Wondering if mashed potatoes are gluten-free? Find out everything you want to know in this helpful guide to eating mashed potatoes while living a gluten-free lifestyle.
There’s no doubt about it. Mashed potatoes are one the absolute best comfort foods! They’re rich and buttery, creamy and fluffy, and the perfect easy side dish for a classic roast, Thanksgiving turkey, pork, or chicken.
The great recipes for mashed potatoes don’t even need gravy. They’re flavorful and delicious all on their own!
I’m willing to bed your whole family considers mashed potatoes to be one of their favorite foods, and it’s easy to see why.
But if you have Celiac disease or eat a non-Celiac gluten sensitivity, you may want to know: Are mashed potatoes gluten-free?
Here’s the simple answer: Most mashed potatoes are gluten-free, but gravy thickened with flour is not. Restaurant mashed potatoes or ready-made mashed potatoes can be a gamble, so it’s always best to read the ingredient list.
- Are Mashed Potatoes Gluten-Free?
- Do Mashed Potatoes Contain Gluten?
- Why Are Potatoes Not Gluten-Free?
- Which Potatoes Are Not Gluten-Free?
- Do Boxed Mashed Potatoes Have Gluten?
- Are Potatoes Gluten-Free?
- Gluten-Free Mashed Potatoes Brands
- The Bottom Line
- Gluten-Free Potato Recipes
- More Articles on Gluten-Free Living
For some favorite gluten-free potato recipes, check out these gluten-free mashed potatoes, dairy-free mashed potatoes, gluten-free scalloped potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes and best potato salad recipe.
Are Mashed Potatoes Gluten-Free?
Good news! Yes, for the most part, mashed potatoes are gluten-free. Potatoes are naturally gluten-free, and typical mashed potato ingredients like milk, butter, salt, and pepper are gluten-free, too.
However, there are a couple caveats.
Oftentimes, the gravy served with mashed potatoes is not gluten-free, since it’s thickened with flour. (Gravy thickened with cornstarch or gluten-free flour is okay, and considered to be gluten-free gravy.)
Another thing to watch out for is potato flakes or restaurant potatoes that have gluten ingredients. It’s always best to read the ingredients label to make sure store-bought potatoes do not contain wheat.
Do Mashed Potatoes Contain Gluten?
No, most mashed potatoes do not contain gluten. Potatoes, milk, and butter are all naturally gluten-free. So if you’re on a gluten-free diet, you can eat mashed potatoes without worry!
But keep in mind: You may need to skip the gravy, if wheat flour is the thickening agent!
If you’re buying mashed potatoes at a store or restaurant, you should always be cautious. Double check the ingredients list to ensure there aren’t any gluten-containing foods.
Why Are Potatoes Not Gluten-Free?
Plain potatoes are a naturally gluten-free food. However, sometimes certain dishes that contain potatoes are not gluten free.
For example, French fries are not gluten-free if they’re made in a shared fryer. Many restaurants cook French fries in the same fryer as chicken nuggets and hash browns, which usually contain gluten. This poses a risk of cross contamination with the French fries.
Some of your favorite potato dishes might not be gluten-free options, either. (Think: potatoes au gratin or scalloped potatoes.) Sometimes these dishes are made using flour (to thicken the sauce), or they might have a breadcrumb topping.
Which Potatoes Are Not Gluten-Free?
Even though most mashed potatoes are gluten-free, some other potatoes recipes are not. Ultimately, it depends on the type of potato toppings, sauces, and fillings used to make the dish.
Here are some types of potatoes that may not be gluten-free:
- French fries (if made in a shared fryer)
- Potato skins (if made in a shared fryer)
- Potato chips (if made with malt vinegar or wheat starch)
- Baked potatoes (if coated with flour)
- Mashed potatoes (if served with gluten-containing gravy)
- Potatoes au gratin (if topped with breadcrumbs)
- Potato bread (if made with wheat flour)
- Hash browns (usually gluten-free but can not if with flour coating)
Do Boxed Mashed Potatoes Have Gluten?
It depends. Some of the boxed mashed potatoes you’ll find on grocery store shelves are gluten-free, and other times, they might have gluten ingredients.
For this reason, it’s always best practice to be on the safe side and read the nutrition label to find out what’s inside instant mashed potatoes. Some brands of instant mashed potatoes have a distinct gluten-free label, making their gluten-free status easy to spot.
Are Potatoes Gluten-Free?
Yes, potatoes are gluten-free. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and a few other grains — but potatoes are starchy vegetables.
So as long as potatoes are prepared without any gluten-ingredients (like flour or breadcrumbs), they’re safe for people with Celiac disease to eat.
Gluten-Free Mashed Potatoes Brands
Luckily, if you have a gluten allergy, you can still enjoy mashed potatoes. Whether you make them at home or buy store-bought, there are plenty of gluten-free mashed potatoes brands.
Here are a few to choose from:
Ready-Made Mashed Potatoes
Instant Mashed Potatoes
- Hungry Jack Gluten Free Mashed Potatoes
- Idahoan Gluten Free Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes
- Edward & Sons Organic Mashed Potatoes Home-Style
- Honest Earth Creamy Mash Potatoes
- Bob’s Red Mill Instant Mashed Potatoes Creamy Potato Flakes
Yes, as the KFC website states, their mashed potatoes are gluten-free.
Yes, you can usually enjoy a baked potato on a gluten-free diet, as long as it isn’t topped with any gluten ingredients.
Yes, as you’ll find listed on the packaging, Bob Evans mashed potatoes are completely gluten-free.
Yes, most loaded mashed potatoes are gluten-free, as long as they’re not thickened with flour or topped with breading.
Yes, like all potatoes, sweet potatoes are gluten-free. They are a starchy vegetable that does not contain any gluten-protein. (Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye, and a few other grains.)
The Bottom Line
So are mashed potatoes gluten-free?
In most cases, the answer is yes. But keep in mind that gravy thickened with wheat flour is not gluten-free!
Potatoes are a gluten-free starchy vegetable that is safe to eat if you have Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. The main ingredient used to make traditional versions of mashed potatoes are gluten-free, too, including butter, milk, sour cream, cream cheese, and seasoning.
But remember, some potato recipes do contain gluten. For this reason, it’s always important to read the label if you’re buying pre-made mashed potatoes or boxed mashed potatoes.