Oatmeal is a whole and easy breakfast option. But is oatmeal gluten-free? The answer is it depends!

This blog post has the quick answer – are the more in-depth information you need!

Oats in a bowl


A hot bowl of oatmeal is a great option for a busy weekday breakfast or an on-the-go snack. It’s made with whole grains that are filling, heart, and full of nutrients!

Whether you opt for old-fashioned oats, steel-cut oats, or quick oats, there’s a convenient and tasty option for everyone. Make them with a chewy texture, take overnight oats on the go, or bake oatmeal as an easy breakfast for a crowd.

Plus, you can customize them lots of different ways, adding mix-ins and toppings galore!

But if you have a wheat allergy or are on a strict gluten-free diet, you probably want to know: is oatmeal gluten-free?

In this post, we’ll cover everything you should know about this popular breakfast food and gluten.

SHORT ANSWER: Is Oatmeal Gluten-Free?

Sometimes, but not always!

Oatmeal is only gluten-free if it is made with certified gluten-free oats. Pure oats are naturally gluten-free, but they also have a high risk of cross contamination with gluten-containing grains during the manufacturing/packing process.

For this reason, regular oatmeal found at the grocery store is not safe for people on a gluten-free diet. Only certified gluten-free oatmeal is tested to ensure it contains less than 20 ppm gluten.

Learn more in the article Are Oats Gluten-Free?

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You also might like these articles on gluten-free cerealhow to make oat floursubstitute for oat flour and is oat milk gluten-free.

overhead shot of oats with wooden spoon

Is Quaker Oatmeal Gluten-Free?

No, regular Quaker oatmeal is not gluten free, because it is milled and packaged on machines that also process gluten products.

If you want to be confident you’re getting gluten-free oatmeal, you’ll need to avoid regular Quaker oats and only buy Quaker oats with a gluten-free label. Quaker does not offer any gluten-free rolled oats, but it does offer gluten-free instant oatmeal.

If you’re looking for gluten-free oats, try Bob’s Red Mills brand!

Is Quaker Instant Oatmeal Gluten-Free?

Quaker offers three types of gluten-free instant oats, including Gluten-Free Original Instant Oats. Gluten-Free Maple & Brown Sugar Instant Oats, and Gluten-Free Quick 1-Minute Oats. Note: All other Quaker oats are not gluten-free.

Is Starbucks Oatmeal Gluten-Free?

No, Starbucks oatmeal is not certified gluten-free. Even though pure oats do not contain gluten, they’re often milled on the same mechanical sorting machinery as wheat and other gluten products.

So if you have Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, it’s best to eat only certified gluten-free oatmeal.

Four types of gluten-free overnight oats in Mason jars on a counter top

Check out this recipe for customizable gluten-free overnight oats! You also might like this strawberry baked oatmeal.

Is McDonald’s Oatmeal Gluten-Free?

No, McDonald’s oatmeal is not certified gluten-free, and there is a high risk that the oats cross-contaminated with gluten during the manufacturing process. For this reason, it’s best to avoid McDonald’s oatmeal if you’re eating a gluten-free diet.

Is Kodiak Oatmeal Gluten-Free?

No, Kodiak oatmeal is not gluten-free. Even though plain oats are naturally gluten-free, they present a risk of cross-contamination with gluten in the manufacturing facility.

The Kodiak brand states on the packaging, “Also Contains Trace Amounts Of Egg, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts And Wheat Due To Processing On Shared Equipment.”

A bowl of steel cut oats, and a hand scooping up a bite with a spoon

Is Steel-Cut Oatmeal Gluten-Free?

Some brands offer gluten-free steel-cut oatmeal, while others do not. The best way to know if steel-cut oatmeal is gluten-free is by looking for certified gluten-free food labels.

However, it’s best to stay away from steel-cut oats that do not have a gluten-free label, since they could cross-contaminate with gluten-containing ingredients during the milling/packaging process.

Check out this recipe for creamy coconut gluten-free steel cut oats!

Did you know you can also buy gluten-free oat flour? Use it to make these oat flour wafflesoat flour muffinsoat flour banana breadoat flour pancakesoat flour browniesoat flour chocolate chip cookies and oat flour banana muffins.



Can you eat oatmeal if gluten intolerant?

Yes, you can eat oatmeal if you’re gluten intolerant or have Celiac disease. You’ll just need to make sure you’re buying gluten-free oats or oatmeal packets, since regular oats can cross-contaminate with gluten products.

What oatmeal is not gluten-free?

If oatmeal does not have a gluten-free label, is it not gluten-free. Only certified gluten-free oatmeal has been tested to make sure it contains less than 20 ppm gluten. Non-gluten-free oatmeal has a high chance of cross-contaminating with wheat, barley, or rye when it is being milled, transported, or packaged. 

Are instant oats gluten-free?

It depends. Instant oats must have a gluten-free label to ensure that they are gluten-free, uncontaminated oats. Regular instant oats could be contaminated with gluten, since they’re often transported, milled, and packaged on the same machines as gluten products.

What can I have for breakfast that is gluten-free?

There are lots of gluten-free breakfast options, including gluten-free oatmeal (you must use gluten-free oats), smoothies, eggs, bacon, gluten-free pancakes, yogurt parfaits, and more.

The Bottom Line

Is oatmeal gluten-free?

It depends. Not all oatmeal food products are gluten-free, which makes it a big point of debate in the Celiac community.

If you have a wheat allergy or prefer eating gluten-free foods, you’ll need to stick to certified gluten-free oatmeal.

Oatmeal that doesn’t have a gluten-free label is prone to gluten contamination, and there’s no way to be sure it contains less than 20 ppm of gluten.

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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