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When following a gluten-free diet, pasta may be one of the things you miss the most. But with a rising need and demand for alternatives, food manufacturers are learning how to perfect their gluten-free pasta offerings. If zucchini noodles just aren’t cutting it for you, try one of the options on this list. They’re not only gluten-free—they’re also delicious. And some are even suitable for other lifestyles, like paleo, keto, and vegan, too.
The owners of Capello’s set out on a mission to create a pasta that “could be enjoyed by all discerning pasta lovers, regardless of dietary restriction” and they found their answer in one main ingredient: almond flour. Capello’s pasta combines almond flour with a handful of other recognizable ingredients—cage-free eggs, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, and sea salt—to create a gluten-free, grain-free pasta that is beloved by customers.
The fettuccine has a taste and texture that could go head to head with any regular semolina wheat pasta but is suitable for more restrictive diets. In addition to fettuccine, Cappello’s also offers spaghetti, lasagna sheets, and gnocchi, in a regular or sweet potato version.
Unlike the other dry pastas on this list, Capello’s, which feels the closest to homemade pasta, is kept frozen until you’re ready to eat it. But here’s the kicker: Once you put it in the boiling water, it’s ready to go in 90 seconds, which makes it easier to put healthy, fresh meals on the table as quickly as possible.
Taste is a subjective measure, so it’s difficult to definitively assign this superlative to just one of the pastas on this list, especially since they all taste good. But if you’re looking for a gluten-free pasta that’s as close to the “real thing” as you can get, the Le Venezian Fettucce will not disappoint.
It’s made from just one major ingredient, 100 percent Italian corn, and the taste and texture are right on par with pasta made from semolina flour, according to many happy customers. As far as nutrition goes, the carbs are also right up there with regular pasta, so while it’s gluten-free, it’s not a low-carb option. A 1/2 cup of dry pasta, which will get you about 1 heaping cup of cooked pasta, has 45 grams of carbohydrates and only 1 gram of fiber.
Featured on Shark Tank, this gluten-free pasta alternative has garnered quite the buzz—and for good reason. This unique "pasta" is actually made out of hearts of palm, a thick white vegetable taken from the core of certain species of palm trees, and comes already cooked. All you have to do to prepare Palmini is rinse the "noodles" in water and add your favorite pasta sauce or incorporate it into your favorite recipe. Palmini comes in linguini-style noodles or lasagna sheets.
Right out of the can (or packet), Palmini will taste more like the vegetable, but after rinsing, your options are endless for adding flavors, changing the texture, and transforming this healthy, high-fiber spiral into whatever tasty dish you want. Palmini is also vegan, sugar-free, and low-carb so it works for a variety of dietary needs.
Brown rice seems to be the gold standard when it comes to gluten-free pasta choices, but some of them can be a letdown, especially when it comes to texture. But it seems Thrive Market managed to solve all of brown rice pasta’s problems with its organic penne—or really, any option in its organic brown rice pasta line. With only one ingredient—organic whole grain brown rice flour—the pasta is not only gluten-free, but it’s also soy-free, yeast-free, kosher, low sodium, and certified organic.
Unlike other brown rice pastas, which can get soggy and sticky, the Thrive Market pasta holds up well to cooking and maintains a texture that can stand up to thick, meaty sauces. Reviewers also say that the pasta reheats well, so, if you want to, you can cook the whole box and use it for leftovers or meal prepping.
Barilla is one of the leaders in the pasta industry and the brand remains true to its name with this gluten-free spaghetti, which is made from a balanced combination of corn flour and rice flour (and added emulsifiers). It has a taste, texture, and mouthfeel that’s similar to regular al dente pasta and, according to some reviewers, tastes even better the next day.
The nutrition facts are similar to regular pasta, with one serving containing 44 grams of carbohydrates, only 1 gram of which comes from fiber, and 4 grams of protein. If you’re looking for a higher protein option from Barilla, there's also a red lentil rotini that’s certified gluten-free and contains 11 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber per serving.
Banza’s Chickpea Pasta, which is made from a combination of chickpeas, tapioca, pea protein, and xanthan gum, isn’t only gluten-free, it’s also high in protein and fiber, something that some of the other options on this list are missing. Each serving has twice the protein and three times the fiber of regular pasta, so it not only tastes delicious, but it helps keep you full without leaving you feeling weighed down and sluggish.
Reviewers describe the texture of the pasta as “thicker” and “al dente” and claim that if you serve it to your gluten-loving friends without telling them, they’ll never be able to tell the difference. And since it’s a heartier pasta, it also holds up well in the refrigerator, so it’s an ideal option for meal prepping.
If you need a gluten-free pasta that fits into a keto or low-carb lifestyle, the Thrive Market Wonder Noodles, or Shirataki noodles, are your best bet. They’re made from glucomannan, which is a fiber that comes from the root of the Asian konjac yam.
While you can’t really compare their taste and texture to semolina pasta—they tend to pick up the flavor of whatever you put on them—wonder noodles offer a great alternative to higher carb options. All of their carbohydrates (2 grams per serving) come from fiber, which means they clock in at 0 net grams. They’re also suitable for vegan and paleo lifestyles. And, unlike other gluten-free pasta, they don’t require any cooking—just wash and rinse and they’re ready to go, making them a perfect weeknight meal.
Tolerant Organic Green Lentil Penne is a high-fiber, gluten-free pasta option that was developed with food allergies in mind. It has one ingredient—organic green lentil flour—making it a tolerable and delicious option for anyone with a limited diet.
It’s also a great option for vegan diets, since it provides 25 grams of protein and a whopping 11 grams of fiber per serving. While the pasta is the highest in carbs on this list—one serving provides 62 grams—the high protein and fiber content helps slow down digestion so the pasta is actually considered low glycemic, which means it doesn’t have a dramatic effect on your blood sugar levels. People also point out that unlike other lower protein options, this pasta keeps you full for a long time.
If you want a delicious, real-tasting alternative for virtually any type of lifestyle, try the Cappello’s Almond Flour Fettuccine. If you’re looking for higher protein options, the Banza Chickpea Pasta and Tolerant Organic Green Lentil Penne are excellent choices that will help keep you full for hours.
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Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist with extensive nutrition knowledge and food and beverage-testing experience. She’s developed over 1,000 original recipes and is constantly on a mission to find the healthiest, best-tasting options and ingredients across all food and drink categories.