Lovin’ it. Yes, it is possible to be gluten free at McDonald’s.

McDonald's french fries

McDonald's french fries. Image courtesy of cfinke

When you’re on the run, it’s tempting to dash into your local fast food joint and grab yourself a quick bite. But if you’re following a gluten free diet surely your local McDonald’s is off limits?

Not so. There are numerous foods which are gluten free at McDonald’s. (Although we recommend you don’t eat them every day.) Note: these apply to UK McDonalds’s restaurants only.

Meaty stuff
A McDonald’s hamburger, cheeseburger, Quarter Pounder®, and Big Mac® are all gluten free IF eaten without the bun. All McDonald’s burgers are made with 100% beef; so they’re not ‘beefed up’ with any cereal, rusk or flour.

And according to McDonald’s they’re happy to serve you just the burger minus the bun if you ask your server when ordering. Apparently, they don’t even mind if you bring your own gluten free bun in with you.

Potato things

  • French fries (Note: UK only. It seems that US french fries do have gluten.)
  • Potato wedges
  • Hash browns

Green stuff

  • Fruit bags
  • Carrot sticks
  • Garden salads

McFlurrys

  • Cadburys Crunchie McFlurry andDairy Milk McFlurrys are both gluten free
  • But Aero McFlurrys are NOT gluten free

Sundaes

  • Strawberry sundaes are gluten free
  • But toffee sundaes are NOT gluten free

Drinks

  • Regular coffee
  • Latte
  • But Cappuccinos are NOT gluten free. (The chocolate chips used contain gluten.)
  • Hot chocolate
  • Apple juice
  • Orange juice
  • Soft drinks
  • Milkshakes

Sauces

  • Big Mac sauce
  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Mayo
  • Spicy tomato salsa

What else to avoid
The obvious things to avoid are buns, wraps and anything in breadcrumbs. Fish fingers, chicken nuggets and onion rings are also off limits.

But if you’re not sure about any ingredients just ask your server. And if they don’t seem sure ask to speak to the manager. Don’t run the risk of being ill over a Filet-O-Fish®

Update: Following on from a number of queries we had regarding the fries, we contacted McDonald’s directly. See this post for their reply.

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15 Responses to “Lovin’ it. Yes, it is possible to be gluten free at McDonald’s.”

  1. Stephanie: 3rd June 2010 at 9:20am

    Following your article on McDonald’s, I thought you may be interested to know that they often cook their fries with other products that do contain gluten, therefore making them no longer gluten free. I was ill after eating their fries on 2 occasions, and it took me a while to discover that this was what was causing it. This is now also the case with Burger King fries too!! They do also do their burgers without the buns if you ask when ordering.

  2. Gluten Free Girl: 7th June 2010 at 9:49am

    Hey Stephanie
    Hmmm…that’s not great to hear. I’ve eaten fries with no problems and McDonald’s themselves claim their fries are 100% gluten free as does their forum.

    But leave this with us and we’ll investigate further!

  3. Jen Rowan: 7th July 2010 at 9:01am

    I have just been recently diagnosed Coeliac and have just been ill after eating a Mcdonalds Quarter pounder without bun and fries as I believed the fries to be OK however I have learnt today that McDonalds fries may be cooked in the same fryer as Fillet of fish and apple pies.

  4. Gluten Free Girl: 8th July 2010 at 10:13am

    Hi Jen
    We’ve got a call out with McDonald’s at the moment on this. As soon as they get back to us we’ll let you know.

  5. Gluten Free Girl: 14th July 2010 at 7:36pm

    Hi guys
    We contacted McDonald’s directly on the issue of gluten free fries. This is what they had to say.

  6. Jonathan (Follow on ): 28th March 2012 at 3:44am

    The McDonalds in Spain all now offer gluten free bun options!!! I don’t know if you’ve made a post on it, as I recently found out, but hopefully other places will follow them.

  7. Sam: 28th January 2014 at 8:06pm

    The big mac sauce on the the McDonald’s web site says it contains wheat.

  8. Gluten Free Guy: 28th January 2014 at 10:04pm

    Thanks for the heads up Sam! I must say I steer well clear of it all when I can.

  9. D. Bisset: 1st May 2014 at 4:34pm

    Do you still have to pay full price if you are only having the burger and not the bun ?

  10. Kasey Monroe: 20th July 2014 at 7:06pm

    are your aero mcflurrys gluten free, as it states on here they are not, however, it states on mcdonalds actual website they are gluten free….which is it?

  11. Gluten Free Guy: 21st July 2014 at 9:21pm

    Hi Kasey, this post is quite old now so I think you’re best following the guidance on the McDonalds website.

  12. […] Eating gluten free at McDonald’s – … it is possible to be gluten free at McDonald’s. Posted by Gluten Free … There are numerous foods which are gluten free at McDonald’s. (Although we recommend you … I thought you may be interested to know that they often cook their fries with other products that do contain gluten, … […]

  13. John Foster (Follow on ): 2nd November 2014 at 11:25am

    Hey everyone,

    I used to work at McDonalds when I was younger and I can assure you that it is impossible for them to mix up things like apple pies and French fries in the fryer. The reason for this is that each fryer has a button setting which dictates the cooking time for each individual product, therefore you would never cook a product in the wrong fryer.

    The only time they’re could be cross contamination is when they ‘bag’ your fries, this is because its normally done at the same station as things such as promotional onion rings.

    I hope this had allayed anyone’s fears, keep up the good work and continue to post your finds guys.

    John

  14. chloe hill: 31st July 2016 at 4:46pm

    I had some French fries from McDonalds and it said the were gluten free but gave me the bad shits, I will stick to burger king from now on, the shits there were not half as bad. Chloe Hill

  15. rosie: 17th January 2017 at 12:15pm

    been gluten free for 13years. never stop learning about it. one thing no one seems to realise is if you are ceoliac you are also sensitive to sugar in a hypoglycemic way. Have tried telling the main supermarkets as their gluten free biscuits are loaded with sugar sometimesup to 15teaspoons per biscuit. you cant take away the gluten and replace it with sugar we will all end up fully diabetic!

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