Gluten-Free Salad Dressing List
Salads represent a colorful, healthy staple on the gluten-free diet, but you obviously need a gluten-free salad dressing to go on top. Yes, you can choose to dress your salad with plain olive oil and vinegar, but there's nothing wrong with wanting something richer and (perhaps) creamier. But which of the myriad grocery store options are safe?
To help, we've compiled this list of salad dressing brands (so you can avoid making mistakes), complete with what the manufacturers have to say about their products' gluten-free status. Bear in mind that this list applies only to the United States—ingredients and manufacturing differ (sometimes dramatically) from country to country, so if you live somewhere else, you'll need to call the company.
We've also included information on the source of the vinegar for each manufacturer (more on vinegar below).
Here's the list of commercial salad dressings, along with their gluten-free status:
Some,but not allof Annie's salad dressings are considered "naturally gluten-free," which means they contain no gluten ingredients but are not tested for gluten. If you're comfortable with eating no gluten ingredients products, be sure to check ingredients to make certain your particular choice is safe—for example, Annie's popular Goddess Dressing contains wheat-based soy sauce. Annie's reports that it uses vinegar derived from corn or beets.
Brianna's Salad Dressings
Upscale dressing manufacturer Brianna's makes 15 different salad dressings, 12 of which are considered gluten-free (to less than 20 parts per million, the legal standard; less gluten is always better). Steer clear of Chipotle Cheddar, Lively Lemon Tarragon, and Saucy Ginger Mandarin). A few of Brianna's dressings include white vinegar, which the company says can be made from gluten grains.
Cardini's is one of several salad dressing brands actually made by Marzetti's. All Cardini's dressings except for the Roasted Asian Sesame are considered gluten-free (to less than 20 parts per million. Many contain distilled vinegar that can be derived from gluten grains, so check ingredients carefully if this is a problem for you.
This is another Marzetti's sister brand. Girard's makes a dozen or so premium salad dressings, most of which are considered gluten-free (again, to less than 20 parts per million). The only two that are not gluten-free are the Sundried Tomato and Artichoke, and the Chinese Chicken Salad flavors. Many of Girard's dressings contain distilled vinegar that can be derived from gluten grains.
Most of Hidden Valley's products do not contain gluten, the company reports. If a product has been tested and found to be gluten-free (to less than 20 parts per million), the label will include a yellow and green "gluten-free" check-mark circle. The company urges purchasers to always check the label, since ingredients can change, and Hidden Valley always will clearly list any wheat, barley or rye ingredients. A consumer services rep at Hidden Valley told me the company does not disclose the source of its distilled vinegar.
Ken's Foods' gluten statement includes a list of several dozen salad dressings that "do not have gluten present in their recipes." However, Ken's does not test for gluten, and these products with no gluten ingredients still can be subject to gluten cross-contamination.
Kraft Foods makes a huge variety of salad dressings. Kraft does not test its salad dressings for gluten, nor does it label them gluten-free, but the company will disclose any gluten ingredients clearly on its labels. That being said, Kraft salad dressings with no gluten ingredients listed still can be subject to gluten cross-contamination in manufacturing.
Maple Grove Farms
Many of this specialty company's salad dressings are considered gluten-free (to less than 20ppm levels), look for the words "gluten-free" just below the list of ingredients. Not all salad dressings are safe—Sesame Ginger, for example, contains wheat-based soy sauce. Many of Maple Grove Farms' products contain only cider or balsamic vinegar, not distilled vinegar—again, check the label.
Marie's—found in the produce section with other refrigerated salad dressings—makes a variety of "classic," lite and yogurt-based dressings. Marie's dressings contain "no wheat gluten ingredients," according to a customer service representative. However, she said they still may contain gluten from barley and/or rye. None are labeled gluten-free, and they contain vinegar that can be derived from gluten grains. Note that the Sesame Ginger flavor, which previously had contained wheat-based soy sauce, no longer includes that wheat-based ingredient.
This brand (sister brand to Cardini's, Girard's and Pfeiffer) features both refrigerated and shelf-stable salad dressings in a wide variety of flavors. Most (but not all) are gluten-free to less than 20 ppm levels, so check your label carefully before purchasing—any gluten ingredients will be disclosed. Marzetti's uses distilled vinegar that can be made from gluten grains in many of its salad dressings.
Only two of Newman's own salad dressings contain gluten, according to the company's frequently asked questions: steer clear of Family Recipe Italian Dressing and Sesame Ginger Dressing. Most contain distilled vinegar that can be derived from gluten grains.
Organicville, which has a variety of salad dressings, is certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which tests to below 10 parts per million. If you like Asian flavors, the company's Miso Ginger Organic Vinaigrette is safe, and Organicville also offers vegan and dairy-free options. Company founder Rachel Kruse tells me that the vinegar used is organic and comes from corn or beets, not wheat or other gluten grains.
All of Pfeiffer's 14 salad dressings are listed as gluten-free—as with the other Marzetti's sister brands, this will be to less than 20 ppm. The majority of Pfeiffer's salad dressings use distilled vinegar that can be derived from gluten grains.
Caveats: Vinegar, Cheese, and Oil
Also, there's some controversy over whether blue cheese or Roquefort cheese can be consumed safely on the gluten-free diet or not. I avoid these types of cheeses, but others report they can eat it with no problem, so you'll need to make up your own mind.
Finally, many of these salad dressings contain soy (usually in the form of soybean oil). Since soy is a problem for many people who can't have gluten, you'll need to read labels carefully, and potentially stick with more upscale brands (which are less likely to use soy-based ingredients).
How About Making My Own Salad Dressing?
It's easy to make your own salad dressing, and it might represent your best option if you want a particular flavor but need to avoid some of the ingredients in commercial dressings.
Video: 6 VEGAN SALAD DRESSINGS | with OIL-FREE options! 👌🏻
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