Find out what chicken broth is, what it’s made from, and if it’s gluten-free. Plus get a list of gluten-free chicken broth brands to shop for.
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If you enjoy adding extra flavor to your favorite soups, sauces, and stews, you may have opened up a can or carton of chicken broth to get that extra chicken flavor.
Chicken broth is a staple for many home cooks that adds the necessity of liquid to many recipes alongside the home cooked flavor of chicken.
Whether you like to make your own chicken broth at home with leftover chicken meat and vegetables or keep it on hand in your pantry in cans or cartons, you may have wondered if this food is gluten-free.
After all, if you’ve been following a gluten-free diet for any amount of time, you know that gluten can hide in almost any food – expected or unexpected.
Find out if chicken broth is a good option for you to continue using in your gluten-free cooking and what you need to know about this food when you buy it at the grocery store. Plus get a list of gluten-free chicken broth options to shop for next time you’re shopping.
What is chicken broth?
Chicken broth is a liquid that’s used as a base for many soups, stews, and sauces. It adds a chicken flavor to dishes that might otherwise be fairly bland. In soup, water can often be used, but with chicken broth, the dish is elevated to a new level with rich chicken flavor.
Chicken broth is similar to chicken stock, which is made from chicken bones. While both broth and stock can be used interchangeably, chicken stock tends to have more flavor and a more full feeling in the mouth.
Chicken broth can be the main star of a dish, like a chicken noodle soup or be a subtle addition, like in a homemade sauce.
Read on: Gluten and dairy-free diet: how to stock your pantry
Read on: 25 Gluten-free chicken soup recipes
What is chicken broth made from?
Chicken broth is made with water, chicken meat, aromatic vegetables, and seasonings. You can use any vegetables you like in chicken broth, but the most common are celery, onions, and carrots.
You can make your own chicken broth at home using these ingredients, or buy store bought chicken broth that comes in cans or cartons.
These chicken broth options tend to have the same ingredients, plus some preservatives.
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.
Gluten is often added as a binding or thickening ingredient in many foods, particularly those that have been processed.
Is chicken broth gluten-free?
Homemade chicken broth is gluten-free when only gluten-free ingredients are used. This is easy to accomplish, because most main ingredients in chicken broth are naturally gluten-free.
Chicken broth that comes in cans or cartons from the grocery store may or may not be gluten-free. For example, Campbell’s chicken broth has the following ingredients:
“Chicken Stock, Contains Less Than 2% Of: Chicken Fat, Salt, Yeast Extract, Monosodium Glutamate, Corn Oil, Natural Flavoring, Soy Protein Concentrate, Dried Chicken, Celery Extract. Contains: Soy May Contain Traces Of Wheat”
This “contains” note tells us everything we need to know: This product may contain wheat, and therefore gluten. This is why it’s important to check every product and ingredient list for notes about gluten.
Your best option for finding a gluten-free chicken broth is to review ingredients for any hidden names of gluten.
One of my little secrets is that I carry around a copy of my GFDF Take Along Cards so that I always have a point of reference when I can sneak a peek at the ingredient list of a food.
>> Get your copy of the GFDF Take-Along Cards to make this easy on you.
Read on: Does chicken have gluten?
Read on: Is chicken broth gluten-free?
Gluten-free chicken broth brands
There are a number of chicken broth brands available on the market, but to make things easier for you to find a product that works well for you, I’ve rounded up a few brands that offer a gluten-free label.
Anytime you see a gluten-free label on a package, you know the company has tested their products and have confirmed that there is less than 20ppm of gluten in that product.
Look for one of these gluten-free chicken broth brands next time you’re trying to find an option that works for your gluten-free diet.
- College Inn
- Kettle & Fire
- Kirkland Signature
- Pacific Foods
Read on: Dairy and gluten-free Costco finds
Is chicken bouillon gluten-free?
Depending on the brand, chicken bouillon may or may not be gluten-free. Many chicken bouillon options on the market do contain gluten or do not disclose whether or not there is gluten in their products.
Without a gluten-free label, you can read ingredient lists and see whether or not a product has gluten-containing ingredients, but will not know if the product is made on shared equipment or has the possibility of cross contamination.
A few brands of gluten-free chicken bouillon are BOU, Herb-Ox, Savory Choice, and Vogue Cuisine.
Read on: Is Better Than Bouillon gluten-free?
Read on: Is Knorr chicken bouillon gluten-free?
How to use chicken broth in your cooking
There are so many ways to use chicken broth in your cooking, but some of my favorite recipes and ideas I’ve outlined here on my blog already. You may want to use gluten-free chicken stock in any of these recipes to make the most of this flavorful ingredient:
- Dairy-free cream of chicken soup
- 25 gluten-free chicken recipes
- Crockpot potato soup
- In gluten and dairy-free soups, stews, and chili
- In homemade gluten-free grits
- In Gluten-free gravy and gluten-free chicken gravy
- In homemade egg drop soup with gluten-free noodles
- In Spanish or Mexican rice in gluten-free Mexican food
- In a gluten-free dairy-free chicken casserole
- In any of these 101 gluten and dairy-free casseroles
- In a gluten and dairy-free tuna casserole
- In a gluten and dairy-free crockpot recipe
- In a dairy-free cheese sauce for gluten-free mac and cheese
- In your favorite gluten and dairy-free holiday recipes
Read on: Is cream of chicken soup gluten-free?
If you’ve been wondering if gluten hides in chicken broth, I hope this post has helped you get the answers you’ve been looking for. Homemade chicken broth is easy to make without gluten if you use gluten-free ingredients.
Store bought chicken broth needs to be reviewed a little further with a look through ingredients lists and a gluten-free label.
Next time you’re shopping for chicken broth, look for one of those listed in the post here so you know what you’re buying is gluten-free!
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