Qdoba Gluten Free Menu

qdoba gluten free menu

Walking into Qdoba, I wasn’t expecting a difficult time finding something gluten-free to eat. I find Mexican food to be pretty gluten-free friendly if you stay away from the flour tortilla shells. What I did not expect was how amazing the employees at Qdoba would be.

I started off by asking if there was a Qdoba gluten free menu I could look at. The employee behind the counter said they did not have a printed one but that there were many gluten-free options and he could help walk me through finding something safe to eat. He explained that they have soft corn shells, hard taco shells, and burrito bowls that are basically the ingredients of a burrito but served in a bowl, not wrapped in a shell.

I told him I would try the burrito bowl and was pleasantly surprised when he said, “Here, let me take off these gloves and put new ones on so I can be sure there’s not any cross contamination that way.” If you’ve not been to a Qdoba before, it’s set up like a Subway in that you walk down the counter telling them which ingredients you want as part of your meal. One person usually starts the order off and then hands off to the next who then finishes it off and passes it to the cashier. The man serving me told the second worker, “I have a special allergen order here so I’m going to take it all the way down the line.” I was amazed at their attention to detail.

After filling my bowl with rice, beans, and grilled chicken, we got to the sauces. He told me that two of the sauces were gluten-free and two were not. I said I would take the cheese sauce and he told me he was going to double check just to be certain it was gluten-free. Another employee walking behind him at the time overheard and chimed in that the cheese sauce does not contain gluten. I asked if they had a dedicated gluten-free fryer and she mentioned that they do not, and that the tortilla chips can’t be described as gluten-free because they are fried in the same fryer as the flour tortillas. She then went on to explain that the only things that are not gluten-free on their menu are the Ancho-Chile Barbecue sauce, Smoky Chipotle Cream Sauce, flour tortillas, and tortilla chips.

I finished off my order with cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and mango salsa. I decided to take it home to eat because the restaurant was busy and it was a beautiful day, too nice to be sitting inside. If you’re wondering how it tasted, I have one word: Delicious. It had enough kick in it to clear out your sinuses without burning the inside of your throat. The mango salsa (a seasonal item) gave a cool and refreshing twist to a burrito bowl that could have felt like a heavy meal with the rice and bean components. It is very filling. I ate half and had the rest for lunch the following day.

Qdoba also has a rewards program that is free to sign up for. When you register, a free order of Chips & Salsa or Soft Drink is loaded on to your card. The program benefits include emails with deals and specials, a free offer for your birthday, and a free entrée for every 1,000 points earned (this would be about every 10 meals.)

Qdoba Gluten Free Menu:

*Burrito Bowl
*Knockout Tacos (on corn shells)
*Loaded Tortilla Soup (in regular bowl, not tortilla bowl)
*3-Cheese Nachos (this is going to be dependent on how sensitive you are – if you’re Celiac or have severe reactions to gluten, then stay away from it. If you have a mild sensitivity or are gluten-free by choice, be aware that they use the same fryer for their chips as they do for the flour tortilla bowl.)
*Taco Salad (in a bowl, not shell)
*Mango Salad (in a bowl, not shell)
*Grilled Quesadilla (on corn shells, not flour)

None of the desserts are gluten-free


Panera Bread Gluten Free Menu 2016



On a sunny evening during the first hot week of May in Michigan, I entered Panera hoping to find a refreshing dinner. Known for their bagels, pastries, and sandwiches, this doesn’t seem like the wisest first choice for a gluten-free customer, but it was close to my kids’ golf lessons and I was sure there had to be something I could eat. After all, I know they have salads, and their seasonal Autumn Squash soup is one of my favorites.

As I stood in line looking over the menu, I realized they really did not have as much to offer that is gluten-free as I had hoped. I realized it was definitely not going to be a family-friendly place for us as two of our kids have to eat gluten-free and that only one out of the seven items on the kids menu did not contain gluten. That option is a side salad, which I would love to say my two young boys would enjoy, but the odds are not in my favor on that one.

When it was my turn to order, I asked the woman behind the counter if they had a gluten-free menu, or if she could answer some of my questions regarding ingredients, and she became flustered and nervous. She told me they didn’t have a gluten-free menu and hesitantly pointed to the salad options. When I asked her about the Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad, she said she would call a manager over. The manager asked if I was Celiac or just had a gluten sensitivity. When I told her it’s a sensitivity and I react to gluten, she seemed relieve and told me the Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken would be fine, but she did warn me about there always being a risk of cross-contamination. I was thankful she mentioned it, and took note that someone with Celiac should probably just steer clear of Panera.

I ordered the full salad, thinking I would take what I couldn’t finish home for lunch the next day. That didn’t happen. Before I knew it, I had eaten the entire thing. It was delicious. I could even see my kids eating it, with it being loaded with some of their favorite fruits like strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, mandarin oranges. The seasoning on the chicken was perfect. The poppyseed dressing was light and summery.

I ordered a smoothie to go thinking it would be a great treat. Looking over their choices, I decided on the Superfruit Smoothie. Sadly, I was disappointed in the taste. I took it home to my husband, who loves just about any kind of food, especially if it contains fruit. I was surprised to find that even he didn’t really enjoy it. We both thought it tasted like a watered down version of a smoothie that was heavier on the yogurt than fruit. He did say that he is a fan of the Green Passion Smoothie, so I can’t say all their smoothies aren’t worth a try.

My overall thoughts on Panera Bread Gluten Free Menu: If you are looking for a meal that is more than a salad, or a couple soup options, you’re not going to want to stop here. They don’t have gluten-free bread options so don’t go in looking for them. Afterward, I decided to look around online a bit and found that Panera does actually have a gluten-free menu on their website. It would be wise for the stores to print this out and have it on hand for customers who have gluten-free questions. As for my meal, I really enjoyed my salad and would definitely go back for it again. It was satisfying yet light so that I didn’t feel as if I was sluggish afterward.