Does Hunt’s pasta sauce have gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. For people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause serious health issues like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, fatigue and more. Because of this, many people follow a strict gluten-free diet, avoiding any foods that contain gluten.

For people who love pasta but need to eat gluten-free, finding a tasty gluten-free pasta sauce is a must. Hunt’s is a popular brand of canned tomato and pasta sauces. But do Hunt’s pasta sauces contain gluten? Let’s take a look at the ingredients and labeling to find out.

Gluten-Free Labeling Laws

To understand if a product contains gluten, it’s important to be familiar with food labeling laws around gluten. In the United States, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires that all foods labeled “gluten-free” must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Any products with wheat, rye, barley or cross-contaminated ingredients must disclose that the food contains those allergens.

So checking the ingredients list and any allergen statements on packaged foods can help identify products that contain gluten. Looking for a “gluten-free” label can verify that a food has been tested to confirm it meets the gluten threshold of less than 20 ppm.

Hunt’s Pasta Sauce Ingredients

Hunt’s makes a few different types of pasta sauce. Let’s look at the primary ingredients for each variety:

Hunt’s Traditional Pasta Sauce

Ingredients: Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), diced tomatoes in juice, salt, extra virgin olive oil, spices, garlic, onion, citric acid.

Hunt’s Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce

Ingredients: Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), diced tomatoes in juice, salt, sugar, basil, extra virgin olive oil, spices, garlic, onion, citric acid.

Hunt’s Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

Ingredients: Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), diced tomatoes in juice, salt, roasted garlic, sugar, extra virgin olive oil, spices, basil, citric acid.

Hunt’s Tomato & Meat Flavored Pasta Sauce

Ingredients: Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), diced tomatoes in juice, salt, sugar, beef, pork, water, onion, garlic, spices, natural flavor.

Hunt’s Spicy Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

Ingredients: Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), diced tomatoes in juice, salt, red bell pepper, sugar, habanero pepper, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, spices, citric acid.

Hunt’s Four Cheese Pasta Sauce

Ingredients: Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), salt, cheddar cheese (milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes), romano cheese (part skim milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes), parmesan cheese (milk, salt, enzymes), asiago cheese (milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), whey protein concentrate, modified food starch, olive oil, garlic, citric acid, lactic acid.

Do Hunt’s Pasta Sauces Contain Gluten?

Based on inspecting the ingredients lists for Hunt’s pasta sauces, none of them contain wheat, barley, rye or malt – the grains that contain gluten. The primary ingredients in Hunt’s sauces are tomatoes, vegetables like onions and garlic, oils, spices and cheese in the case of the four cheese variety.

Hunt’s does not label any of their traditional pasta sauce varieties as “gluten-free”. However, the absence of gluten-containing ingredients indicates the sauces are likely safe for gluten-free diets. The Hunt’s website states that their products are “free from wheat/gluten” but they do not test for gluten content.

There is still a small chance of cross-contamination from shared equipment and facilities. The Hunt’s FAQ states: “Hunt’s does not add wheat or gluten containing ingredients to Hunt’s Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, Tomato Puree, Tomato Paste, Diced Tomatoes, or Pizza Sauce. However, these products are produced on shared equipment with products that contain wheat.”

So individuals with celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivity may want to exercise caution and check with the company about shared facilities before consuming. But the ingredients themselves should be gluten-free.

Testing Hunt’s for Gluten

To validate the gluten-free status of their sauces, Hunt’s would need to voluntarily submit products for gluten testing. There are a few organizations that certify products as gluten-free through testing:

1. NSF Gluten-Free Certification

NSF International is an independent testing organization that offers certification for gluten-free foods. NSF tests products to verify they contain less than 10ppm gluten. Products that pass can display the NSF Gluten-Free label.

2. GFCO Gluten-Free Certification

The Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) is a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG). Food manufacturers can submit products to their independent lab for gluten analysis. GFCO certification requires testing at 10 ppm or less of gluten.

3. UL Gluten-Free Certification

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) also offers verification of gluten-free claims through product testing at less than 10ppm. They test food products and inspect manufacturing facilities for compliance.

Contacting Hunt’s About Gluten Testing

To determine if Hunt’s sauces have been certified gluten-free through testing, you can contact their customer support:

Phone: 1-800-228-4699

Online form: Hunt’s website contact page

When reaching out to Hunt’s, consider asking the following questions to get details about their manufacturing processes and gluten testing:

– Have any Hunt’s pasta sauce varieties been certified gluten-free through third-party testing organizations like NSF, GFCO or UL?

– What procedures do you have in place to avoid cross-contamination with gluten-containing ingredients?

– Are the facilities and equipment used to produce Hunt’s pasta sauces dedicated gluten-free? Or are they shared with wheat-based products?

– Do you perform any in-house testing on finished products to verify gluten levels are below 20ppm?

– Can you provide test results showing the amount of gluten in your pasta sauces?

Getting detailed responses to these types of questions can help provide assurance of the gluten-free status of Hunt’s products for gluten-free diets.

Home Gluten Testing Strips

In lieu of asking Hunt’s for gluten test results, another option is to purchase gluten testing strips to check products at home. These test strip kits, like GlutenTox Pro, allow you to sample small amounts of food or beverages and detect the presence of gluten down to about 5-10ppm.

Here are the steps to use these rapid gluten testing strips at home:

1. Carefully wash hands and clean testing surface to avoid contamination

2. Extract a small sample from the food product using the provided scoop

3. Mix the sample with the extraction solution

4. Place several drops of the extraction liquid onto the test strip

5. Wait for strip lines to appear (one for the control, one for gluten)

6. Read results by comparing the strip to the color chart provided

These testing kits can provide more certainty about the gluten content of foods that aren’t certified gluten-free. However, due to the chance of inaccurate at-home testing, it’s recommended to combine test strips with talking to manufacturers and understanding allergen labeling when making dietary choices.

Precautions When Sensitive to Gluten

For people with celiac disease and extreme gluten sensitivity, extra care must be taken around “gluten-free” foods that are not certified or tested. Here are some recommended precautions when avoiding gluten exposure:

– Check labels and call manufacturers to understand production procedures, testing practices, and potential for cross-contamination

– Look for gluten testing certifications from reputable organizations

– When in doubt, choose products that are labeled certified gluten-free

– Use at-home gluten testing strips for additional validation

– Wash hands thoroughly before preparing foods to prevent cross-contact

– Use dedicated gluten-free cooking utensils and surfaces

– Communicate with restaurants about gluten ingredients and preparation when dining out

Continuing to follow up with manufacturers and being vigilant about the gluten status of products can help those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity stick to a strict gluten-free diet to manage their health condition.

Hunt’s Pasta Sauce Options for Special Diets

In addition to being gluten-free, Hunt’s pasta sauces may fit into several other special dietary needs and preferences:


All Hunt’s traditional tomato-based pasta sauces are dairy-free except for the Four Cheese variety. Avoiding the cheese sauce makes the rest of the line suitable for vegan and dairy-free diets.


The traditional tomato pasta sauce flavors from Hunt’s are all vegetarian and vegan, since they contain no meat ingredients. The Tomato & Meat sauce features beef and pork, so vegetarians and vegans would want to select a different variety.


For individuals looking to reduce sodium, Hunt’s No Salt Added Tomato Sauce provides a pasta sauce option with only 45mg sodium per 1/2 cup serving.


The mild tomato flavor and smooth texture of Hunt’s sauces make them a kid-friendly pasta topper. Stick to the traditional or basil flavors to appeal to less adventurous young palates.

So in addition to being gluten-free, Hunt’s can accommodate a range of other dietary needs and preferences when preparing pasta dishes.

Hunt’s Pasta Sauce Nutrition Facts

Hunt’s pasta sauces provide the convenience of canned, pre-made sauce with added nutrition from tomatoes and vegetables. Here is the nutrition facts breakdown for a 1/2 cup serving of Hunt’s Tomato & Basil pasta sauce:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 60
Total Fat 2.5g
Sodium 480mg
Total Carbohydrate 8g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 4g
Protein 1g

The tomato puree provides lycopene, an antioxidant that can promote heart health and reduce cancer risk. The added vegetables like onions, garlic and bell peppers add flavor while boosting vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Hunt’s pasta sauce gives a nutritious boost to your pasta dishes and can fit into gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and low sodium diets.

Hunt’s Pasta Sauce Serving Ideas

Hunt’s convenient pasta sauce in a can means you’re just minutes away from a homemade-tasting Italian meal. Here are some serving ideas and recipe combinations using Hunt’s sauce:

– Toss with gluten-free pasta and top with parmesan cheese for a fast weeknight dinner. Go meatless by adding sautéed vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms or artichokes.

– Layer with gluten-free lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese for a classic gluten-free lasagna.

– Use as a base for pizza and add gluten-free toppings like pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers and onions.

– Spoon over chicken breasts before baking for easy chicken parmesan. Serve over spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles for a lighter take.

– Simmer with Italian sausage, diced tomatoes, spinach and seasonings for a gluten-free sausage and tomato pasta dish.

– Mix with ground beef or turkey, garlic and seasonings and stuff into bell peppers. Top with cheese and bake for stuffed peppers.

– Sauté shrimp, mussels, clams and calamari in garlic oil, then simmer in pasta sauce over gluten-free linguine for seafood marinara.

– Stir into meatballs and serve over rice, quinoa pasta or millet for a gluten-free take on classic spaghetti and meatballs.

With so many uses, Hunt’s pasta sauce can be your go-to for easy gluten-free Italian recipes. Keep multiple jars on hand so you can pull together a healthy meal at a moment’s notice.

Where to Buy Hunt’s Pasta Sauce

As a widely available national brand, Hunt’s pasta sauce can be found at most major grocery stores across the United States. Here are some of the retailers that carry Hunt’s sauce:

Grocery Stores

– Safeway
– Kroger
– Publix
– Piggly Wiggly
– Harris Teeter
– Albertsons
– ShopRite
– Stop & Shop
– Winn-Dixie
– Giant Eagle
– Hy-Vee
– Meijer
– Ralphs

Membership Bulk Retailers

– Costco
– Sam’s Club
– BJ’s Wholesale Club



Visit the pasta or pasta sauce aisle at your local grocery retailer to find Hunt’s. For the best price, stock up when on sale at membership clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club. You can comparison shop and order online for convenient delivery to your door.

Is Hunt’s Pasta Sauce Gluten-Free? The Verdict

After reviewing the ingredients lists, labeling, manufacturing details and testing procedures, the consensus is:

Hunt’s traditional tomato-based pasta sauce varieties are very likely gluten-free, though not certified. The sauces do not contain wheat, barley, rye or malt ingredients. However, there is the possibility of trace gluten due to shared equipment and facilities. Individuals with celiac disease or severe gluten intolerance should use caution and check with Hunt’s regarding the potential for cross-contamination before consuming.

For confirmed gluten-free options, look for Hunt’s products that are certified through laboratory testing by organizations like NSF, GFCO or UL. Or use at-home gluten test strips for additional validation. When in doubt, choose products with a “gluten-free” label from dedicated facilities.

Overall, those following a gluten-free diet have good flexibility in using Hunt’s convenient, flavorful pasta sauces to create fast, homemade-tasting meals the whole family can enjoy. Just be diligent about verifying gluten-free status through product testing and transparent conversation with the manufacturer. With extra care taken, Hunt’s sauces can be a tasty, gluten-free addition to your Italian recipe repertoire.

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