The 8 Best Gluten-Free Pastas in 2021

You’ll never have to miss pasta again

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Once you put it in the boiling water, it’s ready to go in 90 seconds.
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This is a gluten-free pasta that’s as close to the 'real thing' as you can get.
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All you have to do to prepare Palmini is rinse the 'noodles' in water and add your favorite pasta sauce.
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Unlike other brown rice pastas, this holds up well to cooking and maintains a texture that can stand up to thick, meaty sauces.
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Barilla is one of the leaders in the pasta industry and the brand remains true to its name with this gluten-free spaghetti.
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Best High-Protein:
Banza Chickpea Pasta at Amazon
It’s also high in protein and fiber, something that some of the other options on this list are missing.
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If you need a gluten-free pasta that fits into a keto or low-carb lifestyle, these are your best bet.
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It has one ingredient—organic green lentil flour—making it a tolerable and delicious option for anyone with a limited diet.
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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

Cappello’s Almond Flour Fettuccine
What We Like
  • Texture is similar to regular pasta

  • Also compatible with paleo diets

  • Ready to eat in 90 seconds

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

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, which makes it easier to put healthy, fresh meals on the table as quickly as possible.

Base Ingredient: Almond flour | Net Weight: 9 ounces | Protein: 6 grams per serving | Fiber: 3 grams per serving

Best Tasting: Le Veneziane Italian Fettucce

What We Like
  • 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

What We Don't Like
  • Not low-carb

  • 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. 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.

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

What We Like
  • Easy to prep

  • Also low-carb, sugar-free, and vegan

  • Very mild hearts of palm flavor

  • Retains texture after cooking

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • 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 the vegetable, but after rinsing, your options are endless for adding flavors and transforming this healthy, high-fiber 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

Thrive Market Organic Brown Rice Penne
What We Like
  • Only one ingredient

  • Maintains texture and holds up to thick sauces

  • Taste is very similar to regular pasta

What We Don't Like
  • 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

What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Similar texture and flavor to regular pasta

  • Less expensive than comparable brands

What We Don't Like
  • 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.

The nutrition facts are similar to regular pasta, with one two-ounce serving containing 44 grams of carbohydrates, only 2 grams 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.

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

What We Like
  • Pleasant flavor

  • Filling and high-protein

  • Holds up well to sauces and dressings

What We Don't Like
  • 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. 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.

Base Ingredient: Chickpeas | Net Weight: 8 ounces | Protein: 13 grams per serving | Fiber: 5 grams per serving

Best Low-Carb: Thrive Market Wonder Noodles

Thrive Market Wonder Noodles
What We Like
  • All its carbs come from fiber

  • Suitable for vegan and paleo diets

  • Easy and quick to prep

What We Don't Like
  • 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. All of their carbohydrates (2 grams per serving) come from fiber, which means they clock in at 0 net grams. 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

What We Like
  • High in protein and fiber

  • Very filling

  • Texture is very close to regular pasta

What We Don't Like
  • Can get gummy when overcooked

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 a vegan diet since it provides 25 grams of protein and a whopping 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). 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.

Base Ingredient: Organic green lentil flour | Net Weight: 8 ounces | Protein: 21 grams per serving | Fiber: 9 grams per serving

Final Verdict

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 that will help keep you full for hours.

What to Look for When Buying Gluten-Free Pasta

Base Ingredient(s)

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 lower 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.

FAQs

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.

Is gluten-free pasta healthy?

While gluten-free pasta is always a healthier alternative for those with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it doesn’t necessarily mean the pasta is healthy in the general sense. Some are highly processed and, often, the nutrition facts look similar to white pastas, but with different ingredients. 

If you’re looking for a healthy gluten-free pasta, make sure you choose one with minimal ingredients and a macronutrient—protein, fat, and carb—breakdown that fits into your lifestyle.

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 a better alternative than white pasta, due to a 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.

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