Does dry onion soup mix contain gluten?

Dry onion soup mix is a popular pantry staple used to add flavor to recipes like dips, casseroles, roasts, and gravies. With gluten sensitivities and celiac disease on the rise, many people wonder if dry onion soup mix contains gluten. Here’s a quick overview of what gluten is, the typical ingredients in dry onion soup mix, and how to find gluten-free options.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a group of proteins found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. For people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine. This can lead to symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, fatigue, headache, anxiety, brain fog and more.

Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity must follow a strict lifelong gluten-free diet by avoiding foods and products containing gluten. This includes many common grains, starches, and highly processed foods.

Common Ingredients in Dry Onion Soup Mix

Dry onion soup mixes are shelf-stable products made of dehydrated vegetables, salt, sugar, seasoning blends, and thickeners. While ingredients can vary between brands, dry onion soup mix typically contains:

  • Dried onions
  • Dried parsley
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Dextrose
  • Cornstarch and/or wheat flour
  • Yeast extract
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Silicon dioxide

As you can see, many standard dry onion soup mixes contain wheat flour as a thickening agent. Wheat flour contains gluten, which makes most traditional onion soup mixes unsafe for those avoiding gluten.

Checking Labels for Gluten

To know for sure if a particular brand of dry onion soup mix contains gluten, you need to carefully read the ingredient list and labeling.

In the United States, food labels are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Manufacturers must clearly state if a product contains any of the top 8 most common food allergens, including wheat. Terms like “wheat”, “wheat flour”, “gluten”, “cereal”, or “starch” typically indicate the presence of gluten.

Dry onion soup mixes labeled “gluten-free” must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. Oats are inherently gluten-free but are often contaminated, so “gluten-free” labeled products made with oats must contain less than 20 ppm of gluten.

Ideally, opt for dry onion soup mix made by a brand that specializes in gluten-free foods and produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility. These companies adhere to strict standards for avoiding cross-contamination with gluten-containing ingredients.

Gluten-Free Substitutes

If your favorite dry onion soup mix contains gluten, don’t worry. There are a few simple substitutions you can make to recreate that savory flavor profile without the gluten.

Make Your Own Gluten-Free Mix

One option is to make your own dry onion soup mix at home with gluten-free ingredients:

Ingredient Amount
Dried minced onions 1/4 cup
Dried parsley 1 tbsp
Onion powder 2 tsp
Garlic powder 1 tsp
Dried celery flakes 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp
Arrowroot powder or cornstarch 2 tbsp

Simply mix together the dried ingredients and store in an airtight container. Use this gluten-free DIY blend anywhere you’d use standard dry onion soup mix.

Replace with Alternate Thickeners

Another option is to replace the wheat flour in dry onion soup mix with a gluten-free thickening agent like:

  • Cornstarch – Substitute 2 tablespoons cornstarch for 2 tablespoons wheat flour.
  • Arrowroot powder – Use 2 tablespoons arrowroot for every 2 tablespoons wheat flour.
  • Potato starch – Swap 2 tablespoons potato starch for 2 tablespoons wheat flour.
  • Tapioca flour – Replace 2 tablespoons tapioca flour for 2 tablespoons wheat flour.

You can make a mix with gluten-free dried onions, seasonings, and your starch of choice. Or simply add cornstarch, arrowroot, potato starch, or tapioca flour directly to recipes calling for dry onion soup mix.

Gluten-Free Brands of Onion Soup Mix

Many brands now offer gluten-free dry onion soup mix products. Here are some popular gluten-free options to look for:

  • Edward & Sons – All of their onion soup mixes are gluten-free and vegan. Look for varieties like Gluten Free Not-Beef Soup Mix and Gluten Free No-Chicken Soup & Seasoning Mix.
  • Frontier Soups – They carry a certified gluten-free Homesteader Wild Mushroom Soup Mix as well as vegetarian Gluten-Free Creamy Onion Soup Mix.
  • Knorr – Select gluten-free soup mix flavors include Knorr Homestyle Stock Gluten Free Recipe Soup Mix – Onion and Knorr Selects Gluten Free Onion Soup & Dip Mix.
  • Pacific Foods – Look for their organic Gluten Free Roasted Garlic & Onion Soup mix made with oats.
  • Wanchai Ferry – They offer Gluten-Free Onion Soup and Recipe Mix containing no wheat, barley, rye, or oats.

Be sure to double check that the specific flavor you choose is marked “gluten-free” on the package. Ingredients can vary between product lines and flavors within the same brand.

Buying Considerations

When purchasing a gluten-free dry onion soup mix, here are some things to look out for:

  • Ingredients – Check the ingredient list closely for any sign of gluten sources like wheat, barley, rye or malt. Look for flours like garbanzo bean, potato, tapioca, or cornstarch instead.
  • “Gluten-Free” label – Make sure the packaging clearly states the product is gluten-free. Terms like “wheat-free” alone don’t guarantee it’s gluten-free.
  • Manufacturing facility – Opt for brands produced in certified gluten-free facilities to reduce cross-contamination risks.
  • Third-party certification – Seals from GFCO, NSF, and FGF mean the product has been tested to verify gluten levels below 20 ppm.
  • Organic & non-GMO – Choose organic and non-GMO varieties when possible for cleaner ingredients.

Taking a few moments to read labels and ingredient lists carefully can help you safely enjoy onion soup mix on a gluten-free diet.

Using Dry Onion Soup Mix

Gluten-free dry onion soup mix can be used to add savory onion flavor to all types of recipes. Here are some delicious ways to use it:

  • Mix into hamburger meat for flavorful gluten-free burgers
  • Stir into mashed potatoes or gluten-free bread stuffing
  • Combine with plain Greek yogurt for quick onion dip
  • Whisk into gravies, sauces, roasts, casseroles
  • Blend with reduced-fat cream cheese to make onion cheese ball
  • Sprinkle on popcorn along with garlic powder
  • Add to meatloaf or meatballs for extra onion taste
  • Make into onion-y gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • Combine with olive oil and seasonings for salad dressing base

Onion soup mix can add lots of flavor without extra calories or sodium like packaged seasoning mixes. Get creative blending it into dips, spreads, bakes, roasts, snacks, and more.

Homemade Onion Soup with Gluten-Free Mix

Here is an easy recipe for homemade gluten-free French onion soup using your favorite gluten-free dry onion soup mix:


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1⁄4 cup dry white wine or dry sherry
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 2-3 tbsp gluten-free dry onion soup mix
  • 4 slices gluten-free bread
  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese


  1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté 10 minutes until translucent and lightly browned.
  2. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Pour in wine and simmer 2 minutes until wine is reduced slightly.
  3. Stir in broth and onion soup mix. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  4. Toast bread slices. Ladle hot soup into oven-safe bowls and top with toasted gluten-free bread and Swiss cheese.
  5. Broil bowls 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling.

The rich flavor of onion soup mix helps give this French onion soup incredible depth without the gluten. Play around with different brands of gluten-free mix to find your favorite.

The Bottom Line

Traditional dry onion soup mixes typically contain wheat flour and are not gluten-free. However, many brands now offer gluten-free options made with alternate starches instead of wheat. To enjoy onion soup mix on a gluten-free diet, simply read ingredient lists closely, look for “gluten-free” labeling, and check that reputable brands follow strict protocols to avoid cross-contamination with gluten.

With so many quality gluten-free onion soup mixes on the market today, you don’t have to miss out on the rich savory flavor. Use gluten-free onion soup mix to add a tasty punch of onion to all types of recipes and dishes while sticking to your gluten-free diet.

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