are capers gluten free

Yes, capers are gluten free. These small, pickled flower buds are a delightful addition to many dishes and can be enjoyed by individuals who follow a gluten-free diet.

What are Capers?

Capers are the immature flower buds of the caper bush, scientifically known as Capparis spinosa. They are typically harvested by hand and then pickled in vinegar, brine, or salt. These flavorful buds are commonly used in Mediterranean and Italian cuisine, adding a tangy and slightly salty taste to various dishes.

Although capers themselves are naturally gluten free, it’s essential to be cautious about the other ingredients that may accompany them in certain dishes or products. Some capers may come packed in sauces, dressings, or marinades that could contain gluten-containing ingredients. Therefore, it’s important to check product labels and verify the gluten-free status of the entire dish or product.

Gluten-Free Capers: A Safe Choice

If you have celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or you’re simply following a gluten-free diet, you can rest assured that capers are generally safe to consume. Here are a few reasons why capers are considered gluten free:

  • Capers themselves do not naturally contain gluten. They are a single ingredient that is free from this particular protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
  • During the pickling process, capers are typically preserved in vinegar or brine, which are gluten free. As long as the pickling solution doesn’t contain any gluten additives, the capers will maintain their gluten-free status.
  • Most reputable brands that produce capers ensure their products are gluten free and label them accordingly. However, it’s always a good practice to double-check the label or contact the manufacturer to confirm the gluten-free status.

Considerations for Gluten-Free Cooking

While capers themselves are gluten free, it’s essential to consider potential cross-contamination or hidden sources of gluten when using capers in your cooking. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Read labels: When purchasing capers or caper products, carefully read the ingredient lists and allergen statements to ensure no gluten-containing ingredients are present.
  2. Cross-contamination: If you have a severe gluten allergy or celiac disease, be aware that cross-contamination may occur during the manufacturing process. Look for certified gluten-free products or those with dedicated gluten-free facilities.
  3. Home cooking: If you’re using capers in homemade recipes, make sure you’re preparing the entire dish with gluten-free ingredients and in a clean, gluten-free environment.

The Versatility of Capers

Capers are a versatile ingredient that can add a burst of flavor to numerous dishes. Here are some popular ways to incorporate capers into your gluten-free recipes:

  • Salad dressings and vinaigrettes
  • Pasta sauces and pesto
  • Seafood dishes, such as salmon or tuna
  • Chicken or veal piccata
  • Pizza and flatbreads


In summary, capers are gluten free and can be enjoyed by individuals following a gluten-free diet. However, it’s important to be mindful of the other ingredients that may accompany capers in certain dishes or products. Always read labels, verify the gluten-free status, and take necessary precautions to avoid cross-contamination if you have a severe gluten allergy or celiac disease. With proper care, you can savor the unique flavor of capers and enhance your gluten-free culinary creations.