The Great American Comfort Foods – Fried and Gluten-Free

FRYFried food has always had its place in the canon of Southern eating, but recently, state fairs have taken things to a whole new level. Treats such as deep-fried banana splits, deep-fried s’mores, deep-fried PB&J, and deep-fried mac ‘n cheese have joined the ranks of state fair heart-attack classics such as deep-fried oreos and deep-fried Twinkies. While my arteries shudder at the thought of such culinary monstrosities (and the kid inside me whispers “Hey I’d really actually kinda like to try a bite!”), it doesn’t dim my love of fried food. I just make sure to indulge in moderation! When dining out, fried food is most often NOT gluten-free because nearly all restaurants share fryers with gluten-containing foods, although the Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide has listings for several restaurants with dedicated GF fryers. Also, any food on the menu that is battered before frying is probably made with gluten-containing flour. However, there are hundreds of gluten-free recipes to be found for frying all types of foods (and, really, you can fry ANYTHING that’s edible). Here are some gluten-free versions of classic fried recipes:

1) Fried Chicken: Fried chicken is the ultimate Southern dish; check out this post for gluten-free fried chicken recipes.

2) Fried Fish: If you have fresh fish, there’s nothing like a fish fry. Terri at Gluten-Free Cooking has a great basic gluten-free fish batter recipe. Accompany your fish with tartar sauce (the Grocery Guide lists several gluten-free brands) or fry up some potatoes and serve your Fish ‘n Chips style.

3) Tempura: I love the light flaky texture of tempura breading, especially on shrimp and veggies. To make this Japanese batter gluten-free, try this recipe from

4) Onion Rings: Check out this recipe from The Baking Beauties to make these beautiful gluten-free onion rings.

Photo Courtesy of The Baking Beauties.
Photo Courtesy of The Baking Beauties.

1) French Fries: Most recipes for this All-American treat are naturally gluten-free, such as this one from Serious Eats.

2) Okra: I can never get enough of these tasty bites! Gluten Free Cooking School has this recipe for gluten-free Southern Fried Okra.

3) Green Tomatoes: I grew up in a county renowned for its tomatoes, and at our annual Hanover Tomato Festival, my favorite treat was the fried green tomato sandwich. To make it gluten-free, you can use this recipe from Recipe Tips to fry up some tart green tomatoes, then place on gluten-free white bread and top with mayo for a basic summer sandwich. Fried green tomatoes are also a great way to mix up a BLT!

4) Doughnuts: If you like a Krispy-Kreme style glazed doughnut, check out this recipe from Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom. If you favor cake-like doughnuts, try The Baking Beauties’ Recipe for Gluten-Free Old-Fashioned Doughnuts or try this recipe from Domestifluff for Gluten-Free Apple Cider Doughnuts.

5) Chicken-Fried Steak: Beyond the Wheat has a great recipe for this hearty entrée.

6) Fried Shrimp: Check out this post by Tiffany at Celiac-Disease, in which she shares her secrets to making gluten-free beer-battered shrimp with the help of Jules Flour.

7) Hushpuppies: These fried bits of cornmeal are the perfect accompaniment to seafood. Hodgson Mill has this recipe for gluten-free hush puppies on their website.

ChoiceBatterFinally, if you want to save yourself some time, you can buy Gluten-Free Frying Batter from Choice Batter. The low oil-absorbing GF batter is recommended for use on chicken, shrimp, fish, veggies, and more!

Frying is one of the more dangerous endeavors in the kitchen, so stay safe, but have a happy time frying! And please share any of your favorite fried gluten-free recipes!

2 thoughts on “The Great American Comfort Foods – Fried and Gluten-Free”

  1. Thanks for the links! I love to treat myself and my husband with something deep fried once in awhile. Now that I eat gluten-free I seldom go to fast food restaurants and don’t feel guilty when I make something at home now. I’ve tried deep frying banana fritters, mango fritters, cannoli shells and of course french fries, but I have been wanting to try vegetables (tempura). I’ve never made them, even the old gluten way. So, thank you very much!

  2. I am looking for gorton’s Grilled Fish that is Gluten Free. I live
    near Branson, Missouri. Its also near Springfield, Missouri.
    Thanks, Walda

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