This post discusses which brands of chocolate chips are gluten free – everything from Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips to Ghirardelli and Kirkland chocolate chip brands. Please note that you must always read ingredient labels before eating anything. Information shared in this article will help you get started on your research journey, but labels and ingredients can change. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
If you’re wondering if chocolate chips are gluten free, and if so, which brands of chocolate chips are safe for you to consume on the gluten-free diet, you came to the right place.
Gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats, can be found in many products, and gluten doesn’t always go by the name gluten, wheat, rye or barley. It’s often hidden in confusing ingredients like malt and yeast extract. I even have an entire article dedicated to surprise products that contain gluten!
In this article, I will share what the leading brands of chocolate chips say about gluten, as well as reveal how some of the leading chocolate chip brands fared when put to the Nima Sensor test.
The Nima Sensor is a portable gluten-detecting device that empowers you to test a small piece of your food for hidden gluten. It cannot test the entire bag of chocolate chips, per se, but it can test one chocolate chip, which will enable you to infer if the product or meal is safe for you to eat.
The Nima Sensor has some limitations, which I discuss in detail in this article, 13 Things to Know About the Nima Sensor.
Please note that the Nima Sensor went out of business in 2020, but returned under new ownership and management in the Fall of 2021. You can read more about this debacle in this article, Did Nima Sensor Go Out of Business?
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Brands
Only a few brands of chocolate chips have the “certified gluten-free” label, a label bestowed on products by the Gluten Free Certification Organization, an organization that is part of the Gluten Intolerance Group.
One such brand is Enjoy Life Foods. In fact, Enjoy Life products are free of the top 14 most common allergens. This means they’re not only free from gluten (and certified gluten free by the GFCO), but also that they’re dairy free, nut free, soy free, and free from 10 other common food allergens.
You can safely enjoy Enjoy Life chocolate chips without worry of hidden gluten, and they’re the best dairy-free chocolate chips around too.
Another brand of chocolate chips that is certified gluten free is Lily’s. In fact, Lily’s Baking Chips are also free from added sugar.
Please note, if you don’t like the taste of artificial sweeteners, you may not like Lily’s chocolate chips, which includes Stevia extract, among other ingredients, in the final product. Specifically, Lily’s chips are made from unsweetened chocolate, inulin, erythritol, milk fat (rBST free), cocoa butter, sunflower lecithin, Stevia extract, and vanilla extract.
Please note that the certified gluten-free label is on the back of the packaging.
Lakanto chocolate chips are also gluten free and bear a gluten-free label on the front. Like Lily’s they don’t contain added sugar as they’re sweetened with monk fruit sweetener, whereas Lily’s is sweetened with Stevia.
I didn’t buy Lakanto chocolate chips when I was at King Soopers (Kroger) because they were $10.99 for one bag! That’s much too rich for my blood. That said, if you’re looking for gluten-free and sugar-free chocolate chips, this might be an option for you.
Perhaps the most popular chocolate chip brand on the market is Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips, and I know you want to know if these delicious chocolate chips are free from gluten and safe for you to eat.
Nestle Toll House chocolate chips are made from sugar, chocolate, cocoa, butter, milkfat, soy lecithin, and natural flavors.
It also contains an allergy disclosure label, noting that it contains milk and soy.
After combing the Nestle website, I could not find any FAQs about gluten, although I do not have any reason to believe Nestle Toll House chocolate chips contain gluten.
I decided to test a chocolate chip with my Nima Sensor, and Nima came bake with a smiles. (A smiley face means no gluten found.)
I also tested Nestle Toll House butterscotch morsels (at a reader’s request). The ingredient list is a bit more complex and includes caramel color, an ingredient that sometimes comes from gluten.
According to Beyond Celiac, most caramel color in the U.S. comes from corn, not wheat. If the caramel color was derived from wheat, it would say it on the label.
The allergens labels says it contains only milk, soy and (may contain) peanuts.
I also tested it with my Nima Sensor, and Nima was all smiles again.
Another popular chocolate chip brand is Ghirardelli. You can find the brand’s premium baking chips at most supermarkets across the U.S.
You can find out information about whether a product contains any gluten on the Ghirardelli website.
The company says many of its products are made without gluten-containing ingredients, including its 60%, 72%, 86%, and 92% cacao bars and squares.
The company also says that its milk chocolate baking chips, semi-sweet baking chips, and 60% baking chips and baking bars are also made without gluten-containing ingredients.
Ironically enough, I purchased these 72% cacao dark chocolate chips, which Ghirardelli doesn’t specifically say whether it contains gluten or not.
The product does not contain any gluten ingredients, and I decided to test it with my Nima Sensor before baking with them. Nima was all smiles again.
I also tested Kirkland Signature (Costco) semi-sweet chocolate chips for hidden gluten with my Nima Sensor.
The packaging does not indicate if the product is gluten free (although some people have told me they have found Kirkland chocolate chips labeled “gluten free”).
After reviewing the ingredient list, I do not see any questionable ingredients, and of course, Nima was all smiles again.
I tested more than a dozen Kirkland (Costco) products for hidden gluten. You can read all about it in this article, Are These 10 Kirkland Products from Costco Gluten-Free?
The company also says its products do not contain peanuts, tree nuts, or gluten, and that they’re made in a peanut-free, tree nut-free and gluten-free manufacturing facility.
Like Lily’s and Lakanto, Pascha chocolate chips don’t contain any added sugar. In fact, the only ingredient in Pascha’s organic unsweetened dark chocolate chips is organic chocolate liquor.
Why Are Chocolate Chips so Confusing?
You may be wondering why companies don’t label their products “gluten free” if they don’t contain any gluten.
The FDA says in order to label a product as “gluten free”, a company must not include any gluten-containing ingredients, and it must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.
In order to find out if a product contains less than 20 ppm of gluten, a company must test its final products, a financial commitment many companies aren’t willing to make.
You can read more about gluten-free labeling laws in this article, What Gluten-Free Labeling Laws and Certifications Really Mean.
You might enjoy these articles too:
- Are Marshmallows Gluten Free and Testing Jet-Puffed Marshmallows for Hidden Gluten
- Is Yeast Extract Gluten Free and 20+ Other Confusing Ingredients
- Is Nutella Gluten Free? Nima Sensor Tested
- Are Takis Gluten Free? Tested for Hidden Gluten With Nima Sensor
- Is the Nima Sensor Accurate?
- 300+ Gluten-Free Bakeries in the U.S.