This Gluten-Free Food Guide is intended to help people new to the gluten-free diet or struggling with the gluten-free diet find good food options. Whether you have a gluten allergy or intolerance, have celiac disease, or follow a gluten-free diet for other reasons, this guide is for you.
*Please note: All of the listed products are free of gluten ingredients. However, if cross-contamination is an issue, you may need to do additional research to ensure the product is safe.
If you have been following Eat or Drink for any amount of time, you know I have a lot of food allergies. I need to avoid gluten, dairy, soy, egg, and peanuts for varying degrees of allergies. I have had these allergies for over 10 years. Through my own food allergy journey, I have tried a lot of gluten free products. Some were scary and others were actually great. In this Gluten-Free Food Guide, I’m going to share some of the best products I have found based on my own trial and error. I’m also going to share some budget-friendly tips to help you on your gluten free journey.
Today I’m starting out with a gluten-free food guide. If this is something you like and want to see it for other allergens (soy, dairy, egg, or peanuts), please let me know in the comments down below. I’m always interested in your questions, thoughts, and opinions! If you have any favorite products that I did not list, let me know in the comments. I know everyone has different taste buds, that’s why your suggestions would be really beneficial.
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Gluten-Free Food Guide
Since I did not want to write a whole novel, this list obviously does not contain every gluten free product I’ve ever enjoyed. Instead, I focused on 5 main categories. Each of these categories is things most people struggle with when transitioning to a gluten-free diet.
The 5 main replacement categories I included are:
- Gluten-Free Bread Replacement
- Gluten-Free Flour Replacement
- Gluten-Free Pasta Replacement
- Gluten-Free Snack Replacement
- Gluten-Free Desserts/Sweets Replacement
*BONUS* The last category contains tips for eating gluten-free on a tight budget.
If there is another category or type of product that I did not cover and you would like me to cover, let me know in the comments. My goal is to help you find great gluten-free food replacements. Don’t hesitate to reach out in the comment section if you are still struggling with your gluten-free food journey.
Gluten Free Bread Replacement
BUDGET TIPS: My general advice for people trying to stay on a budget is to treat gluten-free bread as a treat. I know some people ate bread all the time before going gluten-free which would make this transition hard. The fact is, gluten-free bread is one of the more expensive replacement products. Some gluten-free tortillas are bit cheaper than bread and might be a better option.
NEW TO GLUTEN-FREE ADVICE: Gluten-free bread will taste different. It takes time to get used to it. As with most of these replacement products, you can’t compare. Gluten-free bread and gluten-full bread are two different things. To compare will only make you dislike gluten-free bread for its differences. You need to appreciate it for what it is. The bread I have listed here I sincerely enjoy eating.
In my opinion, gluten-free sandwich bread NEEDS to be toasted. It is very dry and crumbly if it is not toasted. However, once you toast it, it does soften up and get a great texture.
Sam’s Choice Gluten Free Bread – This has to be my favorite gluten free bread. I would eat this one all the time, but my egg sensitivity wouldn’t like that. It has a very soft and fluffy texture with a slight chew. It can be bought at Walmart for a reasonable price. (contains eggs)
Schar Multigrain Gluten Free Bread – This is another really nice soft bread. I like the texture a lot and it never feels crumbly. It comes in multigrain or white bread. It can be bought at Walmart for a reasonable price. (contains soy)
Little Northern Bakehouse Millet and Chia Gluten Free Bread – This bread is also pretty good. Compared to the two bread types listed above, it does have a more identifiable “gluten-free texture”, but if you don’t compare, it’s really good. The price tag is higher than the two bred types listed above.
Trader Joe’s or Food for Life Brown Rice Tortillas – I’m listing both brands for this tortilla because they taste the same. Trader Joe’s brand is a bit cheaper. These tortillas definitely do not taste like flour tortillas. They are dry and kind of hard. Regardless of the differences, I think they are delicious. They have a hearty texture that will leave you full.
Please note, they are hard to fold without breaking. I don’t suggest these for burritos, but they work great for quesadillas/wraps with one fold. You need to warm them up to make them pliable. They are also great heated on the stove until crisp.
Mission Gluten Free Soft Tortillas – These are so delicious and are a good replacement for flour tortillas. They are a little bit easier to fold into burritos than the brown rice tortillas, just be careful not to over-fill them. They have a good price tag if you buy them at Walmart. (contains soy)
Corn Tortillas (any brand works) – If cross contamination is not an issue for you, then any brand of corn tortillas is perfect. You can get hard or soft. These are great for tacos or little quesadillas. The soft corn tortillas need to be heated before you use them. Otherwise, they are dry and will tear easily. You can microwave them or heat them on a pan for a little crispy texture. These are the cheapest tortilla option.
The Greater Knead Gluten Free Bagel – This gluten-free bagel is so tasty. They actually have that hard texture that a bagel should have. You need to be sure you run them through the toaster long enough – sometimes I run them through 2 times. This will help remove any dry texture. They are a little bit pricey, but a worthwhile treat.
Udi’s Gluten Free Bagels – Udi’s makes a pretty good gluten free bagel. While The Greater Knead’s bagel has a hard texture, Udi’s is on the far opposite end. Their bagel is very soft and reminds me more of a hamburger bun than a bagel. With that said, they still have a good flavor. (contains eggs)
Schar Baguettes – I like to use these for breadcrumbs or stuffing. Since it’s a baguette, they hold up better than gluten-free sandwich bread. (contains soy)
Oats – Oats work great to replace breadcrumbs. Especially when used in meatloaf or meatballs. They add a nice moist texture and are so easy to work with.
Gluten Free Flour Replacement
Through lots of trial and error, I have created recipes for my favorite flour blends. Gluten-free baking is such a science. You need the right blend of starches, grains, and flours. These blends are my fool-proof recipes.
Gluten-Free Cookie Flour Blend – Perfect for most gluten-free cookies. It provides a great texture and flavor.
Gluten-Free Cake Flour Blend – This is the blend you’ll use for cakes or cupcakes. It replaces regular cake flour. It is light and airy.
Gluten-Free Basic Flour Blend – This is your everything flour. Great for the majority of your gluten-free baking needs. Perfect for muffins, sweetbreads, waffles, scones, biscuits and more.
Gluten-Free Self-Rising Flour Blend – This is the basic flour made even easier. It has the same ingredients as the basic flour blend, but with the addition of your rising agents. It already contains baking powder, baking soda, and xanthan gum.
Brown Rice Flour – Any type of Brown Rice Flour is a great option for making gravy or roux.
Potato Starch or Tapioca Starch – I always have these two starches on hand because they are in my Flour Blends. If a recipe requires a starch thickener, these work great.
Gluten Free Pasta Replacement
BUDGET TIPS: Luckily gluten free pasta is becoming cheaper and cheaper. If your grocery store has a store brand gluten free pasta, try that first. It’s usually only about 50 cents more expensive than it’s gluten counterpart. For example, the Wegmans brand has a great selection of gluten free pasta. Beyond the store brand options, here are my favorite tried and true gluten free pasta.
Jovial Organic Brown Rice Pasta – This is my absolute favorite gluten free pasta. The texture is spot on and it never falls apart if cooked right. The Cappellini is a great replacement for angel hair pasta.
Delallo Gluten Free Orzo – This is a great replacement for orzo and is perfect for soups.
Gluten Free Snack Replacement
Luckily there is a lot of option for gluten free snacks these days. Of course, they vary in price, but I think most of us aren’t breaking the bank by buying a snack here and there.
Naturally Gluten Free
Plain potato chips and corn chips – Always be in the habit of checking ingredients, but in general plain potato chips and corn chips are a safe snack. If you are at a party or a gas station and need a quick bite, Lays plain potato chips and Fritos original corn chips have safe ingredients.
Pirate Brand Original Tings – These are salty and crunchy, what else do you want in a snack? They basically taste like baked Cheetos but without the cheese flavor.
Popcorners – These are a delicious corn-based chip. They are crunchy and so flavorful.
Simple Mills Crackers – This brand has a great selection of healthy gluten free crackers. They have lots of flavors and they are also grain free.
Snyder’s Gluten Free Pretzels – These gluten free pretzels are so delicious. Even better, Snyder’s has expanded the brand to include more flavors.
For more snack ideas or for some homemade snack ideas head over to my post, 13 Gluten Free School Snacks (Homemade + Store-bought).
Gluten Free Desserts/Sweets Replacement
NEW TO GLUTEN-FREE ADVICE: Truthfully, I don’t like a lot of the store-bought options for gluten free desserts. The store-bought sweets tend to be a weird texture and painfully sweet. That’s why I turned to bake my own desserts. It’s cheaper and I was able to work hard to make them taste good. However, I understand sometimes you just want to buy a quick sweet at the store. For those moments, here’s my list of favorite gluten free store-bought desserts/sweets
Vanilla Kinnitoos – These are such a tasty remake of vanilla Oreos. The texture is quite different. It almost tastes like you are biting into a cookie made entirely of frosting. If you ask me, that’s not a bad thing.
Home Free Gluten Free Mini Cookies – I love these mini cookies. All of the flavors are delicious. They have the perfect taste and crunchy texture.
Let’s Do Gluten Free Sugar Cones – If you need an ice cream cone, these are perfect. But honestly, I’ve bought these just to eat as is. They are that tasty.
Other Gluten Free Tips for Tight Budgets
- Center your meals around naturally gluten free starches. Things like potatoes, rice, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, squash, etc. are all very inexpensive and great starches.
- Consider some gluten free products a “treat”. If you are on a tight budget you might have to replace processed snacks and sweets with homemade options. And like I said above, bread is expensive, try to find another starch you enjoy. For example, I started having oatmeal instead of bread for breakfast.
- Buy store brands when possible. Many stores like Wegmans and even Walmart are starting to carry store brand or off brand gluten free products. These are great cheap options.
- Homemade meals are always cheaper than gluten free TV dinners and frozen foods.
If you like resources like this Gluten-Free Food Guide, you may also like the following posts:
If you want more food allergy resources, be sure to go to the “Food Allergy Resources” Page on Eat or Drink.