Are Doritos or Fritos gluten-free?

Gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular, with more and more people choosing to avoid gluten for health or dietary reasons. For those following a gluten-free diet, it can be tricky to find tasty snack foods that are also free of gluten. Two popular chip brands, Doritos and Fritos, are often on the snack list for many. But can you eat Doritos and Fritos on a gluten-free diet? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. For most people, gluten does not cause any issues. However, for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can trigger a range of unpleasant symptoms.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the body mounts an attack against its own tissues when gluten is eaten. This attack damages the lining of the small intestine, leading to symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and constipation. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity causes similar gastrointestinal symptoms when gluten is consumed.

The only treatment for celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity is following a strict lifelong gluten-free diet. This means avoiding foods and products containing wheat, barley, rye and sometimes oats.

Are Doritos Gluten-Free?

The answer is yes, some Doritos flavors are considered gluten-free. Doritos manufactures its corn chips in facilities free from wheat, barley, rye and oats. The chips themselves are made from corn, oil and other gluten-free ingredients.

However, while the chips themselves contain no gluten, cross-contamination is possible during manufacturing. Some Doritos flavors share equipment with other products containing gluten. Additionally, the seasonings applied to the chips may contain gluten.

On their website, Doritos states that the following flavors are considered gluten-free:

  • Nacho Cheese Doritos
  • Cool Ranch Doritos
  • Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos
  • Spicy Nacho Doritos
  • Tapatio Doritos
  • Salsa Verde Doritos

Doritos recommends that anyone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity double check the ingredients list on a bag before consuming, as recipes can change. Those highly sensitive should also consider potential cross-contamination.

What About Other Doritos Flavors?

While the flavors listed above are considered gluten-free from Doritos, other flavor varieties may contain gluten. This includes flavors like:

  • Doritos Jacked Ranch Dipped Hot Wings
  • Doritos Blaze
  • Doritos Salsa
  • Doritos Roulette

Always check the full ingredients list before eating flavored or unique variety Doritos chips if you need to avoid gluten. Cross-contamination may also be a concern.

Are Fritos Gluten-Free?

The answer here is also yes. Fritos corn chips, owned by PepsiCo, are considered gluten-free.

Like Doritos, Fritos corn chips are made from gluten-free ingredients like corn, oil and salt. They are manufactured on shared equipment that processes wheat, however Fritos states that suppliers certify the corn received is gluten-free.

The following Fritos flavors are labeled gluten-free by the manufacturer:

  • Fritos Original Corn Chips
  • Fritos Scoops
  • Fritos Chili Cheese Corn Chips
  • Fritos Mild Cheddar Ranch Corn Chips
  • Fritos Spicy Jalapeno Corn Chips

Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should always double check with Fritos to ensure the gluten-free status, as manufacturing and recipes can change over time.

Other Fritos Products and Flavors

While the core Fritos corn chips are gluten-free, other Fritos branded products may contain gluten:

  • Fritos Bean Dip
  • Fritos Cheese Dip
  • Fritos Chili Cheese Dip
  • Fritos Jalapeno Cheddar Dip
  • Fritos Buffalo Ranch Twists
  • Fritos Flavor Twists (some flavors)

Always check ingredients lists carefully and contact Fritos regarding gluten-free status if needed. Cross-contamination may be an issue as well.

Are Flavored or Restaurant-Style Doritos and Fritos Safe?

When it comes to flavored chip varieties, restaurant-style chips or unique flavors, both Doritos and Fritos recommend checking with them directly to confirm gluten-free status.

While the base corn chips from Doritos and Fritos are gluten-free, added seasonings or processing on flavor varieties may introduce gluten from ingredients like wheat flour, barley malt or wheat starch.

Cross-contamination may also occur more easily with uniquely flavored chips, as they may be processed on equipment shared with wheat-based snacks.

Lastly, restaurant-style Doritos and Fritos that come in single-serve bags may have different ingredients and manufacturing processes. Check on gluten-free status before eating.

Tips for Safely Eating Doritos and Fritos on a Gluten-Free Diet

Here are some tips for safely enjoying Doritos and Fritos on a strict gluten-free diet:

  • Check the ingredients list on every bag, even if labeled gluten-free. Manufacturers can change recipes.
  • Call the manufacturer directly if uncertain about ingredients or cross-contamination risk.
  • Stick to plain, classic flavors like Nacho Cheese Doritos and Original Fritos.
  • Avoid flavor blasted, restaurant style or unique flavored chip varieties.
  • Check snack facility practices if highly sensitive. Some dedicate gluten-free lines.
  • Don’t eat chips directly out of a shared bag to avoid cross-contact.
  • Look for chips explicitly labeled “gluten-free” for added assurance.

The Verdict on Doritos and Fritos

The verdict is that certain Doritos and Fritos flavors can be part of a gluten-free diet. Both Fritos and Doritos state that their basic corn chips are gluten-free to 20 parts per million.

However, those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity have to take extra precautions around flavored chips, cross-contamination and ingredients changes. Checking labels is a must and sticking to classic flavors reduces risk.

At the end of the day, it comes down to each individual’s comfort level with potential cross-contact and how sensitive they are. Work closely with your health provider and the manufacturer when in doubt.

Nutrition Facts for Gluten-Free Doritos and Fritos

Here is the nutrition information for gluten-free flavors of Doritos and Fritos corn chips:

Doritos Nacho Cheese Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 oz (About 12 chips)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 140
Total Fat 7g
Sodium 270mg
Total Carbohydrate 15g
Protein 2g

Fritos Original Corn Chips Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 oz (About 12 chips)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 160
Total Fat 10g
Sodium 135mg
Total Carbohydrate 15g
Protein 2g

As you can see, both gluten-free Doritos and Fritos are high in calories, fat and sodium. They would need to be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy gluten-free diet.

Gluten-Free Doritos and Fritos Recipes

Here are some tasty recipe ideas using gluten-free Doritos or Fritos as an ingredient:

Nacho Doritos Casseroles

Use crushed up Nacho Cheese Doritos as a crunchy topping for casseroles. Works great with cheesy bakes like mac and cheese or Mexican dishes like enchiladas.

Spicy Doritos Chicken Strips

Spice up some chicken strips by coating them in crushed Cool Ranch or Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos before baking. Serve with dipping sauce.

Fritos Chili Pie

Make an easy Fritos chili pie by piling chili, cheese and desired toppings onto individual bags of Fritos corn chips.

Fritos Corn Chip Salad

Crunch up Fritos Original corn chips and mix into your favorite salad for added texture. Works well in taco salad or chef salad.

There are endless ways to enjoy your favorite Doritos or Fritos chips while gluten-free. Get creative with toppings, dips and recipes.

Gluten-Free Alternatives to Doritos and Fritos

Those avoiding Doritos and Fritos entirely can try these gluten-free chip alternatives:

  • Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips
  • Glutino Pretzel Chips
  • Siete Lime Tortilla Chips
  • Popchips
  • Beanfields Bean Chips
  • Cornitos Corn Chips
  • Blue Diamond Nut-Thins
  • Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps

There are many great gluten-free chip options made from ingredients like quinoa, beans, rice, cassava and nuts. Try a few until you find a tasty substitute.

The Bottom Line

Checking labels is key, but some Doritos and Fritos flavors can be part of a gluten-free diet. Classic flavors are safest bet, while flavored or unique chips may contain hidden gluten. Call manufacturers when in doubt and stick to plain corn chips if highly sensitive. Balance intake with other healthy gluten-free foods.

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