Secret gluten free items in the UK

Secret gluten free items in the UK

This is my first in a series of helping you find gluten free items outside of the gluten free aisle. When it comes to food I am ever the optimist, hoping that companies will do the right thing by not randomly adding wheat as the second last ingredient in a product – or worse, just throwing in the ‘may contain’ disclaimer as a get out of jail free card. Standing in the aisle reading these labels takes a little while longer, but I’ve found some absolute gems while living in the UK for six years and I want to share them with you.

Do take note, like with all foods companies may change their recipe so please thoroughly check each time you purchase.

Stuffed gnocchi (Aldi / Lidl)

These filled gnocchi rotate in the special buys at Aldi and Lidl about two to three times a year. At Aldi they are in the shelves section (i.e. not refrigerated) while the Lidl ones are in the fridge area.

Potato gratin (dauphinoise) / broccoli gratin

Perfectly cooked potatoes, creamy sauce and gooey emmental cheese. Normally a dish like this takes several steps, slicing the potatoes, parboiling them, making a sauce and finally baking to crispy perfection. Enter the ready-made potato gratin and brocoli gratin. Over the years I’ve seen these at a number of stores and I’d say 75% of the time they are gluten free – made with cornflour (cornstarch).

They come in packets of four and heat up in about 25 minutes in the oven making them a great last minute side for a lazy evening. I’ve often had them with a roast, saving valuable oven space amid all the other items I’m cooking.

The other major bonus is the packaging is plastic free – the frozen stacks are just sitting inside the cardboard box. So it’s a feel good ready meal for the environment too.

A quick search online shows they are available at
Aldi (update: this now has a may contain warning, however the bag version is still safe)
Lidl (during Deluxe promotions)
Marks and Spencer (in the fridge section)

Cheese soufflé

Cheddar and Emmental cheese soufflé, it’s so luxurious! I was so surprised to see this was gluten free years ago when I picked it up in Waitrose. The only grain in it is maize starch and it’s right towards the end of the ingredients.


The soufflés are ready after just 12 minutes in the oven and make the perfect starter for a fancy meal at home.

The soufflés come in a pack of two and are available all year round from Waitrose for £3.50.

Swedish meatballs

Swedish style meatballs are my husband’s go-to nostalgia comfort food. Growing up in Finland they were a regular feature in school lunches. For the rest of us it’s an item mostly associated with a long trip to IKEA. Nevertheless, these pre-cooked, fully gluten free meatballs are an excellent item to keep in the fridge for quick lunches or days when you have zero energy left to cook.


Made by Smorgasbord Food they are available at Sainsbury’s, Asda, Ocado, Morrison’s and Costco.

Milk & cookies chocolate spread

I can tell you the gluten-free internet lost its mind when this one came out. How can an item with the word cookie on the front be gluten free? The fact is it’s made with corn flour and potato starch. On top of that, despite it having a Nutella vibe there are no hazelnuts or any other nuts (however they do recommend that it is not for those with a nut or peanut allergy). Buy from M&S in store or online from Ocado.

Milk & cookies chocolate spread (credit: Ocado)

Leon chicken nuggets

If you’re familiar with Leon you’ll know the nuggets are amazing. Naturally gluten free and baked rather than fried they are juicy and crunchy all at once. They’ve always been gluten free and it was so great to see when Leon launched an at home range that included these.

Unfortunately they are stocked only at Sainsbury’s so you have to be lucky finding them sometimes – oddly my local Sainsbury’s local at Norbiton station stocked them but the full size store in Kingston did not. Pair of up with a bag of lattice fries (Asda and others) and you’ve got yourself an at home Leon meal without ordering UberEats.

Polish mustard

What’s been your angriest gluten free moment? For me one of mine was looking at the label of a jar of Coleman’s mustard and discovering it contains wheat! Honestly, why on earth is wheat needed in mustard? Not too long letter I was in my local Polish supermarket and noticed the gluten free certification on a full range of mustards – at least five varieties. Don’t be put off by the Polish flavour names, these are excellent and at a price of about £1 per jar they are great value. I regularly bought horseradish (pictured) and seeded mustard. 

Firma Roleski horseradish mustard
Back of the label showing gluten-free certification

Spanish tortillas

During Spanish week at Lidl you can get huge Spanish tortillas for just a few pounds. Filled with potatoes and baked in an egg mixture they make a great lunch with a side salad. There’s usually a few flavours such as spinach or chorizo and in my experience they have always been gluten free. Smaller versions are available in other supermarkets year round (Sainsbury’s and Waitrose).

Lidl’s spinach tortilla

What do you think of my list, any gems that I’ve missed? Let me know and I’ll add more hidden items for the UK.

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