Fast-Food Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menu Options

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

In today’s world, gluten — the group of proteins found in wheat and other grains like rye and barley — is seemingly unavoidable. It’s just about everywhere, but it can potentially wreak havoc on your health. In fact, one-third of Americans are trying to skip it altogether for various reasons. Celiac disease and gluten intolerance (which impacts about 6% of Americans and is different from a food allergy) as well as more common ailments like headaches, bloating and fatigue can all be linked to gluten. 

Dr. Sophie Balzora tells NYU Langone Health that Celiac disease specifically “could stem from changes in the way grains are grown or the ubiquity of gluten in today’s foods,” adding that gluten takes a toll on the lining of the small intestine of individuals with the autoimmune disease. Symptoms include pain, diarrhea, malnutrition, anemia, and osteoporosis, according to the National Institute of Health

More and more people are opting for gluten-free diets. Celiac disease alone is four times more prevalent today than it was in the 1950s, Dr. Balzora explains. These days, gluten-free products are popular even with people who don’t have gluten intolerance or Celiac disease. Some people avoid it to keep grocery shopping simple because loved ones have issues, and others skip gluten to have healthier guts. According to the National Library of Medicine, gluten-free diets are used in the prevention and management of disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, as well as functional gastrointestinal disorders.

Gluten-Free Trend

The trend towards gluten-free diets has led to a burgeoning market. According to The Brainy Insights, the $6.5 billion gluten-free products market will reach $15.1 billion by 2032. Fast-food franchises now offer a variety of gluten-free menu options to ensure all dietary lifestyles are represented and often provide allergen and gluten content information on their menus and websites.

Looking for fast-food franchises with gluten-free options? There are plenty of options below.  

* Consult with a medical professional before making any major dietary changes, and check your local fast-food restaurants’ menus for information about allergens and gluten content as there may be cross-contamination.

Fast-Food Restaurants with Gluten-Free Options 

Arby’s

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Breakfast Items: Arby’s American Cheese, cage free egg and sausage patties, orange juice, and ham don’t contain gluten, according to Gluten-Free Grubbin’. 
Gluten-Free Milkshakes: Looking for a refreshing gluten-free milkshake? Arby’s has got you covered with several options, including the Jamocha Shake, Chocolate Shake, and Vanilla Shake.
Gluten-Free Meats: Those looking for gluten-free meats can try Arby’s Corned Beef, bacon, Roast Beef, Roast Chicken Breast, Roast Turkey, and Smoked Brisket.
Gluten-Free Sides: Maybe you aren’t that hungry but could go for a gluten-free snack. Arby’s has Crinkle Fries and Tree Top Applesauce on the menu. 
Gluten-Free Dipping Sauces: Fries and other fast-food items just aren’t as good without dipping sauces. Arby’s offers several gluten-free options, including Bronco Berry Sauce, Buffalo Dipping Sauce, Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, Marinara Sauce, Ranch Dipping Sauce, and Tangy Barbeque Sauce.

A&W 

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Sides: At A&W, guests can enjoy gluten-free French Fries, Cheese Fries, Chili Cheese Fries, Cole Slaw, and Mott’s Apple Sauce.
Gluten-Free Desserts: A&W is famous for its milkshakes and other dessert items. Gluten-free milkshakes come in strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla flavors. Have a hankering for a sundae? The fast-food franchise’s hot fudge, hot caramel, chocolate, and strawberry flavors are gluten-free. 
Gluten Free-Dipping Sauces: The A&W franchise’s Ranch, Honey Mustard, Spicy Papa, and BBQ sauces don’t contain gluten. 

Baja Fresh Mexican Grill

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Breakfast Items: Guests can indulge in Baja’s gluten-free Breakfast Burrito (no tortilla), bacon, Baja Papas, sausage, and scrambled eggs to start off their day. 
Gluten-Free Kids’ Sides: Children with gluten intolerance can find apple slices, rice, black beans, pinto beans, and milk.
Gluten-Free Salads: As long as you don’t put on any dressing, the Baja Ensalada with Carnitas, shrimp, grilled wahoo, and roasted veggies, along with the grilled chili lime with shrimp, are gluten-free.

Burger King

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Chicken and Fish Options: Burger King’s Garden Side Salad (with no dressing), Ken’s Golden Italian Dressing, Ken’s Ranch Dressing, and Ken’s Lite Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette are safe gluten-free products.
Gluten-Free Children’s Options: Kids with gluten intolerance or other health issues can enjoy oatmeal, Mott’s Natural Applesauce, French Fries, Fat Free Milk, 1% low fat chocolate milk, and Capri-Sun 100% apple juice.
Gluten-Free Desserts: Gluten-free desserts are abound at Burger King: soft serve cup, Hershey’s Chocolate Sundae, vanilla shake, and Hershey’s Chocolate Shake.
Gluten-Free Sides: In addition to fries, gluten-free dipping sauces come in barbecue, buffalo, honey mustard, ranch, and zesty flavors.

Chick-Fil-A 

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Breakfast Items: Chick-fil-A offers several breakfast menu options that are free of gluten: hash browns, greek yogurt parfait with granola, and a fruit cup.
Gluten-Free Dessert Options: Popular gluten-free dessert menu items include chocolate and strawberry milkshake as well as the Chick-fil-A Icedream Cup.
Gluten-Free Proteins: The fast-food giant’s Grilled Breakfast Filet, bacon and sausage don’t contain gluten. 
Gluten-Free Sandwich Toppings: Looking for gluten-free toppings for your Chick-fil-A sandwich? You have several choices: bacon, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, American Cheese, Colby Jack Cheese, and Pepper Jack Cheese.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Items: There are countless ways to make your own bowl or burrito at Chipotle. Guests can put the following gluten-free food items in their orders: Barbacoa, black beans, Carnitas, chicken, tortilla chips, brown rice, crispy corn tortilla, fajita vegetables, fresh tomato salsa, guacamole, monterey jack cheese, pinto beans, queso blanco, roasted chili-corn salsa, romaine lettuce, sofritas, sour cream, steak, supergreens lettuce blend, and more. 

El Pollo Loco

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Sides: While El Pollo Loco doesn’t advertise a gluten-free menu, several items use ingredients that don’t contain wheat gluten. These include corn, broccoli, pinto beans, black beans, rice, mashed potatoes without gravy, coleslaw, and Loco Side Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing. 
Gluten-Free Salads: The Classic Salad (with dressing) and the Mexican Cobb Salad (with dressing) are also free of ingredients that contain wheat gluten. The Ultimate Double Chicken Salad is another choice for those with gluten intolerance or other medical issues.  

Five Guys

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Meats: Five Guys’ bacon, hamburger patty, and hot dogs don’t contain gluten. 
Gluten-Free Toppings: The following toppings are safe for those with gluten sensitivity: A.1. original steak sauce; BBQ sauce; cheese; green peppers; grilled mushrooms; hot sauce; jalapeno peppers; ketchup; lettuce; mayonnaise; mustard; pickles; and more. 

In-N-Out Burger

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Burgers: In-N-Out’s ProteinStyle Hamburger, ProteinStyle Cheeseburger, and ProteinStyle Double-Double are good for people of all dietary lifestyles. The fast-food giant’s French fries are also gluten free. 
Gluten-Free Milkshakes: Gluten-free shakes come in chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavors. 
Gluten-Free Toppings: Your burger can be topped with gluten-free cheese, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, mustard and ketchup. 

Jack in the Box

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Milkshakes: Even if you have gluten intolerance, you can enjoy chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla milkshakes topped with whipped cream from Jack in the Box. 
Gluten-Free Sides: Chiquita Apple Bites with caramel, French fries, and side salad are gluten-free side items.
Gluten-Free Dipping Sauces: To take your entree to the next level, gluten-free dipping sauce choices include Barbecue Dipping Sauce; Buttermilk House Dipping Sauce; Frank’s Redhot Buffalo Dipping Sauce; Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce; Pancake Syrup; and Sweet N’ Sour Dipping Sauce.
Gluten-Free Salads: These salads can be enjoyed without croutons and still be gluten-free: Chicken Club Salad with Grilled Chicken; Grilled Chicken Salad; side salad; Southwest Chicken Salad with grilled chicken; creamy southwest dressing; low Fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing; ranch dressing; and Spicy Corn Sticks.

KFC

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Sides: KFC’s coleslaw, corn on the cob, green beans, mashed potatoes, potato salad, and sweet kernel corn are gluten-free.
Gluten-Free Salads and Dressings: KFC’s Caesar Side Salad and House Side Salad are gluten-free without croutons. Safe dressings are Heinz Buttermilk Dressing, Hidden Valley, the Original Ranch Fat Free Dressing, KFC Creamy Parmesan Caesar Dressing, and Marzetti Light Italian Dressing.

Long John Silver’s

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Sauces: Gluten-free sauces on Long John Silver’s menu are: baja sauce, BBQ sauce, creamy garlic butter sauce, creamy ranch dressing, honey mustard sauce, Louisiana hot sauce, sweet chili sauce, tartar sauce, and ketchup.
Gluten-Free Sides: Coleslaw, cut corn, Fire Roasted Southwest Corn Blend, green beans, grilled salmon, and grilled shrimp are examples of the food franchise’s gluten-free sides. 

McDonald’s

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Dessert Options: Who doesn’t love dessert after dinner? Whether or not you follow a gluten-free diet, you can indulge in the McFlurry with M&M’s Candies, chocolate shake, vanilla shake, strawberry shake, hot fudge sundae, hot caramel sundae, and vanilla ice cream cup.
Gluten-Free Options for Kids: Kids with special dietary needs can enjoy apple slices, 100% Beef Patty pickle slices, onions, ketchup, and mustard.
Gluten-Free Breakfast Items: Breakfast is a staple at the Golden Arches. Gluten-free options include scrambled eggs, thick cut applewood smoked bacon, Canadian Bacon, sausage patty, and hotcake syrup.

Popeyes 

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Sides: Gluten-free sides on Popeye’s menu include corn on the cob, cajun rice, coleslaw, and jalapeños.
Gluten-Free Breakfast Items: Popeyes has several gluten-free breakfast options. These include grits, hash browns, coffee, and orange juice. 
Gluten-Free Sauces: Nothing adds to a chicken sandwich or fries like a good sauce. Gluten-free sauces from Popeyes include Bayou Buffalo, Buttermilk Ranch, Sweet Heat, Mardi Gras Mustard, Wild Honey Mustard, Cocktail, Tartar Sauce, and Blackened Ranch.

SONIC

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Condiments: Guests with a gluten-free diet can enjoy condiments including Buffalo Sauce, Celery Salt, Hickory BBQ, Honey BBQ Sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, ranch dressing and tartar sauce.
Gluten-Free Ice Cream: In addition to vanilla ice cream, SONIC offers gluten-free Lemonade Slush and Limeade Slush.
Gluten-Free Sandwich Toppings: Toppings can make or break a sandwich. If you have a gluten-free diet, you can put avocado, Dill pickle chips, dill pickle spears, hatch green chiles, jalapenos, lettuce, diced onion, sauerkraut, sport peppers, sweet pickle relish, and tomatoes on your sandwich.

Taco Bell

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Drinks: Taco Bell’s Cherry Bliss Freeze, Mango Freeze, Wild Cherry Freeze, and Wild Strawberry Freeze don’t contain gluten. 
Gluten-Free Tacos: Guests don’t have to worry about the gluten content in the Crunchy Taco, Crunchy Taco Supreme, Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco, and Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme.
Gluten-Free Breakfast Items: At Taco Bell, gluten-free breakfast items include Cinnabon Delights Coffee, hash brown, hot coffee with creamer, orange juice, premium roast coffee, and vanilla creamer.
Gluten-Free Sides: Black Beans and Rice and Black Beans as well as Diablo, hot and mild sauce packets are gluten-free. 

TacoTime

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Sides: TacoTime has gluten-free sides on the menu, including Mexi Fries, Mexi-Rice, and Refritos with and without chips.
Gluten-Free A-la-Carte Items: Gluten-free ingredients in TacoTime’s burritos, quesadillas, and tacos include ground beef, cheddar cheese, sour cream, guacamole, Salsa Fresca, Salsa Nuevo, Salsa Verde, Ranch, Thousand Island dressing and taco shells. 
Gluten-Free Nachos: The Mexican-inspired franchise Original and seasoned beef nachos are gluten-free. 

Wendy’s 

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Breakfast Items: To kick start the day without gluten, Wendy’s includes maple honey butter spread, sausage, egg, Swiss cheese sauce, applewood smoked bacon, and American cheese slices on the breakfast menu.
Gluten-Free Sides: Gluten-free side items at Wendy’s include French Fries, applewood smoked bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, cheddar cheese sauce, chili, potatoes, light sour cream, chives, and apple bites.
Gluten-Free Salads: Gluten-free salad ingredients at Wendy’s include Salad Blend; Caesar Dressing; Parmesan Crisps; Avocado; Southwest Ranch Dressing; Chili; Signature Salsa; Light Sour Cream; Taco Chips; Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing; Blue Cheese Crumbles; and Roasted Pecans

Zaxby’s 

Fast-food franchises with gluten-free options

Gluten-Free Wings: The Zaxby’s franchise offers gluten-free traditional wing options. 
Gluten-Free Sides: Side items are an important part of any meal. Coleslaw and crinkle fries are available for those looking for gluten-free choices. 
Gluten-Dressings Sides: Zaxby’s blue cheese, honey mustard, lite vinaigrette, and ranch dressing are all gluten-free!

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Haley Cafarella is a passionate journalist and writer for IFPG. In her role as content and marketing specialist, she creates original articles for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine. Her specialties include educational articles about buying a franchise and franchise consulting. She also reports on franchise professionals who were recently promoted or hired through FranchiseWire’s popular HireWire series.

Haley has contributed to a variety of regional publications, including Quo Vadis, New Brunswick Today, and the Trenton Monitor. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Rutgers University.
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