As with any specialized diet, there are many reasons why some decide to cut gluten. Some are looking to go low carb, others believe that gluten is bad for the gut, and there are those that suffer from gluten sensitivity or an allergic reaction, such as Celiac disease.
Why does gluten get such a bad rap?
This puzzle is an incredibly complicated and controversial problem to deconstruct, yet it centers around the way we process gluten-filled foods such as bread, pasta, condiments, and many more highly-processed food products.
So, what is gluten?
Gluten refers to “proteins found in wheat (wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye.” This protein helps gluten-based foods “maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together.”
Unfortunately, since gluten is hidden in so many processed foods, it’s oftentimes difficult to find the perfect replacements. This is especially true when it comes to staples such as pasta. With that said, due to creative minds and healthy, gluten-free, plant-based substitutes, there are a handful of delicious and high-quality pasta alternatives available!
1. Annie Chun’s Brown Rice Noodle Pad Thai
Annie Chun’s Brown Rice Noodle Pad Thai/Amazon.com
This Annie Chun’s Brown Rice Noodle Pad Thai is not only gluten-free but also vegan friendly, low fat, and can be prepped in super-speed fashion in five minutes! The pad thai noodle is made from 100 percent whole-grain brown rice, which means you get all those wonderful brown rice health benefits. Great for making not only pad thai, but you can also use these noodles to sub out to make any pasta dish gluten-free. An 8-ounce box costs $2.86.
Deb Vanderpoole says “These are wonderful! Compared to other brown rice noodles, their texture is wonderful and they don’t crumble apart. They cook quickly and go well with any sauce or soup you put them in!”
2. Tinkyada Organic Gluten-Free Brown Rice Penne Pasta
Tinkyada Organic Gluten-Free Brown Rice Penne Pasta/Amazon.com
Another brown rice option! This Tinkyada Organic Gluten-Free Brown Rice Penne Pasta is gluten-free (wheat-free, of course!), 100 percent organic, and kosher. Tinkyada promises that their pasta won’t have that mushy consistency of many low-quality gluten-free products. On top of that, when you purchase the 12-count bundle you’ll also receive a booklet with twenty recipes included to help you get start with your new gluten-free pasta. A 3-count booklet of 12-ounce packets costs $29.95.
3. Le Veneziane Italian Gluten-Free Corn Spaghetti
Le Veneziane Italian Gluten-Free Corn Spaghetti/Amazon.com
Just because you have to go gluten-free doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a staple like pasta! This Le Veneziane Italian Gluten-Free Corn Spaghetti is made with corn and is said to have a taste that rivals that of wheat pasta. Plus, due to its corn design, you’ll still get that beautiful golden coloring that traditional spaghetti is so well-known for. An 8.8-ounce package costs $6.95.
SMSNC99 says “Love this spaghetti, it tastes and cooks the same as regular spaghetti and doesn’t get mushy and mealy like the other gluten-free pastas. Expensive if you have to feed too many people, but with only one gluten-free eater in the house, it can last for a few meals.”
4. Banza Chickpea Rigatoni Pasta
Banza Chickpea Rigatoni Pasta/Amazon.com
Banza is one of the most trusted brands of gluten-free pasta alternatives on the market for price, taste, and quality! This Banza Chickpea Rigatoni Pasta is made from chickpeas, which are not only gluten-free but also happen to be an excellent source of plant-based protein, — this pasta offers 23 grams! — vitamins, and minerals. With a mild taste and smooth texture, Banza pasta can be substituted in almost any recipe or dish. Plus, this pasta has 25 percent fewer carbs than traditional pasta and is also vegan friendly. A 6-pack of 8-ounce boxes costs $21.99.
ladyctexas says “Oh, my! This is the gluten-free linguine pasta I have been dreaming of! As other reviewers have stated, this Banza pasta tastes better than any other gluten-free pasta I have eaten. And being celiac, and the only celiac in my household, my family and I have tasted them all. This Banza Chickpea Pasta tastes just like “real” pasta, and cooks up nice and firm, like real pasta. Other gluten-free pastas dissolve in the cooking water within in a very few minutes. This pasta behaves like regular pasta, and allows you to cook it to “al dente” if you desire, or further, without falling apart. I cook it for 10 minutes in salted boiling water as per the cooking instructions on the box. My family loves it, and could not tell the difference the first time I served it. It also has more protein than many other pastas. So far I have served it with my spaghetti meat sauce and also used it as a side dish to roasted chicken in my “pasta cappellini with lemon, garlic and parsley” recipe. It’s perfect! My family loves it. Altogether, it’s a winner!”
5. Ancient Harvest Organic Gluten-Free Corn and Quinoa Supergrain Pasta Elbows
Ancient Harvest Organic Gluten-Free Corn and Quinoa Supergrain Pasta Elbows/Amazon.com
This Ancient Harvest Organic Gluten-Free Corn and Quinoa Supergrain Pasta Elbows offers a unique mixture of organic corn, organic brown rice, and organic quinoa in order to make a superfood worthy gluten-free pasta alternative. On top of all organic ingredients, Ancient Harvest is also proud to use non-GMO and kosher ingredients and they promise great taste and texture! This specific pasta is recommended for a healthier, at-home mac and cheese! A 12-pack of 8-ounce boxes costs $47.49.
Dot Matrix says “We think I am having reactions to grains. I tried this from our grocery store and when I went back to get it, they stopped carrying it. Thank God Amazon has it. This product was easy to digest and did not spike my blood like the other wheat and regular noodles have done. They taste wonderful. A little different. And do not overcook them, but I can enjoy spaghetti again without getting ill. Top this off with RAMOS sensitive stomach sauce and I am golden!”
6. Heartland Gluten Free Penne
Heartland Gluten Free Penne/Amazon.com
This Heartland Gluten Free Penne is a great gluten alternative pasta staple to keep in the pantry! This pasta is made from a unique blend of corn and rice, giving it that “pasta” texture with a high-quality taste. Plus, this pasta substitute is free of saturated fat, sugar, and sodium offering it a leg up on other brands. A 6-count of 12-ounce packages costs $41.85.
Isabel C. Johnson says “Best GF pasta ever!”
7. Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame & Mung Bean Fettuccine
Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame & Mung Bean Fettuccine/Amazon.com
If you’re looking for a unique “out of the box” experience with your gluten-free pasta options, look no further than Explore Cuisine! This Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame & Mung Bean Fettuccine uses a unique blend of organic edamame and organic mung bean for a delicious, gluten-free, high-protein, — 24 grams per two-ounce serving — and vegan pasta alternative. This pasta contains no allergens including milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, soybeans, or wheat. On top of that, Explore Cuisine is proud to offer a product made with non-GMO ingredients that are also USDA Certified Organic. A 2-count of 8-ounce packages costs $12.99.
Katie says “I looked after a friend’s cat while she was on vacation and as a thank you gift she gave me a box of this. I wondered what I had done to offend her. Then one night I had nothing else in the house and I cooked this up and tossed with light olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Buy a case. This stuff is delicious! And the nutritional stats are amazing. High in protein, grain free, gluten free. The consistency of the noodles is almost identical to wheat pasta, but this is much more filling. I would say you only need to serve a half of what you would normally serve of regular pasta.”
8. isiBisi Baby Mafalda Gluten Free Pasta
isiBisi Baby Mafalda Gluten Free Pasta/Amazon.com
This isiBisi Baby Mafalda Gluten Free Pasta uses only two ingredients — rice and corn flours — offering a pasta substitute that is as close to the original as it gets! isiBisi promises their product is free of GMOs, preservatives, emulsifiers, artificial flavors, and is also free of allergens including eggs, dairy, and nuts. It’s perfect for those following both a gluten-free and vegan diet! On top of that, isiBisi gets their flour from Northern Italy where the ingredients are harvested sustainably. A 3-count of 24-ounce packages costs $25.55.
Devera Lucia says “Going gluten-free just got easier with this really great pasta. It is next to impossible to find really good gluten-free pasta so finding this one made meal planning so much easier. I was trying to find alternative meals to replace my noodle dishes such as tuna casseroles, alfredo with noodles with the extended meal d so on when I found this product. My family is really happy with the extended meal plan. Enjoy.”
9. Barilla Gluten Free Spaghetti
Barilla Gluten Free Spaghetti/Amazon.com
Barilla has been a staple in the pasta world and now they’re tackling the gluten-free world! This Barilla Gluten Free Spaghetti will give you the opportunity to enjoy a classic in the kitchen without dealing with any unsavory side effects from gluten. This pasta is made from corn and rice and is certified gluten-free, as well as free of GMO ingredients. A 12-count of 12-ounce packages costs $23.88.
CesiumSalami says “oy, I’m not gluten-free and am therefore capable of tasting what “real,” highly glutenized pasta tastes like on a regular basis. the same cannot be said for my partner who seems to have forgotten what pasta actually tastes like. we’ve gone through A LOT of different gluten-free pasta brands and this is BY A LANDSLIDE the closest approximation to non-gluten-free pasta in every sense of the food. It cooks well, it keeps well if you need to reheat it, and tastes very similar to your garden variety pasta. there’s no pile of starchy goo to wash out, rigor mortis doesn’t set in if you keep a portion for a while in the fridge, it doesn’t taste like eating corn chips, if you forget to stir it within 3 seconds of placing it in boiling water it doesn’t congeal into one giant block of starch. it’s like I’m actually eating pasta again! finally….. sadly this stuff is hard to find locally so, Amazon to the rescue!”
10. Jovial Fusilli Gluten-Free Pasta
Jovial Fusilli Gluten-Free Pasta/Amazon.com
If you’re looking for a super simple, super healthy gluten-free pasta alternative then this Jovial Fusilli Gluten-Free Pasta may be the perfect option for you! It’s certified gluten-free, — made in a gluten-free facility and certified gluten-free with less than 10PPM — 100 percent organic, non-GMO, and is also free of other common allergens including milk, soy, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, eggs, and peanuts. Due to the fact that this pasta is based around brown rice, you’ll get a whopping 57 grams of whole grains per every two-ounce serving. On top of that, this pasta alternative was also named “Best Gluten Free Pasta” by well-known America’s Test Kitchen. A 6-pack of 12-ounce boxes costs $24.00.
Marsha Steverman-Meech says “We’ve been looking for the perfect gluten-free pasta for pasta salad since a celiac diagnosis two years ago, and finally found it! This is the best gluten-free pasta we’ve tried yet, and we’ve tried a lot of different ones. Actually tastes like and has the texture of regular pasta, which is great!”
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