Is Sriracha Gluten Free?

Condiments are among the most commonly questioned items for those on a gluten free diet. They are often full of less familiar ingredients, and they can easily hide gluten. So it is important to read labels carefully and understand where gluten might be sneaking in.

Condiments include everything from dips and dressings to sauces, like barbecue and hot sauce. One type of hot sauce in particular is especially trendy, and it makes for a flavorful addition to all sorts of cuisine – sriracha. So is sriracha gluten free? Let’s take a look.

What is Sriracha?

The original sriracha sauce is made in California by Huy Fong Foods. Some people refer to the original sriracha as “rooster sauce,” due to the rooster design printed on its famous bottle.

The ingredients in the original sriracha include chiles, sugar, salt, garlic, distilled vinegar, potassium sorbate, sodium bisulfite and xanthan gum. The website lists that it is free from gluten, but it is not certified gluten free. Since we know that both corn derived white vinegar and xanthan gum can be problematic for those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, it is best to avoid condiments that contain them. In addition, sulfites – i.e. bisulfite and sulfur dioxide, have been shown to suppress the growth of healthy bacteria. This commonly used preservative is gluten free, but could play a role in persistent symptoms for those with gluten sensitivity.

Can Celiacs Have Sriracha Hot Sauce?

So is all hot sauce off the table for those avoiding gluten? Absolutely not! You just need to check labels for hidden gluten, and ask questions:

  1. Does the hot sauce contain any gluten ingredients (including hidden gluten like corn)?
  2. Is the hot sauce produced in a dedicated gluten free facility to reduce the risk of cross contamination?
  3. Is the hot sauce certified gluten free? This is the safest way to confirm that a product is gluten free! If it is, it answers the first two questions in this list.

Our favorite gluten free sriracha and hot sauce

Wondering what Sriracha hot sauce you can enjoy safely? Here are a few of our favorite store bought options.

If you can’t find the above options in your local store, check online from retailers like Amazon, Thrive Market, or other health food shops. You can also make your own hot sauce. Here is a recipe we like from Nom Nom Paleo.

Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds fresh red jalapeño or Fresno peppers stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Remove the seeds and most of the ribs from the peppers to make a moderately hot sauce (leaving them in adds more heat)
  2. Put all ingredients into a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) or a turbocharged food processor. Purée until smooth.
  3. Pour the purée into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. As soon as it boils, reduce the heat to low and maintain a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. By cooking the sauce, we concentrate and deepen the flavors, and cut the sharpness of the raw garlic.
  5. Once the foam subsides, the sauce should be a vibrant red color, and you shouldn’t be able to detect any raw vegetable smell.
  6. Taste and adjust for seasoning if necessary.
  7. Transfer the sriracha to a jar (or three) and allow the sauce to cool. You can keep it in the fridge for up to a week. I love to freeze mine in these silicone ice cube trays because they’ll last for a few months and I can pop a cube out whenever I need some spicy goodness.

Conclusion

Many condiments, including hot sauce, have gluten containing ingredients or are produced in such a way that promotes cross contamination. But lucky for our spice lovers, there are plenty of safe and delicious hot sauces that are gluten free.

As always, it is important to check ingredient lists on all condiments, and to ask questions of any manufacturers if you are uncertain.

Think you might be gluten intolerant? Take our Sensitivity Test!

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