What dressings and sauces are gluten-free?

Eating a gluten-free diet can be challenging, especially when it comes to finding gluten-free versions of favorite sauces and dressings. Many popular condiments contain wheat, barley or rye, which means they are off-limits for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. The good news is that there are still plenty of delicious gluten-free dressings and sauces to choose from. This article provides an overview of which common condiments are naturally gluten-free, as well as recommendations for specialty gluten-free dressings and sauces to try.


All vinegars, including balsamic, red wine, rice wine, white wine, apple cider and distilled white vinegar are gluten-free. Pay attention to added ingredients, as some flavored vinegars may contain gluten. For example, certain balsamic glazes contain thickeners like wheat starch.


Pure oils are a gluten-free option. This includes olive oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, sesame oil and nut-based oils like peanut or almond oil. Avoid “cooking sprays” as these may contain gluten-based propellants. Flavored oils may also contain gluten.


Plain yellow, Dijon, whole grain, brown, spicy and honey mustard are generally gluten-free. Watch out for specialty mustards with additions like soy sauce, which contains gluten.


Regular mayonnaise is gluten-free, as it is made with oil, egg yolks and either vinegar or lemon juice. Flavored mayonnaises, like chipotle or sriracha, are also fine as long as they don’t contain soy sauce. Be careful of miracle whip or imitation mayo, as these often have fillers that can contain gluten.

Ketchup & Tomato Sauce

Plain tomato ketchup and pasta sauce are gluten-free. Opt for brands without added sugar, spices or other ingredients that could contain gluten. Pizza sauce and simmer sauces may contain gluten.


Plain cucumber relish, sweet pickle relish and tomato-based relishes are generally gluten-free. Avoid relishes with filler ingredients like wheat flour.


Fresh pico de gallo and tomato salsa are gluten-free. Be careful of jarred salsa, as some contain gluten-containing spices and seasonings. Check labels carefully.


Fresh guacamole made from avocados, lime juice, onions, tomatoes and cilantro is a gluten-free winner. Avoid pre-made guacamoles, as many contain ingredients like soy sauce.


Plain hummus made from chickpeas, olive oil, garlic and lemon is gluten-free. Avoid flavored hummus, as it may contain ingredients with gluten.


Homemade pesto made with basil, olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan is gluten-free. Store-bought pesto sauces may contain gluten, so read labels carefully.

Marinara Sauce

Plain marinara sauce and homemade pasta sauce made with tomato products are gluten-free. Jarred pasta sauces may contain gluten, so check the ingredients.

Fish Sauce

Regular fish sauce made from fermented fish is gluten-free. Avoid flavored fish sauces, as they sometimes contain soy sauce.

Worcestershire Sauce

Traditional Worcestershire sauce contains no gluten ingredients. However, some brands add soy sauce, so make sure to read the label.

Steak Sauce

Plain steak sauce varieties like A1 are gluten-free. Avoid creamed or mushroom steak sauces, as they often contain flour.

Hot Sauce

Most hot sauces, including Tabasco, Frank’s Red Hot and Cholula are gluten-free. Be cautious of artisanal and exotic hot sauces, as some contain gluten.

Barbecue Sauce

Plain barbecue sauces made with tomato paste, vinegar and spices are generally gluten-free. Many store-bought barbecue sauces contain gluten, so read labels carefully.

Salad Dressings

Oil and vinegar-based dressings are gluten-free, including balsamic vinaigrette and lemon vinaigrette. Creamy dressings like ranch, blue cheese, Caesar and thousand island often contain flour, soy sauce or other gluten ingredients.

Gluten-Free Ranch Dressing

Make your own gluten-free ranch dressing by combining mayonnaise, milk, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, dill and salt and pepper. Thicken with arrowroot instead of flour.

Gluten-Free Blue Cheese Dressing

Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, lemon juice, blue cheese crumbles, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and salt for gluten-free blue cheese dressing. Xanthan gum can help thicken.

Gluten-Free Caesar Dressing

Whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, anchovies, olive oil, parmesan, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Omit soy sauce and thicken with xanthan gum instead of flour.

Steak Sauces & Marinades

Many packaged steak marinades contain soy sauce and other gluten ingredients. Make your own gluten-free marinades and sauces using oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs and spices.

Gluten-Free Teriyaki Sauce

Mix soy sauce, water, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cornstarch for homemade teriyaki. Use tamari instead of regular soy sauce.

Gluten-Free Stir Fry Sauce

Whisk together chicken broth, rice vinegar, sesame oil, cornstarch, ginger and garlic for a gluten-free stir fry sauce.


Many pre-made dips contain gluten, especially powdered ranch, onion soup or cheese flavors. Stick to hummus, guacamole, salsa and bean dips. Check creamy dips for flour.

Gluten-Free French Onion Dip

Make French onion dip gluten-free by mixing sour cream with onion soup mix made without gluten ingredients.

Gluten-Free Ranch Dip

Mix Greek yogurt with gluten-free ranch seasoning, garlic powder and chives for a creamy ranch dip.

Gravies & Sauces

Gravies and sauces thickened with wheat flour are out. Make gluten-free gravies with cornstarch, arrowroot or xanthan gum instead.

Gluten-Free Brown Gravy

For a savory brown gravy, whisk broth with cornstarch and kitchen bouquet sauce. Saute onions for extra flavor.

Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy

Make turkey gravy gluten-free by using the pan drippings and thickening with a cornstarch slurry. Add poultry seasoning for flavor.

Gluten-Free Mushroom Gravy

Saute mushrooms in butter, then whisk in beef or chicken broth and xanthan gum to thicken for a gluten-free mushroom gravy.

Cocktail Sauces

Seafood cocktail sauce typically contains gluten-free ingredients like ketchup, horseradish and lemon juice. However, some brands may add ingredients like soy sauce, so check labels.

Gluten-Free Cocktail Sauce

For homemade gluten-free cocktail sauce, simply mix ketchup with prepared horseradish, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.

Gluten-Free Tartar Sauce

Combine mayonnaise, dill pickle relish, lemon juice, parsley and a dash of hot sauce for gluten-free tartar sauce.

Sweet Sauces

Store-bought sweet sauces like maple syrup, caramel sauce, chocolate syrup and fruit preserves are often full of gluten. Make your own sweet sauces at home.

Gluten-Free Caramel Sauce

For easy gluten-free caramel sauce, simmer brown sugar, butter, cream and vanilla. Thicken with cornstarch if desired.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Syrup

Melt semisweet chocolate chips with coconut milk and maple syrup for an indulgent gluten-free chocolate syrup.

Gluten-Free Fruit Sauce

Make a naturally gluten-free fruit sauce by simmering berries, peaches, mangos or other fruit with lemon juice and sugar to taste.

Specialty Sauces & Condiments

There are many small-batch and artisanal sauces and condiments that are gluten-free. Here are some specialty products to look for:

Gluten-Free Sauce/Condiment Description
Coconut Aminos Soy-sauce alternative made from coconut tree sap.
Thai Peanut Sauce Spicy peanut sauce, sans wheat.
Hoisin Sauce Thick, sweet Chinese sauce made without soy.
Tzatziki Cucumber yogurt dip flavored with mint and dill.
Harissa Spicy North African chili pepper paste.
Chimichurri Argentinian green sauce with parsley and garlic.

Homemade Gluten-Free Condiment Recipes

When in doubt, make your own gluten-free condiments at home. Here are some recipes to try:

BBQ Sauce

Ingredients: tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, molasses, honey, garlic, onion, mustard, salt, pepper.

Tartar Sauce

Ingredients: mayonnaise, dill pickles, lemon juice, parsley, capers, salt, pepper.

Cocktail Sauce

Ingredients: ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce.

Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients: fresh cranberries, orange juice, sugar. Simmer until thickened.

Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients: tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, garlic, onion, oregano, salt.

Orange Sauce

Ingredients: orange juice, honey, cornstarch, butter, orange zest, salt.


Following a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean flavorless food. With so many delicious dressing and sauce options, it’s easy to keep meals exciting. Focus on naturally gluten-free condiments like oils, vinegars, mustards, salsas and guacamole. When choosing packaged sauces, read labels carefully to avoid hidden gluten ingredients. Making your own unique dressings and sauces using real, fresh ingredients is a great way to add gluten-free flavor to any dish.

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