This article is objectively based on relevant scientific literature, written by experienced medical writers, and fact-checked by a team of degreed medical experts.
Our team of registered dietitian nutritionists and licensed medical professionals seek to remain objective and unbiased while preserving the integrity of any scientific debate.
The articles contain evidence-based references from approved scientific sites. The numbers* in parentheses (*1,2,3) will take you to clickable links to our reputable sources.
Are Marshmallows Gluten-Free? Marshmallow Recipes In 2024
Summer nights by the campfire make you want to pull out a bag of marshmallows. Maybe you make chocolate smores or you burn it to a fiery crisp from your cooking stick. Either way, these fluffy treats bring moments of joy — ones you don’t want to give up, even if you eat gluten-free.
This begs the question, “Are marshmallows gluten-free?”
Well, lucky for you, you can find gluten-free marshmallows to chow down on — but the real question is which ones?
Read on to find out which types of marshmallows you can eat on a gluten-free diet plan and fun ways to add them to recipes.
Are Marshmallows Gluten-Free?
Yes, marshmallows are naturally gluten-free.
However, some brands may add colorings, preservatives, or flavoring that have gluten. Cross-contamination is also possible if marshmallows are produced in facilities that handle gluten-containing foods.
You can ensure you get gluten-free marshmallows by buying brands with a gluten-free label or thoroughly checking the ingredients.
What Are Marshmallows Made Of?
While we all know this fluffy, sticky, sweetness well, we don’t really know what makes it that way.
Surprisingly, it’s made up of just three ingredients: sugar, water, and gelatin. Combined, they create that iconic light and airy texture.
Sugar makes it sweet while water acts as a liquid base to mix it all together with gelatin. Derived from animal collagen, gelatin gives candy that characteristic bouncy structure. You’ll find it in Jello, puddings, gummy candies, and even some types of yogurt and mousse.
Some brands also add preservatives, flavors, and coloring, for a playful change.
Several brands make gelatin-free vegan marshmallows. They use plant-based ingredients to make their marshmallows vegan, such as agar-agar — a gelatinous substance extracted from seaweed. Carrageenan is also used for vegan marshmallows. It’s a thickening or emulsifying agent also found in seaweed.
Not All Marshmallows Are Gluten-Free
While the typical ingredients make marshmallows naturally gluten-free, other factors might come into play. Here’s what could add gluten to your marshmallows:
- Added ingredients: Some brands include additives, artificial flavors, or other additional ingredients that have gluten, such as wheat starch or malt flavorings.
- Cross-contamination: If the production facility also processes gluten-containing ingredients, there’s a risk of gluten particles ending up in the marshmallows. Brands should specify whether or not this is the case within the ingredients information.
How To Verify Your Marshmallows Are Gluten-Free
There’s no guarantee that your marshmallows are gluten-free, so here’s what to look out for:
- Labeling: Buy brands that have a gluten-free label on their packaging.
- Ingredients list: Read it carefully since some are gluten-free even without the company explicitly saying so. If there aren’t any sources of gluten, such as wheat, barley, rye, or oats, it should be safe to eat. However, if you have celiac disease or are extremely intolerant, only buy brands that explicitly claim gluten-free on their products.
- Recipe: You can make your own marshmallows if you want to be 100% certain they’re gluten-free and without any additives.
Buying certified gluten-free marshmallows is important if you have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or a mild gluten intolerance. Kraft Jet-Puffed marshmallows, for example, don’t specifically label their package as gluten-free — even though their ingredients don’t usually have gluten-containing grains. But, some of their marshmallows have colorings from suppliers who may use grains.
Best Gluten-Free Ways To Use Marshmallows
If you’re following a gluten-free diet but still want to include these delightful, fluffy treats — don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some fun ways to get creative and make gluten-free desserts with your fluffy treat:
Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? Well, if you add marshmallows to it, it gets even better.
You can grab one of the thousands of healthy gluten-free cookie recipes online and press a mini marshmallow, or three, into the center. You’ll get a sweet and gooey surprise with your bite.
Decadent Marshmallow Brownies
Indulge in rich and fudgy gluten-free brownies, but with a twist. Make a batch of your favorite gluten-free brownies, but only pour half of the batter into the pan. Then, layer mini gluten-free marshmallows evenly over the batter. Finally, pour on the remaining half of the batter and bake as directed.
Once it cools a bit and you slice in, you’ll get a warm, melted, and perfectly toasted marshmallow flavor in every bite.
Marshmallow Fruit Skewers
We all know we should eat more fruit — but who says you can’t add a little extra fluff to that recommendation every now and then?
Thread a combo of your favorite fresh fruits onto a skewer and intersperse them with a few marshmallows in between. Try strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or maybe even pineapple chunks for an extra burst of sweetness.
You can add marshmallows to almost any snack, even healthy ones like popcorn or nuts and seeds. And if you’re too busy to cook but still want to eat healthily, you can get a meal delivery service. As a last resort, you could also consider a gluten-free fat burner — but working on developing small healthier habits, bit by bit, will likely give you better long-lasting results.
Finally, if you’re having a hard time curbing your sweet tooth, remember that all your favorite sweet recipes can be made healthier. Try searching for paleo gluten-free desserts; they’re always grain-free and focus on whole foods with less sugar. And if you aren’t getting enough fruits and veggies, you can also try different multivitamins or personalized vitamins made specifically for your lifestyle.
The Bottom Line
You don’t have to give up marshmallows for a gluten-free diet. You do have to stay vigilant and read the ingredients, however, to be 100% certain.
Buy brands that explicitly say they’re gluten-free on the label. Otherwise, check for gluten-containing additives like malt or barley and whether they were made in a facility with other gluten products. You can always make your own gluten-free marshmallows recipe at home.
If you want to enjoy marshmallows throughout the year, try adding them to your favorite cookie and brownie recipes. Plus, there’s nothing as cozy as drinking a cup of hot chocolate, even a healthy one with gluten-free protein powder, with a few mini marshmallows sprinkled on top. And while summer’s around, have some fun and take advantage of those campfire marshmallows, gluten-free.
Whatever the recipe, there’s almost always a way to make it healthy, gluten-free, and delicious.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, but you have to buy gluten-free marshmallow brands. It should be explicitly labeled as gluten-free on the package. You can also check the ingredients for gluten-containing products or cross-contamination.
Yes, but only ones explicitly labeled gluten-free. Alternatively, gluten-free recipes can be made at home.
Usually, yes. The main ingredients are sugar, water, and gelatin. Unless the brand includes dairy additives, considering marshmallows to be dairy-free is the norm.
Marshmallow creme or fluff can be gluten-free. But as always, you have to buy a brand that explicitly labels the product as gluten-free and check the ingredients. It’s usually made up of corn syrup, sugar, egg whites, stabilizers, and flavoring.
+ 4 sources
Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here
- N.V. Nepovinnykh, Klyukina, O.N., Y.A. Kodatskiy and Yeganehzad, S. (2018). Study of the stability of foam and viscoelastic properties of Marshmallow without Gelatin. [online] ResearchGate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326187318_Study_of_the_stability_of_foam_and_viscoelastic_properties_of_Marshmallow_without_Gelatin
- Said, M. (2020). Role and function of gelatin in the development of the food and non-food industry: A review. [online] 492(1), pp.012086–012086. doi:https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/492/1/012086.
- Pandya, Y., Bakshi, M. and Sharma, A. (2022). Agar-agar extraction, structural properties and applications: A review. [online] ResearchGate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/361254986_Agar-agar_extraction_structural_properties_and_applications_A_review
- Necas, J. and L. Bartošíková (2013). Carrageenan: A review. [online] ResearchGate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280020831_Carrageenan_A_review