Wendy’s is one of the most popular fast-food chains in the USA, known for its Frosties and square burgers. If you’re following a gluten-free diet, you’re probably wondering whether you can grab a quick bite at Wendy’s or need to keep looking for a gluten-free burger joint.
So, what is gluten-free at Wendy’s? Wendy’s isn’t a certified gluten-free restaurant, but it has a decent amount of gluten-free menu options. This fast-food chain offers a variety of salads, burgers (without a bun or with a lettuce wrap instead of a bun), baked potatoes, soft drinks, and desserts to the gluten-free community.
Only a few fast-food restaurants offer gluten-free options to people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Here’s everything you should know about Wendy’s and its gluten-free menu items.
Is there Anything at Wendy’s That’s Gluten-Free?
Although Wendy’s isn’t a certified gluten-free fast-food restaurant, it offers a variety of gluten-free menu options to people following a gluten-free diet. Before you head out to grab a bite at Wendy’s, it’s important to know what the company has to say about handling allergens.
Wendy’s is committed to letting its customers know what’s in their food and how those menu items are delivered to the customer. Here’s what this company has to say about nutrition and allergens:
“On our website, in our restaurants, and on our app, we provide food allergen information to make it easy to see items containing common food allergens. Many of our menu items can be customized to leave off ingredients you’re trying to avoid, like cheese or condiments. You can make those modifications when ordering through our website or app or at the restaurant by simply asking.
Wendy’s identifies the major nine (9) food allergens as defined by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on our US menu: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soybean, and sesame.
Wendy’s identifies the 12 priority food allergens as defined by Health Canada on our Canadian menu: mustard, sesame seed, sulphites, milk, egg, fish, crustacean, shellfish, tree nut, peanuts, wheat, and soybean.”
It’s clear that Wendy’s does its best to point out gluten-free menu options to people following a gluten-free diet. Below, we’ll look at Wendy’s gluten-free menu items to give you an idea of the variety of food items you can safely eat in this fast-food chain.
7 Items on Wendy’s Menu that are Gluten-Free
If you haven’t been at Wendy’s since the start of your gluten-free journey, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the variety of gluten-free food items. Here’s what people following a gluten-free diet can eat at Wendy’s:
1. Dave’s Single (without a bun)
Dave’s Single is one of Wendy’s most popular cheeseburgers. You can enjoy all the delicious components of this burger by ordering it without a bun.
The premium bun used in this burger is made from wheat flour. This makes it unsafe for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. To make this burger gluten-free, order it without a bun or with a lettuce wrap instead of a bun.
Gluten-free ingredients used to make Dave’s Single cheeseburger include fresh beef, American cheese, crisp lettuce, tomato, pickle, ketchup, mayo, and onion.
The way this cheeseburger is prepared and handled puts it at risk of cross-contact. So, Wendy’s advises its customers with allergies and food sensitivities to use better judgment when ordering.
2. Bacon Cheese Baked Potato
Wendy’s hot and fluffy potato is topped with creamy cheese sauce, shredded cheese, and Applewood smoked bacon. Made with gluten-free ingredients, this side dish is safe for people following a gluten-free diet and comes with a low risk of cross-contamination.
A portion of Bacon Cheese Baked Potato contains 440 calories, 13 grams of fat, 64 grams of carbs, and 17 grams of protein. Order this gluten-free goodness as a side dish or a stand-alone meal.
3. Parmesan Caesar Salad
If you’re looking for something more traditional, look no further than the Parmesan Caesar Salad. Made fresh daily, using romaine lettuce, grilled chicken breasts, Italian cheeses, creamy Caesar dressing, and tasty Parmesan crisps.
Without a dressing, this salad has 300 calories, 14 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbs, and 41 grams of protein. Creamy Caesar dressing contains 140 calories, 14 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of protein per package.
4. Southwest Avocado Salad
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something healthy but a bit more filling, order the Southwest Avocado Salad. Made using gluten-free ingredients, this delicious and nutritious salad makes a healthy lunch or dinner meal.
Made fresh daily, using a lettuce blend, pepper jack cheese, avocado, diced tomatoes, Applewood smoked bacon, and grilled chicken breast. All of these zero-gluten ingredients are topped with Marzetti Simply Dressed Southwest Ranch Dressing.
A portion of Southwest Avocado Salad contains 420 calories, 25 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbs, and 39 grams of protein. The dressing used to top the salad contains 140 calories, 14 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of protein.
5. Taco Salad
Made using gluten-free ingredients, Wendy’s Taco Salad is suitable for people following a gluten-free diet. Like all other Wendy’s salads, Taco salad is made daily using fresh ingredients, including lettuce blend, shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, tortilla chips, and chili.
Taco chips are made from corn and don’t contain wheat flour which can be problematic for people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. However, if you’re lactose intolerant or vegan, you should avoid Wendy’s Taco Salad because it contains milk.
Choose this salad if you’re looking for a filling, gluten-free meal. A portion contains 690 calories, 34 grams of fat, 68 grams of carbs, 30 grams of protein, and 12 grams of dietary fiber.
6. Apple Pecan Salad
If you’re in the mood for something fruity, check out Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad. Made daily, using fresh, gluten-free ingredients, this healthy salad is filling enough to act as a meal, or you can order it as a side dish.
In addition to Wendy’s signature lettuce blend, this salad features crisp red and green apples, dried cranberries, crumbled blue cheese, roasted pecans, and grilled chicken breast. All of these delicious ingredients are topped with Marzetti Simply Dressed Pomegranate Vinaigrette.
A portion of this fruity salad contains 460 calories, 23 grams of fat, 26 grams of carbs, and 39 grams of protein. The packet of dressing contains 90 calories, 3 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbs, and no proteins.
Although Texas-style chili is made without beans, Wendy’s chili contains pinto beans and red kidney beans. This side dish has been on Wendy’s menu since the first Wendy’s restaurant was opened.
Wendy’s chili is gluten-free and comes in two sizes that contain 240 or 340 calories. Perfectly seasoned and truly irresistible, this side dish is made from gluten-free ingredients, including a chili base, which contains tomatoes, sugar, spices, pepper, and many other ingredients. The bulk of this side dish consists of ground beef and chili beans prepared with red kidney beans and pinto beans.
The small-size Wendy’s gluten-free chili contains 240 calories, 11 grams of fat, 22 grams of carbs, and 16 grams of protein. Large chili has 340 calories, 15 grams of fat, 31 grams of carbs, and 22 grams of protein.
Are Wendy’s Fries Gluten-Free?
No, Wendy’s fries aren’t gluten-free. Although Wendy’s fries are made from naturally gluten-free ingredients (potatoes, sea salt, and vegetable oil), they aren’t fried in a dedicated fryer.
Instead, Wendy’s fries are prepared in the same fryer as the breaded menu items, which exposes them to cross-contamination. Wendy’s fries are off-limits if you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Are Wendy’s Baked Potatoes Gluten-Free?
Yes, all Wendy’s baked potatoes are gluten-free and safe for people following a gluten-free diet. If you’re craving baked potatoes, Wendy’s offers several gluten-free options, including Sour Cream and Chive Baked Potato, Plain Baked Potato, Bacon and Cheese Baked Potato, Chili and Cheese Baked Potato, and Cheese Baked Potato.
Will Wendy’s New French Fries be Gluten-Free?
No, Wendy’s new French fires aren’t gluten-free. The main difference between the old and new French fries is the proprietary process. Wendy’s new French fries are cut in a way that ensures one side retains heat while the other keeps it crispy. The new approach to batter and coating aims to prolong the fries’ crispy texture.
Wendy’s is a popular fast-food chain that offers a variety of gluten-free menu items. Although Wendy’s restaurants aren’t certified gluten-free, they prepare various salads, chili, desserts, and soft drinks using gluten-free ingredients.
In fact, people following a gluten-free diet can order some of Wendy’s famous cheeseburgers without a bun or with lettuce instead of a bun. If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, use your better judgment when ordering because all items on Wendy’s menu are prepared in the shared kitchen and are at risk of cross-contact.