Delicous, Wheat-Free Dishes For Your Picnic!

Labor Day, to many, is the last hurrah of summer. You fire up the grill one last time and enjoy the last of all that delicious summer produce. Instead of burgers or potato salads (again) this year, why not try something a little different? This perfect Labor Day menu is not only unique and creative, it's completely gluten-free!

Roasted eggplant and goat cheese dip

Leave the buns, macaroni and cupcakes at home this year and whip up these zesty kebobs, decadent roasted eggplant dip, sweet corn confetti and boozy cookie milkshakes! These dishes are so delectable, nobody will miss the gluten!

Gluten free roasted eggplant and goat cheese dip

Yields about 1-1/2 cups


  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 ounces light cream cheese
  • 1/2 jalapeño, chopped
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Liberal dashes of salt and pepper


  1. Preheat broiler. Place whole eggplant in a baking dish. Drizzle with one-half tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Broil for about eight minutes. Move the eggplant around and broil another four to eight minutes, or until very soft. Remove from baking dish and let cool slightly.
  2. Set oven to 350 degrees F on the bake setting. Place garlic cloves, bell peppers and jalapeño in the same baking dish. Drizzle with about one tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast vegetables for about 10-15 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Remove from dish and place in a food processor.
  3. Once eggplant has cooled, carefully peel the skin so you're left with the flesh. Cut into slices and place in the food processor. Add remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons oil, goat cheese, lemon juice and cream cheese. Pulse on low until creamy. Serve warm with gluten-free pretzels and enjoy!

Sweet corn confetti

Gluten free sweet corn confetti

Recipe adapted from Southern Living

Serves about 7


  • 6 pieces bacon
  • 4 cups sweet corn kernels (about 6–8 ears)
  • 1/2 cup canned cream corn (gluten-free)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 ounces light cream cheese
  • 3 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup light cream
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Dash salt and pepper
  • Dash dried oregano


  1. Cook bacon in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Reserve one tablespoon of bacon fat, tossing out the rest.
  2. Add onions to the bacon fat and cook until just fragrant, about two minutes. Add in garlic, pepper and corn and heat until corn is soft, about six more minutes.
  3. Add in creamed corn, cream cheese, goat cheese, salt, pepper, oregano, water and cream. Reduce heat to medium and cook until cheeses have melted and mixture is thick and creamy, about six more minutes.
  4. Chop bacon into small pieces and add as garnish to the casserole.

Lemon & rosemary chicken kebobs

Gluten free lemon and rosemary chicken kebobs

Yields about 10 - 12 kebobs


  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow bell pepper, chopped into chunks
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped into chunks
  • About 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, stems removed
  • Juice from one large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh mini balls of mozzarella * (optional)


  1. Cut chicken into bite size chunks, about 1 inch cubes. Put in a bowl. Cover with lemon juice, lemon zest, rosemary, poultry seasoning and salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and shake to ensure all the chicken gets covered. Chill for at least 2-3 hours to marinate.
  2. Once chicken has marinated, remove from marinade.
  3. If you don't have a grill, heat one-half tablespoon olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until done, about eight minutes. Remove from pan. Add remaining olive oil and cook vegetables until soft, about five minutes. Then, alternating between ingredients, skewer the meat, cheese and vegetables on the skewers.
  4. If you have a grill, preheat it. Skewer the vegetables and meat before you place on the grill. Zest with additional lemon juice and salt and pepper and grill until chicken is done, about six minutes.

Boozy chocolate chip cookie milkshakes

Gluten free boozy chocolate chip cookie milkshakes

Serves about 4


  • 2 cups vanilla ice-cream
  • 1 cup gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (or gluten-free chocolate chip)
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup gluten-free cookie dough vodka
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free mini chocolate chip cookies
  • Whipped cream for garnish


  1. Place ice cream, vodka and cookies in a blender. Blend until mixture is creamy and thick. Add additional vodka to taste.
  2. Garnish with fresh whipped cream and cookies and enjoy!

More gluten-free inspiration

Gluten-free BBQ recipes
Gluten-free party recipes
Gluten-free almond flour recipes


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Comments on "Gluten-free Labor Day menu"

Kara September 12, 2012 | 2:20 PM

The boozy chocolate chip cookie milkshake looks incredible. Does vanilla icecream not have gluten in it? I noticed that was the only thing that wasn't "gluten free"?

ashley September 06, 2012 | 7:42 AM

We love picnics and this year's Labor Day was a perfect opportunity to go to our favorite High Park in Toronto and have a little fun with our children. But now that I've read your post I am looking forward to our next trip even more and I'll definitely prepare some of the dishes you mention.

Kenia September 04, 2012 | 9:57 AM

Great article! loved the recipes, I have to definitely try the "boozy chocolate chip cookie milkshakes" it looks delicious and super simple to make!

Jessie September 02, 2012 | 2:04 PM

I love getting everyone together for labor day. I love the look of the kebab recipe. I am no so confident in the goat cheese dip. It looks like porridge.

Lisa September 02, 2012 | 1:31 PM

Who needs gluten when you have recipes as good as these! Saying goodbye to summer just got a whole lot more fun and appetizing! I have heard about cookie dough-flavored vodka before, but I always thought it was for the 25 and under crowd. The boozy chocolate chip cookie milkshakes prove that there is at least one good way to put this alcoholic confection to good use that all ages can agree upon. I’m glad I stumbled across this recipe and the others just in time for Labor Day! Tomorrow’s going to be a blast!

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