Taco Bell does not claim any of its food is gluten-free. While some menu items have no gluten ingredients, the company does not have methods to prevent cross-contact.
For example, shared oil is used for cooking items with and without gluten ingredients.
Short answer. No. Taco Bell is not gluten-free.
As a celiac, I do not eat at Taco Bell. If you also have celiac disease, jump ahead to this section written just for you.
According to the Mayo Clinic, in addition to celiac disease, there are other medical reasons for maintaining a gluten-free diet, including gluten sensitivity and gluten ataxia. Others cannot eat wheat, not because of gluten intolerance, but because of a food allergy to wheat. Additionally, many auto-immune patients are placed on a gluten-free diet by their physicians.
If you are otherwise on a medically necessary, gluten-free diet without cross-contact, you too can jump ahead to the Taco Bell & Celiac Disease Section.
For everyone else…
Taco Bell Items Made Without Gluten
Looking for a list of gluten-free Taco Bell options? According to the gluten statement on Taco Bell’s website, a selection of gluten-free items doesn’t exist.
Instead, Taco Bell offers a number of menu items made without gluten-containing ingredients. Always double-check the website for the most up-to-date information.
Taco Bell items without gluten-containing ingredients:
- Tacos: Crunchy Taco, Crunchy Taco Supreme, Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco, Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme
- Power Menu Bowls: Chicken, Steak, Veggie
- Sides: Black Beans, Rice, Hash Browns, Guacamole, Nacho Chips (without cheese)
- Sauces: Avocado Ranch Dressing, Creamy Chipotle Sauce, Creamy Jalapeño Sauce, Hot Sauce Packet, Mild Sauce Packet, Red Sauce, Spicy Ranch Sauce
- Ingredients (helpful for modifying and building your own meal without gluten ingredients): 3 cheese blend, bacon, cheddar cheese, chicken, creamer, crunchy taco shell, nacho chips, Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos taco shell, eggs, jalapeños, lettuce, onions, reduced fat sour cream, sausage crumbles, seasoned beef, steak, tomatoes, tostado shell
Keep in mind that the crunchy taco shells and seasoned ground beef are made with oats, which have a high chance of cross-contact with gluten-containing grains: wheat, barley, and rye.
Additionally, the tortilla chips and hash browns are fried in the same fryer as the cinnamon twists, which contain wheat.
Everything is prepared in Taco Bell’s shared kitchen without protocols or extra precautions to prevent cross-contact with gluten-containing foods.
Taco Bell & Celiac Disease
Since my celiac disease diagnosis, I have been in a Taco Bell exactly one time. I had a child who needed to use the restroom, and I bought him a gluten-filled burrito while we were there.
Other than that, I have occasionally driven by a Taco Bell wishing I could eat there.
But, kudos to Taco Bell for being very clear its food is not suitable for celiacs. Not every restaurant is going to be able to accommodate us safely, and it’s better to know that up front.
Taco Bell does not claim “gluten-free” for any of its food. Some Taco Bell® items are made without gluten containing ingredients but are prepared in common kitchen areas, including common fryer oil, risking gluten exposure. Taco Bell does not recommend products for customers with celiac disease. Customers with gluten sensitivities should exercise judgment when ordering.Taco Bell’s Allergen Information Regarding Gluten
Here’s my advice for celiacs:
- Skip Taco Bell. It is not safe for celiacs and not worth the risk to our health.
- Make Copycat Recipes. Try a delicious gluten-free, Taco Bell copycat, Bean & Cheese Burrito or Nacho Fries BellGrande with Easy Nacho Cheese Sauce at home. Re-making your old Taco Bell favorites (with truly gluten-free ingredients) is a great option.
- Go to Chipotle, another Mexican-inspired fast food chain, where there is less risk of cross-contamination and you can watch your food being made. Bonus! Chipotle tortilla chips are made in a dedicated gluten-free fryer. Check out the Chipotle Gluten-Free Menu.
- Get the free “Celiac Guide to Dining Out”, which includes key questions to ask and 10 Chains (5 fast food restaurants and 5 sit-down restaurants) with gluten-free food and protocols.
Bummed that Taco Bell Nacho Fries are not gluten-free? Make them at home with this Easy Copycat Recipe for Nacho Fries!