"When people are newly gluten free, they often think the list of things they can't eat is longer than the list of things they can," says Danna Korn, author of Living Gluten Free for Dummies (Wiley 2010).

To counter that thinking, she offers this challenge: Write a list of things you can eat. She bets that you'll find the list goes on and on.

"You'll be surprised at how many foods are inherently gluten free," she says. And for those that aren't, you can find a tasty substitute for just about any food on the avoid list—think breads, cookies, pizza, pasta.

Consider these seven gluten-free foods you didn't think you could eat.


Gluten is what gives bread elasticity. When you have a piece of bread and you pull it apart and it's nice and doughy, that's because of the gluten content, explains Korn. It's hard to find a good gluten-free bread that tastes like the "real" thing, she says. The problem is the consistency. Her tip: Toast gluten-free bread. The flavor is oftentimes fine, but toasting it will help overcome the consistency aspect.

One to try: Udi's gluten-free breads.


Rice, brown rice, quinoa—there are many different varieties of gluten-free noodles. Sample each one to see which one you like best. Also good to know: rice noodles are used in ethnic foods, like Vietnamese, making take-out a little bit easier. Korn cautions that you still have to be careful. Sometimes a restaurant will use soba noodles—which are not gluten free. It's always a good idea to ask when ordering.

One to try: Tinkyada brown rice or regular rice noodles taste just like the "real deal."


Whether you like to make your own pizza crusts, use prepared crusts, or buy a frozen pizza, there are lots of ways you can enjoy it gluten-free. In addition, Italian restaurants, chains, and mom-and-pop shops, are now offering both gluten-free pizza and pasta. If it's not advertised, ask. You may be surprised.

One to try: Chebe Dry Mixes. Korn uses the naturally gluten-free cheesy bread mix to make pizza crust, rolls, bread bowls, and bread sticks. "It's got a great flavor and it's super easy to mix—just egg and water."

Cakes, Pancakes, and Baked Goods

The good news: There is no chemical process used to remove gluten in products. "For baking, you have to use gluten-free ingredients in order to end up with a gluten-free product," says Korn. However, she admits that a lot of the cake mixes and brownies have an awful lot of sugar in them to make them taste really good.

The baking mixes (and flours) are made from a combination of flours—rice flour, quinoa, amaranth—and usually the best of the mixes are made from a variety of flours. So they'll mix a combo of flours that tend to work well together and then you end up with a pretty good consistency and really good flavor.

To try: Bisquick® Gluten Free; Betty Crocker® cake or brownie mixes; Kinnikinnick® Donuts.

Granola Bars

The problem with granola? While oats are naturally gluten free, they're usually contaminated. "Plus, malt flavoring is usually an added ingredient. It's in a lot of those types of products. Most malts are derived from barley, so they contain gluten," explains Korn.

To try: Nature's Valley® Gluten-Free Granola Bars; LӒRABAR®.

Beer, Wine, and Spirits

Wine is fine, but regular beer is almost always going to have gluten in it. However, there are gluten-free beers available. "Stores that carry beer will most likely have a gluten-free option—or two or three or five," says Korn.

Every distilled alcohol is gluten free including rum, tequila, and vodka. When these go through the distillation process, even if it was derived from a grain, it gets rid of the gluten, explains Korn. One exception is whiskey. After whiskey is distilled, the mash may be added back into the alcohol, adding gluten back into the batch.

To try: RedBridge beer. Most supermarkets and beer stores carry this gluten-free brew from Budweiser. Craft breweries may also have gluten-free varieties.


You may have heard that you can't eat things with vinegar. Totally untrue, says Korn. If it were, all condiments such as ketchup, mustard, pickles, etc. would be off limits. Truth is, the only vinegar you can't eat is malt vinegar since most malts are derived from barley.

Keep in mind, sometimes a product such as mustard, barbeque sauce—even vanilla extract—is labeled gluten free and you may think that all the other varieties of mustard or barbecue sauce must have gluten. That's not the correct conclusion, says Korn. Always read the label to be sure, but these items are typically gluten free and the labeling only changes the price. "In the case of vanilla, you'll pay an arm and a leg for gluten free vanilla when truth is, all vanilla is gluten free—even imitation vanilla."

To try: Anything! Just avoid those with malt vinegar.

Danna Korn reviewed this article.