Easy Fermented Foods for Cookouts

No need to spend hours searching the internet for easy fermented foods for cookouts. Ashley has rounded up over 40 recipes for you in this post. With everything from condiments to beverages, you can add fermented foods to your backyard barbecue with little effort.

The heat of summer is a great time to enjoy fermented foods. The natural effervescence and tang of healthy, home-fermented live foods make a great addition to any cookout. Your ferments can go beyond the standard fare of lacto-fermented pickles and sauerkraut to include ferments throughout the meal. Try these great ideas for incorporating more ferments into your summer:

40 Easy Fermented Foods for Cookouts

Fermented Condiments

Even if you’re sticking with the standard burgers and hot dogs of a quick backyard barbecue, there’s no reason you can’t incorporate fermented condiments into the mix to up the flavor and nutrition of your meal, without the additives and sugar of store-bought condiments. Try homemade lacto-fermented mustardpro-biotic fermented ketchuphealthy probiotic mayonnaisefermented Russian dressing or probiotic horseradish sauce.

It’s easy to make your own living salad dressing starting with homemade sour creamcrème Fraiche, and apple cider vinegar. Don’t forget a dollop of that delicious homemade sour cream and some fermented garlic scapes in your picnic potato salad.

For more adventurous folk, think outside the box with probiotic fig butter on homemade sourdough rolls.

Fermented Side Dishes

When you’re ready to expand your cookout beyond burgers and hot dogs, side dishes are the next logical step. Lucky for your digestive tract that side dishes are one of the easiest ways to incorporate fermented foods into your summer picnic.

You can start with a basic fermented coleslaw or beet salad, or try a cooling fermented gazpacho. Pickles are an obvious choice, and there are many different variations to choose from, including spicy pickles or garlic ginger pickles.

Simple fermented vegetables can take a veggie platter up a notch. Try any of these: garlicbell peppersgrape tomatoesonionsradishesceleriaccelerygreen beans or carrots.

Salsa is another great place to incorporate ferments into your meal, and the variations are endless. Try either this green tomato salsa or red tomato salsa for a sure crowd pleaser.

If you’re looking to expand your options beyond typical cookout side dishes, fermented green tomato olives are a local homemade substitute for regularly canned olives, and kimchi-filled steamed buns are easy to make ahead and will add a multi-cultural air to an otherwise average cookout.

It’s hard to go wrong with kimchi and sauerkraut, but why limit yourself to the old standby versions? Why not branch out and make sauerkraut from Chinese cabbage or add apples and onions for a sweeter version? Kimchi can take other forms as well, including brussel sprout kimchi or a no salt version for those with sodium issues. If you’re looking for something with a different spice profile, there’s always curtido, which is the South American adaptation of a fermented cabbage dish.

Fermented Beverages

Most of our minds go right to beer when you mention a fermented beverage. The problem is, commercial beer is almost always filtered and pasteurized, making it a dead food rather than a live probiotic. If you’re looking for beer, try “bottle conditioned” or “unfiltered” versions, which are cloudy as a result of the natural live yeast present within.

Better yet, there are many options for making your own fermented beverages. Meads are easy to make with just a bit of honey and yeast, and by adding different flavorings they can take on just about any character. Very berry mead or dandelion mead are good places to start.

For the kids or people looking for a non-alcoholic version, water kefir based sodas add the fizz and probiotics without being intoxicating. Try fermented lemonadehomemade grape soda or natural ginger ale.

This list is a great place to get you started thinking about incorporating ferments into your summer cookout cooking, but it’s by no means everything. How do you incorporate ferments into your summer meals? Leave your ideas in the comments below.


What a treasure trove of ideas and recipes for your summer fermenting. And with the right tools found in the Fermentools store, you are set to go. Check it out today.


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