Gluten Free Ready Meals at Woolworths

Gluten Free Ready Meals at Woolworths

Since having a baby a few months ago, I’ve become more and more in need of quick and easy meals. You never know what the day will bring when you’ve got a newborn or a young baby. Even more so when you’re on your own, either because your partner’s away or because you’re a single parent.

This where I find myself relying on ready meals, when my husband is on a work trip.

I’ve tried a few ready meals from the folks at Pantry by Davies Street. While those have been good, it does take a bit more organisation to put in an order and go across town to pick it up. It’s also something that isn’t particularly helpful for anyone living outside of Melbourne.

This article is going to give you all of the gluten-free ready meals I have come across at Woolworths.

You might be wondering why I picked Woolworths and not Coles. The fact is there’s very few ready meals at Coles that are suitable for someone who has coeliac disease or is on a gluten-free diet.

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UK does it so much better

I want to take a moment to complain about Australia and refer back to my life living in the UK. Over there it was so easy to get a variety of delicious, nutritious meals that didn’t have gluten and didn’t even have a may contain warning after the ingredients. Now I’m not sure if this is because the UK food scene is more inclusive at the supermarket or if instead it’s that gluten-free labelling laws in Australia are prohibitive to companies making a gluten-free claim.

In the UK I could walk into any supermarket, go to the fridge section and find at least one suitable meal. Depending on supermarkets in Australia you won’t find anything! Not on the shelf, not in the fridge and not in the freezer.

You’ll see something you didn’t know about

One thing I’m going to guarantee with this list is that you will come across a product you didn’t know was gluten free. Why am I so confident? Because most of these meals are available outside of the gluten free section.

Also up until a few months ago, even I didn’t know that some of these were gluten free. It’s only with research and endless hopeful searches through the shelves that I’ve found us all some suitable (and hopefully tasty) options.

Fridge ready meals

Woolworths makes three of their own brand meals that are gluten free. They are also on the premium end of their ready meal range. This means they do have a premium price tag but having tried all of them over the years it is worth it.

Unfortunately these rarely come up on sale or in the discount section. The best i’ve seen is maybe $1 discount.

These three meals are legit gluten free meaning they are tested and assured to be gluten free. You can find them in the fridge section with the other ready meals. Typically I see them on the highest shelf in that area.

  • Prosciutto wrapped chicken. Allergens: Milk. May contain: Fish, soy.
  • Cracked pepper rump steak with mashed potato. Allergens: Milk. May contain: Fish, soy.
  • Tasmanian salmon with rice. Allergens: Fish, milk. May contain: Soy.
The packaging of three Woolworths ready meals.

Yummy Karma

I discovered Yummy Karma when I was living in Sydney in 2022. They were an absolute lifesaver during my pregnancy, giving me safe hot meals with protein, carbs and vegetables. My favourites are their Thai green curry and their satay chicken.

Yummy Karma isn’t in every Woolworths, they are more commonly stocked in Woolworths Metro (and some Coles Local). You’ll find them in the fridge section with ready to eat meals and sandwiches.

Since moving to Melbourne I haven’t seen them, but I did discover that you can order from their entire range online. I ordered a huge batch to eat during my husband’s last business trip – it was a tasty lifesaver while looking after our daughter who was five months old at the time.

I’ve been meaning to do reviews of their range, but you’ll have to do with these photos for now.

There’s a mix of chicken and vegetarian options

Freezer section

In the gluten-free freezer section you’ll find quite a few ready meals. In my experience, the quality of these certified GF meals is really poor.

Tutto Pasta make three meals, a vegan lasagna, a meat lasagna and plant-based meatballs. Their meat lasagna was one of the worst meals I’ve eaten in my entire life. It was completely watery when reheated there was no meat in the sauce and the tiniest amount of cheese on top. To say it was stingy with ingredients is an understatement.

For only $6.50 it’s still not worth buying and I would be so much happier if this product was double the price and much better in quality.

I have seen people on Facebook who do enjoy these meals from this brand but for me it’s a no go.

Tutto pasta gluten free meal boxes.
Looking closely at the meatballs it’s just meatballs, no pasta, so it’s not really a meal.

Gluten Free Meal Co “best ever” butter chicken is available in the gluten free section. It’s an ok meal. I wouldn’t say it’s the best butter chicken I’ve come across but it does the job.

Amy’s Kitchen makes two pasta meals that are gluten free. One is mac and cheese and the other is a broccoli pasta cheese bake. I actually have both of these sitting in my freezer but I’ve never been in enough of a cheesy mood to heat one up. But I’m still very grateful to have it there as a backup.

You may find that the Amy’s Kitchen meals are in a different section as they are also vegetarian.

The boxes for Amy's Kitchen gf ready meals. Both boxes show big bowls of pasta and the gluten free symbol.
Amy’s meals have Coeliac Australia endorsement

Outside the gluten free section

Outside of the gluten-free section with legit gluten-free ready meals, you’ll find a few options.

Be fit. Food are a health-conscious meal delivery service that has a few of their products available in Woolworths. I have seen satay chicken and pasta with meatballs. They also stock a lasagna but this is not gluten-free. You’ll see the gluten-free label on the top right hand corner of the packaging so it is quite clear.

In the children’s ready meal section, there are now a few options that are gluten free by the company Coco and Lucas. Because they are kids meals (ages 3 to 12), the sizes are much smaller, but that’s quite handy if you’ve got a young coeliac to feed. I picked up a cottage pie and it is now in my freezer, waiting for a quick lunch opportunity. Alongside it on the shelf was a butter chicken by the same brand. If you’re keen on this brand I’ve seen slightly larger sizes at Coles, including a spaghetti bolognese.

These are all legit gluten free – tested with a nil detected result.

These are old photos – they are now labelled gluten free on the front.

This article took several weeks to pull together and during that time even more products by Coco & Lucas were released. But again, I spotted them outside of the gluten free section. Strange indeed. Anyway, each weighs in at 350g, much bigger than the 220g kids meals above. Price is good too $8.

  • Spaghetti & meatballs. Allergens: Milk, soy. May contain: Sesame, sulphites, fish, egg, tree nuts, crustacean.
  • Green curry chicken. Allergens: Fish. May contain: Milk, sesame, egg, tree nuts, crustacean, soy.
  • Chicken fried rice. Allergens: Egg, soy. May contain: Milk, sesame, fish, tree nuts, crustacean.
So much choice!

GF by ingredient ready meals in the freezer.

Mr. Chen’s pad Thai in the freezer section is gluten-free by ingredient. Well, it’s not the best pad Thai you’ll ever eat, but it’s pretty handy to keep in the freezer for work lunches. You can read my full review of Mr. Chen’s pad Thai.

On the Menu has, from what I’ve seen, about four ready meals at Woolworths but just one is gluten free. It’s a satay chicken with rice and it weighs in at 400g, which I think makes it the biggest on the list! Allergens: Peanut, milk, fish, crustacean. May contain: Cashew.

On the menu satay chicken ready meal box

The last on the list for the freezer is the Woolworths brand ready meals. The chicken korma, the satay chicken and chilli con carne are all gluten free by ingredient and do not have a may contain a warning for gluten.

Update: As of May 2024 I’ve heard that these meals now have a may contain warning for gluten. I haven’t seen them in person but I’ll be keeping a look out.

Now have a may contain 🙁

I haven’t tried the Woolworths meals yet but but I certainly will in the future. They have a low price point around $4 per meal. It’s also something my husband would be interested in eating so I may just have him be our guinea pig for a review.

While I’m on the subject, it’s disappointing that more curry meals aren’t gluten-free in Australia. These meals rarely contain gluten as an ingredient so it should be an easy win for companies to make gluten-free ready meals with curries.

St Food Co

Shout out to Lee in the comments 👇 for sharing the St Food Co! I’ve only seen these two meals in a few stores, but there’s also a paella out there!

  • Tokyo teriyaki. Allergens: Peanut, soy, sesame. May contain: Milk, tree nuts, sulphites.
  • Portuguese peri peri chicken. Allergens: Sulphites.

Gluten free meals in the aisles

Now, you might be thinking, but there’s no ready meals in the gluten free section. And you’d be correct, all the shelf-stable gluten free meals are in fact hidden around the supermarket.

But hey, that’s what my website is all about – helping you find hidden gluten free gems.

Hart and Soul gluten free ready meals

Out of the seven ready meals offered by Hart and Soul, six of them are available online at Woolworths. Six! I bet you didn’t know there were that many. They are all tested and confirmed gluten free (Nil detected on the nutrition panel) too. About half the meals are dairy free too, meaning it’s suitable for a lot of people.

All you need to do is empty the sachet into the supplied bowl and microwave for 90 seconds. Each meal weighs in at 250g and is priced at $5.50.

Other gluten free meals I’ve seen in the aisles of Woolworths

Most of these I saw in the one spot, none were from dedicated gluten free companies, all of these were lucky GF by ingredient options.

Coco Earth makes a mango chicken with rice. It’s 360g so a bit bigger than Hart and Soul, and looking at the ingredients it looks like it’s packed with flavour. I spotted a second flavour a few weeks later, smoky charcoal chicken. It sounds odd, but on the back it describes it as smoky butter chicken?

Coco earth mango chicken rice packet and smoky charcoal chicken rice packet
‘Real chicken pieces’ is somehow not reassuring

Last on the list is Passage to Asia which makes a number of gluten free sauces has a vegetable Malaysian satay bowl and a vegetable green curry (note, it’s not vegetarian as it contains fish sauce).

So that’s the gluten free ready meals you can buy at Woolworths! Was I correct, was there something on the list you didn’t know about? Let me know in the comments.

And, if you found something I didn’t know about – definitely let me know in the comments! Remember, everything I include in my list is coeliac-safe, no gluten ingredient and no may contain warning.

Loved this guide? Check out the rest of my gluten free shopping guides!

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