Gluten-Free Relish List

5 Relish Brands That Are Reliably Gluten-Free

gluten-free relish
  Envision / Getty Images

Relish generally contains pickled cucumbers and other vegetables, vinegar, and spices, and most commercial brands of relish sold in grocery stores do not include ingredients that contain gluten. However, not all brands and flavors of relish on the market today are considered to be gluten-free, since some potentially could become cross-contaminated with gluten during manufacture and processing.

Below is a detailed list of relish available in the United States, plus each brand's gluten-free status. However, if you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity and want gluten-free relish to spread on your gluten-free hot dogs, to mix into your tuna salad, or to spice up your meatloaf, you'll need to stick with one of these five brands of relish:

  • Best Maid
  • Mt. Olive
  • Patak's (most, but not all, are gluten-free; see below for details)
  • Stonewall Kitchen (some, but not all, are gluten-free; see below for details)
  • Wickles Pickles

Relish brands and varieties with no gluten ingredients (which constitute the majority of relish available on the market) may or may not contain significant gluten cross-contamination, so consume these at your own risk, especially if you're particularly sensitive to trace gluten.

Also, some brands of relish used distilled vinegar that may be produced from wheat.

Since some people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity react to vinegar derived from gluten grains, we've noted below the source of the vinegar in each product (when the manufacturer is willing to disclose it). Only one relish we found actually contains a gluten ingredient (barley malt), so steer well clear of that one.

Gluten-Free Relish Brands (Plus Some That Aren't Gluten-Free)

Here are the major brands that make relish sold in the United States, plus what each company has to say about whether or not its relish is gluten-free:

  • B&G relishNo gluten ingredients. B&G makes four different relish varieties: sweet relish, India relish (sweet relish combined with a dash of curry), hot dog relish (sweet relish mixed with mustard), and tangy dill relish. None contain gluten ingredients, and all are made in a facility that does not process gluten-containing products. However, they haven't yet been tested for trace gluten, and so the company is not labeling them "gluten-free," according to a company representative.
  • Best MaidGluten-free. Best Maid Products, Inc., a small company that's best-known for its pickles, makes three different types of relish: sweet relish, dill relish, and hot dill relish. All are considered gluten-free, according to the company, although a company representative notes that the products are not labeled gluten-free. The vinegar used is from corn, the representative says.
  • ClaussenNo gluten ingredients. Claussen offers one relish flavor: pickle relish. This is a Kraft Foods brand. Kraft labels some foods gluten-free and states that it will call out any wheat, barley, or rye ingredients on its product label. Claussen relish does not include gluten ingredients but is not considered gluten-free by the company, possibly due to potential gluten cross-contamination in production. Claussen relish includes white vinegar, which may be derived from wheat.
  • Crosse & BlackwellContains gluten. This British food production company, now a subsidiary of The J.M. Smucker Co., offers one relish product in the U.S.: Brandston pickle relish. The first ingredient in the product is malt vinegar made from barley, so this is most definitely not gluten-free. Note that malt vinegar is used more often as an ingredient in condiments in the United Kingdom and European countries, so always double-check ingredients when traveling overseas.
  • Heinz. No gluten ingredients. Heinz makes a wide variety of different types of relish: sweet relish, dill relish (a tarter relish made with dill pickles), hot dog relish (combines relish and mustard), onion relish, and India relish. Ingredients vary between the various formulations but generally include cucumbers, cabbage, salt, spices, and distilled vinegar. The company does not label them gluten-free, which means they could be subject to gluten cross-contamination in processing. Heinz uses vinegar that's distilled from corn, not gluten grains. 
  • Mt. OliveGluten-free. Mt. Olive makes 12 different varieties of relish, ranging from regular sweet relish (plus a no-sugar-added variety), dill relish (plus a reduced sodium variety), and hot dog relish with mustard to Jalapeño sweet relish plus deli-style cubed dill relishes with sea salt in sweet and dill flavors. All are gluten-free (to less than 20 parts per million), according to the company. They're also free of other common allergens, including dairy, eggs, nuts, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and MSG. Mt. Olive's distilled vinegar is corn-based, according to the company.
  • Nalley PicklesNo gluten ingredients. Nalley sells pickles and relish in the Pacific Northwest (northern California, Oregon, and Washington state), Montana, Idaho, and Utah. Relish varieties include dill relish (in a squeeze bottle), hot dog relish with mustard, dill relish, and hamburger relish. The products contain no gluten ingredients.
  • Patak'sMost gluten-free. You might be familiar with the Indian-style simmer sauces (also gluten-free) made by this company. Patak's also makes a variety of relish-type products it labels "pickle," all of which are gluten-free (to less than 20 parts per million of gluten). Choose from lime (and hot lime) pickle, mango (and hot mango) pickle, Brinjal eggplant pickle, hot chili pickle, Note that hot-mixed pickle and garlic pickle are not labeled gluten-free, so steer clear of those. All may contain traces of peanut, almonds, and cashew nuts. 
  • Stonewall Kitchen. Some gluten-free and some with no gluten ingredients. This specialty brand makes six different types of relish, two of which are labeled "gluten-free" (meaning they have less than 20 parts per million of gluten in them) and four of which have no gluten ingredients (but have not been tested for gluten, or may be subject to gluten cross-contamination in processing). The gluten-free-labeled flavors include Farmhouse red relish (combines hot and sweet red peppers with onion) and mustard pickle relish (a hot dog relish with mustard and sweet relish). The relish products with no gluten ingredients include Farmhouse green relish (the closest to "traditional" relish), spicy corn relish, spicy corn and tomato relish, and New England cranberry relish.
  • Trader Joe'sNo gluten ingredients. This quirky grocery store chain carries several different types of relish, including sweet pickle relish, India relish, cranberry orange relish, and corn and chili relish (not all stores carry all items). Unfortunately, none of these relish products appear on Trader Joe's list of gluten-free products, so you should choose another relish brand.
  • VlasicNo gluten ingredients. Better known for its pickles, Vlasic makes three different types of relish: sweet relish, homestyle relish (in a squeeze container), and dill pickle relish. None have any gluten ingredients, but they may be subject to gluten cross-contamination in processing.
  • Wickles PicklesGluten-free. Wickles, a small Alabama company, makes three different kinds of relish: green relish, spicy red sandwich spread relish, and Wicked Jalapeño relish. All products made by Wickles Pickles, including the three relish flavors, are considered gluten-free, according to the company, which uses apple cider vinegar in its products.
  • WoodstockNo gluten ingredients. Woodstock Foods makes two different types of relish: organic sweet relish and organic Jalapeño relish. The company (which does label some products gluten-free) does not consider either of its relishes to be gluten-free, even though neither contains any gluten grain-based ingredients. 

A Word From Verywell

Relish can be an under-appreciated condiment. It's naturally gluten-free (stick with one of the five gluten-free brands listed above), and it's extremely versatile, so it's a great ingredient to keep on hand in your refrigerator. Obviously, you can use relish (along with your gluten-free ketchup and gluten-free mustard) on your hot dogs and hamburgers (don't forget the gluten-free buns). But also consider these potential uses for relish:

  • mix it into chicken and tuna salad
  • use it generously to flavor homemade gluten-free potato salad and macaroni salad
  • blend your favorite relish with gluten-free mayonnaise to make a great-tasting sandwich spread (relish, mayo, and ketchup makes Thousand Island dressing, while relish, mayo, and lemon juice makes tartar sauce)
  • whip it with olive oil for a salad topping or a flavored cooking oil
  • mash it into egg yolks for deviled eggs

As we discussed above, you're pretty unlikely to find relish in the U.S. that includes a gluten-based ingredient—the only major exception on the market is the relish with malt vinegar, and that's made by a British company. However, you do have to watch out for the chance of gluten cross-contamination in relish. That's why we recommend only relish that's specifically considered "gluten-free."

Source:

Celiac Disease Foundation. What Should I Eat? Fact Sheet.