Can You Eat Eggs If You're Gluten-Free?

Hard-boiled eggs

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

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Plain eggs and eggs prepared by themselves—for example, boiled eggs, poached eggs, and fried eggs made in a clean pan—are gluten-free. However, egg dishes such as quiche and eggs benedict are not always gluten-free.

For this reason, people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity need to be very cautious with eggs and egg-based dishes, since they're susceptible to gluten cross-contamination in cooking.

Eggs and Gluten

For most people who follow the gluten-free diet and who react when they eat eggs, any problems with eggs most likely stem from one of two places: gluten cross-contamination when the eggs are cooked, or from a sensitivity to the eggs themselves.

Eggs are one of the top allergens in the U.S., so it's not unusual for someone to suffer from sensitivities to both eggs and gluten.

If you're preparing your eggs in a gluten-free kitchen with dedicated gluten-free utensils, you should be fine. But in a shared kitchen, you'll need to watch out for potential problems with shared cooking spaces, utensils, and pans in order to keep your eggs safe. This is a particular problem because eggs so often are cooked together with gluten-containing breakfast foods, such as pancakes, French toast, bread, and baked goods.

Egg Dishes That Contain Gluten

Many restaurants that serve breakfast cook their eggs on the same grill as French toast and pancakes. This shared cooking space may cross-contaminate your otherwise gluten-free meal. In addition, some restaurants (the International House of Pancakes, for one) actually mix a little pancake batter into their scrambled eggs and omelets to make them fluffier.

To stay safe eating eggs at a restaurant, follow the rules for eating out safely gluten-free.

Specifically, ask that your eggs be prepared in their own, clean pan using clean utensils, as far away as possible from where any pancake batter or toast is being prepared. Most restaurants are willing to oblige, or at the least will tell you that they can't accommodate you.

Egg Dishes to Avoid

There are numerous egg-based dishes that are not gluten-free. When you're dining out on a gluten-free diet, it's best to avoid these egg-based dishes:

  • Baked eggs (usually contain flour or baking mix)
  • Breakfast egg sandwich (served on bread)
  • Cheese souffle (usually contains flour)
  • Eggs benedict (served on an English muffin)
  • Most quiche (quiche usually uses a flour-based crust and may have flour mixed into the eggs themselves)

You always should question egg dishes that have additional ingredients, since so many recipes for souffles and casseroles contain flour in addition to eggs.

Gluten-Free Egg Recipes

If you can solve the cross-contamination problem, many egg dishes usually are gluten-free, including:

A Word from Verywell

Eggs are generally a safe option on the gluten-free diet, and can provide you plenty of protein to jump-start your day. Just make sure that any eggs you eat are prepared in a way that guards against gluten cross-contamination.

1 Source
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  1. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. What You Need to Know about Food Allergies.

By Jane Anderson
Jane Anderson is a medical journalist and an expert in celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and the gluten-free diet.