Panda Express provides a selection of food items that are naturally free of wheat flour or gluten. However, not all of the items on the Panda Express menu are gluten free, which is why this guide can be helpful.
📖 Panda Express History
Panda Express, a fast-food chain with a Chinese theme, was established in October 1983 in Glendale, California by Andrew and Peggy Cherng. Their main mission is to bring people together to enjoy Americanized Chinese cuisine in a cozy and enjoyable environment. The current headquarters of Panda Express is in Rosemead, California.
The journey began when Andrew Cherng opened the first restaurant and enlisted Peggy to fine-tune its operations for top-notch food and service. By 1987, they had created a signature dish called Orange Chicken, with the help of their skilled chef Andy Kao. This dish draws inspiration from the original flavors of the Hunan Province and features crispy chicken bites coated in a sweet, tangy orange sauce.
Panda Express serves a number of additional Asian-inspired meals in addition to Orange Chicken, including Beijing Beef, Kung Pao Chicken, Grilled Teriyaki Chicken, and Firecracker Chicken Breast. These are available as combo meals with a variety of side dishes, including fried rice, chow main, steamed rice, or mixed veggies.
According to Panda Express Website, they utilize only natural products free of any artificial additives. They also don't buy their goods from vendors that use enhancers such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) before they are delivered.
💭Is Panda Express Gluten Free?
Panda Express doesn’t have a special gluten-free menu, however, they do have some items on their menu that are naturally gluten-free. However, it is important to note that if you have Celiac or severe gluten-free allergy you should avoid eating at Panda Express because there can be cross-contamination. All of the ingredients at Panda Express are prepared in the same kitchen so when the naturally gluten-free ingredients come in contact with ingredients that contain gluten they can get cross-contaminated.
🔖 Panda Express Gluten-Free Menu Options
This is a list of items from Panda Express Menu that are naturally gluten-free:
- Brown Steamed Rice
- White Steamed Rice
- Sweet & Sour Sauce
- Chili Sauce
- Hot Mustard
- Plum Sauce
- All drinks are gluten-free
💬 Common Questions Asked When Ordering Gluten Free From Panda Express
On Panda Express website Kung Pao Chicken is described as A Szechwan-inspired dish with chicken, peanuts and vegetables, finished with chili peppers.
However as I have mentioned above, Panda Express prepares its main dishes fresh with shared equipment so this dish can be cross-contaminated and allergens can be present. So Kung Pao Chicken from Panda Express is not gluten-free
Teriyaki chicken from panda Express consists of grilled chicken brest, teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds. The teriyaki sauce is made of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, mirin, and brown sugar. Moreover the ingredients are prepared fresh using shared utensils which can cause cross contamination with different allergens.
Therefore teriyaki chicken from Panda Express is not gluten-free.
Fried rice from Panda Express is made with steamed white rice with soy sauce, eggs, peas, carrots and green onions.
Most soy sauces contain gluten, moreover panda express prepares its entrees fresh with shared kitchen utensils, which is why allergens can be present in the dish. Therefore Fried Rice from Panda Express is not gluten-free.
On Panda Express website beef and broccoli is described to be made with Tender beef and fresh broccoli in a ginger soy sauce.
Most soy sauces contain gluten and according to their website Panda Express prepares its entrees fresh with shared cooking equipment and therefore allergens could be present in any entree. Therefore Beef and Broccoli is not gluten-free.
On their fortune cookies packaging is written that they contain wheat and may contain egg and soy ingredients. Therefore, Panda Express fortune cookies are vegan but are not gluten-free. Those with egg or soy allergies should avoid Panda’s fortune cookies due to possible cross contamination.
The short answer is no, the orange chicken from panda express is not gluten-free as it contains wheat.
Taken directly from their website the ingredients used in their orange chicken are: dark meat chicken, water, sugar, distilled vinegar, modified food starch, corn starch, potato starch, contains less than 2% of: wheat, orange extract, caramel color, salt, garlic, phosphoric acid, rice, sesame oil. *The dish uses a proprietary batter and sauce. Batter includes the following primary ingredients: wheat flour, salt, eggs, spices, leavening; sauce includes the following primary ingredients: water, sugar, soy sauce, salt, spices.
👩🏻🍳 Copycat Panda Express Gluten-Free Recipes
📙 Gluten-Free Chinese Fast Food Chains Alternatives
Pf Changs offers a gluten free menu, however, their gluten-free dishes are prepared on shared equipment with gluten containing dishes, so if you have celiac or severe gluten allergies you should avoid this restaurant as well.
Pei Wei offers some gluten-free dishes on their menu. You can check their page with allergen information to see which items are gluten-free.
If you have celiac or severe gluten allergies you should ask them whether they prepare the gluten-free meals with shared utensils.
📙 Other Gluten-Free Menu Guides
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