Is Idahoan instant mashed potatoes gluten-free?

Idahoan instant mashed potatoes are a popular convenience food that allows you to quickly prepare mashed potatoes by just adding hot water. For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, an important question is whether Idahoan instant mashed potatoes contain gluten. In this comprehensive guide, we will analyze the ingredients in Idahoan instant mashed potatoes, examine how they are processed, and determine if they can be safely consumed on a gluten-free diet.

Quick Answer

The quick answer is yes, Idahoan instant mashed potatoes are gluten-free. Idahoan clearly states on their website that all of their instant potato products are gluten-free. They produce their potatoes in a dedicated gluten-free facility and perform gluten testing to ensure no cross-contamination occurs. As long as you choose an Idahoan instant mashed potato product that is specifically labeled “gluten-free”, you can trust it will contain less than 20ppm of gluten.

Ingredients List Analysis

To understand why Idahoan instant mashed potatoes are gluten-free, let’s take a look at the ingredients:

  • Potatoes
  • Milk
  • Contains 2% or less of: butter (cream, salt), salt, monoglycerides, natural and artificial flavor, coloring (annatto extract, turmeric oleoresin), sodium acid pyrophosphate, soy lecithin, mixed tocopherols (to preserve freshness)

The primary ingredients – potatoes, milk, and butter – are all naturally gluten-free. None of the minor ingredients listed contain gluten either. Idahoan uses highly purified ingredients in their instant mashed potatoes, ensuring problematic grains like wheat, barley, and rye are not present.

How Idahoan Instant Mashed Potatoes Are Processed

In addition to containing gluten-free ingredients, the way Idahoan processes and manufactures their instant mashed potatoes prevents any gluten cross-contamination:

  • Idahoan sources their potatoes from dedicated gluten-free growers.
  • The potatoes are processed in a gluten-free facility that only handles potatoes. No gluten ingredients are used on the same equipment.
  • All equipment and surfaces are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized between production runs.
  • Finished products are lab tested to verify gluten levels are below 20ppm, the internationally recognized standard for gluten-free certification.

Idahoan follows meticulous procedures from farm-to-table to ensure their instant mashed potatoes remain 100% gluten-free. Many sensitive celiacs comfortably consume Idahoan instant mashed potatoes without reacting.

Idahoan’s Statements on Gluten-Free Status

On Idahoan’s FAQ webpage, they provide clear statements about the gluten-free status of their instant mashed potatoes:

All Idahoan instant potato products are gluten-free. We produce them in a dedicated gluten-free facility and perform gluten testing to ensure no cross-contamination occurs. You can enjoy our instant mashed potatoes gluten-free without worry.

Additionally, Idahoan notes that any product labeled with a gluten-free claim (either “gluten-free” or the GF logo) must test below 20ppm of gluten. This is the highest standard for verifying gluten-free integrity.

Idahoan’s statements give gluten-sensitive consumers confidence that proper protocols are in place to avoid any gluten exposure when preparing their instant mashed potatoes.

Which Idahoan Instant Mashed Potato Products Are Labeled Gluten-Free?

While Idahoan states that all their instant mashed potatoes are gluten-free, some products feature an official “gluten-free” claim on the packaging, while others do not. Here is a summary:

Idahoan Instant Mashed Potatoes Labeled “Gluten-Free”

  • Original Mash
  • Butter Mash
  • Garlic Mash
  • Cheese Mash
  • Loaded Baked Mashed
  • Smashing Sour Cream & Chive

The products listed above all feature a “gluten-free” claim on the package. This indicates Idahoan has rigorously tested them to contain less than 20ppm of gluten.

Idahoan Products Without a Gluten-Free Label

  • Roasted Garlic Potatoes
  • Four Cheese Potatoes
  • Cheddar Broccoli Potatoes

While Idahoan states these products are gluten-free, they do not bear an official “gluten-free” claim. This may be because they are produced on shared equipment with wheat-based ingredients, have not undergone final product testing, or for other undisclosed reasons.


For maximum assurance, choose an Idahoan instant mashed potato variety that specifically says “gluten-free” on the package. However, you can have confidence that even their products without a gluten-free label are highly unlikely to contain significant traces of gluten due to their rigorous procedures.

Are All Idahoan Instant Potato Products Gluten-Free?

Idahoan states that all of their instant mashed potato products are gluten-free. However, they produce other instant potato varieties that may not be gluten-free:

  • Scalloped Potatoes – Contain wheat flour
  • Cheesy Potatoes – May contain gluten; not labeled gluten-free
  • Potatoes Au Gratin – Contain wheat flour

Before purchasing any Idahoan instant potatoes, be sure to double check the ingredients and packaging. Only their instant mashed potatoes are confirmed to be gluten-free.

Are Dehydrated Potatoes Gluten-Free?

Dehydrated potato flakes or granules are naturally gluten-free, as they only contain potatoes. However, cross-contamination can occur if they are processed on shared equipment with gluten-containing grains.

Here are some key points on dehydrated potato safety:

  • Opt for brands that are certified gluten-free, like Idahoan.
  • Check for a “gluten-free” claim on the package.
  • Call the manufacturer if in doubt.

Reputable brands like Idahoan rigorously test their dehydrated potatoes to ensure no gluten cross-contamination. As long as proper protocols are followed, dehydrated potato products can be safely consumed on a gluten-free diet.

Can You Make Regular Mashed Potatoes Gluten-Free?

Yes, you can easily prepare homemade mashed potatoes that are gluten-free by following a few key steps:

  1. Use only gluten-free potatoes, Russet or Yukon Gold varieties are ideal.
  2. Peel and cut potatoes before boiling – this prevents any contaminants from getting transferred from the peel to the interior.
  3. Boil potatoes in water with no additives.
  4. Drain potatoes well before mashing.
  5. Use gluten-free milk and butter.
  6. Flavor with salt, pepper, garlic, etc. Check all ingredients if using a premixed seasoning.
  7. Mash to desired smoothness with a potato masher, ricer, or food mill.

By starting with quality gluten-free ingredients and being diligent during prep, homemade mashed potatoes can absolutely be safe for those with celiac disease or NCGS.

Are Mashed Potatoes Gluten-Free at Restaurants?

Ordering mashed potatoes at restaurants requires some caution for gluten-free diners. While potatoes themselves are naturally gluten-free, many eateries add ingredients that introduce gluten, such as:

  • Flour or wheat-thickened gravy
  • Breadcrumbs or croutons as topping
  • Wheat-flour based thickeners
  • Malt vinegar
  • Shared fryers with breaded items

To ensure your restaurant mashed potatoes are gluten-free:

  • Ask about all ingredients and preparation steps.
  • Request plain mashed potatoes with no gravy or toppings.
  • Ask if fryer oil is dedicated.
  • Seek out gluten-free friendly restaurants.

With proper precautions, you can enjoy gluten-free mashed potatoes from restaurants. But always inquire about their practices before ordering.

Ingredient & Preparation Tips for Gluten-Free Mashed Potatoes

Here are some tips for keeping mashed potatoes gluten-free:

Use Gluten-Free Dairy & Fats

Choose milk, cream, butter, and other dairy products labeled gluten-free. Some people also opt for vegan milk alternatives like almond milk or coconut milk.

Avoid Additives

Steer clear of mashed potato mixes with added starches, thickeners, and flavorings, which may contain gluten. Stick to single-ingredient additions like garlic powder, nutmeg, chives, etc.

Beware of Cross-Contamination

Mash potatoes using clean utensils in a freshly washed bowl. Avoid scooping with hands that have touched glutenous foods. Don’t let ingredients like flour near the mashed potatoes.

Prevent Contact With Toasters

If topping mashed potatoes with gluten-free bread or rolls, toast them carefully to avoid any contact between the toast and potatoes.

By following basic gluten-free handling practices, it’s easy to keep homemade or restaurant-prepared mashed potatoes safe from contamination.

Potential Sources of Gluten in Mashed Potatoes

Here are some potential sources of gluten that could contaminate mashed potatoes:

  • Flour or wheat-based thickeners
  • Breadcrumbs used as topping
  • Shared cooking equipment/surfaces
  • Ustensils that contacted gluten
  • Thickened gravy or sauce
  • Croutons or fried onion bits as garnish
  • Malt vinegar
  • Unsafe frying oil
  • Unsafe food handling practices

Being aware of these common culprits allows you to take steps to avoid them when preparing or ordering gluten-free mashed potatoes.

Are Potato Flakes and Potato Starch Gluten-Free?

Dehydrated potato flakes and potato starch are inherently gluten-free, but can be subject to cross-contamination if improper processing practices are used.

Here are a few pointers:

  • Opt for potato products that are certified gluten-free.
  • Contact the manufacturer if concerned about gluten-free status.
  • Assume potato products are not safe unless labeled gluten-free or a company representative confirms they are.

With reputable gluten-free brands like Bob’s Red Mill, you can be confident their potato flakes and potato starch are free of cross-contamination. But always verify when using other brands.


Idahoan instant mashed potatoes provide a quick gluten-free side dish option, as long as you choose one of their certified gluten-free varieties that contains less than 20ppm of gluten. While their manufacturing process prevents any significant gluten presence in their instant mashed products, consuming one with an official “gluten-free” label provides maximum assurance.

With vigilance about ingredients and preparation techniques, homemade fresh mashed potatoes can also be a delicious gluten-free treat. For dining out, be sure to inquire about all ingredients and cooking practices to confirm restaurant mashed potatoes are safe to eat on a gluten-free diet.

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