Find out if McDonald’s hash browns are safe for a gluten-free diet, and what McDonald’s menu items are gluten-free.
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If you enjoy picking up breakfast at a fast food restaurant on the way to work sometimes or if you like to have a go-to place for grabbing a bite while heading out to vacation or on the road, you may have found yourself ordering from the McDonald’s breakfast menu.
McDonald’s offers a variety of breakfast options, like egg sandwiches, hotcakes, burritos, oatmeal, and of course hash browns. These hot food breakfast items are helpful to get something to eat if you’re in the car and make sure you get a breakfast even if you’re on the go.
If you’re getting started with a gluten-free diet or have just wondered how your favorite breakfast foods will fit into your diet while avoiding gluten, I hope this post is helpful for you.
We’re talking all about McDonald’s hash browns in this post. Find out what these hash browns are made of, where they’re made, and of course if they’re gluten-free. We’ll also talk about where gluten can be found in food, if McDonald’s hash browns are dairy-free, and what other gluten-free menu items you can expect to find at McDonald’s.
If you’re a fan of McDonald’s, you’ll appreciate knowing which of your favorite menu items work with sticking with a gluten-free diet. Let’s talk hash browns!
What are McDonald’s hash browns made of?
According to the McDonald’s website, their hash browns are made of the following ingredients:
“Potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*), salt, corn flour, dehydrated potato, dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), extractives of black pepper. *natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients.”
Read on: Are potatoes gluten-free?
Read on: Is soybean oil gluten-free?
Where are McDonald’s hash browns made?
McDonald’s hash browns are made into hash browns that are processed and pre-cooked at their factory that also produces their french fries. They are then sent to local restaurants to finish cooking in the large deep fryers in the kitchen at each McDonald’s restaurant.
Their hash browns are cooked in the same fryers with their other fried food menu items, like their fried chicken for sandwiches or nuggets, french fries, and fish for fish sandwiches.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
Gluten is naturally occurring, and therefore is impossible to strip away from the grain. If a grain naturally has gluten in it, there’s no way to make that food gluten-free.
Where can you find gluten in food?
Gluten can be found in the form of wheat and grain products, like bread of flour in the more obvious places. You can also find gluten as a binding ingredient, an ingredient added for texture like to make a food more crispy, or as a thickening agent.
Potato products like french fries and hash browns served at fast food restaurants often add wheat or gluten ingredients to help them come out of deep fryers soft in the center and crispy on the outside.
Are McDonald’s hash browns gluten-free?
The McDonald’s website makes it clear that their hash browns are not gluten-free. When listing out their ingredients, there is an asterisk for their “natural beef flavor” ingredient. This asterisk says their natural beef flavor “contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients.”
There is also a “contains: wheat, milk” note in the allergen information section, letting us know that wheat and gluten are present in this food.
If you follow a gluten-free diet, McDonald’s hash browns are a food you’ll want to skip.
Read on: Are hash browns gluten-free?
Are McDonald’s hash browns dairy-free?
McDonald’s hash browns aren’t dairy-free as there is a statement that says “contains: wheat, milk” in the allergen information section on their dedicated hash browns menu item page.
Hydrolyzed milk has been used in this food as a starting ingredient, making this not a good choice for folks following a dairy-free diet.
Are McDonald’s french fries gluten-free?
McDonald’s french fries are not gluten-free as they also contain wheat ingredients in the “natural beef flavor” like their hash browns.
If you are following a gluten-free diet and have a craving for fries, you’ll want to find another fast food restaurant to get your craving met. Or choose to find a frozen option to make at home.
Read on: Are McDonald’s fries gluten-free?
Read on: Are french fries gluten-free? (frozen french fries brands listed here)
What menu items are gluten-free at McDonald’s?
McDonald’s isn’t exactly the best place to go if you’re on a gluten-free diet. Most of their burgers, sandwiches, chicken, and breakfast options contain gluten.
That said, if you’re looking for a beverage option or maybe a hot fudge sundae or chocolate shake, then maybe McDonald’s is okay for you if you can tolerate food that has been prepared in the same kitchen as other gluten ingredients.
You know your body and what you can and can’t tolerate, so you use your best judgment when making choices about which fast food restaurants to go to and what to order when you get there.
Read on: McDonald’s gluten-free menu items
If you love a quick hot breakfast option while on your way to work or on the go, I hope this post has helped you get the information you’ve been looking for. McDonald’s hash browns are not gluten-free like many of their menu items.
You will want to keep on driving if you’re looking for a hot breakfast for your gluten-free diet, because it’s not at McDonald’s unfortunately.
More Gluten-free Restaurant Menu Items
If you’re looking at other popular restaurants and wondering what gluten-free menu items they offer, be sure to check out some of these posts. I’ve outlined all the gluten-free options from each of the following places, plus tips on cross contamination.
- Gluten-free Fast Food: Options from Major Chains
- Gluten and Dairy-free Diet: 4 Restaurant Tips
- Burger King Gluten-free Menu Items
- Cheesecake Factory Gluten-free Menu Items
- Chick-Fil-A Gluten-free Menu Items
- Chilis Gluten-free Menu Items
- Dunkin Donuts Gluten-free Menu Items
- Einstein Bros Bagels Gluten-free Menu Items
- Little Caesar’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- McDonald’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Taco Bell Gluten-free Menu Items
- Wendy’s Gluten-free Menu Items