Nutella does not currently offer a gluten-free version of their popular chocolate hazelnut spread. The regular Nutella contains wheat and barley-derived ingredients, making it unsuitable for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, there are several delicious gluten-free alternatives to Nutella available from niche brands. With options like WOW Baking’s Cookie Dough Dreams and Katz Gluten Free’s Chocolate Hazelnut spread, people avoiding gluten don’t have to miss out on chocolate-hazelnut goodness.
What is Nutella?
Nutella is a hugely popular chocolate hazelnut spread created in Italy in 1964. Its smooth, rich texture and sweet chocolate-nutty flavor have earned it a cult following worldwide.
The original recipe for Nutella contains sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa powder, milk powder, whey powder, lecithin, and vanillin. It has a creamy, nutty taste reminiscent of high-quality chocolate paired with toasted hazelnuts.
Nutella has become a pantry staple for many and is used as a breakfast spread, a star ingredient in desserts, and even as a solo treat eaten by the spoonful. Its popularity has spawned endless recipes using the chocolate-hazelnut spread, from Nutella-stuffed French toast to Nutella brownies.
The spread is produced by the Italian company Ferrero and sold in over 160 countries worldwide. Its global popularity has earned it the nickname “the hazelnut chocolate spread that took over the world.”
Does Nutella Contain Gluten?
Yes, regular Nutella contains gluten.
The two gluten-containing ingredients found in Nutella are:
– Wheat flour
– Barley malt extract
The wheat flour adds to the spreadable texture of Nutella, while the barley malt extract enhances its sweetness.
For people with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or those avoiding gluten for other reasons, consuming Nutella could cause adverse reactions. Even tiny amounts of gluten can trigger symptoms if someone is highly sensitive.
Is There Any Nutella That’s Labeled Gluten-Free?
No, there is currently no gluten-free version of Nutella manufactured by Ferrero. Their classic Nutella spread is made with wheat and barley-derived ingredients.
Ferrero does indicate certain flavors of Nutella sold in other countries, like Nutella B-Ready in France, are gluten-free. However, the traditional Nutella remains off limits for gluten-free diets in most regions it’s sold.
Ferrero has received frequent consumer requests for a gluten-free Nutella over the years. However, the company has yet to unveil an official gluten-free alternative to their classic chocolate-hazelnut recipe.
What Are Some Good Gluten-Free Alternatives to Nutella?
While there’s no gluten-free Nutella option directly from Ferrero yet, numerous other companies have developed chocolate-hazelnut spreads that compete with Nutella in taste. Here are some of the top gluten-free Nutella alternatives:
WOW Baking Cookie Dough Dreams
This dairy-free, vegan-friendly hazelnut spread by WOW Baking tastes incredibly similar to Nutella. It’s made with a base of hazelnuts, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and rice flour. WOW Baking’s version contains no gluten sources and is certified gluten-free. It has the same lusciously smooth texture as Nutella with a rich chocolate-hazelnut flavor.
Katz Gluten Free Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
Katz offers an indulgent gluten-free take on Nutella made with cocoa, roasted hazelnuts, sunflower oil, and milk chocolate flavor. It contains dairy but no gluten ingredients. Katz’s allergy-friendly version rivals Nutella for taste and spreadability.
MadeGood Hazelnut Cocoa Spread
This healthy gluten-free option from MadeGood is made with cocoa, roasted hazelnuts, rice flour, and sunflower oil. It’s dairy-free, certified gluten-free, organic, and contains added vitamins and minerals. The whole food-based ingredients give it a pleasantly nutty cocoa taste.
Nutella Walmart’s Great Value Hazelnut Spread
Walmart’s store brand Great Value makes a sweet hazelnut cocoa spread very similar to Nutella. It’s affordably priced and gluten-free, made with sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, and sunflower lecithin. The Great Value spread mimics the mouthfeel and flavor of Nutella quite well.
|WOW Baking Cookie Dough Dreams
|Hazelnuts, cocoa powder, coconut oil, rice flour
|Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free
|Katz Gluten Free
|Cocoa, roasted hazelnuts, sunflower oil, milk chocolate flavor
|Gluten-free, contains dairy
|Cocoa, roasted hazelnuts, rice flour, sunflower oil
|Gluten-free, dairy-free, organic
|Walmart Great Value
|Sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, sunflower lecithin
How to Make Homemade Gluten-Free Nutella
Another option is to DIY your own homemade Nutella using gluten-free ingredients. Here is a simple recipe and instructions:
– 1 cup hazelnuts
– 1/4 cup cocoa powder
– 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar or honey
– 1/4 cup dairy-free milk of choice (almond, oat, etc.)
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
– Pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread hazelnuts in single layer on baking sheet.
2. Roast for 12-15 minutes until fragrant and skins begin to peel.
3. Remove hazelnuts from oven and wrap in dish towel. Let steam for 5 minutes then rub to remove skins.
4. Process nuts in food processor until very finely ground, about 5 minutes.
5. Add cocoa powder, sugar, milk, vanilla and salt to food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
6. Transfer homemade hazelnut-chocolate spread to an airtight container and refrigerate.
7. Enjoy gluten-free homemade Nutella on toast, fruit, crepes, or anything your heart desires!
The beauty of homemade Nutella is that you can customize it to your dietary needs. Play around with dairy-free milks, alternative sweeteners, and extra mix-ins like cinnamon until you create the perfect chocolate-hazelnut spread.
What About Nutella for Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity?
Those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may also need to avoid Nutella due to its gluten content.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a condition where people experience digestive or other symptoms after ingesting gluten, without having celiac disease. People with NCGS do not experience the same intestinal damage seen in celiac disease. However, their bodies are still sensitive to gluten.
Current research on NCGS is limited. There are no standardized diagnostic criteria yet, although a double-blind placebo-controlled gluten challenge is often used. Estimates suggest NCGS may impact anywhere from 0.5-13% of the population.
People with NCGS tend to find their symptoms improve when following a gluten-free diet. Since even tiny gluten exposures can be problematic, the gluten-containing ingredients in regular Nutella would be an issue. Those with NCGS would likely benefit from choosing one of the gluten-free Nutella alternatives instead.
Nutella for Wheat Allergies, Autoimmune Protocol, and Other Diets
Beyond gluten-free diets, there are several other instances where Nutella would be incompatible with a person’s dietary needs:
Those with a wheat allergy absolutely must avoid Nutella, as it contains wheat flour. Even minute traces of wheat could trigger an allergic reaction. Gluten-free, wheat-free alternatives are the safest option.
Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)
The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) eliminates grains, gluten, dairy, legumes, nuts, seeds, and certain oils. Nutella contains wheat/gluten and dairy, so it would not be AIP-compliant. A coconut milk and cacao-based recipe could provide an AIP-friendly chocolate-hazelnut flavor.
Nutella contains hazelnuts, dairy milk, and wheat, which are all high FODMAP foods. Those following a low FODMAP diet to manage IBS and other digestive issues would likely want to avoid regular Nutella.
Diabetes or Weight Loss Diets
With 21 grams of sugar per serving, Nutella may not align well with diets for diabetes or weight loss. Gluten-free alternatives with lower glycemic sugars or less added sugar overall could be better options for health conditions related to blood sugar regulation.
People with tree nut allergies, including hazelnuts, need to avoid Nutella entirely due to its hazelnut content. Sunflower seed butter could potentially be used to create a chocolate spread alternative.
What Do Experts Say About Nutella and Gluten?
Credible experts universally agree regular Nutella is not suitable for gluten-free diets. According to Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN:
“Nutella contains wheat and barley ingredients, meaning it’s not gluten-free. People with celiac disease or gluten intolerance should avoid it. Even if you have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, Nutella is not considered gluten-free.”
Registered dietitian Trista Best also confirms:
“Unfortunately, Nutella is not gluten-free. Traditional Nutella contains wheat flour and barley malt extract, two ingredients derived from gluten grains. There are several great-tasting gluten-free hazelnut spread alternatives available for people on gluten-free diets.”
Shelby Miller, RD, LD, also advises:
“Nutella contains two sources of gluten – wheat flour and barley malt extract. These ingredients make regular Nutella unsuitable for people with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or any form of gluten intolerance. Gluten-free individuals can enjoy other brands of chocolate-hazelnut spreads made without glutenous ingredients.”
The consensus among dietary professionals is unambiguous – standard Nutella is off-limits for gluten-free diets. While no gluten-free version is sold by Nutella directly, there are many nutritious, delicious DIY recipes and pre-made alternatives to satisfy chocolate-hazelnut cravings.
The Bottom Line
In summary, no, there is no gluten-free Nutella product currently available from the original Ferrero manufacturers. The presence of wheat flour and barley malt extract in regular Nutella means it’s unsuitable for celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and most forms of gluten intolerance.
While it’s always best to double-check ingredient labels, high-quality gluten-free hazelnut cocoa spreads from dedicated specialty brands provide a tasty solution. For total control over ingredients, homemade Nutella made with gluten-free items is also an option for whipping up the chocolate-hazelnut sensation without gluten.
Though no product matches the exact taste and texture of brand-name Nutella, the gluten-free alternatives come deliciously close. By choosing products carefully and reading labels diligently, those avoiding gluten don’t have to miss out on enjoying the wonderful pairing of chocolate and hazelnut.