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21 Quick and Nutritious Gluten-Free Snacks

Health + Wellness
vaaseenaa / iStock / Getty Images

By Marsha McCulloch, MS, RD

If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, avoiding gluten is imperative (1).


However, you may struggle to find good snack options.

Though many convenient gluten-free snacks are available in stores, some may be unnecessarily high in calories or added sugars.

However, you don't have to rely on packaged foods for your next snack. It's also simple to make your own.

People with celiac disease should choose snacks rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, as dietary restrictions and gluten-related intestinal damage may increase your risk of nutrient deficiencies (2, 3).

Here are 21 quick and nutritious gluten-free snacks.


1. Popcorn with Fruit, Chocolate and Peanuts

Popcorn is a gluten-free whole grain and good source of fiber, which can help you feel full (4).

For a snack, lightly drizzle air-popped popcorn with melted dark chocolate and toss in fiber-rich dried fruit, such as dried cranberries or cherries. Add peanuts for a good source of healthy fat and plant-based protein (5).

Chocolate and peanuts are naturally gluten-free. However, some may have additives, so be sure to choose products that are certified gluten-free.

2. Turkey-Wrapped Cheese Sticks

This protein-rich snack will help curb your hunger. To make it, wrap a thin slice of gluten-free turkey breast around a cheese stick (4, 6).

Notably, intolerance to lactose — the natural sugar in dairy products — is common in people with celiac disease, but this often improves as your intestine heals on a gluten-free diet (1).

Hard cheeses like cheddar may be better tolerated, as 1 ounce (28 grams) contains less than 1 gram of lactose. In comparison, 1 cup (240 ml) of milk has 13 grams of lactose (5, 7).

3. Instant Oatmeal with Apple, Walnuts and Cinnamon

Oats are naturally gluten-free but may be contaminated with wheat and other grains during growing, harvest, transportation, and manufacturing. Therefore, you should only buy certified gluten-free oats (1, 8).

For a warm, filling snack, combine plain, instant oatmeal with apples, walnuts, and cinnamon.

4. Cucumber-Hummus Sandwiches

Hummus is a nutritious, protein-rich dip made from ground chickpeas and sesame seeds. Premade gluten-free hummus is sold in supermarkets.

To make mini sandwiches, spread hummus on thick, round slices of cucumber. If you desire, add another slice on top of the hummus.

5. Grass-Fed Beef Jerky

The protein in beef jerky makes it a filling snack. High-quality beef jerky, including gluten-free and grass-fed options, has become more widely available. Notably, grass-fed beef is higher in nutrients like anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats and antioxidants (5, 6, 9).

Make sure to carefully read the label, as some jerky is made with wheat flour, barley-derived malt extract, or glutenous soy sauce (10, 11).

6. Fruit and Nut Tortilla Roll-Up

For this snack, choose a tortilla made with gluten-free whole grains, such as brown rice, buckwheat, or teff (12, 13).

Warm the tortilla briefly in the oven, then spread one side with a thin layer of chunky, unsweetened almond butter. Top with fresh berries or half of a diced apple and roll the tortilla tightly.

7. Toast with Beans and Olive Oil

Some gluten-free breads become dry quickly, but toasting can make them more palatable (14).

To make a satisfying, protein-rich snack, heat canned navy beans and spread them over toast. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. The toast can also be topped with fresh herbs.

To avoid gluten contamination from toasters, it's a good idea to invest in a new one and only use it for gluten-free foods. When you're away from home, reusable toaster bags can prevent contact with crumbs (1).

8. Yogurt Parfait with Granola

To make this snack, alternate layers of plain Greek yogurt with berries or other fruit, then top with gluten-free granola and nuts or seeds.

A 1/2-cup (112-gram) serving of plain Greek yogurt provides 10% of the RDI for calcium, a mineral in which many people with celiac disease are deficient (3, 5, 15).

Many yogurts contain live and active bacterial cultures that help break down lactose. Thus, you may tolerate these yogurts even if you don't digest milk well (9).

9. Bite-Size Zucchini Pizzas

Gluten-free pizza can be hard to find, but you can make your own with vegetables in place of crust.

Cut zucchini into thick, round slices and brush each side with olive oil. Put the slices on a lined baking sheet in the oven and broil each side for about two minutes, or until they start to brown.

Next, spread pasta sauce on each slice and top with shredded mozzarella or Parmesan cheese. Broil for one minute to melt the cheese.

10. Sweet and Crunchy Stuffed Dates

For a simple snack, fill pitted dates with unsweetened, crunchy peanut butter or a mix of chopped walnuts and unsweetened coconut flakes.

Three dates (72 grams) have 5 grams of fiber, which is 18% of the RDI. People on gluten-free diets are sometimes deficient in fiber and may experience constipation, so these dates may aid your digestive system (5, 16).

Dates are naturally gluten-free. However, chopped dates may be processed with oat flour, which is likely contaminated with gluten unless certified gluten-free (17).

11. Mango with Lime Juice and Chili Powder

This snack is a good source of vitamins A and B6, both of which are easy to become deficient in if you have celiac disease (2, 5, 18).

To make this fruity treat, cut a mango into cubes, then top with fresh-squeezed lime juice. If you like a bit of spice, sprinkle the cubes with chili powder.

Chili powder may either be a blend of spices or simply ground chili peppers. To avoid contamination, make sure yours is labeled gluten-free.

12. Tomato-Basil Mozzarella Skewers

Skewered foods make festive appetizers for gatherings. Plus, they're easy to make and enjoyable whether or not you're gluten-free.

For this snack, simply thread cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and cubes of mozzarella on bamboo skewers.

For a twist, try serving them with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

13. Black Bean Salad with Avocado

Though avocados are best known for their rich supply of healthy fats, they're also a good source of fiber, which can benefit your digestive system (5).

For an easy, filling snack, toss half of a cubed avocado with 1/4 cup (43 grams) of black beans. Add chopped onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.

14. Do-It-Yourself Trail Mix

Nutritious trail mix ingredients include nuts, seeds, and unsweetened, dried fruit, such as goji berries and apricots.

It's best to buy these foods in packages rather than bulk bins due to the risk of gluten contamination from containers and scoops.

Trail mix is energizing but calorie-dense, so watch your portion size. On average, 1/4 cup (37 grams) has 173 calories (5).

15. Vegetable Soup

A serving of gluten-free canned soup makes for a great snack. You can also freeze homemade soup in small glass containers for eating later.

To stay fuller for longer, choose high-fiber soups, such as those packed with legumes and vegetables (4).

Always check that canned soup is certified gluten-free. Besides obvious glutenous ingredients like noodles and barley, some soup is thickened with wheat flour.

16. Tuna Lettuce Cups

To make a satisfying, high-protein snack, mix tuna with gluten-free hummus or mayonnaise and spoon it into romaine or other dark leafy greens like Swiss chard (5, 6).

Tuna is commonly sold in convenient snack-size containers. Look for brands that sustainably catch low-mercury fish (19).

Avoid canned tuna with gluten-containing ingredients, such as broth made with wheat protein.

17. Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter and Banana

Rice cakes are commonly made with whole-grain brown rice. Some also contain other nutritious gluten-free whole grains, such as quinoa or sorghum.

Thin rice cakes are about half the thickness of regular ones and work well as sandwiches. Top them with unsweetened peanut butter, banana, and cinnamon.

18. Sweet Potato Chips with Tzatziki Sauce

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of sweet potato chips packs 37% of the RDI for vitamin A. It's common for people newly diagnosed with celiac disease to be deficient in this vitamin (2, 5).

For extra flavor, pair the chips with tzatziki sauce, which is a yogurt and cucumber dip. You can buy it premade or make your own.

You can also make your own chips. Toss thin slices of sweet potato with olive oil and sea salt, then spread on a pan and bake at 400℉ (204℃) for about 25 minutes or until the edges brown. Flip the chips once during cooking.

19. Honeydew with Raspberries

For a refreshing snack, toss cubed honeydew melon with raspberries, then sprinkle with fresh mint.

Honeydew and raspberries are naturally gluten-free and packed with fiber, minerals, and vitamins, including vitamin C.

Vitamin C is essential for your immune system and acts as a strong antioxidant, protecting your cells against free radical damage (3, 5, 20).

20. Egg-Salad-Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers

Miniature bell peppers are perfectly sized for snacking. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds before adding egg salad.

To make the salad, chop a hard-boiled egg and mix it with diced green onion and plain Greek yogurt or mayonnaise. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Eggs are a good source of vitamin B12, which up to 41% of people newly diagnosed with celiac disease are deficient in. This vitamin is essential for energy production, nerve function, and DNA synthesis (3, 5, 21).

21. Pear Drizzled with Dark Chocolate

Pears are packed with fiber, providing 5.5 grams — 19% of the RDI — in a single, 178-gram unpeeled fruit (5).

For a sweet snack, melt gluten-free dark chocolate and drizzle it over a sliced pear, then top with crushed walnuts for a boost of protein and healthy fat. Pear slices are also tasty dipped in unsweetened almond butter.

The Bottom Line

Gluten-free snacks don't have to be difficult to make. Plenty of tasty, unique snack combinations can be enjoyed on a gluten-free diet.

To avoid nutritional deficiencies, choose whole foods packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

If you're craving healthy, homemade snacks, try some of these ideas today.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.

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Sherry H-Y. Chou is an Associate Professor of Critical Care Medicine, Neurology, and Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh.

Aarti Sarwal is an Associate Professor, Neurology, Wake Forest University.

Neha S. Dangayach is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Disclosure statement: Sherry H-Y. Chou receives funding from The University of Pittsburgh Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the National Institute of Health, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Dean's Faculty Advancement Award. Sherry H-Y. Chou is a member of Board of Directors for the Neurocritical Care Society. Neha S. Dangayach receives funding from the Bee Foundation, the Friedman Brain Institute, the Neurocritical Care Society, InCHIP-UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media Seed Grant. She is faculty for emcrit.org and for AiSinai. Aarti Sarwal does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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