Is the Hashbrown Casserole at Cracker Barrel gluten free?

Quick Answer

No, the hashbrown casserole served at Cracker Barrel contains wheat, which means it is not gluten-free. Cracker Barrel’s hashbrown casserole is made with hashbrowns, Cheddar cheese, onions, and a batter that contains wheat flour. For those avoiding gluten, Cracker Barrel does offer some gluten-free menu items, but the popular hashbrown casserole is unfortunately not one of them.

Ingredients in Cracker Barrel’s Hashbrown Casserole

Cracker Barrel’s hashbrown casserole contains the following ingredients:

– Hashbrowns
– Cheddar cheese
– Onions
– Butter
– Sour cream
– Salt
– Pepper
Wheat flour

It’s the wheat flour that makes it not gluten-free. Wheat contains the proteins glutenin and gliadin, which together form the gluten protein.

People with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity cannot tolerate gluten and need to follow a strict gluten-free diet. For these individuals, consuming the hashbrown casserole from Cracker Barrel would cause issues.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Here are some key facts about gluten:

– It helps give dough its elasticity and workable texture
– It is found not only in breads, but also in many processed foods
– Many people cannot tolerate gluten and need to follow a gluten-free diet

Gluten causes issues for those with celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disorder. It also leads to symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, and fatigue in those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Foods That Contain Gluten

Gluten is naturally found in the following grains:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye

This means any foods made with these grains contain gluten:

  • Breads
  • Pasta
  • Cereals
  • Beer
  • Cakes and pies

Gluten can also be found in many processed foods, due to additives like wheat flour. It is important for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to carefully read food labels.

Foods That Are Gluten-Free

Those following a gluten-free diet need to avoid foods containing wheat, barley, and rye. There are still many delicious options, including:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, poultry, fish
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Gluten-free oats
  • Corn
  • Quinoa

There are also specialty gluten-free products, like gluten-free bread, pasta, and crackers. Again, it’s important to read labels and look for a gluten-free certification.

Hashbrown Casserole Gluten-Free Alternatives

While Cracker Barrel’s traditional hashbrown casserole is not gluten-free, there are some easy ways to modify the recipe to make it gluten-free:

Substitute wheat flour with cornstarch

The main issue is the wheat flour in Cracker Barrel’s recipe. An easy fix is to replace it with cornstarch.

Cornstarch will provide a similar binding and thickening effect without containing any gluten. Simply swap the amount of wheat flour for the same amount of cornstarch.

Use certified gluten-free hashbrowns

It’s also important that the hashbrowns used in the casserole are certified gluten-free, as some hashbrown brands may contain fillers or seasonings with gluten. Ore Ida and Simply Potatoes are two supermarket brands that offer gluten-free hashbrowns.

Check all ingredients for gluten

Double check that any other ingredients going into the hashbrown casserole are gluten-free, including the cheddar cheese, onions, butter, and sour cream. Look for brands that are marked gluten-free.

Cook it in a fresh dish

To avoid any cross-contamination, use a fresh dish and cooking utensils that have not come into contact with gluten.

Other Cracker Barrel Menu Items

If you are gluten-free, the hashbrown casserole may be off limits, but there are other dishes at Cracker Barrel you can enjoy.


For breakfast, Cracker Barrel has a number of naturally gluten-free options, like eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, and oatmeal. Be sure to request no pancakes on the side.

Some gluten-free-friendly breakfast dishes include:

  • Build Your Own Omelet
  • Sunrise Sampler
  • Country Fried Steak and Eggs

Lunch & Dinner

For lunch and dinner entrees, look for grilled meats, chicken, and fish dishes. Side items like mashed potatoes, vegetables, and salad are also gluten-free.

Some gluten-free-friendly lunch and dinner options include:

  • Grilled Chicken Tenders
  • Salmon
  • Country Fried Steak
  • Baked Potato or Mash Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • House Salad

Be sure to request no breading on fried menu items and check that no wheat flour is used to thicken sauces or gravies.


While many of Cracker Barrel’s dessert items like pies contain gluten, there are some gluten-free options:

  • Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Strawberry Shortcake made with gluten-free biscuit

Again, always good to confirm with your server that these items are prepared without cross-contamination.

Tips for Eating Gluten-Free at Cracker Barrel

Here are some useful tips for those needing to avoid gluten when dining at Cracker Barrel:

  • Review the gluten-free menu ahead of time online
  • Ask your server which dishes can be modified to be gluten-free
  • Request that your meal be prepared in a clean area and cooked in fresh oil
  • Ask for sauces, dressings, and gravy to be served on the side
  • Check that hands are washed and clean utensils used for your meal
  • Look for menu items that are naturally gluten-free, like grilled chicken
  • Make sure no croutons or bread is added to your salad

Following these tips will help ensure you have a safe gluten-free dining experience at Cracker Barrel.

Cracker Barrel Gluten-Free Menu

Cracker Barrel does provide a gluten-free menu to make dining easier for gluten-free guests.

This menu highlights which dishes are safe for a gluten-free diet. It also notes certain dishes that can be modified to be made gluten-free.

Be sure to clearly state that you need to order from the gluten-free menu when the server takes your order.

Some highlights from the Cracker Barrel gluten-free menu include:

  • Breakfast items like eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, grits, and oatmeal
  • Lunch and dinner items like salads, grilled chicken, salmon, and country fried steak
  • Sides such as mashed potatoes, green beans, and more
  • Desserts including vanilla bean ice cream

The modifications required to make certain dishes gluten-free are also clearly described.

Nutrition Information for Cracker Barrel’s Hashbrown Casserole

Here is the nutrition information for Cracker Barrel’s traditional hashbrown casserole:

Nutrition Facts Per 1 serving
Calories 760
Total Fat 45g
Sodium 1710mg
Total Carbohydrate 57g
Protein 21g

As you can see, the hashbrown casserole is high in calories, fat, and sodium. It also contains a substantial amount of carbohydrates, most of which come from the potato as well as the wheat flour.

For someone following a gluten-free diet, it would be best to consume this popular dish only on occasion. When prepared gluten-free, it still remains high in calories and fat.

Recipe for Gluten-Free Hashbrown Casserole

If you want to recreate Cracker Barrel’s signature hashbrown casserole at home but need it to be gluten-free, here is a recipe to try:


  • 3 lbs frozen hashbrowns
  • 1⁄4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1⁄2 cup corn starch
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1⁄2 cups crushed corn flakes cereal


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the hash browns, 1⁄4 cup melted butter, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, cornstarch, cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined.
  3. Transfer the mixture to prepared baking dish and press down evenly into the dish.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the crushed corn flakes and 1⁄4 cup melted butter. Sprinkle over the casserole.
  5. Bake for 1 hour. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe swaps out the wheat flour for cornstarch to make it gluten-free. Be sure to use certified gluten-free hashbrowns and gluten-free corn flakes cereal.

You’ll end up with a delicious hashbrown casserole that looks and tastes similar to Cracker Barrel’s famous version!


In summary, Cracker Barrel’s hashbrown casserole is not gluten-free due to containing wheat flour. For a gluten-free option, the casserole can be recreated at home by substituting the wheat flour for cornstarch and using certified gluten-free ingredients.

Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should avoid Cracker Barrel’s traditional hashbrown casserole and be cautious when dining at the restaurant. There are gluten-free menu options available, but modifications and close monitoring are required.

Overall, hashbrown casserole can be made gluten-free relatively easily while retaining its irresistibly indulgent flavor and creamy texture. With some simple ingredient swaps and care taken to avoid cross-contamination, you can enjoy this southern favorite while following a gluten-free diet.

Leave a Comment