Sometimes. Most experts claim that it’s gluten-free, but there’s always a chance that it contains gluten.

While rice is 100 percent gluten-free, you can’t always count on risotto being gluten-free. First, risotto is cooked in a broth. Broth can contain traces of gluten, often in the form of yeast extract. While all of the gluten could be taken out of yeast extract, it’s something people on a gluten-free diet stay away from. If a product is labeled gluten-free and still contains yeast extract, it means all of the gluten has been removed. In that case, it should be safe.

Another way gluten could be found in risotto is through the added ingredients, especially if meat added to risotto was shot with a wheat injection for a firmer taste and look. Most meats in risotto are gluten-free, but it’s always best to check.

Risotto can be 100 percent gluten-free in two ways: If you’re making it at home, you can read ingredients for everything you put in the risotto to be sure nothing contains gluten. If you are ordering it at a restaurant, double check with the chef to make sure it contains no gluten.

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If you or someone you know is on a gluten-free diet, you may hear, “Oh, you’re one of those people.” Whether it’s a health issue, allergy, or just your personal preference, eating a gluten-free diet isn’t always as easy as it seems.

There can be hidden factors like cross-contamination, with gluten and gluten-free items manufactured in the same line, or even cooked in the same oil. It’s hard to tell if a type of food is 100 percent gluten-free if it contains unnatural ingredients.

You can cook a gluten-free meal at home, but if you buy the same meal at a store, you’ll have to read labels to know for sure. If you order it at a restaurant, then you just have to trust the chef if they state that it’s gluten-free.

One specific meal that fits into this category is risotto. Always double check to make sure it’s truly gluten-free.

Plain rice is always gluten-free, and contains gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). When you eat a gluten-free diet, you lose out on major proteins from:

  • wheat
  • malt
  • barley
  • oats
  • rye

Because of this loss of protein, GABA supplements may be a good substitute.

Unfortunately, loading up risotto with butter and cheese means it isn’t always a healthy or low-calorie option. Still, gluten-free risotto can be a good alternative to pasta if you’re dining at an Italian restaurant or cooking at home.

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Basic cheese risotto

One gluten-free recipe for risotto is a basic cheese risotto. It’s a lot like macaroni and cheese, only with rice instead of pasta. This is a great choice because it doesn’t call for shellfish, meat, or vegetables. It keeps things simple, so you know every ingredient is safe to eat. Get the recipe!

Greek-style risotto

Another choice would be a Greek-style risotto that gets a little creative compared to typical Italian styles. This recipe includes shrimp and asparagus, as well as feta cheese and lemon juice. Can’t you hear this Mediterranean dish just calling your name? Get the recipe!

Vegetable risotto

Finally, you can get a little fancy with a vegetable risotto. Including vegetables like broccoli, butternut squash, onion, and kale, it’s a veggie lover’s dream! There are even easy substitutes to make this a vegan recipe. All of the ingredients are safe for a gluten-free diet, so you should feel confident eating this delicious dish. Get the recipe!

When you have a food allergy, intolerance, or autoimmune reaction to certain foods, eating something you’re not sure is safe can be frightening. If you ever second-guess your gluten-free knowledge, Google the labels.

The number one thing to remember is that different people can react differently to gluten. If you have celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten, then you know it’s never worth taking the risk. When in doubt, read your labels and ask the chef.