gluten-free option, or a few, which will allow for a fun, stress-free holiday experience.

Mary Kay Sharrett
Mary Kay Sharrett has been a registered dietitian at Nationwide Children’s Hospital for more than 30 years. She is the founder and dietitian advisor to the Gluten Free Gang, a support group for adults and children and their families with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity. Mary Kay lives in Columbus with her husband and two little white dogs. You will often find her cheering on the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Columbus Crew.

4 thoughts on “Gluten-Free 4th of July Recipes

  1. Amy Keller, OD on said:

    Thank you for the gluten free recipes! I am happy we are addressing this here at Nationwide Children’s and I think many will benefit from the attention to gluten sensitivity and Celiac issues.

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