Today, we’re going to be answering the question: does IHOP have gluten-free pancakes? It’s one of the most infamous pancake chains in the world, but are they gluten-free? Let’s take a closer look. Their pancakes are always fresh and fluffy. And are even made to order. Even their omelets are made using their world-famous pancake batter. It’s not hard to see why IHOP is such a household name, not just across the US, but worldwide.
Are IHOP Pancakes Gluten-Free?
Traditional IHOP pancakes are not gluten-free. The main ingredient in the pancake batter is often wheat flour. Wheat is a type of cereal grain, that is unsafe for celiacs and gluten-intolerant individuals to consume. Other cereal grains to avoid are rye, barley, and oats (unless gluten-free oats). While a lot of food products that IHOP offer are gluten-free, their traditional pancakes are not one of them and should be avoided by everyone following a gluten-free lifestyle.
IHOP Gluten Free Pancakes
Up until 2019, IHOP had no gluten-free pancakes on offer. However, in 2019 they launched their gluten-free menu. IHOP prefer to call it their gluten-friendly menu.
It’s important to note the emphasis on the “gluten-friendly” aspect of their menu, rather than gluten-free. This is because they can not guarantee what you’ll be served is 100% free of gluten. The pancakes themselves contain no gluten ingredients whatsoever; however, they’re not made in a separate dedicated facility. This is means the preparation is in the same place as their gluten-containing pancakes. Cross contact is a huge issue here. They even use the same griddles for gluten-free and gluten-containing products!
Food products can only claim to be gluten-free if they contain less than 20ppm of gluten, which IHOP can not guarantee when serving up their gluten-friendly pancakes. If you are an extremely sensitive gluten intolerant, or celiac – it may be best to avoid the gluten-friendly menu at IHOP.
What Are The Ingredients In IHOP’s Gluten-Free Pancakes?
If you’re still happy to try the gluten-friendly pancakes, there’s a few options to choose from. Their most popular options are:
- Gluten Friendly Full Stack Pancakes – a stack of four pancakes without button. Comes with whipped butter. Add a syrup of your choice
- Gluten Friendly Short Stack Pancakes – the same as above, but with 2 pancakes, instead of 4. Great for little ones, or smaller appetites
- Gluten Friendly Pancake Combo – 2 without gluten pancakes, 2 eggs, 2 bacon strips or sausages, and hash browns (yum!)
IHOP state that their gluten-friendly pancakes are made with a batter that blends rice flour, sugar, milk, eggs, and other gluten-friendly ingredients. I find it quite frustrating that their gluten-friendly menu seems more suited to the abundance of people choosing gluten-free as a lifestyle choice, rather than a necessity. While that lifestyle choice is completely valid, it can limit those who simply don’t have a choice even more than we already are.
Other Gluten Friendly Items At IHOP
If pancakes aren’t what you’re looking for on your visit to IHOP, there are plenty of other options for you to choose from. Let’s take a look at everything you can sample at IHOP.
The options include:
- Gluten Friendly Belgian Waffle
- Gluten Friendly Belgian Waffle Combo
- The Classic Steak Burger
- The Classic with Bacon Steak Burger
- Mega Monster Steak Burger
- Loaded Philly Steak Burger
- Jalapeno Kick Steak Burger
- Cali Kick Steak Burger (all above burgers come with gluten-friendly sides such as French fries, fruit, hash browns, or gluten-friendly pancakes)
If you’re looking for some gluten-friendly sides, they include:
- Bacon Strips
- Corn Tortillas
- Baked Potatoes
- Hash Browns
- French Fries
- Pork Sausage Patty
- Pork Sausage Link
This is just an overview of some of their gluten-friendly options that have proven most popular. You can find their extensive list of gluten-friendly foods on their website here. This includes dressings, salads, syrups, and drinks too.
Before you place your order, inform your server of your intolerance/celiac disease and they may be able to be more careful with your order in the kitchen – if you’re willing to risk it. Be sure to check the gluten-friendly menu (or double-check with your server) before you order, as menus and ingredients can change at any time.
As IHOP can make no guarantee that their items are gluten-free, please approach with caution.
Make Your Own IHOP Style Gluten Free Pancakes
If you’re uncertain on whether IHOP will be safe for your gluten-free lifestyle, why not try making your own IHOP-style pancakes? Gluten-free pancakes are easier to make than you probably expect! The only ingredients you’ll need for this Gluten Free Pancakes recipe from Life After Wheat are:
- Vanilla (gluten-free)
- Gluten-Free Flour (Bob’s Red Mill is a great choice)
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
The total prep and cooking time is just 20 minutes. So you’ll be able to whip up a tasty treat for yourself in no time at all! Whether you’re comfortable visiting IHOP or not, you don’t have to miss out on fluffy pancakes!
To conclude, it’s entirely up to you whether you feel safe eating IHOP’s gluten-friendly pancakes. While they contain no gluten ingredients, there may still be gluten from the preparation and cooking areas. The fact that they are unable to class the food items as gluten-free, is very telling and doesn’t make me feel very safe at all. However, plenty of gluten intolerants can eat there just fine! It all depends on the severity of your intolerance/whether you have celiac disease.
Have you tried eating any of the gluten-friendly items at IHOP? How was your experience there? Whether positive or negative, please feel free to share in the comments below. Sharing is caring! You may be helping out a fellow gluten-free IHOP lover.