Are grits gluten free? The short answer is yes. The long answer is there’s always a risk of cross contamination with gluten-containing products, so check your labels. This post breaks down the best brands for certified gluten-free grits, plus top recipes for making them at home. Whether you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, you’ll be all set to make this Southern staple a fixture in your diet!
What are grits?
Grits are stone ground corn cooked in milk, water, or broth to resemble a creamy porridge. Grits originated from the Muskogee Native American tribe back in the 16th century in the Southern United States. They’re mild in taste. While often served for breakfast, they also make a great side dish to any entrée.
Additionally, there are different varieties of grits, including:
- Hominy grits
- Instant grits
- Regular / quick grits
- Stone ground grits
To learn all things grits, read What are grits? and learn how you can incorporate them into your meal plan!
What is gluten?
Gluten is the name for proteins called prolamins found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is considered a glue or binder that allows foods to maintain their shape. If you have celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, or a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, then you know that you must always check for certified gluten-free labels on any packaged product you buy.
Are grits gluten-free?
Yes, traditional grits are made from ground corn which is a naturally gluten-free food. However, depending on the brand you buy, grits may or may not contain traces of gluten. There is a risk of cross-contamination if grits are processed side-by-side with gluten-containing grains during the manufacturing process.
To make sure you are buying certified gluten-free grits, check for a gluten-free label on brand packaging. But this post has done that work for you—continue reading for the best gluten-free brands!
How to Shop for Gluten-Free Grits
There are 2 things to consider when shopping for gluten-free grits: time and labeling. Different types of grits determine how short or long to cook grits. Find grits that suit your preference of how long you want to be prepping your meals—instant grits will take just a few minutes, whereas stone-ground grits can take a half hour. Additionally, always check for that gluten-free label before purchasing.
What brands of grits are gluten-free?
Here are some of the best gluten-free grits brands. Try them out to determine which one will be your new pantry staple.
Arrowhead Mills offers an Organic Yellow Corn Grits that is gluten-free. It also comes in a resealable bag that will keep your grits fresher for longer.
Bob’s Red Mill products offer a variety of gluten-free grits depending on your taste preference. They have a dedicated facility just for processing grits!
This brand’s white grits are gluten-free, and their entire facility is actually dedicated to processing gluten-free grains. Watch out for their stone-ground grits, however, which are not certified gluten-free.
Whether you like white grits, yellow grits, or a combination of both, Palmetto Farms is the place to buy from. Some of their grits contain cheese which, which may not be gluten-free.
Julia’s Pantry was specifically created to make gluten-free grits. They have white, yellow, steel-cut, and Southern style grits that are all guaranteed gluten-free!
Carolina Grits are known for their variety pack option that you can order all at once. They are a certified gluten-free facility that use a combination of stone grounding techniques and modern technology.
Dixie Lily offers the most traditional grits, yellow and white.
What brands of grits are not gluten-free?
The cheaper, more common brands out there like Quaker Grits, Great Value Quick Grits, and Old School Stone Ground Grits are not gluten-free. But, luckily you aren’t missing out because of all the other gluten-free grits options you have out there.
Grits Gluten-Free Cooking Tips
When it comes to grits, usually there are instructions on the package for how to cook them. But if not, then use the standard ratio of one cup grits to 4 or 5 cups of water. Use more water if you like you grits runny and less if you like them thick. The fun thing with grits is that you don’t have to only cook them in water. You can cook grits with milk, cream, or different kinds of broths.
Are grits good for a gluten-free diet?
If you are on a gluten-free diet, then incorporating grits is a great option. If you find yourself getting tired of rice or other common gluten-free gains like quinoa, then grits are a wonderful alternative. You can dig into more about grits and their nutritional value in this post, What are grits?.
Grits have a mild corn taste by themselves.
No, even though grits are generally gluten-free, Quaker does process other gluten-containing grains that cause cross contamination.
With a gluten-free label, instant grits are gluten-free.
Grits are made of corn, not wheat. It’s a common mistake for people to think that grits are Cream of Wheat due to their texture, but they’re not!
No, grits are made of corn, and corn is gluten-free.
Rice grits are just broken up pieces of rice, and have nothing to do with traditional corn grits.
The Best Gluten-Free Grits Recipes
Grits can be a side dish to just about any main, but here are some classic options for incorporating grits into breakfast, lunch, and dinner!