Is all Jello pudding gluten-free?

Quick Answer

Most Jello pudding flavors are gluten-free, but some varieties do contain gluten. Jello’s vanilla, chocolate, and instant pudding cups in chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, and cheesecake flavors are all certified gluten-free. However, Jello pudding flavors like banana cream, coconut cream, lemon, pistachio, and butterscotch do contain gluten. So when buying Jello pudding, it’s important to check the label for gluten-containing ingredients. The key is looking for pudding made without wheat-derived ingredients.

Ingredients That Contain Gluten

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. People with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity cannot consume gluten because it damages their small intestine.

Many grain-based ingredients contain gluten and are found in some Jello pudding flavors. Ingredients to watch out for include:

  • Wheat flour
  • Barley malt
  • Malt extract
  • Malt flavoring

So if you see any of these on the pudding ingredient list, that Jello flavor contains gluten.

How to Know if Jello Pudding is Gluten-Free

To determine if a Jello pudding is gluten-free, check the ingredient list on the packaging. Look for the following clues:

  • Contains a “gluten-free” claim on the packaging. This indicates the product has been tested to verify it meets FDA requirements to be labelled gluten-free.
  • Does NOT list any gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, rye or ingredients derived from them like malt extract or wheat flour.
  • Lists cornstarch as the first or main ingredient. Most Jello puddings use cornstarch as the main thickening agent instead of wheat.
  • Says the product is produced in a facility free of gluten/wheat. This greatly reduces the risk of cross-contamination with gluten.

You can also contact Jello directly to inquire about the gluten-free status of any flavor. Many brands have gluten-free claims on their websites and customer service teams to help consumers.

When in doubt, steer clear of pudding flavors that typically contain gluten like banana cream, coconut cream, lemon, pistachio, or butterscotch. Stick to chocolate, vanilla or flavors with “gluten-free” labeled right on the package.

Gluten-Free Jello Pudding Flavors

Here are some Jello pudding varieties that are gluten-free:

Jello Instant Pudding Mix Gluten-Free Flavors

  • Chocolate pudding
  • Vanilla pudding
  • Pistachio pudding
  • Cheesecake pudding

These Jello instant pudding mix flavors contain: sugar, cornstarch, cocoa or flavorings.

Jello Pre-Made Pudding Cups Gluten-Free Flavors

  • Chocolate pudding cups
  • Vanilla pudding cups
  • Pistachio pudding cups
  • Cheesecake pudding cups

Jello’s ready-to-eat pudding cups in these flavors are gluten-free. They are made without barley malt, wheat ingredients or gluten sources.

Jello Fat Free Pudding Snack Gluten-Free Flavors

  • Fat free chocolate fudge pudding
  • Fat free chocolate pudding
  • Fat free vanilla pudding

These Jello fat-free, low calorie pudding snacks in resealable cups are also certified gluten-free.

Jello Chocolate Fudge Pudding with Oreo Cookies

Despite containing Oreo cookies which are not gluten-free, the Jello chocolate fudge pudding part of this product is gluten-free. Only the added Oreo pieces contain gluten.

So if you avoid the actual Oreo inclusions, the chocolate fudge pudding itself can be eaten on a gluten-free diet.

Jello Chocolate Pudding with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Just like the Oreo version, the Reese’s peanut butter cups mixed into this pudding contain gluten while the chocolate pudding base is gluten-free. If you don’t eat the peanut butter cups, you can have the chocolate pudding portion.

Jello Pudding Flavor Gluten-Free Status
Chocolate Gluten-free
Vanilla Gluten-free
Pistachio Gluten-free
Banana Cream Contains gluten
Lemon Contains gluten
Coconut Cream Contains gluten
Butterscotch Contains gluten
Cheesecake Gluten-free
Fat Free Chocolate Fudge Gluten-free
Fat Free Chocolate Gluten-free
Fat Free Vanilla Gluten-free
Chocolate Fudge with Oreos Gluten-free (without Oreos)
Chocolate with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Gluten-free (without peanut butter cups)

This table summarizes which Jello pudding varieties are gluten-free and which flavors contain gluten:

How Jello Pudding is Made Gluten-Free

Jello purposely makes some of its pudding gluten-free to cater to people who must avoid gluten for medical reasons. Here’s how they formulate these puddings to be wheat-free:

  • Uses cornstarch or tapioca starch instead of wheat flour as the main thickening agent.
  • Replaces barley malt, malt extract, malt flavoring with gluten-free ingredients.
  • Leaves out rye, wheat, barley grains/flours completely.
  • Produces the gluten-free puddings in a dedicated facility free from gluten contamination.
  • Rigorously tests the finished products to verify no detectable gluten.

Following these careful steps allows Jello to make chocolate, vanilla and other pudding flavors using alternate gluten-free starches and avoid cross-contact.

Are Homemade Puddings Gluten-Free?

Many standard homemade pudding recipes contain gluten, since they use wheat flour or cornstarch as a thickener. However, there are several easy substitutions to make homemade puddings gluten-free:

  • Use cornstarch instead of flour. Ensure the cornstarch is not made from wheat.
  • Swap in potato starch, tapioca flour, arrowroot starch or rice flour instead of regular flour.
  • Double the eggs in the recipe to add thickness and structure without gluten flours.
  • Incorporate xanthan gum or guar gum to help bind pudding made without flours.
  • Whip heavy cream until very thick, then fold into pudding base for more body.

With simple adjustments like these, you can modify any homemade pudding recipe to be gluten-free for those with dietary restrictions.

Is Jello Brand Gelatin Gluten-Free?

Yes, Jello brand gelatin is certified gluten-free. The ingredients are:

  • Sugar
  • Gelatin (from collagen)
  • Adipic acid (for tartness)
  • Fumaric acid (for tartness)
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Artificial colors

None of these contain any gluten sources. Jello gelatin is made without grains or gluten derivatives. It is also produced in a gluten-free facility to prevent cross-contamination.

So all Jello brand gelatins, regular and sugar-free, are explicitly labeled “gluten-free” and safe for gluten-free diets.

Are There Any Gluten-Free Pudding Options Besides Jello?

While Jello offers the most popular pudding brand in grocery stores, there are other companies making gluten-free pudding too:

Kozy Shack Pudding

Kozy Shack makes dairy-free rice pudding in gluten-free flavors like chocolate and vanilla. Their puddings are made with rice milk and contain no wheat or barley.

ZenSweet Desserts

This brand produces gluten-free vegan pudding cups made with tapioca fiber, potato starch and almond milk. They come in chocolate, vanilla and banana cream flavors.

Dr. Oetker Organic Pudding

Dr. Oetker makes gluten-free organic chocolate and vanilla pudding cups sweetened with cane sugar. They use corn and potato starch instead of wheat.

Cafe Spice Pudding

Cafe Spice offers gluten-free Indian-inspired puddings in unique flavors like mango cardamom, kheer, and rose pistachio. They are made with rice flour, nut milks, and natural sweeteners.

Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pudding

The grocery chain Trader Joe’s sells ready-to-eat chocolate and vanilla pudding cups that are certified gluten-free and made with cornstarch.

So people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance do have pudding options beyond just Jello brand. There are more gluten-free, dairy-free puddings coming to market all the time.

Is Tapioca Pudding Gluten-Free?

Yes, tapioca pudding is always gluten-free. Authentic tapioca pudding is made from tapioca pearls extracted from the cassava root. It does not contain any gluten ingredients.

However, some packaged brands add thickening agents like wheat flour to their tapioca pudding to alter the texture. So if buying pre-made tapioca pudding, check the label to confirm it’s gluten-free.

Pure tapioca pudding made from cassava contains no gluten and is considered a naturally gluten-free food. It’s a safe, delicious pudding choice for gluten-free and paleo diets.


In summary, Jello brand puddings can be a good gluten-free option, but not all flavors are safe for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, and cheesecake Jello puddings are reliably gluten-free.

However, pudding varieties like lemon, banana cream, coconut, and butterscotch do contain gluten based on the ingredients. So it’s important to thoroughly read labels and only choose pudding flavors labeled “gluten-free” on the packaging. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer to inquire about their testing and processing safeguards against gluten cross-contamination.

Making homemade puddings gluten-free is easy by using corn or potato starches instead of wheat flour and adding xanthan gum to improve the texture. Tapioca pudding and some dairy-free pudding brands also offer gluten-free alternatives to Jello pudding. So with careful label reading and product selection, people avoiding gluten can still enjoy delicious pudding.

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