Gluten Free

Is Horchata Gluten Free? + Tasty Gluten Free Horchata Recipe

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For most occasions, horchata is a perfect recipe for those who love that creamy, smooth rice, cinnamon, or tiger nut taste. It can be combined with gluten-free pancit, quesadillas, nachos, sesame chicken and many more meals or snacks. In addition to tantalizing your taste buds, horchata guarantees to cool you down on sunny days.

The traditional horchata recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. However, some restaurants or people may add condensed milk for thickening and sweetening, making it not vegan or dairy-free.

The only downside of horchata to me is the 8 hours it takes to soak the rice. Before the end of this article, you will also have access to our homemade horchata gluten-free recipe. Let’s go!

What Is Horchata?

Horchata is a Mexican drink derived from rice that is a delight to the palate. Blended cinnamon sticks and white rice are soaked overnight for the making of horchata. After sieving and discarding the cinnamon and rice, the liquid left is flavored with ground cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar.

To get a thicker consistency, horchata may be thickened with milk. Some horchata recipes may include almond nuts and be adorned with fruits. In Spain, where horchata originated, it is referred to as horchata de chufa and is made with tiger nuts, or chufa, as they call it. The Mexican version is known as horchata de arroz.

What Does Horchata Taste Like?

Horchata is a creamy, delicious rice milk beverage that tastes like rice pudding and has a smooth texture. How sweet this drink could be is dependent on the sugar and vanilla content. The inclusion of nuts brings alive a musty flavor.

For me, I love pairing my horchata over ice cubes with gluten-free lumpia, which gives me that unique, clean, buttery, spicy taste I always crave.

Horchata Health Benefits

Here are some of the health benefits you could possibly derive from consuming horchata:

Healthy fats

For horchata with almonds as a major ingredient, you are sure of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are healthy fats that greatly aid heart health.


The 30 grams of carbohydrates derived from a cup of horchata are sufficient to provide you with energy to get going.

Rich in antioxidants

The antioxidant properties of horchata are bolstered by the almonds and cinnamon used in making it. Free radicals damage our body’s cells, and the work of antioxidants is to prevent such damage.

Rich in vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium

Almonds provide your body with Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that protects you from cell damage, aids a healthy immune system, and promotes skin health. Horchata derived from fortified rice milk will provide your body with calcium and magnesium, which are essential for healthy bones.

Is Horchata Bad for You?

Depending on certain ingredients used horchata could be bad for you, and here is why:

High sugar content

According to AmericanHeartAssociation, men should not consume beyond 36 grams or 9 teaspoons of sugar, and women should not consume beyond 6 teaspoons or 25 grams per day. You could derive as much as 15–26 grams of sugar from a cup of horchata, which almost exceeds your daily sugar allotment.

Is Horchata Gluten Free?

Horchata is natuarally gluten-free. The ingredients for the traditional rice-based, almond-based, and tiger-nut-based horchata are fortified white rice, tiger nuts, almonds, sugar, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, and milk, which are all gluten-free. Both celiac and gluten-sensitive people can enjoy horchata safely.

I use coconut milk instead of dairy milk for some of my bespoke recipes, and it turns out just delicious. Just like I love getting creative with my foods and drinks, different chefs, bartenders, and mixologists would get creative to derive a unique taste. So, if you visit a region where horchata is made differently, ensure to inquire about the ingredients used.

What Is Horchata Made Of?

Ingredient Gluten Status
Rice Gluten-free
Almonds (in almond horchata) Gluten-free
Tiger Nuts (in horchata de chufa) Gluten-free
Sesame Seeds Gluten-free
Melon Seeds Gluten-free
Cinnamon Gluten-free
Sugar Gluten-free
Vanilla (flavoring) Gluten-free
Lime Zest (flavoring) Gluten-free
Water Gluten-free
Milk (in some variations) Gluten-free, but may depend on specific brands and processing facilities

Final Thoughts

Horchata is traditionally gluten-free. However, you should understand that it is made in a lot of countries around the world, and each country has a unique twist to its recipe, which is why you should always inquire about what is in the drink before ordering. .


Does Horcata contain caffeine?

No, most horchata recipes are made the traditional way, which doesn’t require caffeine. However, some recipes online contain caffeine.

Is Horchata de Ajonjol gluten-free?

This recipe is mostly used in Puerto Rico and provides a route out of the constant hot weather on the tropical island. It is made with toasted sesame seeds soaked instead of rice. Sesame seeds do not contain gluten, making this recipe great for a person on a gluten-free diet.

Is Horchata de Melón gluten-free?

This melon horchata recipe will make you drool with pleasure. Its ingredients are the same as in the traditional horchata recipe. The only twist here is that melon seeds, cow milk, and condensed milk are used for the drink, while the melon itself is used as a garnish, and I love adding lime juice. The good news is that horchata de melon is gluten-free (except if cross-contamination occurs).

Is Horchata de Chufa gluten-free?

Tiger Nut Milk is vegan and great for your health. Also, it is gluten-free, allergen-free, and dairy-free. Horchata de chufa has a unique and lovely taste, and I prefer it over all other recipes I have tried.

Ensure not to limit yourself. Feel free to try out as many recipes for horchata as you can and discover the one you’ll love best. Don’t be afraid to add a twist here and there.

Cortiso Davids

My culinary adventure began at an early age when I would stand on a chair to help my mom stir pancake batter. Over the years, I've honed my skills and knowledge, drawing inspiration from family recipes, celebrated chefs, and the vibrant food cultures that make our world so diverse and fascinating.

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