Fried Chicken > Are fried chicken wings gluten free

Are Fried Chicken Wings Gluten Free?

For those avoiding gluten, fried chicken wings can seem like a tempting option when dining out or ordering takeout. But are these tasty game-day snacks actually gluten-free? The answer is…it depends. Here’s what you need to know about the gluten content of fried chicken wings.

Are fried chicken wings gluten free?

Plain fried chicken wings without any breading or batter are gluten-free. Chicken does not naturally contain gluten, so basic wings cooked simply in oil or sauce are fine on a gluten-free diet. However, most restaurants bread their fried wings with a coating made from wheat flour before frying. Since wheat flour contains gluten, breaded or battered fried chicken wings are not gluten-free.

The sauces and seasonings used on fried wings could also introduce small amounts of gluten. Soy sauce, malt vinegar and certain seasoning blends contain gluten, so wings tossed in these sauces would not be gluten-free. Traditional naked buffalo wings tend to be a safer gluten-free option since they are not breaded and only contain hot sauce and butter.

So, do fried chicken wings have gluten?

Fried chicken wings can contain gluten depending on how they are prepared. Plain chicken wings without any breading or batter are naturally gluten-free. However, most restaurant wings are breaded with wheat flour, making them not gluten-free. Checking on preparation methods and avoiding thick sauces or breading is key to finding gluten-free fried chicken wings.

With the right modifications, you can enjoy these tasty game-time snacks while maintaining your gluten-free diet.

Related post: Are fried chicken wings bad for diabetics?

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. For those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause gastrointestinal distress and other symptoms. That’s why it’s important for those following a gluten-free diet to understand which foods contain this problematic protein.

Are Most Buffalo Wings Gluten Free?

Traditional buffalo wings are not breaded, only coated in a spicy butter or hot sauce. So plain buffalo wings are generally safe on a gluten-free diet. However, some restaurants add thickening agents to their buffalo wing sauce, which could contain gluten. And the side of blue cheese or ranch dressing served with the wings may have glutenous ingredients. Check with the restaurant on their preparation and ingredients to be sure.

How to Order Gluten-Free Wings

When ordering fried chicken wings, there are a few things you can do to ensure your meal is gluten-free:

    • Ask for naked, unbreaded wings. Most wing joints offer this option.
    • Verify the restaurant uses a gluten-free fryer or fries the wings in a dedicated fryer separate from breaded items.
    • Request wings to be grilled instead of fried.
    • Ask for wings to be tossed in buffalo sauce, not a thickened sauce.
    • Opt for celery and carrot sticks instead of creamy dipping sauces.
    • Ask about ingredients in rubs and seasoning blends.


With the right modifications and questions, you can definitely indulge in chicken wings on a gluten-free diet. Just be sure to communicate with your server or the restaurant about preparation. With some simple tweaks, wings can be a delicious gluten-free game day food.

Do wings have breading?

Most fried chicken wings are breaded with a flour and seasoning coating. However, traditional buffalo wings are not breaded. Restaurants often offer both breaded and unbreaded naked wings options.

Does chicken breading have gluten?

Yes, the breading or batter used on fried chicken wings typically contains wheat flour, which has gluten. To avoid gluten, order wings that are grilled or fried without any breading.

Is there gluten in the sauce on buffalo wings?

Plain traditional buffalo wing sauce contains hot sauce and butter, both naturally gluten-free ingredients. However, some restaurants add thickeners like wheat flour to their buffalo wing sauce, so check the ingredients with the restaurant if you have concerns.

Can I eat the blue cheese dressing with wings?

Blue cheese dressing often contains ingredients like wheat flour, soy sauce, or malt vinegar that have gluten. Request wings with a side of carrot and celery sticks instead of dressing for a safer option.

What about dry rubs on wings?

Most dry rubs and seasoning blends are gluten-free, but some may contain additives that have traces of gluten. Check with the restaurant on the brand they use and any gluten-containing ingredients. A lemon pepper or Cajun seasoning is typically a good gluten-free choice.


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