What is Chick-fil-A’s gluten-free bun made out of?

Chick-fil-A, the popular fast food chicken restaurant chain, has made great strides in recent years to accommodate customers with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. In 2016, Chick-fil-A began testing a gluten-free bun option in three markets – Dallas/Fort Worth, Nashville, and Leesburg, Virginia. The test went so well that the gluten-free bun is now available in restaurants nationwide. But what exactly is this magical gluten-free bun made of? Read on to find out.

The Need for Gluten-Free Options

For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, dining out can be extremely challenging. Even small amounts of gluten can cause serious health issues for those who are gluten-intolerant. Prior to 2016, eating at Chick-fil-A was difficult or even impossible for those avoiding gluten. While the grilled chicken sandwich was always a gluten-free choice, the bun contained gluten, leaving little for gluten-free customers to choose from. Chick-fil-A took an important step by developing a gluten-free bun to open up more menu choices.

According to Chick-fil-A, the gluten-free bun was created after years of research and development to find a recipe that met their standards. Creating a tasty gluten-free bun that holds up to the rigors of a busy kitchen is no easy feat. Chick-fil-A took the time to get it right, knowing they have customers relying on gluten-free options.

Ingredients in Chick-fil-A’s Gluten-Free Bun

So what exactly makes this gluten-free bun so special? Chick-fil-A has not publicly released the full recipe, but they have shared some of the key ingredients and techniques that allow the bun to be gluten-free while still being fluffy and delicious:

Gluten-Free Grains

The base of the bun is made from gluten-free whole grains, including rice flour and sorghum flour. These gluten-free flours provide structure and texture without containing any wheat or gluten.

Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is added to help give the bun its soft, squishy texture. This ingredient is commonly used as a binder and emulsifier in gluten-free baking.


Eggs help bind the ingredients together and add moisture.


Yeast gives the bun its airy, risen texture. Gluten-free bread recipes often contain more yeast than regular bread to achieve optimal rise without gluten.

Salt, Sugar, and Oil

Like all bread recipes, Chick-fil-A’s gluten-free bun contains basic ingredients like salt, sugar, and oil to add flavor and softness.


In addition to being gluten-free, Chick-fil-A has confirmed that the bun recipe is also dairy-free, making it accessible to those avoiding milk-based ingredients.

Careful Preparation

Chick-fil-A employees take extra care when preparing the gluten-free buns. Buns are heated separately from other buns to avoid cross-contamination. The bun is also wrapped in foil for an added barrier when toasting.

Nutrition Info on Chick-fil-A’s Gluten-Free Bun

Many customers want to know the nutrition breakdown before trying a new menu item. Here are the nutrition facts for Chick-fil-A’s gluten-free bun:

Calories 180
Fat 3.5g
Carbohydrates 33g
Protein 3g
Fiber 1g
Sugar 4g

The gluten-free bun does contain more carbohydrates and calories compared to Chick-fil-A’s regular bun, which clocks in at 120 calories and 22g of carbs. This difference is common when comparing gluten-free and regular baked goods. However, the nutritional profile is very respectable for a gluten-free bun.

How Customers Rave About the Gluten-Free Bun

It’s clear that Chick-fil-A put care and intention into developing the gluten-free bun to meet their high standards. The effort they put in has paid off based on customer reactions.

Gluten-free customers are thrilled to finally be able to order a classic chicken sandwich or breakfast chicken biscuit from Chick-fil-A just like anyone else. The bun holds up well and provides a tasty vehicle for enjoying juicy chicken and toppings.

Many describe the gluten-free bun as fluffy and light with a subtle sweetness. While some gluten-free baked goods can be dense or dry, Chick-fil-A’s bun is tender enough to enjoy. Overall, most who have tried it are impressed with the flavor and texture.

For those who avoid gluten, having inclusive menu choices allows a sense of normalcy. Being able to order a favorite meal at a popular, mainstream restaurant without feeling like an inconvenience is important. Chick-fil-A’s gluten-free bun helps customers with dietary restrictions to feel recognized and cared for.

Availability of the Gluten-Free Bun

The gluten-free bun can be substituted in place of the regular bun on breakfast or lunch/dinner menu items for no additional charge. You can order it on sandwiches like the original chicken sandwich, spicy chicken sandwich, or grilled chicken sandwich. It also takes the place of the biscuit on breakfast chicken biscuits.

Some Chick-fil-A locations may keep the buns behind the counter since they are used less frequently than regular buns, so be sure to ask for the gluten-free bun when ordering. If your local Chick-fil-A ever runs out of gluten-free buns or stops offering them, customer feedback helps let the store and corporate know the importance of keeping this menu item available.

The gluten-free bun is subject to availability, which can vary by location and time of visit. Be sure to check with your local restaurant ahead of time if you have questions or concerns about your visit.

Making Special Orders Easy

Ordering meals gluten-free at restaurants always involves some extra care and communication. Chick-fil-A aims to make special orders like gluten-free buns easy and understandable.

Their team members are trained on gluten-free preparation and take steps to avoid cross-contamination. When ordering, you can simply request the gluten-free bun with any sandwich or breakfast item. Speak up if you have any other modifications like removing a condiment that contains gluten.

You may also want to ask to see the bun and have it unwrapped in front of you for peace of mind. Do not hesitate to ask questions or make requests to help the Chick-fil-A team understand your needs.

If you explain your reason for wanting the gluten-free bun, most restaurants are happy to take extra care in accommodating dietary restrictions. Open communication ensures you get exactly what you need.

Is Chick-fil-A Entirely Gluten-Free?

While the gluten-free bun is a big step, most of Chick-fil-A’s menu contains gluten in some form. Sauces, batter on the fried chicken, dressings, and desserts often have gluten ingredients. The grilled and fried chicken is gluten-free, but breading and condiments add gluten back in.

Aside from the bun, your safest gluten-free choices are grilled nuggets or grilled chicken salad with gluten-free dressing. Limiting condiments and asking for fresh gloves while handling your order also helps decrease gluten exposure. Check out Chick-fil-A’s allergen guide online or in the mobile app for specifics on menu items.

Those with celiac disease should consider the risks of cross-contact as well. While the restaurant takes precautions, shared fryers and prep areas make Chick-fil-A not 100% gluten-free. Weigh your individual comfort level and sensitivity when deciding to eat here.

Chick-fil-A Has Taken Key Steps to Aid Gluten-Free Diners

While most of their menu contains gluten, Chick-fil-A deserves recognition for adding gluten-free buns and better educating staff about food allergies. They have shown that a major fast food chain can make meaningful changes to serve more people. The gluten-free bun marks an exciting shift toward inclusion.

If Chick-fil-A sees demand and positive reactions to the bun, they may expand gluten-free offerings further. Customer feedback gives companies insight into food sensitivities they may have overlooked in the past.

The fast food landscape is gradually improving thanks to voices advocating for greater awareness of dietary needs. Chick-fil-A and other major chains still have room to grow, but progress often starts with a single gluten-free menu item.

Advice for Dining at Chick-fil-A Gluten-Free

If you need to avoid gluten, Chick-fil-A can be an option but does require caution and planning:

Check out nutrition info online

Use Chick-fil-A’s allergen guide to view exactly which menu items work for you. Ingredients vary, so don’t assume dishes are naturally gluten-free.

Stick to grilled chicken

Fried chicken and sandwiches with buns/biscuits contain gluten. Grilled chicken options are your safest choices.

Ask about prep and cooking

Ensure grilled chicken hasn’t been cross-contaminated from shared surfaces. Ask if they use separate grills and utensils.

Confirm ingredients in sauces/dressings

Many Chick-fil-A sauces contain wheat, malt, and soy sauce. Only use ones confirmed gluten-free.

Request gloves and clean materials

Have team members change gloves and use fresh wrappers to avoid touch points.

Speak up about allergies

Politely inform staff about Celiac disease or non-Celiac gluten sensitivity. They aim to be accommodating when aware.

Thank helpful team members

Positive reinforcement encourages staff to maintain diligence around food allergies.

Check labels before eating

One last check of labels when you receive your order doesn’t hurt. You can confirm buns were swapped properly.

Have backup snacks on hand

In case of mistakes, bring extra snacks you can safely eat. Plans fall through, so prepare for the unexpected.

With the right modifications and communication, those needing gluten-free meals can find options at Chick-fil-A. Be your own best advocate by arming yourself with ingredient knowledge ahead of time and speaking up during your visit.

The Future is Bright for Gluten-Free Dining Out

Chick-fil-A made a bold move by debuting a gluten-free bun, and the positive feedback shows the decision was wise from both a business and human standpoint. They set an example for other major fast food restaurants to take on the challenge of inclusive menu options.

Consumer demand and independent gluten-free food businesses have put pressure on chains to acknowledge the need. Creating tasty gluten-free food requires creativity and commitment. When done right, it opens up profits from underserved health-conscious eaters.

Look for more gluten-free breakthroughs in the coming years as awareness and expectations around special diets grow. Chick-fil-A broke the ice; now others will follow suit or risk losing customers. The future looks bright for those once relegated to the sad lettuce wrap life.

Inclusion benefits everyone. Customers dealing with medical conditions feel respected. Meanwhile, other diners get to broaden their horizons and try innovative recipes. Gluten-free foods have come a long way from the early days of cardboard-like bread.

The story of Chick-fil-A’s gluten-free bun represents just one step forward on a larger path of progress. Ingredient transparency, food allergy protocols, and access to healthy options are all trending in the right direction. Companies are learning that serving all customers equally isn’t merely a nice notion – it’s good business. It took time, but chains are waking up to the need.

While creed or background may divide us, food brings people together. Sharing a meal — on an equal playing field — fosters community. Food is best when it makes us feel accepted and cared for. Chick-fil-A’s gluten-free offerings convey an important message – no customer gets left behind simply for being who they are. In the grand scheme, it’s a chicken sandwich, but also so much more.

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