Find out if tortilla chips are gluten-free, what brands of gluten-free tortilla chips are available, and where gluten might be found in tortilla chips.
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Tortilla chips are a staple in my household. We love having them for taco night with salsa, homemade dairy-free queso dip, or guacamole.
What I love most about them is that they are so versatile. You can use them for dips, topping chili or tortilla soup, or turning into nachos. You can use them endlessly – and in my household, we do.
If you follow a gluten-free diet, you know that gluten hides in even the least obvious places sometimes. This post is all about gluten-free tortilla chips… and is gluten in tortilla chips even a thing we need to consider?!
Where, why, and when will gluten show up in an otherwise corn based product?
In this post, we’re going to dive into what tortilla chips are made of, if corn tortillas are gluten-free, and we’ll discuss if tortilla chips – all types and flavors of tortilla chips – are gluten-free.
We’ll also cover how to make your own gluten-free tortilla chips, how to determine if the tortilla chips you’re looking at while at the store are gluten-free, and what brands are safe for a gluten-free diet.
Wrapping up, we’re going to answer some questions about your favorite brands of tortilla chips to make sure you have all the information you need to choose a gluten-free option that’s right for you and your diet.
What are tortilla chips made of?
Tortilla chips in their most simple form are made from corn tortillas, cut into triangles, circles, or strips, then fried in oil or baked.
Corn tortillas are made out of corn kernels, a limewater-cured maize which allows the skin of the corn kernels to come off. This corn is ground, other ingredients are added, then rolled into a ball. Then it is flattened and cooked.
Corn tortillas can be made using traditionally yellow corn white corn or even blue corn.
Some tortilla chip brands may use additional ingredients in their chips to make them a little different than the standard corn tortilla chips you’re used to.
For example, you can find ingredients like chickpea, cassava, amaranth, teff, lentil, coconut, and sweet potato flour in some tortilla chips.
All of these ingredients are gluten-free, but that doesn’t mean that all flavors and varieties of tortilla chips are.
Flavored tortilla chips, meaning any chips with anything other than corn, oil, and salt in them will need a second look at the ingredients to ensure there isn’t any hidden gluten in the product.
Read on: Gluten-free Tortillas
Are corn tortillas gluten-free?
Yes, corn tortillas are made using corn, which is a naturally gluten-free food. Since corn itself doesn’t contain gluten, and most tortillas don’t contain other sources of gluten, corn tortillas are safe for a gluten-free diet.
As with any food, it’s important to check ingredients lists and look for any hidden names of gluten just to be safe.
Read on: Do corn tortillas have gluten?
Read on: Are flour tortillas gluten-free?
Are tortilla chips gluten free?
Since tortilla chips are made from corn tortillas, and these are most always gluten-free, we can confidently say that most tortilla chips are gluten-free.
Depending on what other flavorings are added or other ingredients are added to the chips, they may not be gluten-free. You’ll want to look for a gluten-free label, which indicates there is less than 20ppm of gluten in the product as required by the FDA, before purchasing.
Are all tortilla chips gluten free?
Unfortunately, some tortilla chips do contain gluten, meaning you can’t just grab a bag of chips off the shelf of the grocery store and assume they are gluten-free.
Some brands use both corn and wheat flour in their tortilla chip recipes, meaning they aren’t safe for a gluten-free diet.
As mentioned already, be sure to look for a gluten-free label or review the ingredients list. You can also look for a note on the package that states the product has been produced in a gluten-free facility.
Be aware that cross contamination may occur if you find a brand of tortilla chips that have no gluten-containing ingredients, yet also don’t have a gluten-free label on the package.
Depending on your level of sensitivity to gluten, you may decide this is okay for you and your body – or you may not.
Are restaurant tortilla chips gluten free?
This will depend on the restaurant you’re dining at. You’ll want to find out if the tortilla chips are fried in a dedicated fryer.
Even if the tortilla chips don’t have any gluten ingredients, if they are made in the same fryer as other foods with gluten, there will be gluten in the chips.
Depending on your level of gluten sensitivity, this may or may not affect you and your body. Do what feels right for you.
How to make sure your tortilla chips are gluten free
The best way to determine if the tortilla chips you’re buying are gluten-free is to look for two (or three) things:
- The ingredients list. Look for tortilla chips that contain only corn tortillas, salt, and oil. If there are more ingredients, be sure they are not hidden names of gluten.
- A gluten-free label. As required by the FDA, any package that contains less than 20ppm of gluten can have a gluten-free label. It doesn’t have to be “certified gluten-free” (although that’s great too), any gluten-free label must meet these requirements.
- If you are Celiac, look for a gluten-free label AND a “processed in a gluten-free facility” note on the packaging. This will ensure that there is no risk of cross contamination in the product.
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.
How to make your own tortilla chips
You can also choose to make your own tortilla chips at home if you’re not a fan of the idea of buying something at the grocery store.
Try one of these recipes to help you make them at home:
- Homemade Tortilla Chips
- Baked Tortilla Chips
- Homemade Tortilla Chips
- Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips
- Homemade Tortilla Chips
Gluten-free Tortilla Chip Brands
Next time you’re out shopping for tortilla chips, try one of these brands and know that they’re safe for a gluten-free diet. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but will give you a jumping off point next time you’re scouring the chip aisle.
- Cabo Chips
- Food Should Taste Good
- Garden of Eatin’ Tortilla Chips
- Late July
- Mission Foods
- The Better Chip
- Utz Tortiyah’s
- Way Better
Be sure if you’re looking for flavored tortilla chips, that you check ingredients lists for any hidden gluten before buying!
Are your favorite brand of tortilla chips gluten-free?
Now that you’ve seen some brands that are safe for helping you stick with your gluten-free diet, let’s talk about some of the more popular brands you may have questions about.
Are Santitas tortilla chips gluten-free?
According to the Frito Lay website, the manufacturer of Santitas, both their white corn and yellow corn tortilla chips are gluten-free. Both are also dairy-free.
Are Doritos chips gluten-free?
According to the Frito Lay website, Doritos’ parent company, the Simply Organic White Cheddar Flavored Tortilla Chips are gluten-free.
Other flavors of Doritos are not considered gluten-free, but do not contain gluten-containing ingredients. This means that while they do not contain gluten, they may be processed on the same equipment as gluten ingredients, and therefore have a risk of cross contamination.
These flavors are (dairy-free options are indicated with an asterisk):
- DORITOS® Cool Ranch® Flavored Tortilla Chips
- DORITOS® Dinamita® Chile Limón Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips
- DORITOS® Flamas™ Flavored Tortilla Chips
- DORITOS® Flamin’ Hot® Limon Flavored Tortilla Chips
- DORITOS® Flamin’ Hot® Nacho Flavored Tortilla Chips
- DORITOS® Flavor Shots Fiery Habanero Triangles
- DORITOS® Nacho Cheese Flavored Tortilla Chips
- DORITOS® Poppin’ Jalapeño Flavored Tortilla Chips
- DORITOS® Salsa Verde Flavored Tortilla Chips*
- DORITOS® Simply Organic Spicy White Cheddar Flavored Tortilla Chips
- DORITOS® Spicy Nacho Flavored Tortilla Chips
- DORITOS® Taco Flavored Tortilla Chips
- DORITOS® Tangy Pickle Flavored Tortilla Chips*
- DORITOS® Tapatio® Flavored Tortilla Chips
- DORITOS® Twisted Lime Flavored Tortilla Chips
Read more: Are Doritos gluten-free?
Are Tostitos tortilla chips gluten-free?
Tostitos are another well-known brand of tortilla chips made by the Frito Lay company. According to their website, these varieties are considered gluten-free and have a gluten-free label on the packaging.
Dairy-free options are indicated with an asterisk(*).
- TOSTITOS® Bite Size Rounds Tortilla Chips*
- TOSTITOS® Cantina Thin & Crispy Tortilla Chips*
- TOSTITOS® Cantina Traditional Tortilla Chips*
- TOSTITOS® Crispy Rounds Tortilla Chips*
- TOSTITOS® Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips*
- TOSTITOS® Original Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips*
- TOSTITOS® Reduced Fat Crispy Rounds Tortilla Chips*
- TOSTITOS® Scoops!® Tortilla Chips*
- TOSTITOS® Simply Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips*
- TOSTITOS® Simply Organic Scoops!® Tortilla Chips
- TOSTITOS® Simply Organic Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips*
- TOSTITOS® Strips Tortilla Chips*
- TOSTITOS® Thick & Hearty Rounds Tortilla Chips
Other flavors are not considered gluten-free, but do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients. These have the potential for cross contamination, so be sure to decide what level of gluten you are okay with having in your diet (if at all), before buying these flavors.
- TOSTITOS® Football Shaped Tortilla Chips*
- TOSTITOS® Hint of Guacamole Flavored Tortilla Chips
- TOSTITOS® Hint of Lime Flavored Tortilla Chips
- TOSTITOS® Multigrain Scoops!® Tortilla Chips*
- TOSTITOS® Salsa Verde Flavored Tortilla Chips
Are Calidad tortilla chips gluten-free?
Calidad tortilla chips have a gluten-free label on their packaging, meaning they must contain less than 20ppm of gluten in the product. These are safe for a gluten-free diet and also have no dairy ingredients.
Are Mission tortilla chips gluten-free?
According to the Mission Foods website, “Mission® corn products are produced with 100% corn masa flour; wheat ingredients are not added to the formulation.
These products include corn tortillas, corn tortilla chips, taco shells, and tostadas. These products are produced in plants that also process wheat tortillas.”
The company responded to the question of “Is there a potential for cross-contamination of corn products with wheat ingredients?” with this response:
“All Mission plants have strict food safety programs in place, including a very comprehensive Allergen Control Program.”
Their corn tortilla chips are gluten-free and safe for a gluten-free diet. With a gluten-free label, you can feel confident that there is no more than 20ppm of gluten in the product.
All of their tortilla chips are also dairy-free.
Read on: Are taco shells gluten-free?
Are Takis gluten-free?
Takis are not gluten-free. A note on their packaging under the ingredients list indicates that these chips “may contain milk, egg, and wheat.” If you follow a gluten-free diet, these chips should be avoided.
Looking through the ingredients, we can also see that there is yeast extract which is an ingredient that is often derived from gluten, usually barley.
Read on: Are Takis gluten-free?
If you’ve been wondering what brands of tortilla chips are gluten-free or what to look for in tortilla chips while you’re on a gluten-free diet, I hope this post has helped you get the information you need in order to make a decision next time you’re at the store.
Most corn tortilla chips are gluten-free, and it never hurts to look for a gluten-free label and review ingredients lists before buying any packaged food.