Gluten-Free at Pizza Hut, Qdoba, KFC and More


I went to visit my sister in Israel in January, and it was a pretty special trip. My sister is 3 years older than me but was just diagnosed with celiac disease in November 2012.

Even though she had just been gluten-free for 3 months, she was so excited to show me all of the gluten-free options that Israel had to offer.

In fact, I took a cab from the airport and got to her apartment at the exact same time as a Pizza Hut delivery guy was bringing us dinner…

Our review of gluten-free fast food options continues this week as we explore Pizza Hut, Qdoba, KFC, Baskin Robbins, Arby’s, Tim Horton’s, Hardee’s and Long John Silver.


Pizza Hut’s Gluten-Free Menu

Pizza Hut recently rolled out their new gluten-free crust in the U.K., Australia and Israel, but there isn’t yet word when similar offerings will be available in the U.S. Similar to Domino’s, Pizza Hut warns diners that while the crusts do not contain gluten, and every effort is made to avoid contamination, it is, after all a pizza restaurant and therefore they make no guarantees. Also many toppings contain gluten. Specialty pizzas that would be safe, barring cross contamination, are Garlic Prawns, Spinach and Feta, Pepperoni, Hot and Spicy, Margherita, Veggie and Antipasto. You’ll still have to wait till it rolls out in the U.S., though!


Qdoba’s Gluten-Free Menu

Qdoba is another fabulous Mexican restaurant with plenty of gluten-free offerings, albeit with the usual risk of cross-contamination. Avoid the taco salad shell, soft flour tortillas, Ancho chile BBQ sauce and dessert brownies. The potatoes, corn taco shells, corn tortilla strips and chips and also the cheese are on the watch list for possibility of cross-contamination, and everything else on the menu is open season! Enjoy flat iron steak, chicken, pork, shredded beef, chorizo and eggs on soft white corn tortillas with flavorful salsas and pico de gallo, grilled fajita vegetables, cilantro lime rice and more – ole!


KFC’s Gluten-Free Menu

All of the chicken breading at Kentucky Fried Chicken contains gluten, as do most of the menu items. Gluten-free items are the Caesar or House side salads without dressing or croutons, corn on the cob, green beans, potato salad, cole slaw, sweet kernel corn, three bean salad, Sargento light string cheese and jalapeno peppers. For dressings, choose from Heinz Buttermilk Ranch, Marzetti Light Italian, Hidden Valley Ranch fat-free and KFC’s own Creamy Parmesan Caesar. While KFC does take the time to publish an Allergens and Sensitivities guide, developing gluten-free options doesn’t seem to be on the menu at this time.


Baskin Robbins Gluten-Free Menu

Baskin Robbins posts the top eight allergens in front of each flavor in their stores, so you can check for gluten when you select your flavor. A complete ingredients list is available on their website for each flavor of ice cream, as well, along with the allergens it contains. Most flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurt do not contain gluten, but beware of anything with the words cookie, Oreos, or brownie in the title. As always, skip the cones and cakes, however if you order well enough in advance, many franchises will prepare an all ice-cream cake for a special occasion.


Arby’s Gluten-Free Menu

While all of Arby’s meats and cheeses are gluten-free, except for the crispy chicken fillets and patties which are breaded, they don’t make for much of a meal. A better bet is the chopped farmhouse salad with roast turkey or the side salad. Gluten-free dressings include balsamic vinaigrette, buttermilk ranch, dijon honey mustard, and light Italian. Breakfast items are bacon, sausage patty and scrambled egg patty. Dessert recommendations are chocolate, vanilla or Jamocha shakes, strawberry yogurt dip or apple slices. The homestyle fries and potato cakes are a possibility, but only if the restaurant has a dedicated gluten-free fryer.


Tim Horton’s Gluten-Free Menu

Tim Horton’s does not offer specific gluten-free items, and does not guarantee absence of gluten from cross-contamination. None of their many beverages, hot or cold, contain gluten except for one; the Brownie Iced Cappuccino Supreme. Gluten-free breakfast items are hash browns, seasoned egg patty, seasoned egg white omelet, seasoned scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hickory smoked ham, and processed cheese. Lunch items are French onion soup (broth only), turkey and wild rice soup, chili, creamy sundried tomato soup and yogurt with berries.


Hardee’s Gluten-Free Menu

All of Hardee’s bunless beef patties, turkey burger patty and roast beef offerings are gluten-free; the au jus and mushroom sauces, however, are not. Avoid all of the chicken breast fillets because even the non-breaded ones are glazed in gluten-containing soy sauce. Stick with the chili, coleslaw, scrambled eggs, green beans, grits, country ham, sliced ham, bunless hot dog, mashed potatoes, sausage patty and smoked sausage. As for the fries, check to see if they have a dedicated fryer. Ice cream is good for desert but avoid the cookies and cream and chocolate chip cookie flavors as well as the cones, and the Whirl, which contains barley.


Long John Silver’s Gluten-Free Menu

At Long John Silver’s, safe items for celiacs are the coleslaw, corn cobbette, rice and all of the condiments and sauces. The grilled Pacific salmon, shrimp scampi, vegetable medley, Freshside Grille salmon entrée and shrimp scampi entrée are listed as not containing wheat, but they are prepared using common equipment, so they may contain trace amounts of gluten, according to Long John Silver’s nutrition guide.


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Comments ( 9 )

  • Connie

    I dont think fast food is good for anyone but with food allergies. I think its not the best place to eat unless there are no other choices. I think eating healthy is the best way to go and these places will never be that. Its fast food.

    • Kelsey

      fast food isnt good for anyone but one still misses an occasional burger or KFC when its not permitted due to the allergies

  • Kathy Stapley

    Kind of defeats the purpose of going to KFC, Arby’s when all you can eat are the side dishes, or everyone’s answer is to eat a salad. These fast food places and restaurants need to get on the wagon, and make more items available that are gluten free/wheat free other than side dishes and salads

  • Jan

    I would never have a dipped ice cream cone because they put the scooper in water that has been contaminated by gluten-containing flavors!

  • Ed

    Hardees has a 1/3 Lb low carb Thick burger that is gluten-free,I’ve tried it and I think that’s pretty good.

    1/3 lb. Low Carb Thickburger®

    1/3 lb. charbroiled 100% Black Angus beef patty, American cheese, fresh tomato, red onion, ketchup, mustard, mayo and dill pickles all wrapped in a crisp, whole-leaf iceberg lettuce.

  • MNM

    This doesn’t even begin to address issues for people with multiple allergies/issues like gluten intolerance and dairy-intolerance, not to mention sensitivities with corn. We have been successful with PF Chang’s and Red Robin. We mostly eat @ home. Eating out is a rare treat for my family

  • Nicole

    So I really don’t think it’s smart to go off any of this info … I went to Carl’s to have a 6 dollar protein burger ( as mentioned ) being safe and I got so sick from it !!! I don’t think we will ever have opportunity to live in the fast lane again!! So fresh vegetables and fresh meats is in my day to day menu !!

  • Nicole

    Does anyone have a family and out of the 5 your the only one with celiac ?? It’s so hard for me is there any tips or help full notes I can take?!?!

    • Stella814

      Nicole, out of 4 I am the only one with celiac in my family. We try to eat out at places with gluten free menus (the kids hate McDonald’s anyway) or sometimes I just get ice cream while everyone else gets a meal. I always carry food with me, even if its just protein bars. We try not to eat out too much! At home all of the meals I cook are GF but I do keep gluten bread and cereals around for everyone else.

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