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Hidden allergens: gluten in ready meals

People suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance must strictly avoid gluten. That’s often difficult especially when it comes to ready meals. We show you which meals might contain hidden gluten. And since it’s National Wiener Schnitzel Day today, we also tell you how to prepare that classic of Austrian cuisine without gluten.

Schnitzel, pizza, fish fingers: Ready meals are popular, primarily because they are quick and easy to prepare. But if you have to avoid gluten, you should keep away from most ready meals. Doughs and coatings are almost always made of wheat flour. And many other ready meals may contain gluten, too:

  • soups
  • sauces
  • broth
  • spice mixtures
  • frozen vegetables
  • potato products such as mash, dumplings, fries or fritters
  • canned meat and fish
  • pudding powder
  • instant drinks

Anyone who wants to produce gluten-free foods is likely to encounter some difficulties. Firstly, gluten improves the baking properties and gives bread a fluffy consistency. Furthermore, gluten-free flour is more expensive than wheat flour. The risk of contamination is another problem. There are, however, a number of tasty alternatives which are suitable for a gluten-free diet – for example maize, rice, teff, buckwheat, potatoes, millet, amaranth or quinoa.

Quinoa is what we use for our gluten-free Wiener Schnitzels.

Quinoa and herb schnitzel


  • 4 schnitzels
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Beat the schnitzels with a meat hammer to make them thin. Combine quinoa flakes, garlic powder, parmesan, lemon rind, chives and basil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the egg in another bowl. One by one, dip the schnitzels in rice flour, egg and the quinoa mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Afterwards, fry the schnitzels in hot oil and serve. Enjoy!