What breakfast items are gluten free?

Eating a gluten free breakfast can seem challenging, but there are plenty of delicious options to choose from. With the rising popularity of gluten free diets, many companies now offer gluten free versions of classic breakfast foods. Knowing what to look for can make shopping and meal planning much easier.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. For those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten triggers an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine. This can cause symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, fatigue, and more. The only treatment is following a strict lifelong gluten free diet. Thankfully, there are many naturally gluten free breakfast options to enjoy.

Gluten free whole grains

There are several nutrient-dense whole grains that are naturally gluten free. These include:

  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet
  • Certified gluten free oats
  • Amaranth
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Wild rice
  • Teff

These grains can be enjoyed for breakfast in many ways. Some ideas include:

  • Hot cereal – Try certified gluten free oats or cream of buckwheat.
  • Granola – Make your own using gluten free oats, nuts, dried fruit, and spices.
  • Muesli – Toss together raw gluten free oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.
  • Porridge – Cook rice, millet, quinoa or teff in milk or non-dairy milk.
  • Pancakes and waffles – Make a gluten free flour blend using rice, buckwheat, corn, etc.

Gluten free breads and muffins

While regular bread contains gluten, there are many gluten free options available, including:

  • Gluten free bread
  • Gluten free bagels
  • Gluten free English muffins
  • Gluten free waffles
  • Gluten free pancakes
  • Gluten free muffins
  • Gluten free tortillas

Look for these made with gluten free flours like rice, corn, buckwheat, potato starch, tapioca, and arrowroot. Leading gluten free brands include Canyon Bakehouse, Schar, Udi’s, and Glutino.

Gluten free cold cereals

Many popular cold cereals are gluten free, including:

  • Chex (Rice, Corn, Multi-Bran)
  • Rice Krispies
  • Corn flakes
  • Special K
  • Frosted Flakes
  • Fruit Loops
  • Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets
  • Barbara’s Multigrain Spoonfuls
  • Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise

Always check labels since formulas can change. Malt flavoring contains gluten, so avoid any cereal with malt listed as an ingredient.

Gluten free oats

Plain rolled oats and steel-cut oats are naturally gluten free, but are often contaminated with gluten during growing and processing. Certified gluten free oats are not contaminated and are safe to eat. Some trusted brands include:

  • Bob’s Red Mill
  • GFCO (Gluten Free Certification Organization)
  • Guts N More
  • Montana Gluten Free
  • Cream Hill Estates
  • Glutenfreeda
  • GF Harvest (purity protocol)

Look for the GF (gluten free) label. Use certified gluten free oats for oatmeal, granola, muffins, and more.

Gluten free protein foods

Protein rich foods are essential for a balanced gluten free breakfast. Some good options include:

  • Eggs
  • Cottage cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Nut butters (peanut, almond, etc.)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Beans
  • Gluten free deli meats
  • Bacon or sausage (check labels)

These protein foods can be enjoyed on their own, added to cereal or oatmeal, or used in breakfast sandwiches and burritos.

Gluten free fruits and vegetables

All plain fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten free. Some ideas for breakfast include:

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Melons
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes

Chop up fruits and veggies to add to eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese, or gluten free toast and muffins.

Gluten free dairy products

Most plain dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream are naturally gluten free. Some brands to look for include:

  • Yoplait
  • Dannon
  • Chobani
  • Fage
  • Cabot
  • Tillamook
  • Philadelphia cream cheese
  • Breakstone’s sour cream

Always check ingredient lists since some flavored dairy foods add gluten containing ingredients. Plain dairy makes a great addition to any gluten free breakfast.

Gluten free breakfast meats

Most plain breakfast meats are gluten free, including:

  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Ham
  • Pork chops
  • Pork breakfast links

Avoid meat products with added fillers, flavors, or breadcrumbs, which may contain gluten. Some trustworthy gluten free brands are Hormel, Applegate, and Jones.

Other gluten free breakfast ideas

Beyond traditional breakfast foods, almost any food can be suitable for breakfast. Here are some other nourishing gluten free breakfast ideas:

  • Smoothies – Mix fruit, greens, nut butter, yogurt, milk/milk alternative.
  • Parfaits – Layer yogurt, fruit, granola.
  • Overnight oats – Make ahead soaked oats with add-ins.
  • Breakfast salad – Top greens with protein foods and chopped fruit.
  • Rice pudding – Cook rice in milk with spices and sweeteners.
  • Chia pudding – Soak chia seeds in milk to create a thick pudding.
  • Quiche/frittata – Bake eggs with veggies and cheese.
  • Breakfast sandwiches – Use gluten free bread and fillings.
  • Breakfast burrito – Fill a tortilla with eggs, cheese, beans, etc.
  • Avocado toast – Top gluten free toast with mashed avocado.

What about cross-contamination?

When following a gluten free diet, it’s important to consider cross-contamination, where gluten is accidentally introduced:

  • Shared toasters, utensils, surfaces, oils
  • Food processed on shared equipment
  • Spreading peanut butter knife into jelly

Those with celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivities need to be especially careful to avoid cross-contamination at home and look for labels indicating cGMPs (current Good Manufacturing Practices) when buying packaged foods.

Gluten free substitution suggestions

Missing your old gluten containing breakfast favorites? Here are some simple ingredient swaps:

Contains Gluten Gluten Free Substitution
All-purpose flour Gluten free flour blend
Breadcrumbs Gluten free breadcrumbs or crushed crackers
Panko breadcrumbs Gluten free panko-style breadcrumbs
Regular oats Certified gluten free oats
Wheat tortillas Corn or brown rice tortillas
Croutons Gluten free croutons
Soy sauce Tamari or coconut aminos
Beer Gluten free beer

Shopping for gluten free breakfast foods

Looking for gluten free breakfast options? Here are some great places to shop:

  • Grocery stores – Many have dedicated gluten free sections now.
  • Health food stores – Stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Earthfare have lots of options.
  • Online – Gluten free specialty sites like Thrive Market.
  • Discount stores – Stores like Aldi and Trader Joe’s have affordable gluten free foods.
  • Bakeries – Many cities have gluten free bakeries. Search for one near you.
  • Farmers markets – Look for local gluten free baked goods.

Browse the freezer and refrigerated sections for gluten free breakfast items like waffles, muffins, and dairy products. Check bulk bins for gluten free grains and cereals. Look in the natural section for alternative flours, cereals, and bread.

Tips for eating out gluten free

Eating out for breakfast can be tricky when you’re gluten free. Here are some tips:

  • Research the menu online first and call ahead if needed.
  • Stick to basic foods like eggs, fruit, dairy, potatoes.
  • Ask about a dedicated gluten free menu, prep area, or procedures.
  • Clarify which items can be made gluten free.
  • Request plain fresh eggs instead of batter-dipped omelets.
  • Get pancakes and toast from dedicated gluten free menu.
  • Avoid cross-contaminated items like hash browns.
  • Ask for real maple syrup, jellies, butter packets.
  • Skip creamers, imitation syrups, and jelly containers.

Being prepared when eating out gluten free makes the experience much less stressful. With planning, you can enjoy delicious gluten free breakfasts.

Gluten free breakfast recipes

Whipping up tasty gluten free breakfasts is easy with the right recipes. Here are some delicious options to try:

Gluten Free Waffles


  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp oil or melted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. In another bowl, mix eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix just until combined.
  4. Cook in preheated waffle iron until golden.

Fluffy Gluten Free Pancakes


  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. In a bowl, mix dry ingredients.
  2. In another bowl, mix egg, milk, oil and vanilla.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix just until combined.
  4. Heat a pan or griddle over medium heat; grease with oil or butter.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup batter per pancake. Cook until bubbles form, then flip.

Fluffy Banana Almond Butter Oatmeal


  • 1 cup certified gluten free oats
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or non-dairy milk
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey (optional)
  • Chopped nuts for topping (optional)


  1. In a pot, combine oats and milk. Bring to a boil then reduce heat.
  2. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often, until thickened.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in mashed banana and almond butter.
  4. Mix in cinnamon, salt, and sweetener if desired.
  5. Divide into bowls; top with nuts.


When you need to avoid gluten, breakfast may look a little different but can still be just as tasty and satisfying. Focus on simple fresh foods, substitute smartly, and enjoy the many gluten free breakfast options available. With some adjustments to your regular routine, you’ll see eating gluten free in the morning is completely doable – and delicious too!

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