Advertisement

Are Potatoes Gluten Free?

Overview

potatoes

The simple answer is yes — potatoes are gluten-free. Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and other grains. Potatoes aren’t grains, they’re a type of starchy vegetable.

That’s good news for people who can’t tolerate gluten because they have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Celiac disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly targets gluten as a foreign invader — much as it would identify bacteria and viruses that cause infection.

If you have celiac disease, your immune system launches an attack that produces inflammation and damage in your intestines whenever you eat gluten-containing foods. This can cause uncomfortable symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain whenever you consume gluten.

If you’re sensitive to gluten, the good news is you can still include potatoes in your diet. You can even use them as a substitute for some of the gluten-containing foods you’re not able to eat. You just need to be sure you don’t add anything to your potatoes that’s off limits.

Advertisement
Advertisement

How to use potatoes

What you can do with potatoes

The advantage to potatoes is that there are hundreds of varieties to choose from. Some of the most popular include: russet, sweet, white, red, purple, fingerling, and petites. And all of them are gluten-free.

Gluten-free labels may be misleading consumers »

They’re also versatile enough that you can incorporate them into your gluten-free diet in many ways. You can also use potatoes and products made from them as recipe substitutes for ingredients you can’t eat.

Here are a few ideas:

Potato flour

When baking bread, cookies, or cakes, use potato or sweet potato flour — made from ground potatoes — instead of wheat flour.

Potato crust

Rather than use dough to make your pizza crust, place your sauce, cheese, and toppings atop a crust made from mashed potatoes or thin sliced roasted potatoes.

Potato soup thickener

When thickening soups and sauces, skip the roux — which is made with flour — and instead add mashed potatoes.

Eat gnocchi!

Don’t make spaghetti or linguini on pasta night. Cook gnocchi, which is made with potatoes. When making them at home, use a gluten-free flour as your binder. Make sure any gnocchi you buy at the store is also gluten-free.

Use potato ‘bread’ for frying

Roll fish and chicken in potato flakes instead of breadcrumbs for frying.

Potato lasagna

Layer thinly sliced potatoes in place of the lasagna noodles in your lasagna.

13 recipes you won’t believe are gluten-free »

Advertisement

How to spot gluten

How to keep potatoes gluten-free

Plain potatoes are gluten-free but many common potato recipes and add-ons aren’t.

Here are some potato-heavy dishes where the gluten is hiding in plain sight:

Gravy

Don’t top mashed potatoes with gravy. Flour is a main ingredient in most kinds of gravy, but you can find gluten-free options at the store, or make your own.

Fried and baked potatoes

Order baked potatoes plain — without any butter or oil. Butter in restaurant kitchens can become easily contaminated when utensils that have been used in gluten-containing foods are dipped in them.

Also avoid restaurant french fries. They may be cooked in the same fryer as gluten-containing foods like battered chicken or onion rings. The same goes for potato skins.

Potato bread

Watch out for packaged potato bread. It may contain wheat flour. Check the nutrition label on store-bought, or make your own to be safe.

Potato chips

Skip the store-bought potato chips and make your own, it’s easy! Some packaged and restaurant versions contain malt vinegar or wheat starch.

Instant mashed potatoes

When buying instant mashed potatoes, check the ingredient label. Some brands aren’t gluten-free.

Potatoes au gratin

Don’t eat potatoes au gratin. It usually contains ingredients like breadcrumbs and flour. If you like this recipe, look for a gluten-free version online.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Takeaway

The takeaway

Being gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice all the foods you love. Making a few simple modifications to your recipes — including substituting potatoes for gluten-containing ingredients — can broaden your culinary options and prevent you from feeling deprived.

Article resources
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement