Unfortunately, Goldfish crackers are not gluten free, nor does the brand make a gluten-free Goldfish option. In this post, I’ll share with you how you can still enjoy the taste of Goldfish crackers, without the gluten, including alternative gluten-free Goldfish brands as well as a delicious and surprisingly simple gluten-free Goldfish recipe. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
Pepperidge Farms Goldfish crackers are a staple childhood snack that most kids love and with good reason. The crackers are cute, crunchy and cheesy. What’s not to love?
A lot of gluten-free people settled in on Annie’s gluten-free cheddar bunnies, but Annie’s no longer makes them and they’re no longer available in stores.
If you’re craving Goldfish, don’t fret because I’ve got a few gluten-free Goldfish alternatives to share, along with a surprisingly simple recipe that looks and taste like the goldfish crackers you remember. Actually, my homemade gluten-free goldfish crackers taste better than anything you can buy in a store, but who’s keeping score anyway?
Gluten-Free Goldfish Alternatives
Here are a few gluten-free Goldfish alternatives to check out:
MadeGood: MadeGood makes Star Puffed Crackers, a gluten free, dairy free and cheesy puffed cracker. They’re also made without most of the common allergens. Please note Star Puffed Crackers are certified gluten free by the GFCO and they contain oat flour.
FreeYumm: I haven’t tried FreeYumm’s Cheezy Cracker Bites, but they look like they could be a great gluten-free Goldfish alternative. The crackers are shaped like smiley faces vs. goldfish, but shape hardly matters when you’re craving a crunchy Goldfish-like snack.
You can get FreeYumm Cheezy Cracker Bites on Amazon, on the FreeYumm website, or at a store near you. It looks like they’re located in specialty stores in Colorado and Utah, but their main distribution is in Canada.
Qwackers: I’ve never tried Qwackers because they are not distributed near me in Colorado. However, you can find them at many natural food grocery stores across the U.S. Check the store locator to see if you can find them near you.
Be sure to read the reviews on Amazon. A lot of people say they don’t taste like Goldfish and that they’re a bit overpriced for what you get.
How to Make Gluten-Free Goldfish Crackers
As you can see, finding gluten-free Goldfish alternatives isn’t easy to do. If you’re craving this crispy and cheesy childhood snack favorite, you might want to learn how to make them yourself.
I’ve been testing various recipes and have settled in on this one because it tastes amazing. The net result is a crispy and cheesy cracker that I think tastes better than any store-bought goldfish cracker you can buy.
And best of all, it’s made with real ingredients. Real cheddar, real butter, and real spices – nothing overly processed and certainly no preservatives, colors or artificial ingredients.
Please keep in mind that these homemade gluten-free goldfish crackers do not taste exactly like the original Pepperidge Farm variety. Don’t get me wrong, the flavor is there, but they’re not as crispy as the original. I also find my homemade goldfish to be way more cheesy though, and that is the most important quality in my book.
To make your own gluten-free goldfish-shaped crackers, purchase a goldfish cookie cutter. The following cutters are the exact size of the Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers and what I used in this recipe.
You’ll start by lining two baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside. You’ll add the goldfish cut-outs onto the parchment paper as you cut them.
Once you have your goldfish cutters in hand, you’re ready to gather all the ingredients, including:
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend (or any gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum)
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (I recommend a mild or medium cheddar)
- 4 tbsp cold butter
- 2 tbsp cold water
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend on low for five seconds at a time until a dough forms.
Remove the dough from the food processor and press it together to form a smooth ball using your hands.
On a large silpat mat or piece of parchment paper, roll out the dough to 1/8-1/4″ thickness. Press the cookie cutter into the dough, then place the cutout goldfish on your parchment-lined baking sheets. The dough may stick to the goldfish cutters. Use your fingers to gently nudge out the dough without losing that signature goldfish shape.
Take the dough scraps, form another ball and roll out the dough again. Then cut more goldfish until all the dough has been used up. I was able to make about 175 goldfish. Cutting the goldfish is a tedious process, so give yourself time to get it done.
Spread the goldfish on the two baking sheets so they’re not touching, sprinkle with salt, and place the baking sheets in your fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes, longer if possible. This step is important so the goldfish don’t spread when baked.
While the goldfish are chilling, preheat your oven to 350º F. After the goldfish have chilled for 30 minutes, bake them, working in batches, for about 10-12 minutes until they’re bubbly but not burned or browned. They will puff up beautifully in the oven.
Remove the goldfish from the oven and allow them to fully cool on the baking sheet. They will crisp up more as they cool.
Store any leftover goldfish in an airtight container or zip-top bag for 3-4 days. I like to refrigerate any leftovers to preserve freshness.
Do I need to flour the surface before rolling out the dough? No, you can roll out the dough on a piece of parchment paper or silpat mat. If the dough is cool, it won’t stick. As the dough warms with handling, it will become stickier. You can simply chill the dough or just roll it out gently so it doesn’t stick. Remember to chill your dough before baking. This step is essential to getting the right shape.
Can I make these dairy free? No, these goldfish contain real cheese and real butter. I’m not sure a dairy-free cheese alternative would work well or melt evenly. If you don’t eat dairy, this recipe might not work for you.
Can I use any gluten-free flour blend? I tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend and got amazing results. I highly recommend using gluten-free flour blends that contain a mixture of flours, starches and xanthan gum. If your flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum, as a general rule, you’ll want to add 1/2 tsp for every 1 cup of flour.
What kind of cheese works best? I prefer a mild or medium cheddar cheese. I haven’t tested this recipe with other cheeses, but a firm, semi-hard cheese should work (think pepper jack or gouda). It’s best to shred your own cheese vs. buying pre-shredded cheese to ensure no other ingredients compromise your recipe. For example, many store bought cheeses have preservatives and cornstarch in them, which may affect how your goldfish turn out.
I hope you enjoyed making your own homemade gluten-free goldfish. These guppies are addicting, and my family plowed through the first batch within 24 hours!
If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy the following articles:
- Best Gluten-Free Tortillas and Wraps (Brands and Recipes)
- Gluten-Free Queso + Movie Night Snack Board
- The Best Gluten-Free Snacks on the Market
- Are Doritos Gluten Free? And a List of Chips that are Gluten Free
Gluten-Free Goldfish Crackers
- 1 Food processor
- 1 Rolling pin
- 1 Goldfish cookie cutter purchase on Amazon
- 1 Silpat mat if you have, if not use parchment paper
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend or any gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese I used a mild cheddar
- 4 tbsp butter cold
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt + additional salt for topping
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp water cold
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside. You'll add the goldfish cutouts onto the parchment paper as you cut them.
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend on low for 5 seconds at a time until a dough forms and the ingredients are well combined. Remove the dough from the food processor and press it together to form a ball using your hands.
- On a large silpat mat or piece of parchment paper, roll out the dough to 1/8-1/4" thickness. Press the cookie cutter into the dough, then place the goldfish cutouts on your parchment-lined baking sheets. The dough may stick to the goldfish cutters. Use your fingers to gently nudge out the dough without losing the goldfish shape.
- Form a new dough ball with the dough scraps, roll out the dough, and cut the goldfish until all the dough has been used up. You'll be able to make 175+ goldfish depending on the thickness. (See notes below for further tips.)
- Spread the goldfish on the two baking sheets so they're not touching, sprinkle with salt, and place the baking sheets in your fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes, longer if possible (1-2 hours). This step is important so the goldfish don't spread when baked.
- While the goldfish are chilling, preheat your oven to 350º F. After the goldfish have chilled, bake them, working in batches, for about 10 minutes until they're bubbly but not burned or browned.
- Remove the goldfish from the oven and allow them to fully cool on the baking sheet. They will crisp up as they cool.
- Store any leftover goldfish in an airtight container or zip-top bag for 3-4 days. I like to refrigerate any leftovers to preserve freshness.