If you eat gluten free chances are you heard that Pizza Hut makes a gluten-free pizza made with a certified gluten-free pizza crust; however, the bad news is you still need to take many precautions to avoid getting glutened at the restaurant. In this post, I discuss what’s gluten free at Pizza Hut, how to order safely (there is a risk!), and I reveal the results of my hidden gluten test. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
You may not realize this, but more than 2,100 Pizza Hut restaurants or one-third of all Pizza Hut locations nationwide, carry gluten-free pizza made with Udi’s certified gluten-free pizza crust.
In this article, I’ll discuss the gluten-free options at Pizza Hut, how to order a gluten-free pizza at Pizza Hut, and reveal what happened when I tested the pizza for hidden gluten with my portable gluten detecting device.
What’s Gluten-Free at Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut makes a gluten-free pizza using Udi’s certified gluten-free pizza crust. The pizza is 10 inches and serves 1-2 people.
IMPORTANT: While Pizza Hut uses a certified gluten-free crust, the company says it’s pizzas are not recommended for people with celiac disease.
Here is an updated statement from the company as of November 2020:
“Due to the handcrafted nature of our menu items, variations in vendor-supplied ingredients, and our use of shared cooking and preparation areas, we cannot assure you that our restaurant environment or any menu item will be completely free of gluten. Therefore, we do not recommend this crust for individuals with celiac disease.”
Let’s talk more about all the components of Pizza Hut’s gluten-free pizza so you can decide if you feel comfortable eating here.
The crust is made in a separate facility and shipped to Pizza Hut locations directly. It arrives wrapped and is only unwrapped by the staff when its needed to fulfill an order. The crust is thin and, when topped with sauce and cheese, I think it tastes pretty good.
The crust ingredients include: water, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, canola oil, egg whites, dried cane syrup, tapioca syrup, tapioca maltodextrin, salt, xanthan gum, yeast, cultured corn syrup solids and citric acid (mold inhibitor), and enzymes.
As mentioned prior, Pizza Hut says it’s gluten-free pizza is not suitable for people with celiac disease.
The cheese, marinara sauce and pepperoni are stored in a separate gluten-free designated area, according to Pizza Hut.
Unfortunately, a lot of cross contamination exists when the pizza makers are grabbing at the same cheese and same sauces to make the regular pizza as the gluten-free pizza. Eater beware.
Pizza Huts says, on its website, that it uses a separate dedicated roller cutter to cut the gluten-free pizzas, and that it cuts the pizzas directly inside the box.
Pizza Hut goes on to say it does not have “loose, or airborne, flour” in restaurants where Udi’s Gluten-Free Crust is on the menu, albeit, Pizza Hut has items on the menu that do contain gluten (obviously).
When you order at Pizza Hut, tell your server you want the gluten-free pizza prepared safely and allergy-free. Ask him to change gloves and use fresh ingredients.
When your pizza arrives, it should be inside a designated pizza box that features the Udi’s logo. If your pizza does not come in this box, it’s not gluten free. This is regardless if you eat inside the restaurant or order takeaway.
At one point, Pizza Hut said its pizzas were certified gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), which is the leading gluten-free certification program in the U.S.
This has changed. Pizza Hut’s gluten-free pizzas ARE NO LONGER CERTIFIED GLUTEN FREE.
In my original post, I shared a press release in 2015 where the GIG said, “The Gluten Intolerance Group worked closely with Pizza Hut to develop a custom safety procedure process for preparing the Gluten-Free pizzas inside Pizza Hut restaurants.
“The Udi’s gluten-free crust, which is the foundation for every Gluten-Free Pizza served at Pizza Hut, as well as the cheese, marinara sauce and pepperoni, will be kept in a segregated Gluten-Free Kit inside each restaurant.
“All team members involved in the Gluten-Free Pizza production process are required to wear clean gloves and use designated gluten-free tools when handling ingredients and finished pizzas.
“Each Pizza Hut Gluten-Free Pizza is baked fresh-to-order on parchment paper and delivered in a specially branded Udi’s Gluten-Free Pizza box. This process is designed to minimize risk of cross contamination.”
Unfortunately, in 2020, Pizza Hut is now marketing its gluten-free pizza as “gluten-free pizza with Udi’s certified gluten-free crust” and is no longer recommending it for people with celiac disease.
Remember, while Pizza Hut uses a certified gluten-free pizza crust, and takes some precautions in preparing its gluten-free pizza, Pizza Hut is not a dedicated gluten-free facility.
Pizza Hut states on its website, “While Pizza Hut is proud to offer pizzas that are made with Udi’s Gluten-Free Crust and select Pizza Hut toppings that do not contain gluten, Pizza Hut kitchens are not gluten-free environments. Due to the handcrafted nature of our menu items, variations in vendor-supplied ingredients, and our use of shared cooking and preparation areas, we cannot assure you that our restaurant environment or any menu item will be free of gluten. We recommend that you consult your medical advisor as to what is safe for you.”
I no longer recommend eating pizza at Pizza Hut given that its pizzas are NO LONGER certified gluten free.
Putting Pizza Hut to the Gluten Test
Year’s ago, I put Pizza Hut’s gluten-free pizza to the test with my Nima Sensor. The Nima Sensor is a portable gluten detecting device.
Unfortunately, as of October 2020, the Nima Sensor is no longer available to the public. You can read more about what happened to the Nima Sensor in this article.
I put a small portion of the once “certified gluten-free” pizza inside the Nima Sensor test capsule and the Nima Sensor came back all smiles. A smiley face means Nima didn’t find any gluten. It displays a “Gluten Found” message when it finds gluten.
Please note that my results may not be indicative of your results, and every location and pizza will test differently. Please also note that the Nima Sensor only tests a small portion of my pizza, so it does not guarantee the entire pizza is free from gluten cross contamination.
Remember, Pizza Hut has changed the way it handles gluten-free pizza. I no longer recommend you eat here.
See More Restaurant Tests: I’ve tested other popular chain restaurants using my Nima Sensor, including Jersey Mike’s, Chick-fil-A, Panera, California Pizza Kitchen and Chili’s. View my full Nima Sensor testing archives.
Pizza Recipe: Make your own gluten-free pizza at home with my soft and doughy gluten-free pizza crust recipe.
Ebook on Eating Out: I invite you to read my ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Eating Out Gluten Free, to learn all my tips and tricks to eating out safely with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities.
Free Dining Card: I invite you to download my free printable Gluten-Free Safe Dining Card to help keep you safe when eating out.
Got Accidentally Glutened? Read my article featuring 7 tips to dealing with an accidental gluten exposure.
Free Celiac Meal Plan: Download a free celiac disease meal plan to commit to eating at home more often.