Are pizza restaurants safe for gluten free? If you love pizza, it is hard to be gluten free. Ordering a gluten free pizza at any restaurant can lead to stomach pain and other symptoms if you can’t eat gluten.

Here are some great things to know when you dine out so that you can make sure that the gluten free pizza restaurant is safe.

a cooked pizza on a pizza spatula at a pizza restaurant

Is a pizza restaurant safe for gluten free?

I have spoken to a lot of pizza restaurants touting gluten free pizza lately. You may have seen my post about the Top Ten Crazy Things Restaurants Have Said To Me.  Pizza is tricky, and it is even harder to create a safe way to prepare and cook gluten free pizzas!

Cross-contamination is a huge issue in restaurants. A lot of restaurants are trying to accommodate gluten free diners the right way, but a lot of restaurants are NOT doing it the right way.

Are you tired of getting sick from eating out at a restaurant that either has a gluten free menu or indicates gluten free items on their menu? Getting glutened is a miserable feeling.

I am here to tell you that there is probably no such thing as a 100% gluten free pizza unless you either buy it from a place with a dedicated gluten free kitchen, or make it at home.”

It is just too difficult for a pizza restaurant to prevent cross-contamination. Flour is in the air, on the counters, on the pizza tins and screens used for baking, and in the pizza ovens. Can you find a pizza that is close, under the new 20 ppb rule? You can, but the majority of gluten free pizzas in restaurants are NOT Celiac safe.

a baked pizza in a box

Yes, there are some restaurants that are really trying to get it right to prevent cross-contamination. The main problem is the pizza oven. According to the experts, gluten does not burn off in a pizza oven. Flour floats around the oven potentially cross-contaminating gluten free pizzas while they cook.

Gluten free people have a varying degree of sensitivity to gluten. Some people can’t tolerate any gluten, and others can handle trace amounts. You need to know where you fall on this spectrum and determine if a pizza restaurant is taking the right precautions to prevent you from getting sick.

6 questions you need to ask before you order that gluten free pizza:

  1. Did they purchase gluten free crusts from a dedicated gluten free distributor, or do they make them in-house? If they are purchased, are they stored bagged, away from regular pizza crusts? If they are made in house, how do they store the dough?
  2. Do they prepare your gluten free pizzas in a separate area of the kitchen, away from where they make regular pizzas? If not, is the area cleaned, and or a liner put down to prevent cross-contamination?
  3. Does the cook change gloves and apron before working on a gluten free pizza order?
  4. Do they use a sterilized separate pan to cook the gluten free pizza on? Many restaurants use mesh sheets. These don’t work very well to prevent cross-contamination because regular flour can go up through the holes and into the gluten free pizza. If they don’t use a pan under your pizza, it will get cross-contaminated just laying on the oven shelf.
  5. Do they use a separate cutter and paddle for gluten free pizzas?
  6. When the pizza comes out of the oven, does it go on the hotline to await being delivered? If so, is the gluten free pizza boxed to prevent it from coming into contact with gluten?

Stay safe and know the right questions to ask in order to prevent getting “glutened.”

Don’t forget to read all of my Gluten Free 101 tips for easy gluten free living. This article is perfect for anyone new to gluten free, and those who have been gluten free for a long time too!

Is take out pizza safe?

pizza in a take out box on a counter

Take-out pizza is not safer for those who are gluten free due to Celiac and gluten intolerance. It has the same poor safety levels as when dining in the restaurant because the same equipment and oven are used.

Make gluten free pizza at home:

If you prefer to make gluten free pizza at home, why not try one of these delicious homemade gluten free pizza recipes? Here are the gluten free pantry essentials needed to make a delicious pizza from scratch.

You can also use this simple homemade gluten free pizza sauce to top your pizzas!

Fearless Dining

Your go-to haven for gluten-free living, where I share hundreds of delicious, family-friendly recipes, helpful gluten-free resources, and allergen-friendly options for everyone!

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13 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for all you do, and although I am detoxing from many years of consuming something and being sick, I am grateful for the time you’ve taken to educate us with your web page, and FB group! Keep up the amazing work!

    1. You are very welcome Nevetta. It is a labor of love. When we were diagnosed we were given a one-page handout. It told us so little I wanted to make sure there were easy resources to help people.

  2. A big challenge I run into when buying GF pizzas, frozen or in restaurants is that the ingredients includes xanthan gum, which is a (derivative of corn). I am gluten, corn and soy free. I also don’t eat cow dairy products so I am looking for sheep or goat cheese for a topping. I am finding more pizza parlors now carrying cauliflower crusts which is great. Its not impossible to find a decent GF pizza these days, but the corn is the biggest challenge for me. I have not seen a Costco pizza without corn as an ingredient. Is it made by Costco or another brand. Needless to say I make alot of my own pizza crusts. Against the Grain has a decent pizza crust if you can handle the xanthan gum and cow dairy. I used to spice it up with additional toppings before baking. I used to like the nut free pesto version. Hope that helps others. Thanks Sandi for your great recipes over the years. You are one of my favorite GF bakers.

    1. We love those cauliflower crusts too!! I like to cook them on the grill so the crust gets crispy. Our Costco has a new cauliflower crust pizza, hopefully yours will get it too shortly!

      1. It is one of my favorites, but our Costco hasn’t carried these pizzas in a long time. Some Costco stores do.

  3. It really helped when you said that it would be best to ask a restaurant if they use separate pans when cooking the meals for gluten-free people. I will definitely share this tip with my sister since she just found out that she can’t eat food with gluten that much. Since we are planning to eat pizza this weekend to celebrate the birthday of our mom, this tip will help her to gauge if she is safe to eat in their restaurant. Thanks!

  4. In addition to these great questions, I would also ask if they have dedicated cheese and sauce (and sauce ladle) for the gluten free pizza.

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