Last Updated on December 2, 2022
Today, we’re going to be looking at the gluten free options at Panda Express. Eating fast food when following a gluten free diet can be quite challenging. Many fast-food restaurants have small kitchen spaces and even if they do offer gluten free food, cross-contact is usually a huge risk because of this. However, are there any gluten free options at Panda Express? Let’s take a closer look.
What Is Panda Express?
Panda Express is a fast food restaurant that specializes in American Chinese cuisine. It’s been around for almost 40 years and has over 2,200 locations around the globe. Countries served include the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Russia, and many more.
This popular fast food chain serves well-loved dishes such as orange chicken, teriyaki chicken, kung pao chicken, and sweet fire chicken breast. They also have premium dishes such as Angus steak and honey walnut shrimp.
Is Panda Express Gluten Free?
Unfortunately, Panda Express is not a gluten free restaurant and explicitly state on their website that they do no offer any gluten free options for those following a gluten free lifestyle. Even if you’re looking for a quick bite, the options are incredibly limited.
While I’m used to not having many options in fast food restaurants, the variety on offer at Panda Express is incredibly disappointing.
Read more about:
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- Are Lay’s Poppables Gluten Free?
Is Panda Express Chow Mein Gluten Free?
Unfortunately, the chow mein at Panda Express is not gluten free and should not be consumed when following a gluten free diet. One of the main ingredients in this dish is wheat. The only gluten free option at Panda Express is steamed rice.
Panda Express Gluten Free Menu Options
There are very few menu items you can enjoy from Panda Express that are free from gluten. In fact, the only gluten free food available is rice. The following food and drink at Panda Express are gluten free:
Side Dishes – Gluten Free Options At Panda Express
- steamed white rice
- steamed brown rice
- all drinks at Panda Express are gluten free
- chili sauce
- hot mustard sauce
- plum sauce
- sweet and sour sauce
Panda Express Teriyaki Chicken Gluten Free Recipe
While the lack of options is frustrating, it’s super easy to recreate some of their best-loved dishes from the comfort of your home. And that way, you can be 100% sure the dish is gluten free too! This teriyaki chicken recipe is inspired by one from BeTony. Let’s take a closer look.
Ingredients – Gluten Free Options At Panda Express
- 2lbs of chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons of canola oil
- 1/4 cup of gluten free soy sauce
- 1/3 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of slurry (equal parts water and cornstarch mixture)
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of grated garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon of ginger
Take Out Time to Also Read:
Step 1: Cook the Chicken
Place the chicken into a bowl alongside the canola oil. Mix well and heat up your pan. Add the chicken (and oil) to the pan and cook for around five minutes on one side. Turn the chicken over and cook for a further five minutes. Remove from heat and leave to one side.
Step 2: Make the Sauce
In another pan, add the garlic, water, sugar, lemon juice, ginger and gluten free soy sauce. Mix well and bring to a boil. Leave to simmer for around three minutes. Gradually add your slurry mixture until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat once the sauce is at your desired consistency.
Step 3: Serve
Add the cooked chicken to your plate and pour over the teriyaki sauce. Add sesame seeds, if desired. Serve with rice or veggies.
Panda Express Orange Chicken Gluten Free Recipe
Another of Panda Express’ most popular dishes is the orange chicken. It’s light, crispy – and absolutely delicious! Let’s take a closer look at this fan favorite.
For the Chicken:
- 2lbs of chicken (in bite size chunks)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
- 1/4 cup of oil
- 1/2 cup of cornstarch
For the Orange Chicken Sauce:
- 1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce or tamari
- 1/4 cup of orange juice
- 1/4 cup of rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon of orange zest
- green onions (as garnish)
Recipe – Gluten Free Options At Panda Express
Step 1: Cook the Chicken
Grab a pan and heat your oil over a medium to high heat. Whilst the pan is heating, add the chicken, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix well. Once evenly mixed, add the chicken to the hot pan. Cook chicken on a medium heat and stir a few times throughout. Leave your chicken to cook until brown and cooked through.
Step 2: Make the Sauce
In a separate bowl, add the gluten free soy sauce, rice vinegar, orange juice, water, brown sugar, garlic, cornstarch, red pepper flakes and orange zest. Whisk well until a sauce begins to form. When the chicken is cooked, pour your sauce into the pan and leave to simmer. Stir at regular intervals until the sauce begins to chicken.
Step 3: Serve
Remove from heat and sprinkle green onions over the top, if desired. Serve with rice or veggies.
Conclusion – Gluten Free Options At Panda Express
I hope this post has given you an idea of what gluten free options at Panda Express are available. Unfortunately, the options are very limited at the moment. We can only hope that in the future their menu expands and we can enjoy their delicious American Chinese cuisine again soon.
In the meantime, we’ll have to stick to making our own copycat dishes at home. Both the orange chicken and the teriyaki chicken are absolutely delicious, and I’d highly recommend both. What dish do you miss most? Do you have your own copycat recipe that you’d like to share? If so, please feel free to let me know in the comments below.
Hi, my name’s Zoë. I’m 28 years old and live in London, UK. I work full time as a freelance writer and critic for West End theatre. Writing has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I spend most of my free time at the theatre, or at conventions. I’m married to the love of my life, and live in a small apartment with my fur baby, Lillie. I run two of my own blogs: No Safer Place and Stage to Page: both of which have won awards. I also have a YouTube channel where I talk about all things stagey.