takeaways

Everything gluten free at McDonald's in the UK 🍔🍟

Fast food chains aren't the best for gluten free but you'll be surprised that there are a few options at McDonald's which are gluten free and some even safe for coeliacs!

McDonald's logo

This blog was last updated in March 2024 🍔🍟

Table of Contents

❗Before we start, this is very important…

UK McDonald’s don’t advertise that they offer any gluten free options and that’s down to the fact that, because of the size and the way they run their kitchens, they just can’t rule out the chances of cross-contamination.

That’s understandable, and to be honest, I’d rather that than risks not be considered. But I do wonder how their restaurants in other countries can offer gluten free when they’re probably set up in a very similar way… 🤷🏼‍♀️

Anyway, the cross-contamination risks could come from a lot of different things but I’d say the main ones are the fryers, the utensils and human error. For example, you’ll see in this article, that there are some McDonald’s menu options that are naturally gluten free and fried only with other gluten free options, but you must check that the branch doesn’t use re-filtered oil.

Also, mistakes will happen from time to time and if, for example, you decided to opt for a cheeseburger without the bun (to make it gluten free), someone could put the patty on the bun, realise it’s supposed to be bun-less so then takes it back off, but at that point it’s contaminated with gluten. 😰

Unfortunately, you’re the only person that can decide whether you’re happy and confident to eat at McDonald’s knowing these risks. We’re here to give you a breakdown of everything that is, or can be made, gluten free so that you can make an informed decision.

To clarify, this is for UK McDonald’s only and this should be used as a guide and not an official allergen matrix because menus and ingredients change all the time.

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So, let’s see if you’re lovin’ what we’ve got for you 😜

🍳Breakfast Menu

McDonald's Bacon and Egg McMuffin

Now, don’t get too excited, because McDonald’s don’t actually offer any gluten free bread here in the UK, meaning you can’t just rock up and grab yourself a gluten free Bacon and Egg McMuffin.

However, when you take a deep dive into the ingredients like I have, you’ll actually see that, minus the bread, there are some gluten free options from the breakfast menu.

If you visit a McDonald’s and ask for, let’s say, a Sausage and Egg McMuffin without the bread, you’ll just be given the egg, sausage patty and cheese in a box. You could then eat it as it is OR just use your own bread to finish off the breakfast muffin!

Yes, it’s still a faff and frustrating that you can’t get the finished product, plus you’ll probably be charged the same price for it if you had the bun, but it’s an option if you’re on the go or with friends and don’t have to be the odd one out.

All of these ingredients in the breakfast range are gluten free:
🍳 Egg
🐖 Pork Sausage Patty
🥓 Back Bacon
🧀 Cheddar Cheese

Sausage and Egg McMuffin ingredients without the bun

Sausage and Egg McMuffin ingredients without the bun

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So, the following breakfast menu options are gluten free when ordered WITHOUT the bread:

✅ Mighty McMuffin with Tomato Ketchup - WITHOUT ENGLISH MUFFIN
✅ Breakfast Roll with Tomato Ketchup - WITHOUT ROLL
✅ Bacon Roll with Tomato Ketchup - WITHOUT ROLL
✅ Double Bacon & Egg McMuffin - WITHOUT ENGLISH MUFFIN
✅ Sausage & Egg McMuffin - WITHOUT ENGLISH MUFFIN
✅ Bacon & Egg McMuffin - WITHOUT ENGLISH MUFFIN
✅ Double Sausage & Egg McMuffin - WITHOUT ENGLISH MUFFIN
✅ Egg & Cheese McMuffin - WITHOUT ENGLISH MUFFIN

⚠️ Cross-contamination will always be a risk in McDonald’s, so when you order, make them aware so that they take extra care with your order

❌ Remember that brown sauce is not gluten free because it contains barley so make sure that you don’t order any of the above with brown sauce
❌ Breakfast menu items that aren’t gluten free, or can’t be altered to be gluten free, include the Cheesy Bacon Flatbread, Pancakes or any of the Porridge

And here’s a breakfast item that is naturally gluten free!

McDonald's Hash Brown

✅ Hash Browns are gluten free and safe for coeliacs* as McDonald’s state that they are only fried with the fries and veggie dippers which are also both gluten free - see below for the details. ⬇️

Hash Brown Ingredients

Hash Brown Ingredients

⚠️ *Make sure that the branch doesn’t use re-filtered oil for their Hash Browns or they might not be safe for coeliacs if the oil has been used elsewhere.

🍔 Burgers

McDonald's Big Mac

Similar to the breakfast, if you order a burger without the bun, there are lots of menu options that will then be suitable for gluten free and coeliacs because the ingredients are naturally gluten free.

All of these ingredients in the burgers are gluten free:
🐄 Beef Patty
🧀 Cheddar Cheese
🧅 Grilled Onions
🧅 Red Onion Rings
🥒 Pickle Slices
🥬 Lettuce

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The below images show the ingredients used in a McDonald’s Big Mac. As you can see, only the bun contains wheat but all of the other parts of the burger don’t contain any gluten.

Big Mac Bun Ingredients

Big Mac Bun Ingredients

Bunless Big Mac Ingredients

Bunless Big Mac Ingredients

So, the following burgers are gluten free when ordered WITHOUT the bread:

✅ McPlant - WITHOUT SESAME BUN
✅ Big Mac - WITHOUT SESAME BUN
✅ Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese - WITHOUT SESAME BUN
✅ Quarter Pounder with Cheese - WITHOUT SESAME BUN
✅ Vegetable Deluxe - WITHOUT SESAME BUN
✅ Triple Cheeseburger - WITHOUT BUN
✅ Bacon Double Cheeseburger - WITHOUT BUN
✅ Double Cheeseburger - WITHOUT BUN
✅ Cheeseburger - WITHOUT BUN
✅ Hamburger - WITHOUT BUN

⚠️ Cross Contamination will always be a risk in McDonald’s so when you order, make them aware so that they take extra care with your order

❌ Note that none of the chicken burgers or the Filet-o-Fish are gluten free because they are coated in a gluten batter

🐔 Chicken McNuggets & Selects

McDonald's Veggie Dippers

✅ Something I only found out very recently and checked about 1000 times to make sure, is that the McDonald’s Veggie Dippers are gluten free! They’re also cooked with other gluten free items so safe for coeliacs* too!

See the full list of ingredients below:

Veggie Dippers Ingredients

Veggie Dippers Ingredients

⚠️ *Make sure that the branch doesn’t use re-filtered oil for their Veggie Dippers or they might not be safe for coeliacs if the oil has been used elsewhere

❌ Note that no other nuggets or selects are gluten free

🥗 Wraps & Salads

McDonald's Chicken and Bacon salad

Now, I’m not going to suggest ordering a wrap without the wrap, to make it gluten free, because all you’d really have is a heap of filling, so let’s assume a gluten free wrap is out of the question.

Recently, McDonald’s did issue an allergy update for all of their non-gluten containing salads which stated ‘Due to the handling of crispy onions in our restaurants, we cannot guarantee that our salads do not contain traces of wheat’. However, after checking recently (Jan 2024) it looks like said allergy update has been removed so I’m assuming the issue has been resolved.

That means that the following salads are gluten free:

✅ Side Salad
✅ Grilled Chicken Salad
✅ Grilled Chicken and Bacon Salad

❌ Wraps are not gluten free
❌ The crispy chicken salads are not gluten free because of the batter

🍟 Fries & Sides

McDonald's Fries

Everything is better with French Fries 💛

✅ Fries in the UK are not made with any gluten containing ingredients and are only fried with the veggie dippers and hash browns which also don’t contain any gluten, so safe for coeliacs*

McDonald's Fries Ingredients

✅ Pineapple Stick
✅ Carrot Bag
✅ Side Salad

❌ The limited time only Halloumi Fries contain wheat so are not gluten free

⚠️ *Make sure that the branch doesn’t use re-filtered oil for their Fries or they might not be safe for coeliacs if the oil has been used elsewhere

😊 Happy Meals

McDonald's Happy Meal

Gluten free kiddies will also be happy because there are ways to order a happy meal gluten free!

✅ Veggie Dippers Happy Meal - all gluten free and safe for coeliacs*
✅ Hamburger Happy Meal - WITHOUT THE BUN
✅ Cheeseburger Happy Meal - WITHOUT THE BUN

❌ The Chicken Nugget and Fish Finger Happy Meals are not gluten free

⚠️ *Make sure that the branch doesn’t use re-filtered oil for their fries or Veggie Dippers or they might not be safe for coeliacs if the oil has been used elsewhere

🍦 Desserts

McDonald's Dairy Milk McFlurry

The good thing is that, McDonald’s regularly change their McFlurry flavours so gluten free ones might be available soon. Lucky for us, Easter time gives us the limited edition Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry which is gluten free! The other Easter McFlurry however, the Galaxy Truffle Bunny McFlurry, is not gluten free and nor are the other standard McFlurry’s that are available at the moment: Oreo, Maltesers and Smarties.

If you’re really desperate, then you can just have the plain McFlurry with the chocolate sauce which is gluten free but always check on their online allergen guide or ask a staff member to find out what is safe for you.

✅ McDonald’s McFlurry ice cream is gluten free but it’s the toppings and sauces you need to look out for
✅ The limited edition Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry is gluten free!

⚠️ Always check the toppings for gluten ingredients or may contain warnings when new flavours are introduced

❌ Other current McFlurry flavours are not gluten free
❌ Other desserts including the Pies, Brownies, Muffins, Cookies and donuts are not gluten free so avoid these. But remember, there’s always the gluten free pineapple stick…

🍵 McCafé

McDonald's McCafe Drink

From what’s on offer in the McCafé range at the moment, everything is gluten free and safe for coeliacs. However, remember to always check drinks when a new flavour is introduced, like a seasonal hot chocolate which may contain gluten.

✅ Hot Cross Bun Latte (limited time only)
✅ Toffee Latte
✅ Flat White
✅ Latte
✅ Cappuccino
✅ White Coffee
✅ Black Coffee
✅ Espresso Single
✅ Hot Chocolate
✅ Tea

⚠️ Frozen Strawberry Lemonade - will be a may contain from 17/04/24
⚠️ Caramel Iced Frappe - will be a may contain from 17/04/24
⚠️ Mango & Pineapple Smoothie - will be a may contain from 17/04/24

⚠️ Always check that any new flavours are gluten free - don’t presume that they are

🥤 Milkshakes & Cold Drinks

McDonald's Milkshake

All of the below McDonald’s cold drinks and milkshakes are gluten free. You might think it silly to include these, but there are a lot of instances where gluten is hidden in things you’d least expect, so it’s always best to be sure.

✅ Coca-Cola Zero Sugar
✅ Sprite Zero
✅ Diet Coke
✅ Coca-Cola Classic
✅ Fanta Orange
✅ Oasis
✅ Fanta Orange Zero
✅ Oasis Zero Summer Fruits
✅ Banana Milkshake
✅ Chocolate Milkshake
✅ Strawberry Milkshake
✅ Vanilla Milkshake
✅ Tropicana Orange Juice
✅ Robinsons Fruit Shoot

🧂 Condiments & Sauces

McDonald's Sweet Chilli Dip

Finally, here’s a list of the sauces that are gluten free and safe for coeliacs. There’s just one which you need to avoid and that’s the Sweet & Sour Dip because it contains both wheat and barley.

✅ Tomato Ketchup
✅ BBQ Dip
✅ Sweet Curry Dip
✅ Smokey BBQ Dip
✅ Sour Cream & Chive Dip
✅ Sweet Chilli Dip
✅ Rich Tomato Dip
✅ Balsamic Dressing
✅ Lurpak Spreadable
✅ Strawberry Jam
✅ Pancake Syrup
✅ Golden Syrup

❌ Sweet & Sour dip is not gluten free

RECAP!

So, maybe you’ll try it for yourself and visit a McDonald’s this weekend, but ultimately, it’s a decision you’ll need to make as to whether you feel comfortable eating from McDonalds considering the cross-contamination risks.

Here are the main points to recap:

✅ Some breakfast options can be gluten free if asked for without the bun
✅ Most burgers can also be gluten free if asked for without the bun
✅ Veggie Dippers, Hash Browns and Fries are all gluten free
✅ There are a few happy meals that can also be gluten free

❌ Beware of brown sauce because this contains gluten
❌ No chicken burgers or nuggets are gluten free because they’re coated in a gluten batter
❌ Sweet & Sour dip contains gluten

⚠️ Always make McDonald’s aware of your dietary needs when you order
⚠️ Understand that there’s a chance of cross-contamination
⚠️ Make sure the branch doesn’t re-filter the oil for the fries
⚠️ Always double check McFlurry toppings and new McCafé flavours

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This was updated in March 2024 - please note that the McDonald’s menu and allergen information can change at any time so use this as a guide but always double check the official UK McDonald’s allergen guide.

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