What nuts arent gluten-free?

For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, following a strict gluten-free diet is essential. This means avoiding foods that contain wheat, barley, rye, and other gluten-containing grains. Many nuts and nut products are naturally gluten-free. However, some nuts and seasoned nut products may contain gluten from added ingredients. Knowing which nuts to avoid and which are safe can make following a gluten-free diet easier.

Quick Answers

– Most tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, and pistachios are naturally gluten-free.
– Peanuts are also naturally gluten-free, though they are not technically a nut.
– Flavored, seasoned, or processed nut products may contain gluten from added ingredients like wheat flour, soy sauce, or malt vinegar.
– Always check the label on flavored, seasoned, or processed nuts for gluten-containing ingredients.
– Some nuts more prone to gluten cross-contamination include pistachios and peanuts. Opt for brands labeled gluten-free when possible.

Nuts That Are Not Gluten-Free

While plain nuts are naturally gluten-free, some flavored or processed nut products contain gluten. Here are some examples of nuts that may contain gluten:

Flavored Nut Mixes

Many flavored nut mixes or trail mixes contain ingredients that are not gluten-free. Some examples include:

– Honey roasted nuts: May contain wheat flour in the honey roasted coating.

– Asian spiced nut mixes: Often contain soy sauce, which has wheat.

– Sweet and salty nut mixes: May have malt vinegar, wheat flour, or barley malt.

– Chocolate, yogurt, or candy-coated nuts: Chocolate or yogurt coatings often contain barley malt.

– Nut mixes with croutons or pretzels: Croutons and pretzels contain gluten.

Flavored Peanuts and Peanut Butter

Many flavored peanut products have added sources of gluten:

– Honey roasted peanuts: May be coated in wheat flour.

– Snack mixes with peanuts: Often contain wheat/gluten ingredients.

– Flavored peanut butter: Some contain barley malt or wheat flour.

– Peanut butter with added jelly, chocolate, marshmallow: These mixes can contain gluten.

Pistachios and Pistachio Products

Most plain pistachios are gluten-free, but flavored varieties may not be:

– Honey roasted pistachios: Often contain wheat flour in the seasoning.

– Chocolate or yogurt coated pistachios: These coatings often contain barley malt.

– Pistachio nut butter: Some brands add wheat flour.

– Baklava made with pistachios: The filo dough in baklava contains gluten.

Almond Milk and Nut Milk Beverages

Many nut milk beverages are gluten-free, but some contain added sources of gluten:

– Flavored almond milks: Some contain barley malt, wheat flour, or maltodextrin.

– Mixed nut milk beverages: May contain gluten sources.

– Nut milk lattes and cappuccinos: Often made with barley malt-flavored syrup.

– Pre-made nut milk shakes: May have wheat flour thickeners.

Nuts That Are Generally Gluten-Free

These nuts can be safely consumed on a gluten-free diet as long as they don’t have any added gluten-containing ingredients:


– Plain whole, sliced, slivered, or chopped almonds
– Plain almond butter and almond flour
– Unsweetened almond milk


– Plain walnut halves and pieces
– Plain walnut butter
– Walnut oil


– Plain pecans, pecan pieces, and pecan halves
– Unsweetened pecan butter


– Plain cashews, cashew pieces, and cashew butter
– Unsweetened cashew milk

Brazil Nuts

– Plain brazil nuts in the shell or shelled

Macadamia Nuts

– Plain macadamia nuts and macadamia nut butter

Pine Nuts

– Plain pine nuts


– Plain hazelnuts and hazelnut butter


– Plain chestnuts and unsweetened chestnut flour

Nut Gluten-Free Forms May Contain Gluten
Almonds Plain whole, sliced, slivered, chopped Honey roasted, flavored, coated varieties
Walnuts Plain halves, pieces, butter, oil Coated, flavored, salad topping mixes
Pecans Plain halves, pieces, butter Honey roasted, praline, coated varieties
Cashews Plain whole, pieces, butter, milk Flavored nut mixes, sweetened milk
Pistachios Plain pistachios Honey roasted, flavored, chocolate covered
Peanuts Plain peanuts, peanut butter Honey roasted, candy and jelly mixes
Hazelnuts Plain hazelnuts, hazelnut butter Chocolate coated, flavored varieties
Brazil Nuts Plain brazil nuts in the shell or shelled Flavored brazil nut mixes

How to Enjoy Nuts Gluten-Free

There are many delicious ways to enjoy nuts on a gluten-free diet:

Look for plain, unflavored varieties

Stick to nuts in their plain, natural state without added seasonings or flavor coatings. Choose raw, dry roasted, or plain roasted nuts.

Make your own trail mixes

Make homemade trail mixes with plain nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate chips. Use oil and spices to season them yourself.

Try organic and non-GMO nuts when possible

Organic and non-GMO nuts have a lower risk of gluten cross-contamination. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Costco, and online stores carry many options.

Always check labels on flavored nuts

Double check ingredients lists for any indication of wheat, barley, rye, malt, or ambiguous terms like “natural flavors.”

Look for gluten-free certified when in doubt

If unsure about flavored nuts or nut butters, look for brands certified gluten-free by organizations like GFCO.

Enjoy nut-based snacks

Trail mixes, granola with nuts, nut bars, and roasted chickpeas make tasty portable snacks.

Use nuts in cooking and baking

Add nuts to salads, stir fries, pesto, muffins, cookies, and gluten-free breads for nutrition and crunch.

Try various nut flours

Almond flour, cashew flour, and other nut flours can be used in gluten-free baked goods recipes.

Drink unsweetened nut milk

Opt for plain almond, cashew, or coconut milk without thickeners or flavorings added.

Cross-Contamination Risks

Some nuts are more prone to gluten cross-contamination than others. Being aware of these risks can help you make informed choices:


Pistachios are often processed on shared equipment with wheat and are transported in shipments with gluten grains. Choose brands labeled gluten-free when possible.


Like pistachios, peanuts can be at risk for cross-contamination during growing and processing. Licensed gluten-free brands are safest.

Bulk bin nuts

Scoops used in bulk bins may contact various products, increasing gluten cross-contamination risk. Use caution when purchasing bulk nuts.

Processed nut butters

Some brands process peanut and other nut butters on shared lines with wheat products, which may lead to traces of gluten through cross-contact.

Flavored and seasoned nuts

Look for trusted brands or stick to plain if concerned. Production for flavored nuts may pose more risk.

Reading Labels on Nuts

Reading food labels carefully helps identify potential sources of gluten in nuts and nut products:

Check the ingredients list

Scan for wheat, rye, barley. Also look for malt, wheat starch, flour, and ambiguous terms like “spices” or “natural flavors.”

Evaluate “May contain” statements

These indicate potential cross-contamination risks from processing on shared equipment with gluten.

Confirm “Gluten-free” labeling

The FDA requires foods labeled “gluten-free” to contain less than 20 ppm of gluten.

Look for trusted gluten-free certifications

Third party testing programs like GFCO, Crossed Grain Symbol, or Certified Gluten-Free provide added assurance.

Call or email companies with questions

Contact the manufacturer directly if you have any questions or concerns about ingredients or processing practices.

When in doubt, avoid it

It’s better to steer clear of questionable products to be safe if concerned about gluten exposure.

Gluten-Free Substitutes for Nuts with Gluten

While most nuts are naturally gluten-free, there are some good ingredient swaps to use in place of nuts that contain gluten:

Instead of honey roasted peanuts:

– Try plain dry roasted peanuts

– Use raw peanuts and season with olive oil, Cajun seasoning, or salt

– Coat peanuts in egg whites and coconut sugar for a crunchy alternative

Instead of flavored almonds or pistachios:

– Use plain almonds and pistachios and add your own gluten-free spices

– Toss nuts in olive oil or melted ghee and spices like chili powder, cinnamon, oregano, garlic powder, etc.

– Make maple cinnamon nuts by coating with maple syrup and cinnamon

Instead of sweet and salty nut mixes:

– Create DIY trail mix with nuts, gluten-free pretzels, popcorn, dried fruit, mini chocolate chips, etc.

– Use plain nuts and sprinkle with coconut flakes, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, and gluten-free tamari soy sauce

Instead of chocolate or yogurt coated nuts:

– Coat nuts in melted dark chocolate or carob chips

– Try coconut yogurt or a thin layer of almond butter topped with cocoa powder

Instead of nut milk lattes/cappuccinos:

– Use unsweetened nut milk and mix with espresso, cocoa powder, and honey or maple syrup

– Make nut milk chai tea lattes with gluten-free chai spice blends


Following a gluten-free diet means being cautious with flavored and processed nut products. However, there are still plenty of delicious ways to enjoy nuts safely. Choosing plain, unseasoned nuts, reading labels diligently, and using trusted brands labeled gluten-free are key to reducing risk. With some care taken in nut selection and preparation, nuts can still be a tasty and nutritious addition to a gluten-free lifestyle.

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