Gluten-Free Pastas That are So Good, You Won't Miss the Real Stuff

These are some substitutes we can actually get behind.

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August 16, 2019

We've got some good news for all you pasta lovers — if you're avoiding gluten for health or dietary reasons (or maybe you reserve pasta for cheat meals!), we have a way for you to indulge whenever. Thanks to the wide array of pasta alternatives, which include but are not limited to chickpea and veggie options, there's no need to cut back.

What's the Deal With Traditional Pasta vs. Alternatives?

“The big issue with traditional pasta is that it contains a lot of refined carbs, which we know Americans consume too much of,” says Taylor C. Wallace, PhD, CFS, FACN. Besides tasting great, “the big perk [of pasta alternatives] is that they can help you get an extra serving or two of vegetables in your diet.” With some wheat-free varieties packing in as much as 24 grams of protein and others touting nearly half of your daily fiber intake, it’s no wonder the better-for-you pasta category has grown to over $250 million in the U.S. last year.

No matter what you're eating though, Dana Angelo White, M.S., R.D., A.T.C. recommends being careful of how much you’re consuming. “No matter what kind of pasta you choose, you should be mindful of the portions,” advises Angelo White. “One to two cups of cooked pasta is plenty for most folks. Load up the rest of the meal with lean protein and lots of veggies.”

So what box should you scoop up for dinner this week? We've rounded up eight great, grain-free options. Let’s dig in!

Brown Rice

Listen up, picky eaters. It’s hard to tell that you’re not diving into a bowl of “the real thing” with this versatile, mild-flavored all-star. Enjoy eating them cold with pesto or hot with grandma’s famous meatballs for a guaranteed crowdpleaser at your next potluck.


Made from a sustainable and lucrative crop, chickpea pasta (like Barilla’s Casarecce) is a real winner with 11 grams of protein and eight grams of satiating fiber. Enjoy with vegetarian ragout alongside broccolini to make your meal sans gluten and meat.


Craving pad Thai? Skip the take-out. Rich in omega-3s and antioxidants, Perfect Earth’s noodles take on flavor well and hold up in a wide range of sauces.


After hitting the gym, be sure to refuel your tank with protein-packed red lentil pasta. This vegan-friendly penne will support muscle recovery with 21 grams of plant-based protein, while providing 42% of your daily value of fiber.

Black Bean

Packing a punch with 20% of your daily iron, we love how well these noodles soak up your favorite marinara. Just make sure you keep an eye on them while cooking — overcooking can cause the noodles to clump.


Go back to basics wit, Explore Cuisine’s Organic Edamame Spaghetti. The Keto-friendly noodles are low-glycemic and offer the most protein of the bunch — 24 grams! Top with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh basil, diced tomato and grated parm for a hearty meal that will check all of the boxes.


Cybele’s makes it easy and oh-so delicious to get more than a full serving of veggies in every bowl. “I’m obsessed with the versatility of cauliflower,” says Wallace. “It's rich in dietary fiber, folate and Vitamins C, E and K.” Plus, frequent consumption of cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower, might help reduce your risk of certain cancers.

Almond Flour

Paleo friends, rejoice! Denver-based Cappello’s grain-free pastas are made with simple ingredients to provide you with the pleasure of pillowy gnocchi without compromising nutrition. Just try to ignore the hefty price tag. We swear, it’s worth it!

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