Yes, Dairy Queen does offer some gluten-free menu items. Their gluten-free offerings include cones, cups, sundaes, Blizzards, Misty slush drinks, and some of their cake and pie slices. However, many items contain gluten from wheat, barley, rye, or cross-contamination. Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should exercise caution when ordering.
For those with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or who are avoiding gluten for other reasons, eating out can be challenging. With the rising popularity of gluten-free diets in recent years, many restaurants have expanded their gluten-free offerings. However, truly gluten-free options are still limited at most traditional restaurants and fast food establishments. This includes popular chains like Dairy Queen.
Dairy Queen is a fast food restaurant chain best known for its soft serve ice cream treats and other frozen desserts. With over 7,000 locations worldwide, it’s a go-to spot for a sweet treat on a hot day. But is there anything on the menu that’s safe for those avoiding gluten?
Gluten-Free Offerings at Dairy Queen
The good news is that Dairy Queen does offer some gluten-free options. However, the choices are fairly limited compared to the full menu. Here are some of the gluten-free Dairy Queen treats you can enjoy:
- Cones – Waffle cones are gluten-free at DQ. You can order any cone flavor, like chocolate dipped or orange creme.
- Cups – Their paper cups for sundaes and Blizzards are gluten-free.
- Soft Serve – The classic DQ soft serve ice cream is gluten-free without added toppings or mix-ins.
- Sundaes – Sundaes made with gluten-free ingredients are safe, like hot fudge.
- Blizzards – Blizzard flavors without gluten-containing ingredients are gluten-free, like Oreo.
- Misty Slush Drinks – The slush drink flavors are gluten-free.
- Some Cakes and Pies – Check for gluten-free baked goods like fudge cake.
When ordering any of the items above, it’s important to customize and request no gluten-containing ingredients. For example, getting a cone or cup with just gluten-free soft serve ice cream. Or a Misty slush drink with no added toppings that contain gluten.
Gluten Ingredients to Avoid at Dairy Queen
While Dairy Queen does have gluten-free choices, many menu items do contain sources of gluten. Here are some of the common gluten-containing ingredients to watch out for at DQ:
- Breading – On items like chicken strips.
- Flour Tortillas – Used in some sundaes and desserts.
- Wheat Flour – In cones, cupcake batter, cookie dough, muffins.
- Malt or Malt Flavoring – Added to shakes and soft serve.
- Barley – Found in candies and toppings.
- Rye – May be in breads for sandwiches.
- Soy Sauce – Used in some savory items.
- Gravy – Often thickened with wheat flour.
- Croutons – Can come on salads.
- Beer Batter – For onion rings, fish.
It’s important to ask questions about ingredients when ordering any menu items not specifically labeled gluten-free. Cross-contamination is also a concern at Dairy Queen, where gluten-containing items share space on the production line, fryer oil, and prep surfaces.
Tips for Ordering Gluten-Free at Dairy Queen
If you need a gluten-free treat from Dairy Queen, here are some tips to make your experience easier and safer:
- Check out nutrition info online so you know your options.
- Look for the gluten-free label on packaging.
- Ask plenty of questions about ingredients.
- Opt for basic gluten-free menu items when possible.
- Request sundae toppings on the side to control cross-contact.
- Ask for fresh gloves before staff handles your order.
- Make sure cones come straight from the package before served.
- Avoid fried menu items cooked in shared oil.
- Let staff know you have an allergy to prevent cross-contact.
At the end of the day, those with celiac disease should use extreme caution when eating at Dairy Queen. There are limited gluten-free choices compared to items with gluten. Even when customizing orders, the risk of cross-contamination is fairly high.
Dairy Queen Gluten-Free Menu Options
Here is a quick overview of some of the main gluten-free menu categories you can choose from at Dairy Queen:
- Soft Serve Cup or Cone
- Sundae or Blizzard
- Misty Slush
- Fudge Bar
- Fruit Stick
- Soft Drinks
- Iced Coffee
- Orange Julius
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich without bun
- Side Salad without croutons
- Fries or Onion Rings without batter
Keep in mind even these items require customization, such as ensuring fries are not dusted with wheat flour or cooked in shared fryer oil. It’s smart to stick to the simplest gluten-free treat options when dining at Dairy Queen.
The Verdict on Gluten-Free Dairy Queen
In summary, those with celiac disease or avoiding gluten for other reasons can eat at Dairy Queen, but options are very limited. Some basic frozen treats like soft serve, slush drinks, and sundaes can be made gluten-free. However, the larger menu features many gluten-containing ingredients and cross-contact is likely.
Dairy Queen makes an effort to offer some gluten-free choices, but it is not an ideal spot for those extremely sensitive. Caution should be used, questions should be asked, and special requests should be made when ordering. In many cases, those strictly gluten-free will find it safest to avoid Dairy Queen altogether and opt for a restaurant with dedicated gluten-free meals.
Gluten-Free Dairy Queen Frequently Asked Questions
Is Dairy Queen soft serve gluten free?
Yes, the classic DQ soft serve recipe is gluten-free. However, some locations may add mixes with gluten, like cookie dough. So be sure to check labels and ask questions when ordering.
Are Blizzards from Dairy Queen gluten free?
Some Blizzard flavors are gluten-free, while others contain ingredients with gluten. Oreo, Reese’s, and Heath Blizzards are gluten-free options. Flavors with cookie dough or wheat-based candies contain gluten.
Can I get gluten-free ice cream cake at Dairy Queen?
No, the signature DQ ice cream cakes are not labeled gluten-free and likely contain wheat flour. Those who are gluten-free should avoid these.
Does Dairy Queen have gluten-free Bakes?
Dairy Queen does not have gluten-free branded Baked Treats. However, some locations may offer gluten-free cookies or fudge pieces. Check with your local DQ to see if they have gluten-free baked goods available.
Are Dairy Queen hot dogs gluten-free?
No, the standard DQ hot dogs contain wheat and are not gluten-free. You could get a plain hot dog without the bun, but cross-contact is likely.
Can I get a gluten-free meal at Dairy Queen Grill & Chill locations?
Technically yes, but options are very limited. A plain grilled chicken sandwich without the bun or a side salad could be modified to be gluten-free. But cross-contact is highly likely at these locations sharing equipment.
Is the Dairy Queen crispy chicken gluten-free?
No, the crispy chicken used at Dairy Queen contains gluten. It is breaded with a wheat-based breading mixture before frying. Those who are gluten-free should avoid it.
Are Dairy Queen fries gluten-free?
Dairy Queen fries are often dusted with wheat flour after frying, so they typically contain gluten. Ordering them plain provides a possibility for gluten exposure. Frying them in shared oil also increases cross-contact.
Dining out with celiac disease or food allergies can be extremely challenging. restaurants like Dairy Queen with shared kitchens and equipment make it difficult to prevent cross-contact. While some frozen treat items can be modified to be gluten-free, those with celiac disease or wheat allergy need to use extreme caution when eating at Dairy Queen. There are many sources of gluten throughout the menu and prep areas. Overall, Dairy Queen is not recommended for anyone with celiac disease or who is strictly gluten-free.