22 foods and drinks you didn’t know contain gluten

Most people know the obvious gluten-containing food and drinks, like breads, doughs, and other things that include wheat or flour in their ingredients list. But there are also some surprising sources of gluten out there, so if you have Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity — or you’re preparing a meal for someone who fits this description — you’ll want to be fully prepared. For some gluten guidance, here are 22 foods and drinks you didn’t know contained gluten.



Ground Picture / Shutterstock.com

Beer contains gluten because most varieties include wheat or barley (or both). However, hops, the ingredient most commonly associated with beer, don’t contain any gluten, which is how gluten-free beers and breweries exist!


2 of 22

Bottled salad dressings

Bottled salad dressings

Svetlana Foote / Shutterstock.com

This one surprised us, because if you make dressings like Italian or ranch from scratch, there’s no gluten to be found. However, some bottled brands contain wheat flour as a thickening agent or distilled vinegar derived from grains, so be sure to read the label.


Communion wafers

Magdalena Kucova / Shutterstock.com

It’s hard out there for Catholics with Celiac disease, as most communion wafers contain wheat. With the rise in awareness of gluten intolerance in recent years, there are now gluten-free communion wafers available — so check with your church!


4 of 22

Cookie-flavored ice creams

Cookie-flavored ice creams

Kellentinesday / Shutterstock.com

Most ice cream flavors don’t contain gluten, but if they are cookie-themed (like cookie dough and cookies and cream) they likely do. Be sure to check the label though, as some varieties are made with gluten-free mix-ins.


Corn Flakes

Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock.com

Corn products — like corn, popcorn, cornstarch, and corn tortillas — are gluten-free, so why not Corn Flakes? It’s the malt flavoring, which is derived from barley, that’s the source of the gluten in this signature Kellogg’s cereal.



Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock.com

Rice is gluten-free and quinoa is gluten-free, but couscous? It contains gluten. Despite having a similar appearance to rice and quinoa, couscous differs because it’s made from semolina, which comes from durum wheat.



stockcreations / Shutterstock.com

Much of your typical Thanksgiving dinner is gluten-free, including the turkey and most potato and vegetable dishes. However, gravy is a sneaky source of gluten, as most gravies include a flour-based roux that’s used to thicken the sauce.


Gummy candies

Pashu Ta Studio / Shutterstock.com

It’s a sticky situation when it comes to gluten in gummy candies. Some common varieties — including Haribo Gummy Bears and Trolli Sour Brite Bites — contain gluten or traces of gluten because of the wheat in the glucose syrup. Check the packaging to be safe.


Ice cream cones

Foxys Forest Manufacture / Shutterstock.com

What exactly makes up an ice cream cone? It depends on the variety, but most include both sugar and flour. The presence of the latter ingredient means that many cones — sugar, waffle, etc. — contain gluten.


Imitation crab

The Image Party / Shutterstock.com

Seafood is generally safe from gluten, but stick to the real stuff, as imitation crab often contains wheat starch as a binding agent. Keep this in mind the next time you consider ordering crab rangoon or sushi.



Josep Curto / Shutterstock.com

The licorice root plant is void of gluten, but licorice candy is not. That’s because black, red, and other flavored licorice uses wheat flour as a binding agent.



Kotelnikov Andrii / Shutterstock.com

You may think unleavened bread is safe for people with gluten sensitivities but think again. In fact, matzo and matzo balls contain a perfect storm of barley, rye, and wheat. Look for gluten-free matzo options in the store or make your own at home.


Milky Way bars

ungvar / Shutterstock.com

You might suspect that candies containing crisped rice (like Crunch Bars or 100 Grand Bars) or cookies (Twix and KitKat) would contain gluten, but the Milky Way comes as a surprise. The reason it’s not safe? Its ingredient list includes gluten in the form of malted barley. However, Milky Way Dark and Milky Way Caramel are both gluten-free, as are similar candy bars like Snickers and 3 Musketeers.


Miso soup

K321 / Shutterstock.com

Miso soup seems like a simple, non-threatening meal for folks who are gluten-intolerant. But miso soup is made from miso paste, which consists of fermented soybeans that are often mixed with wheat or barley. It’s possible for miso soup to be gluten-free, but this isn’t always the case.


Rice Krispies

calimedia / Shutterstock.com

Rice Krispies are not gluten-free, but it has nothing to do with the rice. Like Corn Flakes, it’s the malt flavoring that’s the culprit here. Kellogg’s used to make a gluten-free version of their famous Rice Krispies, but it was discontinued due to poor sales and manufacturing constraints. 


Smirnoff Ice

Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock.com

Don’t “ice” someone who is gluten intolerant! Smirnoff Ice (or at least the type made in the U.S. and France) is made with barely-derived malt, which contains gluten. The same goes for the Smirnoff Screwdriver drinks, as well as similar beverages like Mike’s Hard Lemonade.


Soy sauce

vbertiany / Shutterstock.com

Soy sauce is one of the oldest condiments in the world. For some 2,000 years, it has been made from a mixture of fermented soybeans, wheat, salt, and water. If you want a gluten-free version, look for a tamari-style soy sauce.


Taco seasoning

Michelle Lee Photography / Shutterstock.com

The combination of spices that go into taco seasoning are all gluten-free, but when you buy it in a premixed package, there’s a chance it will contain wheat flour. Look for the gluten-free distinction on the label or just make your own mix at home.


Teriyaki sauce

zoryanchik / Shutterstock.com

Keep in mind that because soy sauce contains gluten, most teriyaki sauces will also contain gluten. This may not be obvious, as soy sauce and teriyaki sauce are two separate condiments, but the latter is actually made up of the former, plus rice wine and sugar.


Veggie burgers

The Image Party / Shutterstock.com

The bad news? Most veggie burgers are not gluten-free due to the presence of wheat gluten. This includes brands like Boca Burger and Gardenburger. The good news? There are plenty of plant-based burgers available that are gluten-free, including those made by Quorn, Impossible, and Beyond.


21 of 22

Werther’s Originals

Werther’s Originals

melissamn / Shutterstock.com

According to Werther’s website, their Originals are “suitable for a gluten-free diet,” however, they do contain glucose syrup, which may be derived from a wheat source. Eating a few of these hard caramel candies should be fine, but they still can’t be classified as completely gluten-free.


22 of 22

Worcestershire sauce

Worcestershire sauce

Michelle Lee Photography / Shutterstock.com

Worcestershire sauce is another sneaky source of gluten. This condiment contains malt vinegar made from barley, which is not suitable for someone with celiac disease. There are some gluten-free Worcestershire sauces available, so shop carefully — and be careful when eating or drinking something that might contain Worcestershire sauce, like soups, stews, or Bloody Mary cocktails.

Check Also

Mom’s Organic Munchies planning move to Brunswick

Mom’s Organic Munchies planning move to Brunswick

Betty Crush, founder of Mom’s Organic Munchies. Courtesy of Mom’s Organic Munchies Mom’s Organic Munchies, …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *