You Can Tailgate: Allergy Free!

Yesterday was the CSU home-opener football game and we kicked off the season with an awesome tailgate! If you have ever gone to a tailgate and been bummed out by the beer and burgers that you had to avoid – have hope! An allergy-free tailgate is totally possible and actually pretty easy! As the tailgate host, I provided the MEAT (total necessity). Instead of dealing with a grill, I did pulled pork in my crockpot. This worked out great because I was able to put it in Friday night, wake up to a delightful smell in my kitchen, shred the meat, add the sauce and bring the crockpot straight to the stadium. I made my own BBQ rub and BBQ sauce that was gluten/tomato free.  I also brought an easy tropical fruit salad. The rest of the food was provided by awesome friends and family. I asked everyone to bring a side dish and drink. Not everyone brough allergy free food, but that’s ok! I wanted to have something for everyone. My mother-in-law brought buns for the majority, and brown rice wraps for the g-free’rs. FYI – BBQ pork wraps are delicious! Another of my my g-free friends contributed gluten free chocolate brownies made from Whole Foods’ Solterra mix. They were a hit amongst all of my tailgaters. My mom made made my favorite dairy/egg free potato salad which is also extremely popular with the masses. We had an awesome assortment of veggies, chips and dip and a special allergy free bean salad/dip that blew my mind – thanks Francine!  Are you inspired to host your own tailgate this year for your favorite football team? Here are some of the recipes that were used. Enjoy!

BBQ Pulled Pork

Spice Rub:

  • 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp table salt
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground white pepper

Use 1 or 2 pork shoulders equalling 8-10 lbs. Massage the spice rub into the meat and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. I did this 2 days before the tailgate. You can do it up to 3 hours before you cook it, but the longer the rub marinates, the stronger the flavor will be. I refridgerated the pork until the night before my tailgate. Then, place the shoulder in the crockpot along with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 12 hours. After the 12 hours, cut the bone out and remove excess fat. Then shred the meat with 2 forks. Add 1 cup of BBQ sauce (my tomato free recipe is listed next) and cook on low for another hour. Use extra BBQ sauce to top on your sandwiches.

Gluten/Tomato Free BBQ Sauce

It can be hard to find pre-packaged BBQ sauce when you have lots of food allergies. But this was so easy, you’ll never go back to store back BBQ sauce again!

  • 2 cans of roasted red peppers (24 oz)
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar


Drain half of the juice from the cans of peppers. Pour the peppers and remaining juice into the blender. Add the molasses, brown sugar and vinegar. Puree until smooth. It’s as easy as that! I got so many comments on how good this sauce was, I will definitely use this recipe for years to come. I’m excited to use canned red peppers for pasta sauces too!!

Easy Tropical Fruit Salad

I love using fresh fruit, but sometimes time is of the essence. Try this for an easy side dish!

  • 2 cans mandarin oranges
  • 2 cans pineapple chunks (in 100% juice)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Drain the juices and stir in the coconut. Voila!

My favorite Potato Salad recipe is courtesy of the Gluten Free Goddess. Check out the recipe here.

I am going to the get the bean salad from my friend, and as soon as I do I will add it to the list.

I wish I had taken pictures at our tailgate – I can’t believe I didn’t think of it! But it was tons of fun and I hope you can try some of these great recipes out this football season! If you don’t host your own tailgate, always bring something that you know you can eat so you can enjoy the pre-game fun as much as your friends!!


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