Find out what menu items from Whataburger do not contain gluten and what you need to know about their gluten-free options.
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If you find yourself looking for a place to go out to eat, you may have found a Whataburger near you. With all kinds of burgers, sandwiches, and kids options, you’ve probably wondered if this restaurant has any gluten-free options.
If you’re like me, you’re always looking for a few restaurants, including fast food options, that you can rely on to provide something that works for your gluten-free diet.
When doing research on gluten-free restaurants, I came across Whataburger. While there isn’t a Whataburger near me, I know that folks who read this blog are from all over the US, so I figured I’d dig into this menu and see what options this restaurant has for us gluten-free folks.
In this post, we’re going to dig into the Whataburger menu and find out what this restaurant has to say about gluten-free options, as well as the menu items you might consider trying while sticking with your diet.
Keep in mind that not all restaurants offer gluten-free menu options, so we’ll go through everything you need to know about Whataburger and what is safe and what really isn’t.
Before we get into the details of Whataburger, let’s go over some of the basics of gluten, where it’s found in restaurants, and what you need to know about cross contamination.
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, pasta, pizza crust, or flour in the more obvious places.
You can also find gluten as a binding ingredient, an ingredient added for texture like to make food more crispy, or as a thickening agent.
Where can you find gluten in restaurants?
Depending on the restaurant you’re visiting, you may find gluten in a variety of places.
At fast food restaurants, there will be gluten in hamburger buns, the breading of crispy chicken sandwiches or chicken nuggets, some French fries, salad dressings, croutons on salad, and chili or soup options.
At other restaurants, you’ll find gluten in flour in sauces, in pizza or other pastry dough, pasta, and as a thickener in some soups.
Where gluten is found in the menu items will vary from restaurant to restaurant. That’s why it’s always a good idea to review menus from home, and see if you can find any allergen information before you get to the restaurant itself.
Being able to review nutritional information and allergen statements before visiting a fast food restaurant can be the difference between ordering something that you think is safe for your gluten-free diet and getting sick.
Being knowledgeable about what specific menu items you’ll be able to eat without any worries of later reactions is crucial to sticking with your gluten-free diet.
Whataburger allergen disclaimer
I wasn’t able to find any allergen disclaimer from Whataburger anywhere online. This is concerning if you follow a gluten-free diet.
What you need to know about the gluten-free options at Whataburger
Keep in mind that most restaurants (I’m assuming Whataburger as well, since I wasn’t able to find information to say otherwise) usually use the same fryers for grilled chicken and onion rings as they do their French fries and hash browns. With breading on the former two options, it’s a safe bet to avoid anything that goes into these shared fryers.
There are no gluten-free bun options at Whataburger. You may opt for a burger and order it without a bun if you’d like to still enjoy the meat and toppings. Though I listed these options below as not containing any gluten, it’s not posted with 100% certainty, because there was no real information online about the ingredients this company uses in their food.
The best choices at this restaurant for folks on a gluten-free diet are their packaged apples and beverage options. These seem the least likely for cross contamination in the kitchens. Two of their salads contain no gluten ingredients, but there still may be opportunities for cross contact with gluten in the kitchens while they are being prepared.
What to know about cross contamination at restaurants
Most fast food and carryout restaurants are not considered gluten-free establishments so it’s useful to keep this in mind when making decisions about where to go and what to order.
It’s important to know that even if a fast food restaurant claims that their menu items do not contain gluten, that the possibility and probability of gluten in their products is going to be high if there is even one menu item with gluten available.
Depending on your level of sensitivity to gluten, this can be make or break information for you.
If you are Celiac and are allergic to trace amounts of gluten, you’ll likely want to avoid most fast food restaurants that offer any bread products or French fries that are cooked in a shared fryer with other gluten-containing ingredients.
If you are not sensitive to gluten at the trace level and have adverse reactions to gluten due to a food intolerance, you may decide that these trace amounts of gluten from cross contamination are worth risking for a quick, easy, and convenient food option.
Being aware of how you have reacted to gluten in your diet in the past and how much gluten it takes for your body to react is useful knowledge when it comes to situations like these.
Use your best judgment about what you know about your body, how you react to gluten, and what the risks are for you specifically.
Whataburger Gluten-free Menu Items
The menu options at Whataburger are based on location. I chose a random location to compile information for this post since I don’t live near one of these restaurants myself.
All the burgers at Whataburger come on a Large Bun that contains wheat and gluten. If you want to order a burger from this restaurant, be sure to order it without a bun.
- Whataburger without a bun
- Double Meat Whataburger without a bun
- Triple Meat Whataburger without a bun
- Jalapeno & Cheese Whataburger without a bun
- Bacon & Cheese Whataburger without a bun
- Avocado Bacon Burger without a bun
- Whataburger Jr without a bun
- Double Meat Whataburger Jr without a bun
All the All-Time Favorites Options at Whataburger come on a Large Bun that contains wheat and gluten. If you want to order one of these sandwiches or burgers from this restaurant, be sure to order it without a bun.
All Chicken menu items from Whataburger contain gluten. There may be no gluten ingredients (it’s unclear on the website what ingredients are in each menu item) in the grilled chicken sandwich, but it does come on a brioche bun, so if you decide to opt for this menu item, be sure to order it without a bun.
Hash Brown Sticks (may be made in a shared fryer with gluten ingredients)
All kids menu items from Whataburger contain gluten ingredients in the bun on the burger, bread on their grilled cheese sandwich, and breading in their chicken strips.
- Apple Slices
- French Fries (may be made in a shared fryer with gluten ingredients)
- Apple & Cranberry Chicken Salad
- Garden Salad
Desserts & Snacks
- Welch’s Fruit Snacks
Drinks & Shakes
- Coca-Cola Classic
- Diet Coke
- Minute Maid Zero Sugar Lemonade
- Powerade Fruit Punch
- Dr Pepper
- Diet Dr Pepper
- Barq’s Root Beer
- Fanta Orange
- Coke Zero Sugar
- Unsweet Tea
- Sweet Tea
- Half Sweet Tea & Half Unsweet Tea
- Half Unsweet Tea & Half Lemonade
- Half Sweet Tea & Half Lemonade
- Decaf Coffee
- Dr Pepper Shake
- Chocolate Shake
- Strawberry Shake
- Vanilla Shake
- Honest Apple Juice
- Simply Orange Juice
- 1% Regular Milk
- 1% Chocolate Milk
Lighter & Smaller
- Whataburger Jr with Bacon & Cheese without a bun
- Double Meat Whataburger Jr without a bun
- Double Meat Whataburger Jr with Cheese without a bun
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich without a bun
- Apple & Cranberry Chicken Salad
- Garden Salad
- Hash Brown Sticks
If you’ve been looking for information on what you can eat at Whataburger while on a gluten-free diet, I hope this information has been helpful for you. Or at least given you enough info to decide if this is a good restaurant option for you.
While nothing on their menu is truly gluten-free due to the possibility of cross contamination, they do have some menu items that contain no wheat or gluten ingredients.
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 my Gluten-free Restaurant Guide. I’ve outlined all the gluten-free options from 45+ popular restaurants and fast food chains.
- Gluten-free Fast Food: Options from Major Chains
- Gluten and Dairy-free Diet: 4 Restaurant Tips
- Applebee’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Arby’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Blaze Pizza Gluten-free Menu Items
- Boston Market Gluten-free Menu Items
- Buffalo Wild Wings Gluten-free Menu Items
- Burger King Gluten-free Menu Items
- California Pizza Kitchen Gluten-free Menu Items
- Cheesecake Factory Gluten-free Menu Items
- Chick-Fil-A Gluten-free Menu Items
- Chilis Gluten-free Menu Items
- Chipotle Gluten-free Menu Items
- Cracker Barrel Gluten-free Menu Items
- Crumbl Cookies Gluten-free Menu Items
- Culver’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Denny’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Domino’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Dunkin Donuts Gluten-free Menu Items
- Einstein Bros Bagels Gluten-free Menu Items
- Firehouse Subs Gluten-free Menu Items
- First Watch Gluten-free Menu Items
- Five Guys Gluten-free Menu Items
- IHOP Gluten-free Menu Items
- Jack In The Box Gluten-free Menu Items
- Jimmy John’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- KFC Gluten-free Menu Items
- Little Caesar’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Longhorn Steakhouse Gluten-free Menu Items
- McDonald’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- MOD Pizza Gluten-free Menu Items
- Nothing Bundt Cakes Gluten-free Menu Items
- Olive Garden Gluten-free Menu Items
- Outback Steakhouse Gluten-free Menu Items
- Panda Express Gluten-free Menu Items
- Panera Gluten-free Menu Items
- Papa Johns Gluten-free Menu Items
- Papa Murphy’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- P.F. Chang’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Pizza Hut Gluten-free Menu Items
- Qdoba Gluten-free Menu Items
- Red Lobster Gluten-free Menu Items
- Red Robin Gluten-free Menu Items
- Ruby Tuesday Gluten-free Menu Items
- Shake Shack Gluten-free Menu Items
- Smashburger Gluten-free Menu Items
- Sonic Gluten-free Menu Items
- Starbucks Gluten-free Menu Items
- Subway Gluten-free Menu Items
- Taco Bell Gluten-free Menu Items
- Texas Roadhouse Gluten-free Menu Items
- Wendy’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Whataburger Gluten-free Menu Items
- Wingstop Gluten-free Menu Items