Taco Bell is a popular fast-food chain known for its Mexican-inspired cuisine. However, for those with gluten sensitivities or allergies, eating at a fast food restaurant can be a challenge. Fortunately, Taco Bell offers a variety of gluten-free options for customers to enjoy their food without worrying about gluten. In this article, we will go through Taco Bell gluten-free options and tips on how to order them.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a type of protein that is found in certain grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten is responsible for the elastic texture of the dough and helps to retain the gases produced during fermentation, which gives bread and other baked goods their characteristic texture and shape. Gluten is commonly used as a food additive in many processed foods.
Some people are sensitive to gluten and may experience symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fatigue when consuming gluten-containing foods. For those with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder, consuming gluten can damage the small intestine, leading to the malabsorption of nutrients.
For this reason, gluten-free diets have become popular among people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities, as well as among those who are looking to improve their overall health and wellness.
Taco Bell Gluten-Free Options 2023
Here is a list of gluten-free options at Taco bell:
- Black Beans and Rice
- Doritos Locos Tacos
- Hash Browns
- Power Menu Bowls (Chicken, Steak/Beff and Vegetarian)
- Chips and Guacamole
- Crunchy Tacos
- Seasoned Rice
- Taco Bell Freeze Drinks
- Salsas and Sauces
These items are made with gluten-free ingredients according to their allergen website.
Note: It’s important to note that while Taco Bell offers a variety of gluten-free options, the availability of these items may vary by location. Some locations may not offer certain gluten-free options or may have different preparation methods for certain menu items.
It’s always best to check with your local Taco Bell or consult their online menu before visiting to ensure that the gluten-free options you are interested in are available. Additionally, it’s always recommended to inform the staff of your gluten allergy or sensitivity and ask them to take extra precautions when preparing your order.
Black Beans and Rice
The black beans are a good source of protein, and the rice is gluten-free, making it a safe option for those with gluten sensitivities. The dish is simple yet flavorful, with a subtle hint of spices that complement the beans and rice perfectly. It’s a great option to add as a side or to be a light meal.
Doritos Locos Tacos
This classic Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco is made with seasoned beef, cheese, and lettuce in a Dorito shell, providing a satisfying and delicious meal for those with gluten sensitivities.
Taco Bell’s Hash Browns are a simple, but tasty, addition to the gluten free menu. They are seasoned with salt and can be a great quick bite option. They are gluten-free and are one of my personal favorites at the restaurant. As an extra precaution, if you have a serious gluten allergy, it’s always recommended to check with your local restaurant to ensure that they aren’t cooked in the same fryer as anything containing gluten.
Power Menu Bowls
The Power Menu Bowl contains a variety of ingredients such as rice, black beans, avocado ranch sauce, grilled chicken, lettuce, sour cream, cheddar cheese, guacamole, and tomatoes. It is high in dietary fiber and a great option for those looking for a healthier choice.
Additionally, you can substitute chicken for steak or beef. For vegetarians, the Veggie Power Menu Bowl is also available, which includes everything from the traditional Power Menu Bowl without the meat. It contains seasoned rice, black beans, lettuce, sour cream, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and avocado ranch sauce.
Chips and Guacamole
Chips are made with white corn making it gluten-free, but the nacho cheese sauce contains gluten. However, you can still enjoy these chips without the cheese sauce by adding guacamole.
The chips and guacamole make for a delicious side dish or even a snack to share with friends. The guacamole is rich and creamy, and you might even want to pour some on your Crunchy Taco for added flavor.
The Crunchy Taco is another gluten-free option that offers a classic and satisfying experience. It is made with a crispy corn tortilla shell that is filled with seasoned beef, lettuce, and shredded cheddar cheese.
The taco offers a perfect balance of flavors and is a popular choice among customers. It’s a convenient and delicious meal option for those who are looking for a quick and easy gluten-free option.
Taco Bell’s seasoned rice is a great gluten-free option for a side dish. It is seasoned with a blend of spices that give it a subtle and delicious flavor. It’s a great option to be added to a Power Menu Bowl, to a burrito or taco, or even as a standalone dish. The rice is fluffy and cooked to perfection, making it a great addition to any meal. It’s easy to add this gluten-free option to any meal you order.
Salsas and Sauces
Here is a list of Taco Bell gluten-free options:
- Avocado Ranch Dressing
- Creamy Jalapeno Sauce
- Creamy Chipotle Sauce
- Mild Sauce Packet
- Hot Sauce Packet
- Spicy Ranch Sauce
- Red Sauce
All of these options do not contain any wheat or gluten ingredients.
Taco Bell Freeze Drinks is a sweet and refreshing option. They come in different flavors like Mountain Dew Baja Blast, Starburst Strawberry, Blue Raspberry, and more.
It is made with a blend of ice and syrup, perfect for a hot day or as a dessert. They are gluten-free and a great option for those with gluten sensitivities or allergies. Perfect way to cool down and satisfy your sweet tooth.
Other Gluten-Free Drink Options at Taco Bell
Aside from freeze drinks, you can also order:
- Fountain Drinks (Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Tropicana, Brisk, and Gatorade,)
- Lipton Unsweetened Iced Tea
- Orange Juice
- Iced Coffee
- Premium Hot Coffee
Other Fast Food Restaurants that Offers Gluten Free Menu Items
Here are the top gluten-free fast food restaurants:
At Chipotle, gluten-sensitive customers can enjoy a wide range of options as all of their proteins, beans, salsas, and guacamole are gluten-free. They also have a specific gluten-free menu, and take necessary precautions in the preparation of their meals to cater to those with gluten sensitivities or allergies.
Chick-fil-A provides a range of gluten-free options for their customers, including grilled chicken nuggets, salads, and sides like waffle potato fries and mac and cheese. To avoid cross-contamination, they use separate fryers and change gloves when preparing your food and kitchen surfaces.
Five Guys is a fast food restaurant known for its burgers and hot dogs, and it offers a variety of gluten-free options for customers with gluten sensitivities. They offer gluten-free buns for their burgers and hot dogs, allowing customers to enjoy their classic menu items without gluten. They also have a wide range of gluten-free toppings and sauces to choose from, such as cheese, bacon, and different types of sauces, making it easy for customers to customize their meals to their liking.
Culver’s is a fast food restaurant known for its butter burgers and frozen custard, and it offers a variety of gluten-free options for customers with gluten sensitivities. They offer gluten-free buns for their burgers and sandwiches which allow customers to enjoy their classic menu items without gluten. Culver’s uses separate utensils and cooking surfaces, preventing cross-contamination.
Jersey Mike’s is a fast food restaurant known for its subs and sandwiches, and it offers a variety of gluten-free options for customers with gluten sensitivities. Just like Culver’s they also offer gluten-free buns for their sandwiches which allows customers to enjoy their classic menu items without gluten.
What is Gluten-Free Nachos Made Of?
The Nachos at Taco Bell are made from white ground corn and NOT flour, making them a gluten-free option for those with gluten sensitivities or allergies.
White ground corn is a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour which is commonly used in traditional nachos. The nachos at Taco Bell are made with white ground corn which makes them a perfect choice for gluten-free customers.
Note: The nacho cheese sauce is not gluten-free and therefore should be avoided for those with gluten sensitivities or allergies. However, you can still enjoy nachos by customizing them without the cheese sauce and by add extras like guacamole, black beans, seasoned rice, pico de gallo and more!
Things to Avoid at Taco Bell
Here are some items to avoid at Taco Bell on a gluten-free diet:
- Soft Tacos: Soft Tacos are made with flour tortillas, which contain gluten. This means that popular menu items such as the Soft Taco Supreme and the Beefy 5-Layer Burrito should be avoided.
- Nachos: The nacho chips and nacho cheese sauce both contain gluten. This means that menu items such as the Triple Layer Nachos and the Nachos BellGrande should be avoided.
- Crunchwrap Supremes: The flour tortilla contains gluten which means that the Crunchwrap Supremes should be avoided.
- Grilled Stuft Nachos: The Grilled Stuft Nachos are made with a flour tortilla that contains gluten.
- Quesarito: The Quesarito is made with a flour tortilla that contains gluten.
- Cinnamon Twists: The Cinnamon Twists are made with wheat flour, which contains gluten.
- Special sauces: Some of the sauces offered at Taco Bell may contain gluten, so it’s important to check the ingredient list (allergen menu) or ask the staff if the sauce is gluten-free.
Ordering Gluten-Free Taco
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to customize your own gluten-free taco at Taco Bell:
Start by choosing a gluten-free shell
Taco Bell offers a gluten-free option for their shells that are made of white ground corn and NOT flour.
Here is a list of the gluten-free shell options available at Taco Bell:
- Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos Shell
- Crunchy Taco Shell
- Tostada Shell
- Nacho Chips
Choose your protein
You can choose from a variety of proteins including:
- Seasoned Beef
- Sausage Crumbles
Add your toppings
You can add a variety of toppings to your taco. Here is a list of gluten-free vegetable and cheese/dairy options available at Taco Bell:
- 3 Cheese Blend
- Reduced Fat Sour Cream
Avoid gluten-containing toppings
Some toppings at Taco Bell contain gluten such as nacho cheese and certain sauces, so make sure to check the ingredient list or ask the staff which toppings are gluten-free.
Inform the staff of your gluten allergy or sensitivity
Always inform the staff of your gluten allergy or sensitivity and ask them to take extra precautions when preparing your order, such as using separate utensils, changing gloves, and cooking surfaces.
Enjoy your gluten-free taco
Once your taco is prepared, enjoy it as is or add some hot sauce, salsa, or any other gluten-free toppings.
By following these steps, you can customize your own gluten-free taco at Taco Bell and enjoy the flavors of a traditional taco while sticking to your dietary needs.
To make gluten-free guacamole at home, you will need the following ingredients:
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1/4 cup diced tomato
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: chopped cilantro and jalapenos for added flavor
- Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. Scoop out the avocado flesh and place it in a large mixing bowl.
- Mash the avocado with a fork or a potato masher until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Add the diced onion, tomato, minced garlic, lime juice, salt, and pepper to the bowl and mix well.
- If desired, add chopped cilantro and jalapenos for added flavor.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Serve the guacamole with Taco Bell Nacho Chips or with your favorite gluten-free dish.
This homemade guacamole is a perfect gluten-free accompaniment to your nacho chips. The creamy texture and the flavors of avocado, lime juice, garlic and cilantro complement each other perfectly.
Avoid Gluten on Celiac Disease: Food List to Avoid
Celiac disease is a medical condition in which the body reacts to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, by causing damage to the small intestine. People with this disease must strictly follow a gluten-free diet to maintain their health.
Here are some common foods that should be avoided when following a gluten-free diet:
- Grains such as wheat, barley, and rye, as well as their derivatives like bread, pasta, cereal, crackers, and baked goods.
- Processed foods, as gluten is often used as a binding agent or for added flavor. Be careful with processed meats, frozen dinners, and canned soups.
- Traditional beer, which is made from barley, should be avoided. However, gluten-free beers made from sorghum, rice, or other gluten-free grains are available.
- Soy sauce, which usually contains wheat, but gluten-free options made from soybeans, rice, or other gluten-free grains are available.
- Condiments and sauces, many of which contain gluten, such as ketchup, mustard, and salad dressing. Be sure to read labels carefully and opt for gluten-free options.
- Seasoning mixes, some of which contain gluten, such as bouillon cubes, and instant soup and gravy mixes.
- Medications and supplements may contain gluten, so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medication.
It is important to read labels carefully, ask questions when dining out, and be mindful of cross-contamination. With some research and careful planning, it is possible to maintain a healthy gluten-free diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Taco Bell have gluten-free options?
Yes, Taco Bell does offer a variety of gluten-free options for customers with gluten sensitivities or allergies. They offer gluten-free options in their menu such as the Power Menu Bowl, Black Beans and Rice, Doritos Locos Tacos, Hash Browns, Chips and Guacamole, Crunchy Tacos, Seasoned Rice, and Taco Bell Freeze Drinks.
Are the corn tortillas at Taco Bell gluten-free?
Yes, the corn tortillas at Taco Bell are gluten-free. They are made from ground corn and are a safe option for those with gluten sensitivities or allergies.
Are the nachos at Taco Bell gluten-free?
The nachos at Taco Bell are made from white ground corn, which is gluten-free. However, the nacho cheese sauce is not gluten-free and should be avoided for those with gluten sensitivities or allergies.
Can I customize my order to make it gluten-free at Taco Bell?
Yes, you can customize your order to make it gluten-free at Taco Bell. For example, you can order a Crunchy Taco with a gluten-free shell and add your own toppings such as black beans, guacamole, and the 3-cheese blend.
Are the freeze drinks at Taco Bell gluten-free?
Yes, the freeze drinks at Taco Bell are gluten-free. They are made with a blend of ice and flavored syrup, making them a safe option for those with gluten sensitivities or allergies.
In conclusion, it’s possible to enjoy a satisfying meal at Taco Bell while following a gluten-free diet. With a little bit of planning and communication, customers with gluten sensitivities or allergies can still enjoy the flavors of Taco Bell by choosing Taco Bell gluten-free options and customizing their orders as needed.
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