Skip to Content

Which Chick-fil-A dressings are gluten-free?

Chick-fil-A is a popular fast food chain known for its chicken sandwiches and waffle fries. For customers avoiding gluten, it’s important to know which menu items are safe to eat. This article will share which Chick-fil-A dressings and sauces are gluten-free as of October 2023.

Overview of Gluten at Chick-fil-A

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. For people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine. This can lead to symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, fatigue, and more.

People with gluten-related disorders must follow a strict lifelong gluten-free diet, avoiding any product or food made with gluten-containing grains. This includes many commonly used ingredients like wheat flour, barley malt, and rye.

Chick-fil-A states that none of their breaded chicken, salads, or salad dressings contain gluten ingredients. However, their kitchens are not gluten-free environments so cross-contamination is possible. Employees wear gloves and follow safety procedures to minimize contamination risk.

Chick-fil-A Gluten-Free Dressings

Chick-fil-A offers 11 different salad dressings and sauces. According to their website, the following 6 dressings are gluten-free as of October 2023:

  • Avocado Lime Ranch
  • Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette
  • Creamy Salsa
  • Reduced-Fat Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Buttermilk Ranch
  • Chicken Soup Base

These dressings do not contain any gluten-based ingredients like wheat, barley, rye, malt, or malt flavoring. However, potential cross-contact with gluten remains a risk in the restaurant kitchen.

Detailed Gluten-Free Dressing Ingredients

Here is more detail on the ingredients in Chick-fil-A’s gluten-free salad dressings as of October 2023:

Dressing Ingredients
Avocado Lime Ranch Canola oil, cultured nonfat milk and nonfat milk, water, avocado, distilled vinegar, isolated soy protein, sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, xanthan and guar gums, natural flavor, dried garlic, dried onion, lemon juice concentrate, lime juice concentrate, citric acid, calcium disodium EDTA added to protect flavor, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate added as preservatives, polysorbate 60, beta carotene added for color, vitamin A palmitate.
Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette Apple cider vinegar, sugar, water, canola oil, red bell peppers, modified food starch, contains less than 2% of salt, spice, lemon juice concentrate, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate added as preservatives, xanthan gum, dried garlic, dried onion, calcium disodium EDTA added to protect flavor, yellow #5.
Creamy Salsa Cultured nonfat milk and nonfat milk, water, tomatoes, onions, sugar, vinegar, canola oil, salt, dehydrated onions, modified corn starch, contains less than 2% of xanthan gum and guar gum, dried garlic, lemon juice concentrate, natural flavor, sodium benzoate added as a preservative.
Reduced-Fat Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette Water, sugar, distilled vinegar, strawberry puree concentrate, canola oil, contains less than 2% of: salt, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice concentrate, xanthan gum, natural flavor, dried strawberries, dried cranberries, poppy seeds, dried honey, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate added as preservatives, polysorbate 60.
Buttermilk Ranch Cultured nonfat milk and nonfat milk, water, soybean oil, distilled vinegar, egg yolk, contains less than 2% of: salt, sugar, monosodium glutamate, dried garlic, dried onion, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate added as preservatives, natural flavor, xanthan gum, citric acid, calcium disodium EDTA added to protect flavor, polysorbate 60.
Chicken Soup Base Chicken meat including natural chicken juices, salt, sugar, chicken fat, yeast extract, flavors, onion powder, maltodextrin, carrot fiber.

As you can see, the core ingredients in these dressings are dairy, oils, vinegar, fruits and vegetables. There are no gluten-containing grains or additives. However, Chick-fil-A does use shared equipment and prep areas in their kitchens, so cross-contact may occur.

Chick-fil-A Dressings That Contain Gluten

While the dressings above are gluten-free according to Chick-fil-A, there are 5 dressings that do contain gluten. If you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, you’ll need to avoid these dressings:

  • Icedream
  • Honey Mustard
  • Garden Herb Ranch
  • Barbecue
  • Polynesian

The gluten sources in these dressings include ingredients like malt vinegar, wheat starch, and soy sauce which contains wheat.

Gluten Containing Dressing Ingredients

Here are more details on the ingredients that contain gluten in the 5 dressings Chick-fil-A identifies as not gluten-free:

Dressing Gluten Ingredients
Icedream Soybean oil, corn syrup, water, egg yolk, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, contains less than 2% of: salt, mustard seed, mustard bran, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate as preservatives, onion powder, spice, carrot fiber, calcium disodium EDTA added to protect flavor, natural flavor.
Honey Mustard Soybean oil, prepared mustard (distilled vinegar, water, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, spice), liquid honey, sugar syrup, egg yolk, vinegar, contains less than 2% of water, corn syrup, salt, mustard bran, dried honey, lemon juice concentrate, spice, onion powder, dried garlic, natural flavor. Contains: egg.
Garden Herb Ranch Water, soybean oil, corn syrup solids, buttermilk solids, salt, contains less than 2% of lemon juice concentrate, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, dill, chives, vinegar, egg yolk, mustard seed, xanthan gum, yeast extract, natural flavor.
Barbecue High fructose corn syrup, distilled vinegar, tomato paste, molasses, food starch-modified, salt, contains less than 2% of mustard bran, spices, onion powder, dried garlic, carrot fiber, natural flavor, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate added as preservatives, garlic powder, soy lecithin, xanthan gum.
Polynesian Soy sauce (water, wheat, soybeans, salt), cane juice (sugar), catsup (tomato concentrate, vinegar, sugar, salt), water, modified food starch, contains 2% or less: brown sugar, corn syrup solids, dried yeast (torula), garlic powder, natural flavor, onion powder, sorbic acid & sodium benzoate (preservatives), spices, vinegar, xanthan gum.

As shown above, these dressings contain problematic gluten sources like wheat, soy sauce, malt vinegar, and wheat starch. People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity need to avoid them.

Playing It Safe When Dining at Chick-fil-A

While Chick-fil-A does offer some clearly labeled gluten-free dressings, their kitchens are not completely gluten-free. So there is always some risk of cross-contact for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Some extra precautions you can take when ordering at Chick-fil-A include:

  • Ask for gluten-free dressings and sauces only
  • Request that your salad be prepared in a clean area
  • Ask for new gloves before your salad is prepared
  • Avoid breaded menu items that may contaminate prep areas
  • Check labels each time you visit in case ingredients change

Being vigilant about what you order and speaking up about your dietary needs can help minimize gluten exposure when dining at Chick-fil-A. But there are no guarantees in their shared kitchen environment.

Gluten-Free Dressing Options From Other Restaurants

In addition to Chick-fil-A, many restaurants offer gluten-free salad dressing options these days. Some other choices include:

  • Olive Garden – Italian, balsamic vinaigrette, herb mix
  • Texas Roadhouse – ranch, honey mustard, vinaigrette
  • Red Robin – raspberry vinaigrette
  • Habit Burger – ranch
  • In-N-Out – spread (secret sauce)
  • California Pizza Kitchen – ranch, Caesar

As always, confirm the latest ingredients and preparation procedures with each restaurant. Many post allergen and nutrition info online for transparency.

Homemade Gluten-Free Salad Dressings

Making your own gluten-free dressings at home is the safest option for avoiding cross-contact. It also allows you to control the quality of ingredients.

Some easy homemade salad dressing ideas include:

  • Balsamic vinaigrette – Combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, shallot, Dijon mustard, herbs and seasonings.
  • Caesar – Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, and Parmesan.
  • Ranch – Mix Greek yogurt with milk, lemon juice, herbs, garlic, onion, and spices.
  • Thousand island – Stir together mayo, ketchup, sweet pickle relish, lemon juice, and black pepper.

Get creative mixing your favorite gluten-free oils, vinegars, mustards, yogurt, mayo and spices to craft delicious homemade dressings. Adjust textures and flavors to suit your tastes.

The Bottom Line

Chick-fil-A does offer some gluten-free salad dressing choices like Avocado Lime Ranch and Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette without wheat, barley, rye or malt ingredients. However, their kitchens are shared spaces and cross-contact is possible.

Speak to the staff about your gluten-free needs. And consider backup choices like dressing from other restaurants or homemade options to stay safe.