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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.
Here, our list of the best gluten-free pastas to fit your needs.
Best Overall: Cappello’s Almond Flour Fettuccine
Texture is similar to regular pasta
Also compatible with paleo diets
Ready to eat in 90 seconds
The owners of Capello’s set out on a mission to create 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.
Many of these customers give this fettuccine top marks for its taste and texture, which they say 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 the good thing about this that many people also highlight: Once you put it in the boiling water, it’s ready to go in 90 seconds.
Base Ingredient: Almond flour | Net Weight: 9 ounces | Protein: 6 grams per serving | Fiber: 3 grams per serving
Best Tasting: Le Veneziane Italian Fettucce
Taste and texture very close to pasta made from semolina flour
Finished pasta comes out tender, not starchy
Doesn't lose its texture when reheated
Low on fiber
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. A 1/2 cup of dry pasta, which will get you about 1 cup of cooked pasta, has 45 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fiber.
Base Ingredient: Italian corn | Net Weight: 8.8 ounces | Protein: 4 grams per serving | Fiber: 1 gram per serving
Best Pre-Cooked: Palmini Hearts of Palm Pasta
Easy to prep
Also low-carb, sugar-free, and vegan
Very mild hearts of palm flavor
Retains texture after cooking
Only one to two servings per container
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 a vegetable, but after rinsing, your options are endless for adding flavors and transforming this spiral into whatever tasty dish you want. Customers also like that it retains its texture and doesn't turn mushy after cooking and adding sauces to it. Palmini is also vegan, sugar-free, and low-carb so it works for a variety of dietary needs.
Base Ingredient: Hearts of palm | Net Weight: 14 ounces | Protein: 1 gram per serving | Fiber: 2 grams per serving
Best Brown Rice: Thrive Market Organic Brown Rice Penne
Only one ingredient
Maintains texture and holds up to thick sauces
Taste is very similar to regular pasta
May get sticky if overcooked
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. However, 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.
Base Ingredient: Organic whole grain brown rice flour | Net Weight: 16 ounces | Protein: 4 grams per serving | Fiber: 2 grams per serving
Best Spaghetti: Barilla Gluten-Free Pasta, Spaghetti
Similar texture and flavor to regular pasta
Less expensive than comparable brands
May need to add a bit of oil while boiling to prevent sticking
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.
Each two-ounce serving containing 44 grams of carbohydrates. 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.
Base Ingredient: Corn flour and rice flour | Net Weight: 12 ounces | Protein: 4 grams per serving | Fiber: 2 grams per serving
Best High-Protein: Banza Chickpea Pasta
Holds up well to sauces and dressings
Some report slightly grainy texture
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.
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.
Base Ingredient: Chickpeas | Net Weight: 8 ounces | Protein: 13 grams per serving | Fiber: 5 grams per serving
Best Low-Carb: Thrive Market Wonder Noodles
Suitable for vegan and paleo diets
Easy and quick to prep
Slightly fishy smell when fresh out of package
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. People rave about how filling these are. 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.
Base Ingredient: Konjac flour | Net Weight: 7 ounces | Protein: 0 grams per serving | Fiber: 2 grams per serving
Best Allergen-Free: Tolerant Organic Green Lentil Penne
High in protein and fiber
Texture is very close to regular pasta
Can get gummy when overcooked
Tolerant Organic Green Lentil Penne is a 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 provides 25 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber per 3.5-ounce serving (21 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber per the suggested 3-ounce serving size). The pasta is the highest in carbs on this list—one serving provides 62 grams.
Base Ingredient: Organic green lentil flour | Net Weight: 8 ounces | Protein: 21 grams per serving | Fiber: 9 grams per serving
If you want a delicious, real-tasting alternative for virtually any type of lifestyle, try the Cappello’s Almond Flour Fettuccine (view at Fresh Direct). If you’re looking for higher-protein options, the Banza Chickpea Pasta (view at Amazon) and Tolerant Organic Green Lentil Penne (view at Amazon) are excellent choices.
What to Look for When Buying Gluten-Free Pasta
Today, there are countless options for gluten-free pasta available on the market, many of them creative, to suit your dietary needs and tastes. Common ones you'll find are made of one or a blend of a few alternative ingredients. These could either be grain-based, such as rice, corn, buckwheat, and quinoa; or they could be grain-free, such as chickpea, lentil, black bean, mung bean, potato, and more. One type of gluten-free pasta, shirataki noodles, is even made up of glucomannan, a fiber sourced from the root of the Asian konjac yam.
Flavor and Texture
One thing to note is that while some of the gluten-free pastas mentioned above are close to neutral in flavor (meaning they'll probably work with virtually any sauce), others are more distinct-tasting (e.g., chickpea and buckwheat), meaning you'll have to lean into those flavors and experiment to see what sauces and spices work with them. You'll also want to note which ones turn mushy or gummy if overcooked a minute too long, which stand up to thicker or chunkier sauces, and if having the same bite and mouthfeel of wheat pasta is important, which ones come closest to that.
Fiber and Protein Content
Gluten-free pasta typically has low fiber and protein content than wheat and whole wheat pasta, unless you specifically seek ones with ingredients that ramp up those nutrients, such as ones made from beans or legumes, or ingredients like quinoa and amaranth. Some of them, like mung bean pasta, may even offer almost twice the amount of protein of whole wheat pasta.
What is gluten-free pasta made of?
All gluten-free pastas are different. Many are made with a combination of gluten-free grains, like rice, quinoa, buckwheat, corn, millet, and/or amaranth. Some are made with legumes, like chickpeas or lentils. With a rising interest in lower-carb gluten-free alternatives, you can also find gluten-free pastas made with almond flour or hearts of palm.
Does gluten-free pasta have carbs?
Many gluten-free pastas are still high in carbs, but the exact number will depend on what the pasta is made from. For example, the Thrive Market Organic Brown Rice Penne has 43 grams of carbs per serving, while the Palmini Hearts of Palm Linguine has 4 grams of carbs per serving. If you’re watching your carb intake, make sure you’re reading labels carefully.
Is chickpea pasta gluten-free?
Most chickpea pasta is gluten-free, but don’t just assume without checking the label. Some chickpea-based pastas have additional ingredients that may contain gluten.
Is whole-wheat pasta gluten-free?
No, whole-wheat pasta is made of wheat, which is a gluten-containing grain. While whole-wheat pasta may be an alternative to white pasta, due to its higher fiber content, it doesn’t fit into a gluten-free diet.
How do you cook gluten-free pasta?
Most gluten-free pasta is cooked the same way as white pasta—in boiling water for about 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the pasta type. But some gluten-free pastas differ. For example, the Cappello’s Almond Flour Fettuccine comes frozen and only needs to sit for a few minutes in hot water.
Each pasta will have the directions written out on the box. It’s especially important to follow these cooking instructions, as gluten-free pastas can overcook quickly, becoming mushy and sticky.
Is gluten-free pasta keto?
Most gluten-free pastas are not keto, since they’re still high in carbs. There are some gluten-free pastas that may be keto-friendly, but make sure you check the ingredient labels and nutrition facts for net carb counts.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
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.