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Is Chicken Broth Gluten-Free & Healthy In 2024?

Mary Ekundayo

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Ellie Busby, MS, RDN

is chicken broth gluten free
Chicken broth is primarily gluten-free. Photo: Tatjana Baibakova/Shutterstock

Looking for a way to add flavor to your recipes with chicken on a gluten-free diet? You can make a healthy bone broth from a leftover chick carcass, add chicken pieces to your dish, or use chicken broth. 

However, if you’re sensitive to gluten or following a gluten-free diet,[1] you might be wondering: is chicken broth gluten-free? Gluten can hide anywhere, and you can’t be too careful. 

This article explains what chicken broth is, whether it’s safe on a gluten-free diet, and how to find gluten-free broth options.

Is Chicken Broth Gluten Free?

Yes, chicken broth is primarily gluten-free. Its main ingredients do not contain gluten. Chicken broth is traditionally made from chicken meat, vegetables, and herbs, which are all naturally gluten-free.

However, store-bought or commercially made broths might sometimes contain gluten-derived ingredients.

If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, look for brands with certified gluten-free labels or consider making your own homemade broth.

Does Chicken Broth Have Gluten?

No, traditional chicken broth does not usually contain gluten because its main ingredients are typically gluten-free. However, some store-bought broths have hidden gluten in the form of additives, preservatives, thickening agents, or ingredients that are not gluten-free. So, be careful to choose one that suits your gluten-free diet plan.

Popular gluten-containing ingredients that can render store-bought chicken broths non-gluten-free are yeast and soy sauce. Some yeast extracts contain barley[2] and soy sauce, both of which contain gluten. 

Also, cross-contamination[3] with gluten can occur in the commercial production of broth. Cross-contamination happens when the facility used to process the chicken broth is also used to manufacture other gluten-containing products.

If you have celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten, look for certified gluten-free chicken broths by checking the label. Opt for chicken broth brands that clearly state that their product is gluten-free.

What Is Chicken Broth?

Chicken broth is a liquid prepared using naturally gluten-free ingredients like chicken meat and vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions. Some people also add herbs and seasonings like pepper, garlic, thyme, salt, and bay leaves.

Most store-bought varieties come as bouillon cubes or a powder. This is just dehydrated chicken broth. These products are at higher risk of containing gluten-derived ingredients.

Chicken broth is different from chicken stock. While broth is made from chicken meat, stock is usually made from chicken bones. Broth also has a thinner consistency while making stock by boiling chicken bones takes longer.

Health Benefits

Homemade broth is rich in vitamins and minerals. Studies suggest that chicken broth can help support the immune system.[4] Plus, many herbs and spices[5] like garlic, thyme, and parsley have anti-inflammatory[6] and antioxidant properties. 

Tips To Choose A Gluten-Free Chicken Broth

For individuals with gluten intolerance, getting gluten-free chicken broth is vital. Most grocery stores sell a few brands of gluten-free broth. 

Below are practical tips to ensure your chicken broth is completely free from gluten:

  • Check the ingredients label for words like natural flavors, barley malt, yeast extract, or wheat. These ingredients usually contain gluten.
  • Look out for a gluten-free label certifying that a chicken broth product is safe for your gluten-free diet.
  • Visit the manufacturer’s website to get the most recent and accurate information on a chicken broth brand.
  • Read allergen statements on the label of your chicken broth or meal delivery service website.
  • Check for cross-contamination warnings and avoid brands with a risk of gluten traces. 
  • Make homemade chicken broth using gluten-free ingredients.

Making Your Own Gluten-Free Chicken Broth

Here’s a simple homemade broth recipe made with only gluten-free ingredients. It’s also dairy-free.

Adjust the ingredients based on your preferences and availability, and get creative with other gluten-free ingredients for different natural flavours. For example, if you’re not aiming for a fat-free broth, leftover chicken fat from a chicken meal can add lots of flavor to your broth.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg of free-range chicken meat
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery 
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Seasonings: parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper
  • Bay leaves (optional)
  • Gluten-free bouillon cubes, yeast extract, or vegetable broth or stock (optional)

Directions

1. Chop your onions, carrots, celery, and garlic into a bowl.

2. Add the chicken meat and the chopped ingredients into a stock pot. You can also add some seasonings, such as gluten-free bouillon cubes and bay leaves.

3. Pour some water into the pot until it covers the contents, and cook on medium-high heat.

4. When the water begins to boil, turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked.

5. Remove and store the cooked chicken to use in another recipe.

6. Drain out the broth into another bowl using a strainer, and serve as needed.

7. Refrigerate excess broth to be used later.

Tip: Cross-contamination is still a possibility when preparing your chicken broth at home. Ensure you prepare it using clean clean kitchen utensils that have not been used for foods that contain gluten.

How To Incorporate Chicken Broth Into Your Gluten-Free Diet

Chicken broth is a versatile liquid that can be added to many meals. Here are some ways to use your broth to enhance your gluten-free meals:

Add To Soups

Chicken broth serves as a tasty base for your soups. Even if you are on a diet, chicken broth can be a low-calorie flavorful addition to soups for weight loss

Use To Cook Grains

Try cooking rice or quinoa with chicken broth instead of water for added flavor and nutrients. 

Consume As A Beverage

Try drinking chicken broth alone as a beverage. To enhance your protein intake, combine it with protein powders to boost its nutritional value.

For Braising And Sauteing

Chicken broth can be used as a braising and sauteing liquid to add moisture and flavor to your meats and vegetables.

In Gravies And Sauces

Thicken your chicken broth with organic chicken stock or beef stock and gluten-free flour to make gravies and sauces. 

Conclusion

Not all chicken broth is gluten-free, but most grocery stores sell gluten-free broth options. To be sure, you can also prepare gluten-free broth from scratch at home. 

Apart from being full of natural flavors, chicken broth has multiple health benefits. It is high in protein, and low in calories, making it a great fat burner if you are on a weight management plan. It also contains antioxidants that can help support the immune system. 

If you have celiac disease or are on a strict gluten-free diet for any other reason, follow the tips given above to avoid chicken broth that might contain gluten.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is chicken broth safe for gluten-free diets?

Yes, organic chicken broth is usually safe for gluten-free diets. However, commercially made broths may contain gluten – especially if they are made from hidden sources of gluten such as additives and other gluten-derived ingredients.

What is the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth?

Chicken stock is a liquid made by simmering chicken bones, while chicken broth is made with chicken meat, vegetables, and seasonings. Also, the texture of chicken broth is thinner than the more viscous chicken stock.

Is store-bought chicken broth gluten-free?

It depends on the brand. There are gluten-free chicken broth brands available, but some popular brands may contain gluten. Check the labels for gluten-derived ingredients, allergen warnings, or gluten-free certifications.

Does powdered chicken broth have gluten?

This also depends on the brand. Some may contain gluten. Check the ingredient labels to confirm whether a powdered chicken broth contains gluten or not.

Is chicken bouillon gluten-free?

Again, it depends on the brand. Chicken bouillon refers to chicken broth in powder or cube form to flavor soups or sauces. Check the label to determine whether they contain gluten or not.

Are there bone broth powders?

Yes, bone broth powders are available. You can usually find them in health food stores or organic grocery stores.


+ 6 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

  1. Dalia El Khoury, Balfour-Ducharme, S. and Joye, I.J. (2018). A Review on the Gluten-Free Diet: Technological and Nutritional Challenges. Nutrients, [online] 10(10), pp.1410–1410. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10101410.
  2. Gutowski, E., Weiten, D., Green, K.H., Rigaux, L., Bernstein, Ç.N., Graff, L.A., Walker, J.R., Duerksen, D.R. and Silvester, J.A. (2020). Can individuals with celiac disease identify gluten-free foods correctly? Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, [online] 36, pp.82–90. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnesp.2020.01.012.
  3. Wieser, H., Segura, V., Ángela Ruiz-Carnicer, Sousa, C. and Comino, I. (2021). Food Safety and Cross-Contamination of Gluten-Free Products: A Narrative Review. Nutrients, [online] 13(7), pp.2244–2244. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13072244.
  4. Zhang, J., Wang, X., Li, H., Chen, C. and Liu, X. (2022). Immunomodulatory Effects of Chicken Broth and Histidine Dipeptides on the Cyclophosphamide-Induced Immunosuppression Mouse Model. Nutrients, [online] 14(21), pp.4491–4491. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14214491.
  5. Bower, A.M., Marquez, S. and González, E. (2015). The Health Benefits of Selected Culinary Herbs and Spices Found in the Traditional Mediterranean Diet. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, [online] 56(16), pp.2728–2746. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2013.805713.
  6. Arreola, R., Saray Quintero-Fabián, Rocío Ivette López-Roa, Enrique Octavio Flores-Gutiérrez, Juan Pablo Reyes‐Grajeda, Carrera-Quintanar, L. and Ortuño-Sahagún, D. (2015). Immunomodulation and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Garlic Compounds. Journal of immunology research, [online] 2015, pp.1–13. doi:https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/401630.
Mary Ekundayo

Medically reviewed by:

Ellie Busby

Mary is a professional health and cannabis content writer and On-page SEO expert. She has over 4years of content creation and copywriting. She loves inspiring and helping people find solutions to problems with her articles. When she's not writing you can find Mary lost in the pages of a captivating book, letting her creativity flow onto paper or meditating to set the tone for her day.

Medically reviewed by:

Ellie Busby

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