When you can’t eat items that contain gluten it can sometimes feel like your available food options are reduced to almost zero.
It can be even worse when you find yourself in fast-food restaurants. But you shouldn’t have to sacrifice all your favorite foods just because of an intolerance.
And this is why I have scoured the KFC menu, to find out which options are appropriate for those of you who cannot eat anything that contains gluten.
KFC and gluten-free options? I know, it’s surprising.
I’d imagine most of you who cannot eat gluten have probably already resigned to the fact that you won’t be able to eat anything from the finger licking good tasty menu. But the good news is that, actually you can.
No more lustful glances as you drive past for favorite chicken joint, you can drive right in and get your fill – with certain items of course.
However, before I go on and highlight the gluten-free items, I think it is important to note that while there are item’s that are gluten-free the restaurant itself is not gluten-free.
In fact, most items on the menu do contain gluten in some form. Basically, this means that cross-contamination will always be a risk and it can never be guaranteed that there won’t be traces of gluten.
I wouldn’t recommend those with very serious allergies to gluten to order from KFC. But you can find all the relevant information on their allergens page to make an informed decision.
KFC’s Gluten-Free Items
1. House Side Salad
If you are in the mood for something a little healthier, the house side salad is a great side option that doesn’t contain gluten. However, you will have to request no croutons as these do have gluten within them.
The only real negative here is that the salad isn’t exactly brimming with veggies. You’ll get lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber in a bowl.
So you may want to add another option from this list to spice it up a little more if you plan on having this as a main meal. Otherwise, it can make the perfect snack on the go to tide you over till tea time!
2. Green Beans
Now, when you compare this side to a portion of crunchy french fries or creamy mac and cheese, a portion of green beans might feel a little lackluster.
But honestly, for a little pot of veggies, they are really tasty – and they are gluten free!
They are also a much healthier option, so it’s a kind choice to your body. They are high in fiber and contain minerals and vitamins.
They also stay on theme with the Kentucky vibe and have a real signature Southern flavor.
They go great with the salad mentioned above!
3. Caesar Side Salad
KFC’s caesar side salad is super delicious and it can be gluten free. You will have to opt out of having any of their crispy fried chicken chunks mixed in throughout the salad as they do contain gluten.
This can be a little bit of a bummer, since you are losing the protein in this meal, but you could always cook your own gluten-free chicken at home and add it to the salad.
In terms of nutrition, it’s not the healthiest salad on offer, and that’s because the salad dressings, while delicious, have quite a high sodium content.
But the good news is that all our gluten-free’s can try the dressing and dipping sauces because while they may contain a lot of sodium they do not contain any gluten.
And there are plenty of sauces to choose from.
So make sure you give those a try while you’re tucking into your salad as they definitely elevate the taste.
I’d even sneak a couple extra packets to take home so you can enjoy them with any gluten-free meals that you cook at home.
4. Sweet Kernel Corn
Everybody loves the corn from KFC – its a side staple for me any time that I visit. And what is great is that it is also suitable for those with gluten intolerances.
This sweet and tasty side of corn is also filled with natural sugars and carbs. Corn is also linked to good gut health – so there’s another benefit. Not that it’s needed – the taste speaks for itself.
The only thing that I will say, is that you should eat this scrumptious side in moderation if you have Celiac disease as it can result in flare-ups for some individuals.
Keep an eye on how your body reacts to this side, and cease if it is causing problems.
With that being said, for most eating corn won’t cause any issues. So get tucking into a delicious corn on the cob the next time that you go to KFC.
Coleslaw is such a refreshing and delicious side that would pair amazingly with some of the gluten free salads on offer.
It is prepared fresh in store using sliced carrots, onions, and cabbage which is then all mixed together with their stupendous signature dressing. May I add that the dressing is also gluten-free.
Coleslaw comes in a few varying sizes so you’ll be looking at a caloric value of anywhere between 170 and 640 calories.
But it’s also pretty nutritious since its packed full of so many veggies. Cabbage in particular is great as its known to help your digestive system and keep your heart healthy.
6. Mashed Potatoes
Who says gluten-free items can’t be super tasty? I’d go as far as to say that that super creamy KFC mash is one of the nicest sides on the menu.
And yep, it’s completely gluten-free so long as you ask for no gravy.
It’s pretty disappointing that you can’t get that southern slightly spicy gravy to pour over that creamy potatoey goodness.
But it’s not the end of the world either, as the mash is the real star of the show anyway.
If you’re taking the food home you could always pour your own gluten-free gravy over the top, or if you’re staying in store you could always drizzle a bit of their dipping sauces over the top.
It’s also more than tasty enough to eat as it is, so you can do that too.
7. Musselman’s Applesauce
KFC sells applesauce? I hear you ask. Oh yes it does! I reply.
Now, I don’t know who made the rule that applesauce was a child’s item, but I need a word with them real quick. Because applesauce is for whoever enjoys it. And who enjoys it is me.
And now anyone with a gluten intolerance can too. This applesauce is made from 100% American-grown apples and its hand-picked and super fresh, and oh is it tasty.
It can be a great addition to many of the items mentioned above.
In addition to their famous fried chicken, KFC offers a variety of sides, and some of the best KFC sides include their mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, and macaroni and cheese.
8. BBQ Baked Beans
These bbq baked beans are a popular KFC favorite (see also ‘Every KFC Sauce: Reviewed & Ranked‘). There’s just something about them that means as soon as they hit my mouth, the whole portion is devoured in mere seconds.
I think it’s because they’re such a comfort option. And what’s great is that they’re a gluten-free option too.
It’s a great opportunity to get those carbs into your diet without adding gluten, and that’s not all, they’re also high in fiber, protein, and unfortunately sodium too.
They also taste fantastic and that’s all thanks to the spices that are used in them. And hey, KFC are known for their skill with secret spices.
Though, this is a secret I can spill, these delicious beans include paprika, garlic, onion, and tomato powder as well as vinegar.
9. Dressings & Dips
As I did mention earlier on, anyone who is gluten free can enjoy any of the dips and dressings that KFC have to offer (see also ‘We Ranked The Best KFC Sides‘). So this means that you can elevate those salads or sides with a really yummy sauce.
The sauces that you can choose from are as follows:
- Heinz Buttermilk Dressing
- Hidden Valley The Original Ranch Fat-Free Dressing
- KFC Creamy Parmesan Caesar Dressing
- Marzetti Light Italian Dressing
- Buttermilk Ranch Dipping Sauce Cup
- Colonel’s Buttery Spread
- Creamy Buffalo Dipping Sauce Cup
- Finger-Lickin’ Good Dipping Sauce Cup
- Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce Cup
- Honey Sauce Packet
- Summertime BBQ Dipping Sauce Cup
- Sweet N Tangy Dipping Sauce Cup
Each and every drink at KFC is completely gluten-free, so you can always be sure that you can wash down your gluten-free menu items with any soda or shake that tickles your fancy.
The children’s drinks including chocolate milk (1%) milk (1%) milk (2%) and Tropical Fruit Capri Sun’s are all also gluten-free.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is KFC Original Recipe Gluten-Free?
Unfortunately not no. If you go to KFC and are hoping to avoid gluten, you’ll need to avoid all the chicken on offer as none of it is gluten free.
This is pretty annoying but there are a few side dishes available on the menu that are gluten free.
Is The Gravy At KFC Gluten-Free?
If you cannot eat gluten, you won’t be able to eat KFC’s gravy. In fact, you’ll be hardpressed to find any kind of gravy that doesn’t contain gluten.
This is because flour is often used to create the thickness in gravy and all-purpose flour tends to contain around 8-11% of gluten.
Can I Eat At KFC If I Am Allergic To Gluten?
For those who have serious gluten allergies, I really wouldn’t recommend KFC at all. Gluten is in flour and there is a whole lot of flour used in these restaurants.
I’d say that flour is pretty much in the air it’s used that often. So cross contamination is likely and I wouldn’t believe it to be worth the risk.
Gluten Free KFC-Fakeaway Recipes
Are you missing and really craving that KFC taste? Well I’ve compiled a list of some of the best gluten-free recreations I could find.
- Gluten-Free KFC-Style Chicken
- Gluten-Free KFC-Style Gravy
- Gluten-Free KFC Popcorn Chicken
- Gluten-Free KFC Famous Bowl
As you can see, if you have had to give up your favorite fast food because of dietary requirements, there are copycat recipes that you can use so that you can still tuck into that famous flavor you know and love.
Give these recipes a try and see if they help curve those KFC cravings.
When reviewing the menu items available that are gluten-free at KFC, I couldn’t help but think that the restaurant could do with a bit of a menu revamp.
I would love them to introduce at least one entree meal that is gluten-free.
Though I’m not sure how the mechanics of a gluten-free fried chicken work, surely there must be a way to come up with some kind of gluten-free meat option.
But alas, for now, those with gluten intolerances will have to stick to the sides that the fastfood chain has to offer.
And despite there being so real tasty chicken options, there are still plenty of sides that are gluten-free which are very tasty.
I would like to take the time, once again, just to reiterate that KFC is by no means a gluten-free restaurant and if you have particularly serious sensitivities or allergies that you’ll need to approach with caution.
Due to the nature in which most of the food is prepped and cooked, there is a possibility that cross contamination will occur.
If you are ever unsure about what you can or cannot eat while in store, speak to a staff member who should be able to guide you to the relevant allergen information.
Hopefully, though, after reading this article you should now know a little more about the gluten-free options at KFC.
So next time you stop by their restaurant, there need be no food envy (almost) as your friends tuck in because you can now treat yourself to some of that scrumptious Southern food.