Are Hush Puppies Gluten-Free? (Find Out Now!)

Are Hush Puppies Gluten-Free

Hush puppies are small, savory, deep-fried round balls made from a thick cornmeal-based batter that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. They are most popular across the American South where they are served as a side dish to fried seafood and barbecue. If you follow a gluten-free diet, you may be wondering if you, too, can enjoy hush puppies.

Hush puppies are not gluten-free as they often contain wheat flour. Gluten-free hush puppies can be hard to come by on the market, but not impossible. BooKoo Foods Gluten-Free Hush Puppies Mix is a gluten-free hush puppies mix which contains only gluten-free cornmeal, sugar, and salt. You can also make gluten-free hush puppies at home using cornmeal and rice flour.

In this article, we will discuss the nutritional value and main ingredients of hush puppies, health drawbacks of fried food, and gluten-free alternatives to traditional hush puppies. Let’s dig in!

Are Hush Puppies Bad for You?

Hush puppies are not the healthiest option because they are deep-fried. Eating fried food increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

1. Heart Disease

Eating fried food can contribute to high blood pressure. It can also lower your HDL, or “good” cholesterol, and raise your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol levels. Both of those factors put you at risk for heart disease.

Also, a study found that women who ate one or more servings of fried fish per week had a 48% higher risk of heart failure, compared to those who ate 1-3 servings of fried food per month. However, those who ate baked or broiled fish were found to have a lower risk of heart failure.

Another study showed that people with a high fried food diet were at an increased risk of heart attack. Meanwhile, people who ate a lot of fruits and vegetables were at a significantly lower risk of heart attack.

2. Type 2 Diabetes

One study found that those who consumed fast food two or more times per week were twice as likely to develop insulin resistance, compared to those who consumed fast food once a week or less.

Another large observational study showed that people who ate 4-6 servings of fried food per week were 39% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, compared to people who ate less than one serving per week.

Similarly, those who consumed fried food seven or more times per week were 55% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, compared to those who consumed less than one serving of fried food per week.

3. Obesity

Fried foods are often high in calories, so eating a lot of fried food can significantly increase your calorie intake. When you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight.

Fried foods are also high in trans fat and trans fat, even in the absence of excess calories, can significantly increase belly fat. Therefore, the problem may be the type of fat and not the amount of fat.

An observational study reviewed the diets of over 41,000 women over eight years. That study showed that increasing trans fat intake by 1% resulted in weight gain of 1.2 pounds in normal-weighted women. As for women who are overweight, a 1% increase of trans fat intake resulted in a weight gain of 2.3 pounds. However, increases of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats were not associated with weight gain. That proves the theory that it is the type of fat and not necessarily the amount of fat.

4. Acrylamide

Fried food also contains Acrylamide, which is a toxic substance that forms during high-temperature cooking, such as frying.

Studies have shown that this substance poses a risk for several types of cancer including kidney, endometrial, and ovarian cancer.

Can Fried Food Be Healthy?

Traditional fried food is not healthy. That does not mean, however, that it can’t be. There are a few ways to make fried foods healthy, or at least healthier.

Healthy Oil

The type of oil that is used to fry foods makes a big difference when it comes to the nutritional value of the food. These are the healthiest oils you can use to fry food:

  • Coconut Oil. More than 90% of the fatty acids found in coconut oil are saturated, which makes it heat resistant. Studies have shown that after eight hours of continuous deep frying, the quality does not deteriorate.
  • Olive Oil. Olive oil contains mostly monounsaturated fats, which makes it stable for high-temperature cooking like frying. One study found that olive oil can be used in a deep fryer for up to 24 hours before a significant amount of oxidation occurs.
  • Avocado Oil. The composition of avocado oil is similar to olive oil. That means it is great for high-temperature cooking, as it has a high heat tolerance.

Healthy Frying Methods

In addition to the oil you use to fry your food, you may also want to consider healthier alternatives to traditional frying like:

  • Oven-Frying. For this method, you would need to preheat your oven to 450 degrees. This allows food to get crispy using little to no oil.
  • Air-Frying. This method involves using a machine that works by circulating extremely hot air around food. The food ends up being crispy on the outside and soft on the inside just like traditional frying only with 70-80% less oil.

Popular Brands Of Hush Puppies

If you were to go into your local grocery store in search of hush puppies, these are the brands you would be most likely to find:

McCormick Golden Dipt Hush Puppy Corn Meal Fry Mix

This unique blend of yellow corn meal and wheat flour makes tasty hush puppies quickly and easily. Just add water and enjoy perfectly golden hush puppies in minutes!

This brand is not gluten-free.


  • Yellow corn meal
  • Enriched wheat flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Leavening

Nutritional Information (per 0.25 cup serving):

  • Calories: 120
  • Total fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 520mg
  • Total carbs: 27g
  • Total sugars: 3g
  • Protein: 2g

Martha White Hush Puppy Mix

This brand gives a little twist on traditional hush puppies with an added onion flavor. Just add water or milk, fry them up, and you’ve got a delicious snack in minutes!

This brand is not gluten-free.


  • Enriched degerminated white corn meal
  • Enriched bleached flour (contains wheat flour)
  • Nonfat milk
  • Leavening
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Contains 2% or less of dried onion, onion powder, garlic powder, spice, monosodium glutamate, corn starch

Nutritional Information (per 0.25 cup serving):

  • Calories: 120
  • Total fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 610mg
  • Total carbs: 27g
  • Total sugars: 2g
  • Protein: 3g

Healthier And Gluten-Free Alternatives

We learned that traditional hush puppies are not healthy or gluten-free. That does not mean, however, that those who follow a gluten-free diet can’t enjoy hush puppies. If you follow a gluten-free diet, you can buy a gluten-free hush puppy mix. Better yet, you can make your own so can control what goes into them.

BooKoo Foods Gluten-Free Hush Puppies Mix

This brand hand crafted their gluten-free hush puppy mix specifically for those who have trouble digesting gluten. They give you a good old fashioned cornbread nugget without the gluten. You can even add a cup of strained corn to the mix for a true restaurant-style hush puppy. Throw them in the oven or air-fryer and you’ve got healthy and gluten-free hush puppies!


  • Gluten-free corn meal
  • Sugar
  • Salt

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 120
  • Total fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 500mg
  • Total carbs: 25g
  • Total sugars: 3g
  • Protein: 2g

Gluten-Free Hush Puppies Recipe

Gluten-free hush puppies mix can be hard to come by. That is why it might be easier (and healthier) to make them yourself at home.

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 cup gluten-free corn meal
  • 3/4 cup finely ground white rice flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 large egg

Shape the mix into small balls and use 2 quarts coconut, olive or avocado oil for frying. Place them in the oil and fry until golden brown on all sides.

To make them even healthier, you can choose to oven-fry or air fry. If you do that, you will want to preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Throw them in for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Final Thoughts

Hush puppies are not gluten-free as they often contain wheat flour. They are also not healthy as they are traditionally deep-fried in unhealthy oil.

However, there are ways to enjoy healthier and gluten-free hush puppies. You can fry them in a healthy oil, such as coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil. Better yet, you can oven-fry or air-fry them, which significantly reduces the amount of oil used.

Gluten-free hush puppy mix can be hard to come by, which is why you might want to consider making them from scratch at home. It’s quick, easy, and you will know exactly what is in them.

Related Questions

Are Hush Puppies Vegan?

No. Hush puppies are not vegan-friendly because the traditional recipe calls for egg as a binder. Milk and buttermilk is also often used.

Are Hush Puppies Keto?

Traditional hush puppies should be avoided on the keto diet because once they are fried they are high in calories.

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Cara Giannetto

I am Cara, a journalist who strives to live a healthy lifestyle. My goal is to help others live a healthy lifestyle, as well, by providing you with the information you need to achieve your goals.

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