Not all deli meats are safe for people on a gluten free diet, but is pepperoni gluten free?
If you love this spicy salami, but have celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity or a gluten intolerance, keep reading. Not all pepperoni brands are safe!
Ingredients in pepperoni
Pepperoni is a dried, cured meat and is very similar to salami. It has a smoky taste and is a popular pizza topping.
Pepperoni is typically made from pork & beef and contains spices such as chili pepper and paprika to give it that characteristic taste. These ingredients are mixed together, placed into a sausage casing and cured.
On their own, pepperoni ingredients are naturally gluten free, but not all brands are safe for individuals on a gluten free diet. Wheat additives can be used in the preparation of pepperoni or cross contact can occur during manufacturing and packaging.
If you have celiac disease, always check the ingredient listing to make sure there are no gluten ingredients and product labels for any ‘may contain’ warnings.
Can people on a gluten free diet eat pepperoni?
Pepperoni is naturally gluten free, but it’s important to check product labelling before consuming it if you have celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance.
Cross contact can occur during the manufacturing process, as other cured meats may contain gluten ingredients. Alternatively, certain brands may actually include gluten ingredients and additives in their products.
Always check product labelling for gluten ingredients or warnings before purchasing and consuming pepperoni.
Brands that are safe
If you love the taste of a bit of spicy pepperoni, but are on a strict gluten free diet, here are a few brands that will be safe for you to consume:
- Applegate Naturals pepperoni is gluten free and is labelled as such on the product. Both their pork & beef and turkey pepperoni products are safe.
- Armour - both the original and turkey flavors - are gluten free.
- Boar’s Head pepperoni is also a good choice for anyone with celiac disease.
- Bridgford pepperoni is labelled gluten free.
- Roma pepperoni is safe.
- Piller’s pepperoni is gluten free, for anyone in Canada. In fact, all Piller’s products are safe for anyone on a strict gluten free diet. How about that, eh?!
- Wellshire Farms Dried Pepperoni Sticks are also gluten free.
- Is Hormel Pepperoni gluten free? Yes! Hormel makes Original Pepperoni (made with pork & beef) and Turkey Pepperoni. Both are gluten free.
- Is Great Value Pepperoni gluten free? Yes, this WalMart brand of pepperoni is safe. The product labelling indicates it is gluten free.
What to look for before purchasing pepperoni
If you have a brand of pepperoni that isn’t one listed above and unsure if it’s safe for you, check these 2 things before you purchase it:
- Ingredient listing. Ensure no gluten ingredients are listed on the product labelling. Wheat can be used as a thickener in cured meats.
- Allergen warnings. Cross contact is a common occurrence for some products. Contact with wheat can happen during manufacturing or packaging, so look for a “may contain” statement to determine if gluten could be present in the product.
If the pepperoni doesn’t have gluten ingredients or warnings on the label, it’s likely safe to eat. If it has an explicit gluten free label, it’s definitely safe for anyone on a strict gluten free diet.
Is pepperoni pizza gluten free?
Pepperonis are one of the most popular pizza toppings; however, just because the pepperonis are usually gluten free doesn’t mean the whole pizza will be!
Pizza dough is made with wheat flour, so most pizzas are not gluten free. Do not eat pizza that has been made with wheat flour if you have celiac disease or are on a strict gluten free diet for other reasons.
If a pizzeria offers a gluten free option, be sure to ask how they prepare the food. Wheat flour in a pizzeria is a huge risk for cross contact. If the gluten free pizzas are not prepared in a way that minimizes contact with wheat flour or other wheat-containing products (like calzones), they are NOT safe for anyone with celiac disease.
What to make with pepperoni
You’ve got a package of gluten free pepperoni in your hands, now what should you make?!
My vote is for these Gluten Free Pizza Rolls. They are the perfectly portable way to enjoy the classic taste of pizza! (And there are so many ways to change up the pizza flavors.)
If you’d rather have a traditional pizza, prepare the pizza dough from the pizza roll recipe, roll it out into the shape of your choice (rectangle vs. circle), add your toppings and bake at 400°F until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Is salami gluten free? Salami is very similar to pepperoni, but is made with fermented or air dried meat (normally pork). The ingredients are naturally gluten free, but the same rules apply when determining if it’s safe: check product labelling for any gluten ingredients or warnings.
- Is sausage gluten free? Sausages are made with ground meats, such as chicken, beef, pork or turkey, which is placed into a casing. If purchased fresh, sausages require cooking in the oven, on the barbeque or in a smoker. Wheat can be used as an additive in sausages, so always check the ingredients to make sure they are gluten free. Also look for any “may contain” statements on the product packaging.