Are chalupas gluten free?

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Are you wondering whether chalupas are gluten free? In this article we discuss everything you need to know to determine whether a chalupa is gluten free. First we discuss chalupa shells and the ingredients that are used to make chalupa shells. After that, we discuss common chalupa fillings and sneaky ways that gluten might sneak into chalupas.

If you want to make chalupas at home and you are looking for a high quality brand of masa harina that is gluten free then we recommend this Maseca brand masa harina. We recommend buying masa harina online because it is often stored next to wheat-based flour on grocery store shelves. 

Are chalupas gluten free?

What are chalupa shells made of?

What are chalupa shells made of? Chalupa shells are made with a simple masa dough that is composed of a few common ingredients. Masa dough for chalupas is generally made of masa harina, water, and salt. A fat such as vegetable oil or lard is also used to fry the chalupa shells to crispy perfection. 

Is masa harina gluten free?

Masa harina is made entirely from corn, so it is generally gluten free! While most brands of masa harina are made without any gluten-containing ingredients, some brands of masa harina may be made on machinery that is also used to process gluten-containing grains. Check the allergy labels on the packaging or call the manufacturer to determine whether a brand of masa harina is made on dedicated machinery. 

Are chalupa shells gluten free?

Are chalupa shells gluten free? Chalupa shells are generally made using harina, water, salt and a fat such as vegetable oil or lard. All of these ingredients are gluten free, which means that chalupa shells are generally gluten free.

There are a few ways that chalupa shells can be contaminated with gluten. The most common way is if the chalupa shells are cooked on a surface that is also used to cook dishes that contain gluten. Chalupa shells may also be contaminated with gluten if they are made from masa harina that is processed on equipment that is shared with gluten-containing grains. 

Are chalupas gluten free?

Are chalupas gluten free? Chalupa shells are made using masa harina, salt, water, and vegetable oil so they are generally gluten free as long as they are made on a clean surface. That means that chalupas are generally gluten free as long as there are no gluten-containing flavorings used in the chalupa filling.  

Some of the most common fillings for chalupas include onions, tomatoes, avocados, cheese, crema, salsa, beans, and meat. Fresh vegetables, salsa, and dairy products rarely contain gluten. The most common component of the chalupa filling that may contain gluten is the meat. 

Tricky ways gluten might sneak into chalupas

Are you wondering how gluten might sneak its way into innocent-seeming chalupas? Here are some of the most common ways gluten might be introduced into chalupas.

  • The masa harina is made on shared equipment. Chalupa shells are only as safe as the ingredients they are made with. If you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, you should make sure that the masa harina that is used to make your chalupa shells is made entirely of corn and that it is not made on shared machinery. 
  • That chalupa shells are cooked on a contaminated surface. Sometimes even if all of the ingredients that are used to make chalupa shells are gluten free, the chalupa shells still might get contaminated with gluten as they cook. Watch out for places that make chalupa shells on the same surface that was just used to cook flour tortillas. 
  • Gluten-containing flavorings added to the filling. Even if the shells that are used to make the chalupas are entirely gluten free, flavorings that contain gluten may be added to the fillings. Soy sauce is a common culprit here. Soy sauce is not a traditional ingredient that is commonly used in Mexican food, but some restaurants might use it to flavor their meats or beans. 

Our favorite chalupa recipes


vegetarian chalupa (taco bell style)

Are you looking for a chalupa recipe that is vegetarian friendly? Check out this recipe for vegetarian chalupas with salsa verde, onions, black beans, crema, and crumbled queso fresco.


Vegan and gluten free chalupas. Three vegan, gluten free, and dairy free chalupas with pinto beans, guacamole, and grilled veggies.

Are you looking for a chalupa recipe that is vegan friendly and dairy free? Check out this recipe for vegan chalupas with grilled veggies, homemade guacamole, and saucy pinto beans.

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