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11 Gluten Free Options at Wendy’s

The best Wendy’s gluten-free items for those with dietary restrictions.

Those living the gluten free life might be forgiven for feeling a little stab of jealousy when they see a co-worker walk in with a bag from Wendy’s. After all, a burger joint isn’t the friendliest place for a gluten-averse person to go, right?

wendy's sign lit up at night

Well, not exactly. Wendy’s Gluten Free Menu Items offer many options for those who want to (or need to) avoid gluten in their foods.

The chain offers a variety of salads, baked potatoes, burgers, and sandwiches (with a lettuce wrap instead of a bun) that can satisfy your cravings while allowing you to stick to your food regimens. 

Best Gluten Free Wendy’s Items

Let’s take a look at some of Wendy’s gluten free menu Items—past and present—to get an idea of the plethora of options you’ll have when you step to the counter to place your order.

Bacon & Cheese Baked Potato

It’s hard to go wrong with a baked potato, and if you’re on a gluten-free diet, you’ve probably become something of a connoisseur.

From personal experience, you won’t be disappointed by the chain’s iteration of this classic dish. 

Served in the skin (which you can decide not to eat if you want to skip the best part of a potato), the bacon in the bacon & cheese baked potato is Applewood smoked bacon.

So, no matter what, we’re already off to a good start. Add shredded cheese and a cheese sauce, and you’ve got 17 grams of protein and 440 calories of gluten-free goodness.


Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

Romaine lettuce serves as the basis of this fruity salad.

In addition to the titular apples (green and gala), the salad also comes with dried cranberries.

With cooked chicken in the mix, this salad brings 39 grams of protein to your meal of about 520 calories.

Finally, the roasted pecans and the bleu cheese add some crunch and some zing to the dish. I like that it’s hearty enough to act as a meal rather than just a side salad.  


Chili

Admittedly, some will argue that Wendy’s chili isn’t chili.

After all, Texas-style chili has no beans, while Wendy’s chili has quite a few. Since chili probably originated in Texas, it’s Texas-style that’s often considered to be the so-called “real” chili.

That said, Wendy’s chili has been on the restaurant chain’s menu since the very first one opened. It comes in two sizes that contain 220 or 340 calories.

The bulk of the dish consists of ground beef, pinto beans, and kidney beans, so even if you don’t see it as real chili, it will still fill you up. And trust me when I say it’s pretty tasty.


Caesar Side Salad 

Using Reneé’s Gourmet Caesar dressing (which contains anchovies, like Caesar dressing is supposed to), the Caesar side salad is colorful and tasty.

The color comes from the red and green lettuce and the bacon bits, and the tastiness owes everything to the Italian cheeses and the dressing.

The dish contains 250 calories and hefty doses of Vitamin A and Calcium, so as a side dish, it’s not too heavy and brings some RDA values to your table.

It does have sodium levels that clock in on the high side, but I personally love that it’s a relatively healthy option to have at Wendy’s.


Broccoli & Cheese Baked Potatoes

Wendy’s has been selling baked potatoes since the mid-1980s, and the main ingredient (after potatoes) was cheese.

The broccoli & cheese baked potato had 330 calories and nearly 70 grams of carbs. It featured a good dollop of butter beneath a healthy serving of broccoli in a cheese sauce.

I’m not kidding when I say that it was a lovely dish—it seemed decadent, but then you were eating broccoli.

Surely, that had to cancel out some of the unhealthier aspects of cheese and butter. Sadly, Wendy’s no longer serves this potato, but since they sometimes bring menu items back, maybe we’ll see this one again.


Taco Salad

Everyone loves tacos.

LeBron James is famous for playing basketball and his devotion to Taco Tuesday. Millions of Americans share his love.

Wendy’s isn’t in the Tex-Mex business, but they serve a taco salad that might be a heart-healthier way to participate. You’ll get 660 calories from this meal, a lot of sodium, and 29 grams of protein. 

Built on romaine lettuce, this delicious Wendy’s taco salad boasts a layer of tortilla chips peppered with diced tomatoes, then topped with Wendy’s chili and some shredded cheddar cheese and light sour cream.

It’s simple, but that’s one of the draws to taco salad anywhere, right? 


Ultimate Grilled Chicken Filet

Sure, there’s more than 1,000 milligrams of sodium, but don’t we expect numbers like that from fast food?

It seems kind of built-in. That said, the ultimate grilled chicken filet is a sandwich that contains 33 grams of protein and only 390 calories.

One of the things I absolutely love about it is the bun. It’s not just a regular hamburger bun, but rather is a bit denser.

However, the bun isn’t gluten-free, so maybe order this with a lettuce wrap instead.

Of course, the (well-seasoned) grilled chicken is the star of the show, but the honey mustard adds quite a bit to the sandwich. It also comes with lettuce and a tomato slice. 


Burger With Lettuce Instead of Buns

Quite a few diners believe Wendy’s burger is the best in the fast-food world.

Now, I think they’re right, but that’s not the point of this segment. The point is that Wendy’s is, at heart, a burger joint, and the burgers are good.

However, fast food has always had a reputation for being not exactly the healthiest food we eat. 

Low-carb practitioners and Keto dieters can still enjoy a Wendy’s hamburger by substituting lettuce for the bun. Or, you could ask for no bun at all, in which case, your burger ingredients (because in this case, is it still a burger?) will come in a side container with a knife and fork.

However, if you ask for a lettuce wrap instead of the bun you can eat your burger with your hands as the Lord intended.


Southwest Avocado Salad 

Grilled chicken breast and avocado just might be the solution to all the world’s problems, as they make for an exquisite combination.

With the dressing, Wendy’s southwest avocado salad packs almost 600 calories, but they come from romaine lettuce, spinach, bacon, and grilled chicken. 

Then there’s the guacamole that Wendy’s makes with the avocados and some lime juice. So they’re not exactly empty calories. There’s a lot of fiber in this dish, as well. 

Since the southwest ranch dressing can be a little high in calories and fat, some people prefer it on the side.

Made with buttermilk, the dressing has some sugar in it and some dehydrated spices and extra virgin olive oil. Overall, this Wendy’s salad never fails to be tasty, and it’s relatively healthy.


Frosty

If Wendy’s is known for one thing, it’s the burgers. But in a very close second place is the Frosty—it was one of the first five menu offerings at the very first Wendy’s.

Available in vanilla or chocolate flavors and three sizes, there’s a Frosty for everyone. 

It’s a malted drink, but it’s not a malted or a milkshake, either.

It’s an unusual combination of those two drinks and ice cream. When you first get it, it’s too thick to drink through a straw, but it’s not exactly a cup of ice cream, either. 

Vanilla plays a big part in both flavors, as the recipe for the chocolate frosty uses vanilla to keep the chocolate from being too rich.


Soft Drinks 

While Pepsi products appear in some Wendy’s franchises, most stores use the Coca-Cola Freestyle system, a touchscreen device that decants any number of Coke products from on spigot.

In my opinion, I’ve always found it to be a pretty cool gadget to use in person.

Wendy’s soft drinks include sodas like Coca Cola and Sprite, as well as Minute Maid drinks, FUZE iced teas, Powerade, Fanta, and more.

If you can’t find something you want to drink while standing in front of one of these machines, my suggestion is to keep on trying!


Best Gluten Free Wendy’s Items

  1. Bacon & Cheese Baked Potato
  2. Apple Pecan Chicken Salad
  3. Chili
  4. Caesar Side Salad 
  5. Broccoli & Cheese Baked Potatoes
  6. Taco Salad
  7. Ultimate Grilled Chicken Filet
  8. Burger with Lettuce Instead of Buns
  9. Southwest Avocado Salad 
  10. Frosty
  11. Soft Drinks 

Final Thoughts

As we’ve mentioned, Wendy’s is held in high regard by many fast-food aficionados, and for good reason.

In addition to burgers, there are menu options for those on a gluten-free diet, and even with the burgers, the option of ordering without a bun or with a lettuce wrap in its place allows for a tasty gluten free meal.

As far as fast-food restaurants go, Wendy’s has a menu that’s a bit friendlier to various diets and lifestyles—not just gluten free, but also low-carb and Keto diets, among others. 

Not worried about gluten? Check out the most popular items on Wendy’s menu!

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.