McDonald’s Gluten Free Menu Items (Restaurant Guide)

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I’m visiting popular restaurants to find out (and try!) what Gluten-Free menu items are available. It’s important to have options everywhere we go, and know the ingredient facts before entering and eating at any restaurant. There are always times my family wants to eat out at places like McDonald’s, and I’m documenting them one by one to find out what each offers that is gluten-free. Here is my guide for what is Gluten Free at McDonald’s.

gluten free mcdonalds featured

If you want to avoid gluten and are trying to figure out which fast food chain to eat at, McDonald’s probably isn’t your best bet. If there’s a Jersey Mike’s or Wendy’s nearby, these restaurants will offer you a better range of gluten free fast food menu options, in my opinion. That said, I’ve found that sometimes the golden arches are the only option, or the only restaurant that’s open very late or very early. If you find yourself in this situation and your goal is to avoid menu options that list wheat as an ingredient, this guide is here to help. 

Please keep in mind that cross-contamination from shared tools and work surfaces is a risk at McDonald’s, as it is at many other fast food chains (more on the restaurant’s official allergen statement below). People who need to avoid the risk of any accidental gluten contamination should probably avoid eating at McDonald’s. It’s also worth noting that I reviewed the McDonald’s U.S. menu while writing this article, but the ingredients may be different if you’re dining in other countries, and that menu items may change depending on the season and your region. 

Read our full McDonald’s gluten free guide to find out what to order on your next trip to the biggest fast food chain in the world. 

how to eat burgers gluten free at mcdonalds
Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Bacon without the bun | Big Mac without the bun | Apple Slices

Top Gluten Free Menu Items At McDonald’s

Very few menu items at McDonald’s don’t list wheat as an allergen, as I learned after carefully reviewing the ingredients in every dish currently on the menu. The wheat free food items currently at McDonald’s are: 

  • Fruit and Maple Oatmeal 
  • Apple Slices
  • McFlurry with M&M’s Candies 
  • Chocolate Shake
  • Vanilla Shake
  • Strawberry Shake
  • Hot Fudge Sundae 
  • Hot Caramel Sundae
  • Shamrock Shake (seasonal) 
  • Strawberry Banana Smoothie
  • Mango Pineapple Smoothie  
  • Frozen Fanta Blue Raspberry 
  • Frozen Coca-Cola Classic
gluten free oatmeal at mcdonalds
Fruit and Maple Oatmeal

Personally, my go-to from the list above is the oatmeal, but keep in mind that the hours breakfast is served will vary from restaurant to restaurant. Additionally, at the time of writing all of the beverages McCafe coffee drinks (which you can usually order all day), as well as sodas, teas, and juices are free from gluten. 

I know that in the past, salads were a wheat free menu item at McDonald’s, however they were discontinued—along with grilled chicken—during the pandemic. 

gluten free smoothie at mcdonalds
Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Easy Modifications To Make McDonald’s Menu Items Gluten Free

McDonald’s doesn’t have a gluten free bread or bun option, however, you can order some of its sandwiches without a bun or bread—including most of the hamburgers and cheeseburgers—and have a meal that’s free from wheat ingredients. On a recent trip to McDonald’s, I found that I needed to explain to the employee taking my order why I didn’t want to remove the bun myself from a Big Mac myself, however, ultimately the kitchen had no issue preparing me a wheat-free meal. I could also tell from my receipt that “no bun” is an option in the McDonald’s Point Of Sale system.  

Here’s a list of menu options at McDonald’s that can easily be modified to be gluten free, and how to ask for them. 

Burgers 

  • Hamburger without the bun
  • Big Mac without the bun
  • Quarter pounder without the bun
  • Quarter pounder with cheese deluxe without the bun
  • Quarter pounder with cheese, bacon without the bun
  • McDouble without the bun
  • Cheeseburger without the bun
  • Double cheeseburger without the bun

Breakfast Sandwiches 

  • Bacon, egg and cheese without the biscuit/McGriddle  
  • Egg McMuffin without the the muffin 
  • Sausage McMuffin without the muffin
  • Sausage McMuffin with egg, no muffin 
how to eat burgers gluten free at mcdonalds
Big Mac without the bun

Gluten Free Condiments At McDonald’s

The majority of the condiments at McDonald’s do not list wheat as an ingredient or allergen, including the ranch sauce—my favorite. These include:

  • Ketchup 
  • Mustard 
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Honey mustard sauce
  • Creamy ranch sauce 
  • Spicy buffalo sauce
  • Hotcake syrup 

However, the Sweet ‘N Sour Sauce and Tangy barbeque sauce are two condiments that do contain wheat. Currently, the “limited time only” Savory Chili WcDonald’s sauce also lists wheat as an ingredient, and is not gluten free.  

how to eat burgers gluten free at mcdonalds
Quarter Pounder Deluxe with Cheese and Bacon without the bun

McDonald’s Gluten Free Official Statement

If you are very concerned about avoiding food that might have been prepared on the same work surfaces or equipment as foods containing gluten, you should probably skip eating at McDonald’s. A page titled “Does McDonald’s have a gluten-free list of menu items?” has this statement: 

“McDonald’s currently doesn’t certify any menu items as gluten-free. We encourage you to check the ingredients information for individual menu items. However, despite taking precautions, normal kitchen operations may involve some shared cooking and preparation areas, equipment and utensils, and the possibility exists for your food items to come in contact with other food products, including some that may contain gluten.”

What To Avoid 

The majority of McDonald’s menu items contain wheat and gluten, including the burger buns, biscuits, McMuffins and McGriddles. The breading for the fish and chicken used in sandwiches and McNuggets, and the flavoring on the French fries, also all list wheat as an allergen. The hash browns and hotcakes also contain gluten. 

Desserts that have wheat/gluten include the McFlurry with OREO cookies, the OREO Shamrock McFlurry, the baked apple pie, and the chocolate chip cookie. 

gluten free mcflurry at mcdonalds
McFlurry with M&M’s Candies

FAQ’s 

Are McDonald’s French fries gluten free? 

No, the French fries at McDonald’s are not gluten free. I was surprised to learn that wheat is listed as an allergen in this menu item at McDonald’s because the “Natural Beef Flavor” ingredient is made with wheat. 

Are McDonald’s chicken McNuggets gluten free?

No, the breading on the chicken nuggets at McDonald’s uses wheat, which means McNuggets contain gluten. 

Are McDonald’s Happy Meals gluten free?

No, none of the Happy Meals at McDonald’s have gluten free options.

Is the McRib gluten free?The “homestyle” bun that the McRib sandwich is served on contains wheat, and is not gluten free. However, according to the 2022 ingredient information (the McRib is a menu item that is occasionally offered at McDonalds for limited periods of time), the pork patty, McRib sauce, pickles and onions do not have wheat. So, if you order this item without a bun, it would not have any ingredients that explicitly contain gluten. However, there could still be some risk of accidental contamination, like all the other menu items at McDonald’s.

Other Gluten Free Menu Guides

We are on a mission to analyze all the popular restaurants near you for what is and isn’t gluten-free. If you have a restaurant you want us to visit, please let us know! You can contact us or send us a DM on Instagram. Here are other guides we have written so far:

Wendy’s Gluten Free Menu Items

About Margaret Badore

Margaret Badore is a journalist who has covered food, science, and health topics for over 15 years. Her work has been published by Forbes, Treehugger, Diets In Review, Civil Eats, and Tales Of The Cocktail. She’s also a mom and her husband is lactose intolerant, so she knows how important it is to get all the ingredients right when it comes to feeding your family. She earned her masters in journalism from Columbia University and her undergraduate degree in writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

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