What fast food has gluten free french fries?

Gluten free diets are becoming increasingly popular, with more and more people looking to avoid gluten for health or dietary reasons. For those who enjoy fast food, finding gluten free menu options can be challenging. One of the most commonly ordered fast food items that contains gluten are french fries, which are often coated in wheat-based batters. Fortunately, some fast food restaurants do offer gluten free french fries. This article will explore which major fast food chains have gluten free french fry options available.

Why Do French Fries Have Gluten?

Traditional french fries you get at most fast food restaurants are not inherently gluten free. During processing, the potato slices are coated in a batter before frying. This batter often contains wheat flour, which adds gluten. The batter helps create the iconic golden color and crispy texture of french fries. Without this coating, the fries would absorb more oil and likely turn out limp and pale. For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, consuming this standard batter-coated fry could cause adverse reactions.

What Makes a French Fry Gluten Free?

To qualify as gluten free, french fries need to be made without any wheat-based ingredients and risk of cross-contamination. This means using a gluten free batter made of rice flour, cornstarch, etc., or no batter at all. The potatoes should be cut and prepared separately from other menu items containing gluten. Fries should be cooked in dedicated fryers, not ones previously used for battered foods. With proper protocols in place, restaurants can offer authentic gluten free fries.

Fast Food Chains with Gluten Free French Fries

When it comes to gluten free fast food options in general, some restaurants are better than others. Chain restaurants with stricter allergen policies and procedures tend to fare better. Here are some of the major fast food chains that currently offer gluten free french fries, either by request or on their standard menu:


All McDonald’s fries are made without wheat or wheat derivatives, according to the company. However, they share fryers with menu items that contain gluten. The current recommendation is to request your fries unseasoned to avoid cross-contact with wheat-based flavoring. Some individuals who are extremely sensitive should avoid McDonald’s fries due to the shared fryer risk.

Burger King

Like McDonald’s, Burger King also states that their standard french fries are gluten free. Fryers are shared with breaded menu items, so cross-contamination is possible. Those extremely sensitive may want to avoid. You can ask for fries without seasoning to reduce the risk.


Wendy’s uses a dedicated fryer for their natural cut fries. The fries themselves do not contain any gluten sources. Their gluten free fries should be safe for most with celiac disease or sensitivities. Wendy’s kitchens take steps to avoid cross-contact with gluten-containing foods.


Chick-fil-A has updated their gluten free offerings and procedures. Their fries are made from potatoes, canola oil and salt, without gluten-containing batters. Waffle fries are deep fried separately from breaded chicken items. Chick-fil-A fries should be safe for most gluten free diners.

Taco Bell

While Taco Bell does not have dedicated fryers, their standard fries are made without wheat or gluten sources. Their website states that menu items are prepared together, so cross-contamination is possible. The seasoned fries may be riskier. Those very sensitive may want to avoid.


Arby’s curly fries are gluten free and do not share fryers with breaded items. Their curly fries consist of potatoes, vegetable oil and cayenne seasoning. Most locations dedicate a fryer for curly fries alone. Arby’s curly fries are a good gluten free option.


Popeye’s recently added gluten free fries to the menu. Their Cajun fries are prepared in a dedicated fryer separate from all breaded items. Cajun seasoning contains gluten, so request fries without seasoning to be extra safe. Overall Popeye’s fries are a safe gluten free choice.

In-N-Out Burger

Allergen procedures at In-N-Out Burger prevent direct gluten cross-contact with their french fries. Potatoes are separately prepared. Associates change gloves between handling burger buns and fries. While the risk of trace contact remains, their fries are considered gluten free.

Carl’s Jr.

Carl’s Jr. uses dedicated fryers for their regular fries and onion rings. Their fries only contain potatoes, oil and salt. They work to prevent gluten cross-contact in the kitchen. Both their regular and seasoned fries are labeled gluten free.

Other Chains with Gluten Free Fry Options

In addition to those major chains above, other fast food restaurants may offer gluten free french fries or advertise them on request. Some examples include:

  • Five Guys
  • KFC
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Jack in the Box
  • Rally’s
  • Checkers
  • Panda Express
  • Wienerschnitzel
  • Steak ‘n Shake
  • Freddy’s Frozen Custard

The availability of gluten free fries can vary by location. When in doubt, ask the restaurant about their preparation process and allergen procedures. Also check their online allergen menu for details.

Fast Food Chains to Avoid for Gluten Free Fries

On the flip side, some fast food chains are not the best choices for gluten free french fries due to a high risk of cross-contamination. These restaurants include:

  • McDonald’s (for very sensitive diners)
  • Burger King (for very sensitive diners)
  • Dairy Queen
  • Hardee’s
  • Sonic
  • Popeye’s (without requesting no seasoning)
  • Krystal
  • Long John Silver’s
  • Captain D’s
  • Little Caesar’s

These chains typically fry menu items containing gluten in the same oil as fries, creating cross-contact. Breading remnants can stick to fries cooked later. Opt for a chains using dedicated fryers when possible.

Gluten Free Fast Food Fries Checklist

When ordering french fries from a fast food restaurant, keep this checklist in mind to ensure you are getting a gluten free product:

  • Check online allergen menu for gluten free labeling
  • Ask if there is a dedicated fryer not used for breaded foods
  • Request fries are cooked fresh, not in oil used for breaded items
  • Ask for no seasoning to avoid wheat-based flavors
  • Specify allergy/intolerance to staff to prevent cross-contact
  • Inspect fries upon serving to look for stray breading pieces

Taking these precautions will give you peace of mind that your fries are safe to enjoy gluten free. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask the restaurant questions.

Homemade Gluten Free French Fries

To eliminate any risk of gluten cross-contact from restaurant fryers, you can also prepare french fries at home. This allows you to control the ingredients and cooking process. Here is a simple gluten free fries recipe:


  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)


  1. Cut potatoes into fry strips and place in large bowl
  2. Toss potato strips with oil until evenly coated
  3. Place fries in single layer on baking sheet lined with parchment
  4. Bake 25 minutes at 425 F, flipping halfway through
  5. Remove fries from oven and season with desired spices
  6. Bake another 10 minutes until crisped and golden brown
  7. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving

Baked fries made at home make for a delicious gluten free meal accompaniment without the hassle or risk of ordering at restaurants. Add your favorite gluten free seasoning blends to customize.

Gluten Free Fast Food French Fry Options

When following a gluten free diet, you don’t have to fully avoid fast food french fries. Many major chains now offer gluten free fry options that are safe for most people when ordered carefully. Some restaurants to look for include Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out Burger, Arby’s, and Carl’s Jr. Be sure to confirm preparation protocols each time to avoid cross-contact. With proper precautions, you can still enjoy gluten free fries on-the-go.

Restaurant Are Fries Gluten Free? Notes
McDonald’s Yes Shared fryer; request no seasoning
Burger King Yes Shared fryer; request no seasoning
Wendy’s Yes Uses dedicated fryer
Chick-fil-A Yes Uses dedicated fryer
Taco Bell Yes Shared fryer; seasoning may contain gluten

The Bottom Line

It is possible to enjoy french fries from fast food restaurants while sticking to a gluten free diet.Chains like Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out Burger, Arby’s, Carl’s Jr. and more offer gluten free fry options with dedicated fryers and safe protocols. Just be sure to confirm preparation procedures and ingredients each time you order. With the growing demand for gluten free menu items, fast food choices will likely continue improving. In the meantime, being an informed customer will allow you to eat french fries away from home gluten free.

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