Chili’s offers a variety of gluten-free menu options for guests looking to avoid gluten. Here is a quick overview of the main gluten-free dishes and items available on the Chili’s menu.
Many of the entree selections at Chili’s can be prepared gluten-free upon request. This includes items like:
- Grilled chicken breast
- Grilled salmon
- Ribs – Pork or beef
- Fajitas – Chicken or steak
- Burgers – Lettuce wrapped
Be sure to specify that you need a gluten-free preparation when ordering. Entrees are typically served with rice and beans which are gluten-free.
Good gluten-free appetizer choices at Chili’s include:
- Chips and salsa
- Quesadilla – Cheese or chicken
- Southwest eggrolls
- Fried pickles
- Boneless buffalo wings
Again, be sure to confirm that preparation techniques are gluten-free when ordering.
Most of the Chili’s salad options can be prepared gluten-free:
- House salad
- Caesar salad
- Margarita grilled chicken salad
- Fajita salad
- BBQ ranch salad
- Santa Fe salad
Omit croutons and be sure to select a gluten-free dressing.
Good gluten-free side dish choices include:
- Steamed veggies
- Corn on the cob
- Mashed potatoes
Be sure to check on preparation methods and watch out for added sauces or seasonings that may contain gluten.
While options are limited, there are some gluten-free dessert choices at Chili’s:
- Ice cream
Be sure to confirm that these items are gluten-free when ordering.
Almost all drinks at Chili’s are gluten-free, including:
- Iced tea
- Beer – certain gluten-removed options
Be sure to check labels to confirm gluten-free status when ordering beer.
Chili’s does not have a specific gluten-free menu. However, servers are trained on gluten-free preparations and can help guide you toward safe menu choices. Be sure to clearly communicate any food allergy or restriction when ordering.
Even when ordering gluten-free items, there is some risk of cross-contamination in the kitchen. Chili’s uses shared cooking and preparation areas, so gluten ingredients may come into contact with equipment and surfaces used for gluten-free orders.
Those with celiac disease or severe gluten intolerance should use caution when eating at restaurants like Chili’s. While they do their best to accommodate gluten-free needs, cross-contamination is always a possibility in a shared kitchen.
Here are some tips for safely dining gluten-free at Chili’s:
- Review the menu online in advance and decide what you want to order.
- Be very clear with your server about your gluten allergy or intolerance.
- Specify that you need a gluten-free meal preparation.
- Confirm that side dishes and dressings are gluten-free.
- Ask about prep methods, sauces, seasonings or thickening agents used.
- Check on gluten-free options for dessert and drinks.
- Consider higher risk items like fried food due to cross-contamination.
- Stick to basic grilled proteins, salads, and fresh vegetable sides.
Gluten-Free Bun Options
Chili’s does offer gluten-free buns for their burgers. Notify your server if you need a gluten-free bun when ordering a burger.
While they do have gluten-free buns, there is still some risk of cross-contact during preparation in the shared kitchen. Those with celiac disease or a wheat allergy may want to opt for a lettuce wrapped burger instead.
Chili’s fries are not gluten-free. They are cooked in shared fryers so there is a high risk of cross-contamination. Your safest bet is to choose a different gluten-free side item.
Kid’s meals can also be adapted to be gluten-free upon request. Grilled chicken breast or sirloin steak are good protein choices. Be sure to confirm that sides and dressings are gluten-free.
Kid’s meals do come with cookies for dessert so you may want to request an alternative gluten-free treat like a serving of ice cream or sorbet.
For breakfast, the Chili’s skillet meals can be prepared gluten-free. Opt for corn tortillas instead of biscuits for the fajita skillet. The omelets are a gluten-free choice as well.
Again, communicate any food allergies clearly with your server when ordering breakfast.
Is Chili’s Celiac Friendly?
In general, Chili’s and most large chain restaurants should be considered high-risk for those with celiac disease or wheat allergies. While menu items can be adapted, the shared kitchen raises the chance of cross-contamination.
Those with milder gluten sensitivity or intolerance may be able to tolerate the occasional meal at Chili’s. But for those with celiac disease, proceed with extreme caution, even when ordering gluten-free dishes.
Gluten-Free Menu Items List
Here is a handy table summarizing some of the main gluten-free menu items available at Chili’s:
|Entrees||Grilled chicken, salmon, ribs, fajitas, burgers (lettuce wrapped)|
|Appetizers||Chips and salsa, quesadillas, southwest eggrolls, fried pickles, boneless wings|
|Salads||House salad, Caesar salad, grilled chicken salads|
|Sides||Rice, beans, veggies, mashed potatoes|
|Dessert||Ice cream, sorbet|
|Drinks||Soda, iced tea, lemonade, wine, gluten-free beer|
Gluten-Free Sauces and Dressings
When dining at Chili’s, be sure to confirm that any sauces, dressings, seasonings or add-ons are gluten-free. Watch out for thickening agents like wheat flour as well.
Some of the gluten-free dressing choices include:
- Blue cheese
- House Italian
- Avocado ranch
As for sauces, Chile’s makes their margarita sauce and salsa gluten-free. You can also request a “naked” preparation with no sauce on entrees like fajitas.
Gluten-Free Chips and Frying Oil
The corn chips served at Chili’s are gluten-free. They use a pure corn oil for frying chips, wings, and other appetizers. So items cooked in the fryer oil should be safe from wheat contamination.
Those with food allergies like celiac disease should take the normal precautions when eating at restaurants like Chili’s. Consult the allergen information charts available online or request allergen info from your server.
Chili’s trains their staff on major food allergies and can help guide you toward safe menu choices. But there are always risks dining out with celiac disease or serious wheat allergies. Use your best judgment deciding whether it is safe for you to eat at Chili’s.
Overall Tips for Eating Gluten-Free at Chili’s
Here is a quick summary of tips for eating gluten-free at Chili’s:
- Review the menu ahead and select gluten-free choices.
- Tell server about gluten-free needs right away.
- Request modifications like no breading, sauce on the side.
- Ask about gluten ingredients in dressings and sauces.
- Pick simple grilled proteins, salads, plain rice or veggies.
- Check labels for gluten-free drinks like beer.
- Consider risk of cross-contamination in kitchen.
- Celiac diners should take extreme precautions.
Dining gluten-free at Chili’s is possible by customizing menu items. Grilled meats, salads, fajitas, and dressing-free sides are your safest choices. Communicate with your server to ensure a gluten-free preparation. While they accommodate dietary needs, some risk of cross-contamination exists. Celiac and gluten intolerant guests must weigh the risks of eating at Chili’s versus other restaurants with dedicated gluten-free menus and prep areas. With planning and precautions, many gluten-free options can be enjoyed at Chili’s but caution is still advised.