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Which Spices, Seasonings and Herbs are Gluten-Free?

Bowls and spoons full of different spices sit on a table.Raw spices, seasonings and herbs that are made from plants are gluten-free. If you’re buying a seasoning mix, always read the label to ensure no wheat, barley or rye have been added.

Spices sold singularly—ie, there’s only one ingredient in the ingredients list—should be safe. This includes, but is not limited to: salt, pepper, garlic powder, garlic salt, ginger, bay leaves, turmeric, onion powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, paprika, coriander, basil, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, and thyme.

Seasoning Mixes

Seasoning mixes include multiple spices and herbs, and occasionally an anti-caking agent. In rare cases, a gluten-containing ingredient, such as wheat starch, may be used for the anti-caking agent. This is why it’s always a good idea to read the label and ensure there are no gluten-containing ingredients.

Examples of common seasoning mixes:

  • Italian seasoning: basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram
  • Curry powder: turmeric, cumin, ginger, and black pepper. Sometimes garlic and cinnamon are included.
  • Garam masala: cinnamon, peppercorns, cardamom, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, mace, and nutmeg
  • Tajin: chili peppers, lime and sea salt
  • Taco seasoning: salt, paprika, oregano, chili, onion powder and garlic powder

Some popular seasoning mixes, such as Old Bay, Lawry’s and Mrs. Dash don’t contain gluten, but are not labeled gluten-free. It’s up to each individual if they are comfortable trying these seasoning mixes. If you have concerns about a specific brand, reach out to the manufacturer with your questions.

Cross-Contact Concerns

Do not buy spices, herbs or seasonings from bulk bins, as cross-contact can easily occur with scoops and gluten-containing items. Instead, buy spices in individual packets, jars or bottles.

In rare cases, companies may add wheat flour or wheat starch to seasoning mixes to reduce costs. Fortunately, US and Canadian food regulations require these wheat-based ingredients to be declared on the label.

Even if you accidentally bought seasonings containing gluten, seasonings usually make up such a small portion of a meal that it wouldn’t cause a reaction. Celiac expert Shelley Case, RD, writes:

“A single serving of a ground spice is typically quite small (about 0.5 grams). So if a spice had 160 ppm of gluten and an individual ate 0.5 grams of this spice in a meal, the amount of gluten consumed would be 0.08 milligrams (mg). Studies have found that a threshold level of less than 10 mg of gluten per day is safe for most individuals with celiac disease.”

Learn more about the potential for cross-contact.

Brands to Buy

Purchases made through these links benefit Beyond Celiac and our mission to accelerate celiac disease research.

McCormick’s gluten-free seasonings line is certified gluten-free by the GFCP.

Single-ingredient McCormick spices and herbs (not certified gluten-free)

Penzys Spices has a wide variety of seasonings, spanning from the cooking essentials to the unique and rare.

Simple Girl Spices are gluten-free, organic, and diabetic friendly. Try the Simple Girl Gourmet Spice Set.

Any information on the gluten content of particular brands shared above was obtained during the last update of this page. Be sure to check with the manufacturer for the latest info or if you have any questions.

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