Are Hash Browns Gluten Free – Mostly Yes

  • Hash Browns are a popular breakfast dish in America. It is made out of potatoes that are cut, diced, shredded, and then pan-fried.  
  • Hash browns usually contain potatoes and salt, and sometimes butter, pepper, and onions may also be added. 
  • It is unusual for hash browns to contain wheat. However, when dining out or buying frozen hash browns, it is advisable to check if they are gluten free.
  • Sometimes flour may be used as an ingredient for coating of hash browns, so you may want to double-check the ingredients.
  • The place where hash browns are processed or cooked in restaurants may have contaminants that may be harmful to people with gluten allergies. It is very important to check the label for Gluten free before buying the product. 

Are hash browns gluten free? The main ingredient of hash browns is potatoes which are naturally gluten free.

Some hash browns may contain wheat as an ingredient so you should check the label of the bag or ask the chef to make sure before eating.

Are Hash Browns Gluten Free? – What Are Hash Browns?

 Hash browns are made of grated potatoes molded into a patty shape, which are then fried. They are quite easy to make and a popular breakfast dish. They go well when served with eggs or pancakes. 

To enhance its flavor, sometimes onion, salt, and other flavors are added according to your taste. You can also add butter, pepper, and some garlic powder for some extra flavor. 

They may be coated with bread crumbs at restaurants as well. But if you’re avoiding gluten, it is always recommended that you only buy products that are specifically labeled as gluten free.

There are certain things you should look out for if you have gluten intolerance or celiac disease: ingredients of frozen hash browns and cross-contamination. 

Look out for the added flavors in the ingredients of hash browns, as they may not always be gluten free unless specifically mentioned.

Also, be careful that the grill where hash browns are cooked is free from any gluten contamination and possible allergen.

History of hash browns

Hash browns first appears in a cooking book by a woman named Maria Parloa. It was 1887 and people pretty much ate what they wanted back then.

In the early 1890 you could see the hash brown dish in many NYC diners.

If you thought McDonalds invented the hash brown, you both right and wrong. While they didn’t invented the dish, as previously mentioned, they put it on the map once they started offering it in the 80’s in all their locations.

FUN FACT – Hash Brown was originally called ” Hashed ” brown potatoes. However over the years the name got shorter to what we are used to today and only remains as Hash Browns.

The word to hash, literaly means, to cut – or to slice.

There are many different ways to make hash browns and just a few examples are:

  • mashed
  • sliced
  • diced
  • cubed
  • patties

In some dishes, a binder is added to make the potato stick better, if you are looking for gluten free hash browns, make sure to ask the server what is the binder in the restaurant or check the label to make sure.

Ingredients of Hash Browns:

 The classic recipe for home-made hash browns is grated potatoes, oil, and salt. If you want to add some butter and pepper, that is fine as long as the butter does not contain any leftover bread crumbs over it. 

Make sure the grill is clean and free from contaminants. All the utensils used to prepare hash browns should be clean and used solely to make the gluten-free hash browns. 

Known Brands for Hash Browns

In the frozen foods industry, some known brands sell gluten free hash browns: 


This brand has a variety of gluten free potato products, including fries and hash browns.

They sell different variations of hash browns, including golden hash browns, diced hash browns, and shredded hash browns.

They have a specific label that says gluten free, which you can look for when buying their products. 

 Simply Potatoes

This is also a popular brand selling a variety of gluten free products, including hash browns, diced and sliced potatoes, and mashed potatoes.

Their websites also contain gluten free recipes for hash browns, potato pancakes, and other food containing potatoes. 

Their FAQ section on the website clearly states that all their mashed and cut varieties of products are gluten free. 

Things to Look Out For

 When purchasing frozen hash browns, these are some of the things you should look out for:

  • Check the label gluten free on the product. You may also want to check the ingredients to be sure. Some brands have products with wheat and are produced in a shared facility with gluten products, which should be avoided as a precaution.
  • Any product which has wheat in its ingredient is not gluten free.
  • If there are no labels mentioned, you can also check on the brand’s website, in their FAQ section or product section to find out if they have gluten free products. You can also contact them via email or phone to check if their products are gluten free.  
  • It is recommended to go for the products that are clearly labeled as gluten free over other products to be on a safer side. 

When ordering hash browns at a restaurant, look out for the following things: 

  • It is strongly advised that your restaurant server knows you are on a gluten free diet and what that curtails. Inform the server about all precautionary measures they need to take while preparing your meal to avoid contamination. 
  • You can also check the restaurant’s website to see if they have listed possible allergens in their food. It should be mentioned on the menu, but make sure to ask your server if it is not. For example, McDonald’s hash browns are not gluten free. IHOP hash browns, on the other hand, are listed as gluten free. 
  • Ask your server to make sure that he/she checks the label on the potatoes used to see if it may contain allergens.
  • Be thorough with the server and find out the preparation procedure to ensure that the utensils used to cook gluten products are not being used for your meal. 
  • If the hash browns look as if they might be covered in bread crumbs or may contain extra flavors, confirm with the management about its ingredients. 
  • Check restaurant review sites to see where gluten free food is mostly served. 

To Sum Up 

If hash browns are cooked only with potatoes, oil, and salt, it is gluten free and safe to consume.

However, if bread crumbs or wheat products are used in production, it is not suitable for people with gluten-intolerance. 

If you have any doubts, make sure to always read the labels of the products you purchase and go for products that clearly say Gluten free.

If not, always check the ingredients to make sure it does not contain any gluten. Sometimes, extra ingredients are added to enhance the flavor, which may not be gluten free.

Be thorough with your restaurant server in providing them all the details about your gluten-allergy, so they take necessary precautions in cooking your hash browns.

If you are unsure of their safety measures, it is best not to eat from there.

Check out one of our related articles about if fried rice is gluten free


About the Author: Johnny

I am the senior editor and writer of Gluten Free Heroes, before that, I wrote for various well established online magazines about food and health. I love working out, traveling and eating healthy.