Gluten-Free Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt nutrition facts

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Frozen yogurt is an excellent choice for a snack if you follow a gluten-free diet — most flavors and many toppings are naturally gluten-free, and frozen yogurt chains are pretty gluten-aware.

However, as with any dining out situation, you can't throw caution to the wind when you've got celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Yes, there are still a few opportunities for so-called gluten-free yogurt to gluten you. Keep reading for more about finding the best gluten-free yogurt options.

What to Watch For

Here are some tips for how to protect yourself when choosing and building your frozen yogurt treat.

Watch the Toppings

Toppings will likely be your biggest concern since many contain gluten (think: cookie crumbs and unsafe candy — most chains have a list). Most fro-yo shops have all the toppings grouped closely together, so even if you're choosing the fresh fruit, you still could wind up with a stray cookie crumb in your yogurt.

Also, even if the fruit seems well-segregated from the cookies, you need to watch out for the spoons — the person before you might have loaded up his yogurt cup with Cookies & Cream and then accidentally touched the topping spoon to that gluten-y flavor, or he might have borrowed the scoop in the strawberries temporarily to dish out some Oreos.

Cross-contamination is a risk, even if you choose gluten-free toppings. If you prefer to stay completely safe, you might consider bringing your toppings.

Please beware of the machines themselves, as well. It's almost guaranteed to get gluten cross-contamination in a device used for a gluten-containing flavor and then switched over to a gluten-free taste — it's difficult to clean these machines as thoroughly as we would need.

Choosing Flavors

You can stick with the gluten-free flavors you know the store stocks regularly because they're always in the same machines. Tart is usually a safe bet (most stores carry it all the time), but if in doubt, ask the workers.

In some cases, flavors that sound like they have gluten (Cake Batter? Cheesecake?) are listed as gluten-free by one frozen yogurt chain but not by another — always double-check before you buy, especially if you're not a regular at that particular shop.

Finally, as you serve yourself from the machines, watch out for drips of potentially unsafe yogurts — if your preferred flavor shares a yogurt machine with a gluten-containing flavor, one unnoticed drip from the other side or the swirl spout in the middle can ruin your day.

Popular Frozen Yogurt Chains

Okay, enough safety information. Here's an alphabetical list of popular frozen yogurt chains, plus their gluten policies and gluten-free lists, where available:

Cold Stone Creamery

The national ice cream chain Cold Stone Creamery announced the debut of its frozen yogurt line in every store in the summer of 2011. According to the company's ingredients statement, none of the frozen yogurt flavors contain gluten.

You'll need to double-check toppings for gluten ingredients — the stores keep a list of ingredients for all the toppings available.

Menchie's

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt, a chain with locations in nearly every state, states: "Except for flavors that contain "cookies" or "cake," our yogurt flavors are gluten-free; however, they are produced in a facility that also manufactures products containing gluten as well as peanuts, tree nuts, and egg products."

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt

This chain boasts more than 150 locations (with lots of stores in the Southeast and Midwest) and intends to expand to 250 stores quickly. Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt discloses gluten-containing flavors on its website and stores.

Surprisingly, according to the list, the only flavors that contain gluten are Cookie Cake and Cookies 'N Cream — even flavors such as Wedding Cake, Cheesecake, and Brownie Batter are listed as gluten-free.

Pinkberry

Pinkberry has close to 200 locations and is expanding rapidly both in the U.S. and nationally — the company, which started in southern California in 2005, bills itself as "the original frozen yogurt."

According to the chain, "All Pinkberry frozen yogurt flavors are gluten-free." Of course, many possible toppings are not gluten-free, so be careful.

Red Mango Frozen Yogurt

All Red Mango yogurt flavors are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, which means they contain fewer than 10 parts per million of gluten. The chain has locations in more than 30 states and a strong presence in the New York City metro area.

Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt

Sweet Frog, a yogurt chain with locations concentrated in the Southeastern U.S., does feature a handful of gluten-containing yogurt flavors, so you'll need to take care in choosing your yogurt.

According to one franchise, the flavors Red Velvet Cake, Cake Batter, Whoppers, Angel Food Cake, Thin Mint Cookies, and Cookies n' Cream all contain gluten, and others on the flavors list ("Maple Bacon Donut"?) may as well. Sweet Frog also has introduced smoothies, which are listed as gluten-free.

Sweet Frog has a list of its yogurts with all allergies listed, including wheat gluten. You can find this on their website.

TCBY

The Country's Best Yogurt, which opened the first frozen yogurt shop in the U.S. in 1981, now offers more than 450 stores nationwide. TCBY does not have a gluten-free list because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not released final gluten-free standards, according to a customer service representative.

However, the customer service rep said that the only two yogurt flavors that contain gluten are Cookies & Cream and Gingerbread; the rest of the chain's flavors are gluten-free to 20 parts per million (ppm). Despite the gluten-y-sounding names, Cake Batter, Cheesecake, and Red Velvet Cake are considered gluten-free, again to 20ppm.

Yogurt Mountain

Yogurt Mountain, a smaller chain with 40 locations in 15 states, offers only two flavors containing gluten: Cookies & Cream and Caramel Pretzel. Potential customers can search on the website to identify gluten-free, fat-free, low-fat, no sugar added, and dairy-free yogurt options.

A Word From Verywell

Gluten-free diets can feel restrictive, but with proper planning and research, you can find gluten-free options for most any food, including sweet treats like frozen yogurt. If you are very sensitive to gluten, it is best to bring your own toppings or skip them altogether. It's possible to ask the employee to provide new serving utensils or clean machinery, but understand that there are still risks involved.

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5 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Pinkberry. Pinkberry nutritional and allergens

  3. Red Mango. Nutritional Information.

  4. Sweet Frog. Nutrition: sweetFrog Premium Frozen Yogurt

  5. TCBY. Menu Nutrition.