Are M&Ms Gluten-Free? Many varieties of M&Ms ARE Gluten-Free, but not all! Here’s everything you need to know about finding gluten-free M&Ms.
I’ve been knee-deep in holiday recipe testing (isn’t that crazy!?), and whether you’re brand new to eating a gluten-free diet or you’re a seasoned gluten-free baker, you know that reading labels is ALWAYS going to be the name of the game when it comes to baking with gluten-free ingredients.
We’ve been working on some fun candy-filled treats for the holiday season, so today’s gluten-free tip is all about a classic candy: M&Ms! We love adding m&ms to holiday Chex Mix, fudgy brownies, Gluten-Free M&M cookies, and more. The cute candy shell and delicious flavor are just too fun to miss!
There are so many kinds of M&Ms to choose from (and new seasonal flavors popping up all the time!), so which M&Ms are gluten-free? Are M&Ms safe for people with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or gluten intolerance?
I’ve got you covered!
Between navigating gluten-free Halloween candy & tackling your next gluten-free baking recipe, I want to make sure it’s as EASY as possible to navigate the candy aisle. We’ve talked about other favorite candies and candy bars, like Snickers and Butterfinger, but Here’s everything you need to know about finding gluten-free M&Ms…
Are M&M’s Gluten-Free?
Many kinds of M&Ms ARE considered gluten free! Not ALL M&Ms are gluten-free, however, so it’s important to check the ingredient label of each bag you buy to avoid those with gluten ingredients.
Most M&M’s in the United States are made with a base of gluten-free ingredients, such as milk chocolate or dark chocolate, skim milk, milk fat, natural flavors, cocoa butter, lactose, soy lecithin, sugar, corn syrup, cornstarch, dextrose, caranuba wax, gum acacia, salt, artificial colors, etc., which are gluten-free.
Only M&M’s made with additional ingredients or flavorings that contain wheat (like pretzel or crispy M&M’s), or M&M’s made on shared equipment that run the risk of cross contact/cross contamination.
How Can You Tell If M&Ms Are Gluten-Free?
M&Ms aren’t currently certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group, so they aren’t specifically labeled with that handy signature “GF” in a circle symbol. (Dangit!)
The good news is that Mars (M&M’s parent company) does a great job labeling their candy products so it’s easy to tell which candies are considered gluten-free and which are not. They include an allergen warning on the ingredient list of all their products, which will alert you to the presence (or possible presence) of gluten, wheat or wheat flour, barley, rye, or other gluten-containing products.
When checking packages of M&Ms (especially seasonal or limited edition M&Ms, here’s what to look for:
- A “Contains” Statement. If the ingredients include wheat, malt, barley, etc., the package will have a “contains” statement at the bottom of the ingredients list on the product labels. (i.e. “contains wheat”)
- A “May Contain” Statement. If the product was made from unverified ingredients (that haven’t been certified gluten-free) or made on shared equipment or using a different manufacturing process, the product can have a “may contain” statement (i.e. “may contain wheat, dairy, soy,” etc.) to protect those with food allergies from cross-contamination.
Which M&Ms Are Gluten-Free?
Ok, so now that we know what to look for, which kinds of M&Ms ARE gluten-free? There is such a variety of flavors to keep track of, but at the time of this writing, here are the m&m varieties that do NOT have wheat ingredients or a “may contain wheat” statement:
- Milk Chocolate M&M’s are gluten-free. This almost always includes seasonal colorways (like red & green for Christmas, Valentine’s colors, etc.)
- Milk Chocolate M&M’s Minis are gluten-free
- Dark Chocolate M&M’s are gluten-free. Again, this almost always includes seasonal colors (like red & green for Christmas, Valentine’s colors, etc.)
- Peanut M&M’s, Dark Chocolate Peanut M&Ms, and White Chocolate M&Ms are gluten-free. (Note that the M&Ms peanut mix containing all three of these flavors of m&m is labeled “may contain gluten” even though the single flavor bags are not.)
- Caramel M&Ms
- Caramel Cold Brew M&Ms
- Peanut Butter M&M’s
- Almond M&M’s
- Fudge Brownie M&M’s
- White Chocolate M&M’s
- Hazelnut Spread M&M’s
- Thai Coconut Peanut M&M’s
- Coffee Nut M&M’s
Which M&Ms Are NOT Gluten-Free?
Now that we’ve covered the gluten-free options, let’s talk about m&ms to avoid. These varieties have gluten-containing ingredients or an allergy warning:
- Pretzel M&M’s are NOT gluten-free (they contain wheat)
- Crispy M&M’s are NOT gluten-free (contains barley malt, may contain wheat)
- Speckled Egg M&M’s are NOT gluten-free (“may contain wheat”)
- Crispy Cookie M&M’s are NOT gluten-free (contains barley malt extract & may contain wheat)
- Honey Graham M&Ms are NOT gluten-free (contains barley malt extract & may contain wheat)
- Campfire Smores M&Ms are NOT gluten-free (may contain wheat)
- Mad Scientist Mix is NOT gluten-free (may contain wheat)
- Mint M&M’s are NOT gluten-free (may contain wheat)
- White Chocolate Key Lime Pie M&M’s are NOT gluten-free (“may contain wheat”)
- White Chocolate Sugar Cookie M&M’s are NOTE gluten-free (“may contain wheat”)
Are Seasonal M&M’s Gluten-Free?
In our experience, SOME seasonal varieties of m&ms can be gluten-free, while most of the limited edition or seasonal m&m’s flavors tend to contain gluten or a “may contain gluten” statement.
One reason is because seasonal m&m flavors and specialty combinations are sometimes produced with a different production process than their original flavors, so they may contain gluten. ALWAYS read the package to be sure!)
FAQ: Gluten-Free M&Ms
Are M&Ms dairy-free? No. Sadly, there aren’t any dairy-free M&Ms. BUT! There are some dairy-free M&M-type candies that can work great for snacks or baking. We like unREAL quinoa crispy gems (don’t be scared, my quinoa-hating children LOVE them), and Little Secrets chocolate pieces candies. There are several vegan/dairy-free varieties from both brands to choose from! Both brands use natural dyes and are Fair Trade.
Are M&M Minis Gluten-Free? Mini M&Ms are gluten-free!
Which M&Ms are gluten-free? Check out our list above!
What Are All The M&M Flavors? M&M shares all their current flavors on their site.
Are M&Ms Safe For Celiacs? While not certified gluten-free, Mars Wrigley includes “contains” and “may contain” statement on all packages of M&Ms, so it’s easy to tell which varieties contain or may contain gluten. Don’t miss our list above of gluten-free M&M flavors!