Yes, it sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Gluten-free options at KFC? I’m just as surprised as you are. Those two things aren’t something you would normally put together.
That said, it’s important to mention that KFC is not a gluten-free restaurant, and their allergens page describes their process in handling food.
Fried chicken uses wheat flour, and while KFC provides a few gluten-free alternatives, as so many restaurants are now due to the rising demand for gluten-free meals and sides, nearly all of KFC’s items have wheat or gluten in them.
In other words, cross-contamination is a risk in an open kitchen environment. I’d highly advise that anyone with a serious allergy should avoid KFC. On the brighter side, all their beverages are gluten-free.
So, if you’re looking to eat healthier and want to change your diet a bit or are curious about what options KFC has for gluten sensitivities, keep reading to learn more about KFC gluten-free items and how to order gluten-free.
*Disclaimer: Always confirm food allergen information with your local restaurant before consuming.
House Side Salad
Opting for a side salad is good to have with your meal as a lighter, healthier variation from the other heavy side dishes you consume.
Don’t eat the crunchy croutons which contain gluten. KFC salads are relatively limited, including only lettuce and tomato, so you can spice up your salad with other gluten-free options.
Or, salads are a good alternative if you know you’re going to have a big dinner and not want to fill up on a big, hearty lunch.
Green beans are tasty and versatile. Compared to the other rich side dishes like mac and cheese and French fries that KFC offers, these veggies might not seem that great.
But, gluten-free customers will enjoy these green beans, so snag some the next time you’re at a KFC.
They’re a great choice because they don’t contain gluten and have the signature Southern flavor.
Moreover, green beans are rich in fiber and have traces of vitamins and minerals that help your body in more ways than just avoiding gluten.
Caesar Side Salad
Caesar salad has some nutritional value but beware of not ordering the crispy chicken caesar salad which contains gluten in the chunks of fried chicken sprinkled throughout the greens.
You could find a recipe and make your own fried chicken at home to be safe! Most of the calories and fat come in the dressings.
KFC’s salad dressings can be high in sodium as well, but this salad has a good fiber amount.
Caesar salad was a consistent lunch order of mine for some time due to the addictive crunchy lettuce, delicious dressing, and grated cheese.
All of KFC’s salad dressings and dipping sauces are gluten-free. A few of these include:
- Heinz Buttermilk Dressing
- Marzetti Light Italian Dressing
- Creamy Parmesan Caesar Dressing
- Hidden Valley The Original Fat-Free Ranch Dressing
- Honey Mustard
- Sweet N Tangy
Grab a couple of packets when you’re in the restaurant to take home so you can enjoy your home-cooked, gluten-free meals with some delicious KFC flavor.
Sweet Kernel Corn
This KFC side dish is pretty much just that: sweet yellow corn. Corn is high in natural sugar and carbs and safe for those with gluten sensitivity.
Corn is super versatile and can lead to better gut health. Additionally, corn can lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. This veggie is rich in vitamin C and fiber and improves your eye health.
As with every food, don’t overdo it. Monitor how corn reacts with your body. It can cause flare-ups in people with Celiac disease.
If you’re in the mood for corn, but don’t want to deal with the hassle of shucking and cooking it, then KFC covers you with fresh, sweet corn from the cob.
KFC’s coleslaw is freshly prepared with finely sliced cabbage, carrots, onion, and topped with their signature gluten-free dressing.
You can adjust the serving size, and the calories can fluctuate from anywhere between 170 and 640. In addition, cabbage is packed with nutrients, can help digestion, and keep your heart healthy.
Furthermore, the other ingredients, carrots, and onions have health benefits as well.
Carrots contain vitamin A, which helps your eyesight and onions have additional antioxidants and nutrients that ward off cancer and control blood sugar.
So, don’t feel too guilty when you opt for KFC’s coleslaw. I’m a fan of the summery taste it brings to the table, reminiscent of barbecues and picnics.
Yes, another potato dish! KFC’s mashed potatoes are signature and creamy.
Remember to order the gravy separately, and just get plain potatoes. Why? The gravy contains gluten.
Bummer, I know, but you can always find a gravy recipe to make yourself or simply enjoy the buttery goodness on its own without needing the extra calories.
You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy these mashed taters, and they’re always available at KFC.
When I discovered that KFC sells applesauce, it threw me for a loop.
Despite being mostly for children, I believe that there’s no problem with an adult enjoying applesauce, so why not include it on this list?
Musselman’s applesauce is farm-fresh, hand-picked, and made from 100% American-grown apples.
It has a homemade taste, and you get a serving of fruit in your day. Feels good, especially after eating all those previous side dishes loaded with calories.
BBQ Baked Beans
I can confidently say that KFC is comfort food just based on their menu options.
Fried chicken, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, buttermilk biscuits, and baked beans. There’s something nostalgic about this dish, but good news: it’s gluten-free.
Beans provide a great number of carbs when you’re avoiding foods with gluten.
Lastly, these beans are high in protein, fiber, and sodium, so be conscientious when indulging.
Nonetheless, they’re delicious and flavored with various spices such as paprika, garlic, onion, and tomato powder. The vinegar hits the back of your throat for a pungent and savory experience.
In the end, KFC is not a gluten-free restaurant and should be approached with caution, especially if you suffer from allergies. Be conscientious of the ingredients they throw in, and always ask one of the KFC employees if you’re unsure that one of the above dishes might have gluten.
Even though people with gluten sensitivity can’t enjoy the famous fried chicken, there are a few yummy choices for those looking to monitor their gluten intake. They used to have grilled chicken options, but those are not currently on the menu.
Despite there not being a ton of entree options, you can load up on a bunch of the hearty side dishes and make a meal that everyone can enjoy.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a better understanding of what the gluten-free options are at KFC so you can try them next time you get the craving for Southern food.