With its sizable menu and budget-friendly prices, Taco Bell is often the go-to option for those craving quick and delicious Mexican-inspired fast food. But for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities, navigating Taco Bell’s menu poses a bit of a challenge.
In this guide, we’ll explore Taco Bell’s menu and list which items are safe and not so safe. We’ll also discuss how to navigate Taco Bell’s menu to ensure a safe dining experience for those with dietary restrictions.
In this article
- Is Taco Bell Gluten-Free?
- Taco Bell Gluten Free Menu
- Taco Bell Food Items Made Without Gluten
- As a Celiac, Which Foods Should I Avoid From Taco Bell?
- How to Navigate Taco Bell’s Menu
- Final Thoughts
Is Taco Bell Gluten-Free?
Unfortunately, none of Taco Bell’s offerings are certified gluten-free.
While the restaurant does have items without gluten-containing ingredients, they’re prepared in a shared kitchen environment where cross-contamination with gluten is inevitable.
As a refresher, cross-contamination occurs when gluten-containing items and non-gluten-containing items share the same surfaces, utensils, or fryers in the kitchen.
Taco Bell has yet to implement safety measures for those with celiac disease, such as separate fryers and dedicated preparation areas.
The lack of dedicated facilities and certification can pose challenges for people with severe gluten sensitivities, as consuming even trace amounts of gluten can lead to adverse health effects.
To its credit, Taco Bell never claimed that its menu catered to individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. The fast food joint even put disclaimers at the bottom of its allergen info page, stating the following:
- Taco Bell does not claim “gluten-free” for any of its food. Some Taco Bell items are made without gluten-containing ingredients but are prepared in common kitchen areas, including common fryer oil, risking gluten exposure.
The disclaimer goes on to say that Taco Bell doesn’t recommend its products to people with celiac disease and that people with dietary restrictions should exercise judgment when ordering.
Does this mean that people with celiac disease should steer clear of Taco Bell’s menu? Not necessarily.
While it’s true that Taco Bell isn’t an ideal choice for individuals with severe celiac disease due to the risk of cross-contamination, some people with milder forms of gluten intolerance may find options that work for them.
We’ll discuss these options in the section below.
Taco Bell Gluten Free Menu
For your convenience, please find below gluten free Taco Bell menu with prices.
Taco Bell Food Items Made Without Gluten
Taco Bell doesn’t have a dedicated section of gluten-free items, but it does offer menu items made without gluten-containing ingredients.
Here’s a list of Taco Bell menu items that are made without gluten. People with milder sensitivities may find these options acceptable, but caution is still advised when ordering.
|Power Menu Bowl (Chicken/Steak/Veggie)||$7.19||420|
|Black Beans and Rice||$2.19||160|
|Crunchy Taco Supreme||$2.89||190|
|Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco||$25.99||170 Per Item|
|Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme||$14.98+|
- Power Menu Bowl (Chicken/Steak/Veggie): Made with your choice of protein, vegetables, and black beans, topped with avocado ranch dressing, cheddar cheese, and reduced-fat sour cream.
- Black Beans and Rice: Seasoned rice topped with slow-steamed black beans.
- Crunchy Taco: Corn shell stuffed with beef, cheese, and lettuce. Note that the taco shell and seasoned beef contain trace amounts of oats, which have a high chance of cross-contact with gluten-containing grains like rye, barley, and wheat.
- Crunchy Taco Supreme: Similar to the regular crunchy tacos but with additional toppings like tomatoes and sour cream.
- Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco: Features a Doritos-flavored shell and seasoned beef, cheddar cheese, and lettuce. The shell is gluten-free.
- Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme: Similar to the regular Doritos Locos Taco, but with added toppings like tomatoes and sour cream.
- Hash Brown: Made with gluten-free ingredients, but fried in the same oil as gluten-containing ingredients.
- Black Beans: Black beans seasoned with cumin, garlic, onion, and other ingredients. The beans are simmered until tender and flavorful.
- Guacamole: Made with mashed ripe avocado and mixed with ingredients such as cilantro, lime juice, onion, tomato, and jalapeños (optional).
- Refried Beans: Cooked pinto beans, rehydrated from a pre-cooked state. Contains soybean oil and gluten-free seasonings.
- Seasoned Rice: Rice made with gluten-free herbs and spices.
Salsas and Sauces
|Avocado Ranch Dressing||$0.80||240|
|Creamy Chipotle Sauce||$0.65||120|
|Creamy Jalapeños Sauce||$0.65||230|
|Spicy Ranch Sauce||$0.80||210|
|Spicy Chile Verde Sauce||$0.60||80|
- Avocado Ranch Dressing: Contains ingredients like avocado, buttermilk, herbs, and spices.
- Creamy Chipotle Sauce: Creamy, smoky, and slightly spicy sauce made with mayonnaise, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and seasonings.
- Creamy Jalapeños Sauce: Creamy and mildly spicy sauce made with jalapeños, mayonnaise, sour cream, and spices.
- Mild Sauce: Tomato-based sauce with mild chili flavors.
- Hot Sauce: Tomato-based sauce with a spicier kick.
- Diablo Sauce: Tomato-based sauce made with chili powder and spicy serrano peppers.
- Green Sauce: Made with green chilies, tomatillos, and spices.
- Spicy Ranch Sauce: Made with ranch flavors and spices for added heat.
- Spicy Chile Verde Sauce: Spicy and tangy sauce made with green chilies and spices.
- Mexican Pizza Sauce: Tomato-based sauce with Mexican-inspired spices.
|Premium Hot Coffee||$1.79||10|
|Hot Cinnabon Delights® Coffee||$2.49||160|
|Regular Iced Coffee||$1.69||10|
|Iced Cinnabon Delights® Coffee||$2.49||160|
|Unsweetened Iced Tea||Small||$2.79||0|
|Unsweetened Iced Tea||Medium||$2.89||0|
|Unsweetened Iced Tea||Large||$2.99||0|
|MTN DEW® Baja Blast®||Small||$2.79||220|
|MTN DEW® Baja Blast®||Medium||$2.89||280|
|MTN DEW® Baja Blast®||Large||$2.99||420|
|MTN DEW® Baja Blast® Freeze||Regular||$3.79||150|
|MTN DEW® Baja Blast® Freeze||Large||$3.99||190|
|MTN DEW® Baja Blast™ Zero Sugar||Small||$2.79||5|
|MTN DEW® Baja Blast™ Zero Sugar||Medium||$2.89||10|
|MTN DEW® Baja Blast™ Zero Sugar||Large||$2.99||15|
|MTN DEW® Zero||Small||$2.79||0|
|MTN DEW® Zero||Medium||$2.89||0|
|MTN DEW® Zero||Large||$2.99||5|
|Watermelon Berry Freeze||Regular||$3.79||150|
|Watermelon Berry Freeze||Large||$3.99||190|
|Watermelon Berry Lemonade Freeze||Regular||$3.79||170|
|Watermelon Berry Lemonade Freeze||Large||$3.99||210|
|Blue Raspberry Freeze||Regular||$3.79||120|
|Blue Raspberry Freeze||Large||$3.99||150|
- Coffee (Hot or Iced, Black or With Creamer)
- Unsweetened Iced Tea
- Fountain Sodas
- Cinnabon Delights Coffee
- Mountain Dew Baja Blast Freeze
- Wild Strawberry Freeze
- Watermelon Berry Freeze
- Island Strawberry Freeze
- Watermelon Berry Lemonade Freeze
- Blue Raspberry Freeze
- Orange Juice
As a Celiac, Which Foods Should I Avoid From Taco Bell?
Here are some of the foods you should avoid as someone with celiac disease:
- Crunchwrap Supreme and Burritos: These items use flour tortillas which contain gluten.
- Fried items: Taco Bell uses a shared fryer for items like chalupas and nachos, which increases the risk of cross-contamination.
- Breaded Proteins: Avoid items like Crispy Chicken Tacos and similar items, as they’re breaded and contain gluten.
- Fire Sauce: Taco Bell’s Fire Sauce packet is made with wheat-containing ingredients.
- Taco Bell Mexican Pizza: Made with a flatbread-style crust that contains wheat, so it’s not safe for people with Celiac disease.
- Anything made with Soft Tacos: Soft Tacos are made with flour tortilla.
- Nacho Cheese Sauce: The sauce contains some form of gluten, and should be avoided for gluten-free diets.
- Nacho Fries: Taco Bell’s fries contain wheat and nacho cheese sauce has gluten.
People with gluten restrictions and sensitivities must be extra cautious when ordering food from Taco Bell. As none of its offerings are truly gluten-free, individuals should carefully review the allergen information and communicate their dietary needs clearly to the staff.
Check the Allergen Information
Taco Bell offers a full list of allergen information on its official website. Go through this information carefully to help you identify which items are safe for your specific dietary needs.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
When you visit Taco Bell, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Taco Bell’s staff should be able to give you information about preparation methods and specific ingredients added to the food you’re looking to order.
Ask which items have gluten in them and which don’t. Inquire about the sides, condiments, and toppings, and discuss the possibility of customizing your order to remove gluten-containing ingredients.
Customize Your Order as Needed
One of the best aspects of Taco Bell is that you can customize your order as you see fit.
After communicating your dietary needs, you can ask staff to omit gluten-containing ingredients, such as flour tortillas or certain sauces.
You can also add or remove toppings that don’t meet your dietary preferences.
Be Aware of Cross-Contamination
Unlike Chipotle and other restaurants that specifically cater to those with celiac disease, Taco Bell doesn’t have dedicated spaces and separate fryers to avoid cross-contamination.
If you have severe gluten sensitivities, consider alternative dining options that prioritize gluten-free safety measures.
Even if your reactions to gluten-containing food aren’t too severe, it’s always better to take extra precautions for the food you’re ordering.
Are Taco Bell’s Proteins Gluten Free?
All of Taco Bell’s proteins, including seasoned beef, steak, and fire-grilled chicken, are made without gluten ingredients. However, they’re still not considered certified gluten-free because Taco Bell’s menu items are all made in a shared kitchen.
Is Taco Bell safe for celiacs?
People with celiac disease should steer clear of Taco Bell. The restaurant itself doesn’t recommend its offerings to people with celiac disease, as stated in its allergy disclaimer. None of the restaurant’s items are truly gluten-free.
Can i sue Taco Bell for giving me food with gluten after requesting otherwise?
Taco Bell’s allergen statement made it explicitly clear that its offerings aren’t 100% gluten-free, and that even gluten-free items may contain traces of gluten due to cross-contamination. This means that by consuming food from Taco Bell, you’ve voluntarily accepted a known risk.
You may have grounds to file a legal case but it depends on the circumstances surrounding your situation. It’s smart to consult with a qualified attorney to assess your case’s merits based on the circumstances and the laws in your jurisdiction.
Are Taco Bell chips gluten-free?
According to Taco Bell’s website, Taco Bell’s nacho chips don’t contain gluten. Taco Bell’s nacho chips are made with whole-grain corn flour.
Are Taco Bell Tacos gluten-free?
No, Taco Bell’s tacos are made with wheat flour tortillas and aren’t considered gluten-free.
Most of Taco Bell’s menu offerings are at risk of cross-contamination, which occurs when non-gluten-containing items and gluten-containing items share the same surfaces, utensils, or fryers in the kitchen.
Therefore, if you have celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivities, it’s safer to dine at a restaurant that offers gluten-free certified options and has strict protocols in place to prevent cross-contamination. At the time of writing, Taco Bell has yet to take such measures.