Gluten haters, rejoice! Pizza Hut, the world’s largest pizza chain, has succumbed to the gluten-free trend in a very major way.
Beginning January 26, Pizza Hut will add two 10-inch gluten-free pizzas to its recently expanded menu of pie choices. And unlike Domino’s, which cannot guarantee that its gluten-free crust is not cross contaminated with gluten from the common kitchen where all their pies are made (and thus not recommended for those with Celiac disease), Pizza Hut is going out of their way to guarantee those most sensitive will be in the clear.
The company partnered with Udi’s brand of gluten-free bread products and the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America to create an approved “Gluten-Free Kit” to be used in every Pizza Hut offering the option – 250 restaurants in California, 90 in the Southland, 30 in Los Angeles – designed to specifically guarantee no cross contamination.
Udi’s will supply the dough for the two pizza choices being offered, cheese-only and pepperoni. Both are made with gluten-free marinara sauce and all the ingredients are kept completely separate from the rest of the kitchen. In addition, the pizza makers will wear gloves while preparing the pie, bake it on parchment paper, use a designated pizza cutter for slicing and pack it in a special box for delivery.
And there’s more good news: each one of the six slices of the $9.99 pizzas has 170 calories or less (150 for just cheese) and eight grams of fat or less, making them a much healthier option than most of Pizza Hut’s gluten-dough versions.
But there’s some bad news, too. Don’t start piling on the toppings, drizzles, sauces, or crust flavorings, especially not those new trendy ones from the company’s recently launched “Flavor of Now” campaign. The Honey Sriracha sauce drizzles, Ginger Boom Boom crust flavor, premium salami, classic meatball toppings, plus any of the other new (or old) ingredients are not guaranteed to be gluten free (not even the veggies!), because of cross contact with gluten products used in the kitchens. But if you are only gluten intolerant and do not have Celiac disease, you can risk doing a “Create Your Own” pizza, with the Udi’s crust as a base.
We happened to get a taste of both Pizza Hut's cheese-only and pepperoni gluten-free pizzas at their first public unveiling, during the official after party for the 20th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards on January 15, and both were very tasty – and pretty hard to differentiate from the gluten-crusted slices.
To find a Pizza Hut near you that serves up gluten-free pies, go to pizzahut.com after January 26 and enter your zip code.