Kids and adults alike are fans of pepperoni. These spicy, soft, and smoky thin slices of meat are great as a pizza topping or to eat as is. But people with gluten sensitivity have raised eyebrows about pepperoni’s gluten status.
Is pepperoni gluten free? Pepperoni is gluten free with no wheat or barley extracts, but many brands produce it in a shared facility putting it at risk of cross-contamination.
Does that mean you can’t have pepperoni? Wondering which pepperoni brands are safe for a gluten free diet? I have jotted down all answers related to these queries. Read this article to know more about pepperoni’s gluten status and some delicious recipes to try with this spicy meat slice.
Table of Contents
- 0.1 Is Pepperoni Gluten Free?
- 0.2 Is Pepperoni Healthy?
- 0.3 Are Hormel Mini Pepperonis Gluten Free?
- 0.4 Do Salami And Pepperoni Have Gluten?
- 0.5 Gluten Free Brands Of Pepperoni: Must Try On A Celiac Diet
- 1 Amazing Pepperoni recipes to try
Is Pepperoni Gluten Free?
Pepperoni is a mixture of ground beef, pork, salt, a few spices, and flavorings. Additionally, nitrate and lactic acid bacteria are added to lower the meat’s pH levels. Such ingredients don’t contain gluten in any form, making it a gluten free food, but it’s not always that simple.
But some brands like to use seasonings that may contain gluten. The best way to pick a gluten-free pepperoni for celiacs is by checking the ingredient label. Apart from barley, rye, or wheat, other ingredients which may signal the presence of gluten in pepperoni are-
- Malt vinegar
- Kamult (a wheat type)
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Dextrin and maltodextrin
Apart from these, the artificial and natural flavorings used in some pepperoni may have gluten. So celiacs should only pick pepperoni packages that have a gluten free label. It’ll ensure the product is made in a gluten free facility, has passed a gluten free test, and contains less than 20ppm gluten.
Also Read:- Is Mustard Flour Gluten Free?
Is Pepperoni Healthy?
Pepperoni has a lot of sodium and saturated fat. The fermented meat lacks essential nutrients, so it isn’t the most healthy topping for daily consumption. For instance, one ounce of pepperoni contains four grams of saturated fat, which may lead to unhealthy weight gain.
Makers add nitrate to pepperoni to preserve and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in pepperoni. While it keeps the meat fresh, consuming nitrate may cause methemoglobinemia.
High sodium in pepperoni can again cause increased water retention in your body. However, you’ll experience such negative health impacts only if you make eating it a regular habit. Eating pepperoni occasionally isn’t going to make you sick.
Are Hormel Mini Pepperonis Gluten Free?
Hormel mini pepperoni is gluten free and has no ingredient that can induce gluten allergy. Here is the list of ingredients used in Hormel mini pepperonis-
- Pork and beef
- Salt (Contains less than 2%)
- Lactic acid starter culture
- Garlic powder
- Oleoresin of paprika
- Sodium nitrate
- Citric acid
Do Salami And Pepperoni Have Gluten?
As said above, pepperoni may or may not be gluten free, and it depends on the brands, and the same is applicable to salami. The basic ingredients used in both the toppings don’t have gluten. But gluten may get added through seasonings, added flavors, etc.
Gluten Free Brands Of Pepperoni: Must Try On A Celiac Diet
It’ll be great to know which brands produce gluten free pepperoni so that you can add it to your celiac diet. The brands mentioned below are branded gluten free, so they are a safe choice for gluten sensitive people.
Great Value Pepperoni
Great Value pepperoni is made from pork and beef meat. The spices and flavorings used in the topping are all free of gluten. Great value is a certified gluten free brand hence is a safe choice.
Another safe gluten free pepperoni brand to lay your hands on is the Bridford Premium Brand. The makers declared themselves as a gluten free brand, so there are no chances of cross-contamination as well.
The last best gluten free pepperoni pick is the Armour one. Its ingredients include pork, beef, salt, dehydrated granulated garlic, Oleoresin of paprika, and a few other preservatives and flavorings, all of which are gluten free.
Amazing Pepperoni recipes to try
You must have had pepperoni as a pizza topping, but you can add this spicy topping to various other recipes. Here are my two most favorite recipes with pepperoni that are sure to make your day better.
1. Pizza Spaghetti Pie
- 1 cup pepperoni (chopped)
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 2 eggs
- 2 pounds spaghetti sauce
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp black pepper (grounded)
- 1 cup cooked spinach
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Chopped parsley and ricotta (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cook spaghetti as per package directions and let it cool for at least 20 minutes. Now mix the spaghetti with the sauce until all the pasta is well coated.
Whisk parmesan cheese, salt, eggs, sour cream, salt, basil, and pepper in a bowl. Transfer this egg mixture into the spaghetti bowl and mix well. Add the pepperoni, spinach, and mozzarella cheese and toss everything well.
Take a springform pan, grease it and wrap the bottom and sides with aluminum foil. Transfer the spaghetti mixture into the pan and even out the top using a spatula. Place the spaghetti pie on a baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes.
After thirty minutes, take out the pie, add ⅓ cup of parmesan cheese, and bake for another 4-5 minutes until the pie top turns crispy. Once done, add the remaining parmesan cheese on top and let the pie sit for ten minutes before serving. Cut into slices and serve with ricotta cheese!
2. Stuffed Pizza Burgers
- ⅓ cup pepperoni (chopped)
- 1 ½ tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 2 pounds ground beef
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper (grounded)
- ⅓ cup + 6 tbsp pizza sauce (divided)
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese (grated)
- 3 tbsp mustard
- 6 kaiser bunds
- 6 mozzarella slices
Prepare a charcoal grill on medium heat. Mix Italian seasoning, beef, and salt in a bowl and make thin patties (it should make 12 patties) and place on wax paper. Take another bowl and combine mustard, pizza sauce, and parmesan cheese. Spread the cheese mix over six patties but don’t spread it till the edges.
Now cover the patties with the remaining six and press the edges to seal them. Cook the patties on the charcoal grill for 10 to 15 minutes until the meat is cooked through.
Top the burgers with mozzarella cheese slices and remaining pizza sauce. Let the cheese melt, and in the meanwhile, grill the burger buns as well. Once done, assemble the burger and serve with the choice of your dip.
Are pepperoni and salami the same?
Although both are ground meat with spices and flavorings, pepperoni and salami aren’t the same. Pepperoni has a more spicy taste, while salami is more plain ground meat.
Are all pepperoni brands gluten free?
Not all pepperoni brands are gluten free. Gluten may get added through artificial flavoring and preservatives.
What is the white layer found on pepperoni?
The white layer is an edible mold similar to the one found on aged cheese.
Pepperoni is gluten free and celiac safe as long as it does not contain gluten based seasonings and flavorings. But pepperoni is very high in saturated fat and sodium, so don’t go overboard and consume within limits.