Is Starbucks breakfast sandwich gluten-free?

For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, navigating menu items at popular coffee shops like Starbucks can be challenging. With an increasing awareness of gluten-related disorders and food allergies, many restaurants have added gluten-free options to accommodate various dietary needs. But when it comes to some of Starbucks’ most popular breakfast sandwich offerings, the gluten-free status may not be so clear cut. This article will examine if Starbucks breakfast sandwiches are gluten-free, which menu items contain gluten, allergen information provided by Starbucks, and tips for customizing your Starbucks breakfast order to be gluten-free.

Are Starbucks Breakfast Sandwiches Gluten-Free?

The short answer is no – most Starbucks breakfast sandwiches contain gluten and are not safe for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Gluten refers to the proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye. For people with gluten-related disorders, consuming gluten triggers an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine and can lead to symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, and more.

The main culprits that make Starbucks breakfast sandwiches contain gluten are the breads and baked goods used to prepare the sandwiches. This includes breads like bagels, croissants, biscuits, English muffins, and sandwich buns. Even the wraps and tortillas used on some breakfast sandwiches may contain wheat or other glutenous grains. Unless the sandwich specifically states it is prepared on a certified gluten-free bread alternative, it’s best to avoid Starbucks sandwiches to prevent cross-contamination.

Gluten-Containing Ingredients in Starbucks Breakfast Sandwiches

Here are some of the main gluten-containing ingredients found in popular Starbucks breakfast sandwiches:

  • Bagels – Used on sandwiches like the Bacon, Gouda & Egg Sandwich and Sausage & Cheddar Classics Breakfast Sandwich.
  • Croissants – Used on sandwiches like the Ham, Cheddar & Egg Breakfast Sandwich and Chicken & Maple Butter Croissant.
  • Biscuits – Used on sandwiches like the Sausage & Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich.
  • English Muffins – Used on sandwiches like the Bacon, Sausage & Egg Sandwich and Egg White & Roasted Red Pepper Breakfast Sandwich.
  • Breads – Used on sandwiches like the Turkey Pesto and Egg White Breakfast Sandwich.
  • Wraps/Tortillas – May contain glutenous grains like wheat. Used on sandwiches like the Southwest Veggie Wrap and Chicken Chorizo Breakfast Wrap.

As you can see, nearly all traditional breads and bakery items from Starbucks contain gluten in some form. Even if a breakfast sandwich looks like it may just contain egg, cheese, and meat, cross-contamination from the bakery items prepared in store make the breakfast sandwiches unsuitable for a gluten-free diet.

Does Starbucks Provide Allergen and Nutrition Information?

Starbucks does provide some helpful allergen and nutritional information on their menus and website that can assist in figuring out which items may be gluten-free. However, you should always confirm directly with your barista if a menu item can be prepared gluten-free.

If you are ordering from the Starbucks app or online, they provide the following allergen information about menu items:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Tree Nuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat (indicates presence of gluten)
  • Shellfish
  • Fish (Fish Allergen)

The app and website also provide calories, fat, sodium, sugar, protein, and carbohydrate information about their breakfast sandwich options and other menu items.

At the time of writing in November 2023, Starbucks does not have an available gluten-free menu and does not specifically identify gluten-free items. They advise customers to ask their baristas for the most current allergen and nutritional details. Always double check ingredient or preparation details with the barista handling your order. Cross-contamination is common and ingredients can change.

Can You Customize a Gluten-Free Breakfast Sandwich?

While Starbucks breakfast sandwiches contain gluten by default, some customization is possible to order a gluten-free breakfast sandwich:

Use a Gluten-Free Bread Alternative

Some locations may have gluten-free bread options like a certified gluten-free bagel, bread slices, or English muffin. Speak to the barista to see if your location has any gluten-free breads available. Note that these options are not available chain-wide and are dependent on the individual location.

Order a Lettuce Wrap

Order your breakfast sandwich wrapped in lettuce leaves instead of a traditional bread product. The lettuce leaves are naturally gluten-free and make for an easy on-the-go wrap.

Choose a Bowl Option

Order the ingredients of your breakfast sandwich served in a bowl without the bread component. The bowl option may include items like eggs, cheese, potatoes, meat and vegetables without the bread carrier.

Avoid Cross-Contamination

Request that your gluten-free components are prepared away from common allergens and with clean, sanitized utensils and surfaces. Also ensure the gluten-free bread is stored separately from regular gluten-containing options.

Gluten-Free Starbucks Breakfast Items

While breakfast sandwiches require customization to be gluten-free, Starbucks does offer some gluten-free friendly breakfast items:

Plain Dairy Yogurts

The plain non-fat, low-fat, and full-fat yogurts on the Starbucks menu are gluten-free. Opt for the plain yogurt without added mixes or toppings that may contain gluten.


The classic oatmeal and various oatmeal bowls can be prepared gluten-free. Again, avoid added toppings that may contain gluten like granola.

Egg Bites

The pre-packaged egg bite options are prepared without traditional gluten-containing bread. But check labels for gluten-containing grains like wheat before ordering.

Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits

The fruit and yogurt parfaits contain gluten-free ingredients like yogurt, berries, and nuts. But confirm no gluten-containing granola or mixes are added.

Cottage Cheese

The cottage cheese cups available on the Starbucks menu are gluten-free. You can also add fruit for extra flavor.

Fresh Fruit

The fresh fruit cups, fruit blends, and fruit salad are gluten-free fruit options to pair with a yogurt or cottage cheese.

Hard Boiled Eggs

The peeled hard boiled eggs available at some locations are gluten-free. They make for an easy protein-packed breakfast.

Gluten-Free Starbucks Lunch Options

If you are looking for a gluten-free lunch or midday snack from Starbucks, here are some of your best options:


Most of the salad options can be prepared gluten-free by avoiding croutons and other gluten-containing add-ons. Opt for salad dressing on the side.

Protein Boxes

The pre-packaged protein boxes often contain gluten-free options like nuts, cheese, hummus, and hard boiled eggs. Avoid boxes with clearly glutenous components.

Snack Bars

Some snack bars available at Starbucks are gluten-free including RXBARs, Kind Bars, and That’s It Bars. But always check labels for gluten-containing ingredients.

Bistro Boxes

The adult and kid’s bistro boxes allow you to build your own grab-and-go meals. Choose naturally gluten-free items like cheese, fruits, vegetables, hard boiled eggs, and tuna salad without croutons or wheat-based sides.

Protein & Nut Blends

The pre-packaged servings of nuts and trail mixes are gluten-free. Opt for the nuts and dried fruits without granola or other gluten-prone ingredients.

Tips for Ordering Gluten-Free at Starbucks

Here are some helpful tips for ordering gluten-free meals and snacks at Starbucks:

  • Review the menu in advance online and use the allergen filters.
  • Tell the barista you have a gluten allergy when ordering.
  • Ask about any gluten-free bread options available.
  • Request any sandwiches be prepared in a lettuce wrap or bowl.
  • Avoid all croissants, biscuits, bagels, sandwiches, and pastries.
  • Ask about ingredients and preparation practices to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Opt for gluten-free snacks like plain yogurt, cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, salads, and nut blends.
  • Carefully inspect any packaged snacks and oatmeal for gluten-containing grains.

With some modifications and special requests, you can enjoy gluten-free breakfast and lunch options at Starbucks. But communicating with the barista is key to ensuring your items are safely prepared.

Should You Trust Starbucks for Gluten-Free?

Starbucks has worked to expand their gluten-free offerings and improve allergen training in recent years. However, the risk of cross-contamination is still quite high given the extensive use of gluten-containing breads and baked goods within Starbucks locations.

Many celiacs still do not feel fully comfortable consuming products prepared at Starbucks and other restaurants due to contamination concerns. If you maintain a strict gluten-free diet, consuming items prepared at Starbucks likely increases your risk of exposure.

In general, it is safest for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to prepare meals and snacks at home where you can control all ingredients and preparation surfaces. But with care, some gluten-free options can be customized at Starbucks. Just know the risk is never zero for cross-contamination.

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Starbucks breakfast sandwiches are not gluten-free and contain glutenous ingredients like bagels, biscuits, and English muffins. While customizations like lettuce wraps or bowls are possible to order, the risks of cross-contamination are quite high.

Celiacs and those with severe gluten intolerance will likely want to steer clear of all Starbucks sandwiches and bakery items. But with adjustments and extra care, breakfast bowls, salads, snacks, and some other items may be tolerated by those with milder forms of gluten sensitivity.

Your safest bet is to thoroughly question baristas about preparation procedures and avoid cross-contamination. Ultimately, home-prepared meals are best for strict gluten-free diets. But in a pinch or for mild sensitivity, customized Starbucks orders can be an option if you take necessary precautions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Starbucks breakfast sandwiches gluten-free?

No, Starbucks breakfast sandwiches contain gluten by default and are not safe for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. The sandwiches are made on bakery items like bagels, biscuits, croissants, and English muffins that contain gluten.

Does Starbucks have gluten-free bread?

Some locations may offer certified gluten-free bread options like bagels or muffins, but availability varies. You need to check with your specific Starbucks to see if they carry approved gluten-free breads. Not all locations have these options.

What can I order at Starbucks that is gluten-free?

Some naturally gluten-free Starbucks menu items include oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, salads without croutons, hard boiled eggs, and nut blends. Gluten-free snack bars may also be available. Always confirm ingredients with the barista.

Is the Starbucks Impossible Breakfast Sandwich gluten-free?

No, while the Impossible sausage is gluten-free, the Impossible Breakfast Sandwich is served on a traditional English muffin containing gluten. Order the Impossible sausage in a lettuce wrap or bowl to make this sandwich gluten-free.

Can Starbucks sandwiches be made gluten-free?

Yes, with modifications like ordering sandwiches in a lettuce wrap or bowl without the bread component, you may be able to enjoy a customized gluten-free sandwich. But there is always some risk of cross-contamination in a Starbucks store.

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