Gluten-Free Turkeys

Check Labels for Hidden Sources and Skip Those Flavoring/Gravy Packets

Roast Turkey
Diana Rattray

You might not suspect a fresh or frozen turkey as a source of gluten. But basting solutions injected into turkeys during processing do sometimes contain gluten. And those handy little gravy packets included in the packaging of some brands almost always contain gluten.

Several economical brands of whole fresh or frozen turkey are gluten-free. Read labels carefully, and contact the manufacturer before you buy a Thanksgiving turkey if you have any lingering doubts.

  • 01 of 07

    Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc., located in Pennsylvania, bills itself as, "the largest kosher poultry producer in the world. The company controls all aspects of poultry production from breeder farms to processing facilities." Empire sells gluten-free whole turkeys in several sizes, plus half turkey breasts, turkey thighs, turkey drumsticks, and ground turkey packaged in smaller portions.

  • 02 of 07

    A Cargill brand, Honeysuckle White markets gluten-free turkeys. The company's website recommends that consumers "...refer to product packaging for current and most accurate product information."

  • 03 of 07

    Jennie-O (Hormel) brand gluten-free turkey products include:

    • Jennie-O Prime Young Turkey, fresh or frozen (the gravy packet does contain gluten)
    • Jennie-O Turkey Store Oven-Ready Turkey Breast (the gravy packet does contain gluten)
    • Jennie-O Frozen Turkey Breast (the gravy packet does contain gluten)

     

  • 04 of 07

    Perdue Brand Gluten-Free Turkey Products

    According to the company's website, "Many Perdue products are free of gluten. Perdue chickens, chicken parts, and turkeys are all gluten-free. These are sold fresh, as well as frozen, and some are flavored with seasonings."

    The site doesn't provide a list of their gluten-free products. Read labels on individual products and contact the customer service department with any questions you may have.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Butterball, a ConAgra brand, does not label whole fresh or frozen turkeys as gluten-free.

    "Butterball product labels let consumers know whether any of the top eight allergens may be present in the product. For example, a label may read “contains wheat and dairy.” Specifically, gluten is not present naturally in turkey. Only two of our retail products currently contain gluten: Butterball Frozen Italian Style Meatballs and Butterball Frozen Stuffed Turkey. Our gravy has been reformulated to...MORE eliminate gluten, but certain gravy packets may still contain gluten; it will be listed on the ingredient statement. Give us a call or use the contact us form on this page if you’d like to check on a specific product."

  • 06 of 07

    Shelton's Poultry, located in California, "raises chickens, turkeys, and ducks in free-range conditions, without the use of antibiotics or artificial growth stimulants." They also raise organic, gluten-free turkeys. 

    According to the company, "We use no preservatives, flavor enhancers, modified starches, irradiated spices, animal protein or any artificial ingredients. Our ingredients lists read like home recipes instead of chemistry textbooks."
     

  • 07 of 07

    Norbest, a member of the Northwest Turkey Growers Association based in Utah, certifies their turkey products as, "completely free of gluten from wheat, barley, rye, oats, or their derivatives."