Chick-fil-a

Gluten-free dining on the run is a challenge if you don’t know where to look. And with recipes and preparation practices constantly changing, it’s tough to keep track of it all. Luckily some places seem to stay pretty consistent and are open with their ingredients and prep – Chick-fil-a being one of them.

The Chick-fil-a website is wonderfully laid out, with easy to read allergen lists for all possible allergens, including Gluten. Chik-fil-A has recently updated it’s website and now has a dedicated Gluten Info Page.

And here’s Chick-fil-a’s Gluten Allergy PDF which outlines what to eat and how to order of all their possible gluten-free items. It’s a well written, easy to use document, so I figured I’d link to it….

And for my future reference, I’ve made my own short list of all the things with which I’ve had consistent success at being reaction free. (I’m very sensitive to Gluten and Dairy and my reactions starts within an hour of being exposed. So as of Novemeber 2010, I’m confident I’m being Gluten-free when I order any of the below items.)

Noi’s Gluten-Free Chick-fil-a Menu Picks:
• Waffle Cut French Fries – one of the few places where you won’t get cross contaminated through the frying process – they have separate friers for the fries. (They recently changed over from Peanut Oil to Canola and/or Palm Oil, so those with peanut allergies can now have fries too!)
• Chargrilled Chicken Garden Salad – A totally gluten-free option as long as you avoid ALL the extras except Tortilla Strips. Even the sunflower seeds contain gluten (and the tortilla strips surprisingly contain Whey, so if you’re going diary free avoid these!).

• Bring Your Own Salad Dressing
Unfortunately, all dressings offered at Chick-fil-a currently contain gluten (sad!). So I just bring one of my favorite gluten-free dressings in a little Tupperware container (and sometimes a baggie of homemade gluten-free croutons).

—- Other Gluten-free Menu Items —-

Fruit Cup

Side Salad

Carrot & Raisin Salad

Cole Slaw

Yogurt Parfait

Chargrilled Chicken Filet without bun (This is listed in the Gluten PDF on the Chick-fil-a website, but I haven’t tried it because I’m too worried about cross-contamination… Honestly, I just can’t bring myself to order it yet. The way it’s handled and prepped.. with so much gluten on hands/gloves from handling the buns… I just don’t want to take that chance. But if you’re not too sensitive and don’t have issues with cross contamination, perhaps you could try it and let me know about your experience.)

—- Gluten-Free Breakfast Items —-
Hash Browns
Bacon
Egg
American cheese
Sausage (But not that it does contain MSG and carmel color… so you could have issues even though it’s listed as “gluten-free” on the Chick-fil-a website)

I don’t go out for breakfast, so I’ve never had any breakfast items, so I can’t vouch for them. But I’m assuming the hash browns are cooked in the same way the french fries are, so I’d think they’d be safe.

—- Dessert Menu —-

Ice Dream Cup (other allergy alert: contains soy)
……(chocolate syrup is a gluten-free topping)

While the food items contained in the list above may not seem like too many, Chick-fil-a is one of the few fast food places I’ll trust. And I’ll happily take a few good, solid gluten-free fast food choices over a whole menu of “maybe gluten-free” food. :)

So even if you’re Gluten Free, you can still do as the Chick-fil-a Cows direct their loyal followers and “Eat Mor Chikin”!

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