Is popcorn gluten-free? Check out this ultimate guide to learn everything you should know about eating popcorn on a gluten-free diet!

overhead shot of popcorn in a pot


 

In the United States, popcorn is synonymous with trips to the movie theater, carnivals, parties, and all things fun. It’s salty, crunchy, puffy, and buttery.

Popcorn can be a healthy snack or indulgent treat. It can be made savory or sweet. It’s one of those versatile, delicious snacks that’s hard to resist! No wonder it’s one of America’s favorite foods!

If you eat a gluten-free diet, you may be wondering: is popcorn gluten-free?

We’ll cover everything you need to know in this guide!

Is Popcorn Gluten-Free?

So is popcorn gluten-free?

Here’s the short answer: Yes, in general, popcorn is considered a gluten free snack that is safe for people with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

However, there are exceptions to the rule! Check out the rest of this guide to learn more about when popcorn may not be gluten-free.

Chocolate drizzle popcorn on a baking sheet

Which Popcorn Is Gluten-Free?

In most cases, popcorn is gluten-free.

This snack is typically made with basic ingredients like popcorn kernels, oil, salt, and butter, which are all naturally gluten-free. Most popcorn add-on ingredients are gluten-free, too. (Think: caramel, chocolate, sugar, nuts, etc.)

If you’re making your own popcorn at home, you can be confident you’re getting a snack that’s completely free of gluten.

However, some store-bought popcorn presents the risk of cross-contamination with gluten when it is packaged or manufactured. Other types of popcorn may contain gluten additives.

For this reason, it’s always best to check labels and ingredient lists. To be on the safe side, always buy popcorn that is certified gluten-free. (Luckily, you’ll find lots of options at the store!)

If you’re at a movie theater, you can ask the concessions stand if the popcorn is gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Popcorn Brands

Good news! Many major popcorn brands are gluten-free, including many types of microwave popcorn, pre-popped popcorn, packaged popcorn, and plain kernels.

Here are some gluten-free popcorn brands that are readily available at most grocery stores:

  • Orville Redenbacher
  • Act II
  • Angie’s Boomchickapop (certified gluten-free)
  • Skinnypop (certified gluten-free)
  • Snappy
  • Kirkland Signature (certified gluten-free)
  • Jolly Time
  • Pop Secret
  • 365 Whole Foods Market popcorn
  • Trader Joe’s Organic Popcorn

For more guides on gluten-free products, check out is boba gluten-free, are oats gluten-free, gluten-free graham crackers, gluten-free hot chocolate, gluten-free cereal and gluten-free pretzels.

Is Movie Theater Popcorn Gluten-Free?

Most movie theater popcorn is gluten-free, including the popcorn at AMC Theaters, Regal, Cinemark, and Marcus theaters.

As with most popcorn, the popcorn at movie theaters is typically made from gluten-free ingredients like popcorn kernels, real butter, oil, and salt.

The only time movie theatre popcorn isn’t gluten-free is if it contains additives or mix-ins that have gluten. If you’re not sure, it’s always a good idea to ask the staff at the concessions stand to find out if the popcorn has any gluten-containing ingredients.

Be sure to check out these articles on Jersey Mikes gluten-freeStarbucks gluten-freePanera gluten-freeWendy’s gluten-freeChipotle gluten-free and Chick Fil-A gluten-free.

Is Pop Secret Popcorn Gluten-Free?

Though the product doesn’t have a gluten-free label, it’s generally considered safe for people with Celiac disease. But as always, use your best judgment!

Almost all varieties of Popsecret popcorn are made without gluten ingredients, and Pop Secret has told sources that the product is gluten-free.

Popsecret is made with the following ingredients: Whole Grain Popcorn, Palm Oil, Salt, Natural Flavors, Annatto, Paprika. Contains: Milk.

Is Smartfood Popcorn Gluten-Free?

Smartfood popcorn does not contain any gluten ingredients. Some of the varieties are labeled gluten-free such as the white cheddar.

If you review the Smartfood website, you’ll find that the product contains the following ingredients: Popcorn, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, and/or Sunflower Oil), Salt, Maltodextrin (Made From Corn), Gum Acacia, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Butter (Cream, Salt), Natural Flavor, Skim Milk, and Tocopherols (Antioxidant).

If the variety is not labeled gluten-free, there is a chance of cross-contamination with gluten during the manufacturing and packaging process.

Is Buttered Popcorn Gluten-Free?

Buttered popcorn in its natural form is gluten-free, since it’s typically made with just popcorn kernels and butter. However, some popcorn products contain additives that have gluten. Others have a risk of cross contamination with gluten during manufacturing.

If you make buttered popcorn at home, you can be sure it’s gluten-free. If you’re buying buttered popcorn at a store, movie theater, or anywhere else, it’s always best to read labels and inquire to find out if it is gluten-free.

Is Microwave Popcorn Gluten-Free?

Microwavable popcorn is generally considered a gluten-free product, since it’s typically made of naturally gluten-free ingredients like popcorn kernels, salt, oil, and butter.

Still, if you have Celiac disease or non-Celiac gluten sensitivity it’s important to read labels carefully. Some brands of microwave popcorn are not certified gluten-free, and pose a risk of cross-contamination with gluten during the manufacturing process.

To be safe, it’s best to purchase only certified gluten-free microwave popcorn. Fortunately, many brands of popcorn — like Act II, Orville Redenbacher, and Jolly Time — fall into this category!

For more articles on gluten-free snacks, check out are fritos gluten-freeare cheetos gluten-freeare pringles gluten-free and are doritos gluten-free.

Microwave caramel corn in a bowl on a countertop

Gluten-Free Popcorn Recipes

Want to make your own gluten-free popcorn at home? I can help with that!

Here are some of my favorite gluten-free popcorn recipes:

You also might like this Halloween snack mix.

FAQs

is all popcorn gluten-free?

Most popcorn is gluten-free. It’s made from plain kernels, and corn is a naturally gluten-free vegetable. However, some processed popcorn products may cross-contaminate with gluten during manufacturing. If you’re extremely sensitive to gluten, it’s best to look for a popcorn brand that has a certified gluten-free label.

Does bagged popcorn have gluten?

Since popcorn is naturally gluten-free, most bagged popcorn is also gluten-free. But keep in mind — it can vary from one brand to another. Popular brands like Act II and Orville Redenbacher are all certified gluten-free. But NOW Foods popcorn and Smartfood popcorn are not certified gluten-free, and there is a chance of cross-contamination with gluten.

is caramel popcorn gluten-free?

It depends. Most caramel popcorn is made without gluten, but some recipes use wheat flour, which contains gluten. It’s always best to review the ingredient list and check for a gluten-free label before purchasing.

is orville redenbacher popcorn gluten free?

Yes, all Orville Redenbacher popcorn varieties are certified gluten-free products. It has a gluten-free label on all popcorn products, so people with Celiac disease can rest assured that it is safe to eat on a gluten-free diet.

is amc popcorn gluten-free?

According to AMC Theaters allergen information, all AMC plain popcorn varieties are gluten-free. However, the gourmet popcorn, caramel corn, and cheese popcorn are not gluten-free.

The Bottom Line

In most cases, popcorn is gluten-free. Popcorn is often a gluten-free snack that is safe for people with Celiac disease. It’s made with gluten-free ingredients like popcorn kernels, oil, salt, and butter. And even add-ons like chocolate and caramel are naturally gluten-free.

Still, there may be times with store-bought popcorn is made with gluten additives, or presents a risk of cross-contamination with gluten.

The best way to be sure is to buy certified gluten-free popcorn, or to ask the restaurant or movie theater if the popcorn is gluten-free.

Happy snacking!

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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!

image for website to buy cookies cookbook

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this!! You’ve done all the hard work & now, I can just go get the popcorn I need & enjoy!! Love the chocolate drizzle on popcorn!

  2. Interesting read. I love popcorn. One of me and my kids’ favorite healthy snacks. Good to know it can be a safe snack to send as a school snack.

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