The Best Gluten-free Pastas, According to a Dietitian

Tolerant Organic Green Lentil Rotini is delicious and high in protein and fiber

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If you have celiac disease, a wheat allergy, or are simply looking for alternatives to traditional pasta, there are many gluten-free pastas on the market. They are made with a variety of bases including rice, quinoa, corn, cassava flour, and legumes like chickpeas, peas and lentils. Each has their own nutritional profile, but typically those made with a legume base are higher in protein and fiber. However, blends with rice and corn tend to yield a more similar flavor and texture to regular pasta.

Reviewed & Approved

Our top pick is Tolerant Organic Green Lentil Rotini because it has great taste and texture and is made with just lentils, which are high in protein and fiber. If you need to avoid gluten and are looking for a gluten-free option that's similar in taste and texture to conventional pasta, try Garofalo Gluten Free Penne Rigate Pasta.

Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, founder of Greenletes, a site dedicated to plant-based nutrition for athletes, says, "I’m a big believer in promoting a plant-based diet, and gluten-free pastas that are made with beans or legumes help people get more pulses in their diet. Plus, the 2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend eating pulses, aka chickpeas, beans and lentils, at least 1-3 times per week."

When choosing a pasta, look for a base ingredient that meets your dietary needs and has a shape and texture to compliment the type of sauce you plan to pair with it. When choosing our top list list, our culinary dietitian, who also has experience counseling clients with celiac disease, considered certifications (including Certified Gluten-Free), taste, texture, availability, and price.

Best Overall: Tolerant Organic Green Lentil Rotini

4.8
Tolerant Organic Green Lentil Rotini

Thrive Market

Pros
  • Organic

  • Single ingredient

  • High in protein and fiber

Cons
  • More expensive

What do buyers say? 88% of 65+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.

Tolerant Organic Green Lentil Pasta tops our list, made with just organic green lentil flour, and is USDA organic and Certified Gluten-Free. Lentils are rich in protein and fiber with each 3-ounce serving of this pasta containing with 21 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber. Additionally, one serving contains 30% of your daily intake of iron, an essential mineral that can be hard to get adequate amounts of on a plant-based diet.

Because of the high protein and fiber content, this pasta can be a complete, filling meal by simply adding your favorite sauce for flavor and a healthy fat like olive oil. It also serves as a good base for pasta salads mixed with your favorite vegetables.

Tolerant Organic also offers other shapes including rotini and elbows and different legume varieties such as red lentil and chickpea.

Serving size: 3 ounces (85 grams) | Calories per serving: 310 | Fiber per serving: 9 grams Protein per serving: 21 grams | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: Yes | Certified Gluten-Free: Yes

Best Budget: Barilla Red Lentil, Rotini

Barilla Red Lentil, Rotini

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Inexpensive

  • Single ingredient

  • High in protein and fiber

Cons
  • Different taste and texture than Barilla's other pastas

Sometimes, gluten-free products are priced like specialty products. Popular grocery store brand Barilla now makes gluten-free offerings that are easy to find and less expensive than many others on the market. Barilla Red Lentil Rotini is a great gluten-free pasta that also packs a lot of nutritional value.

Barilla makes this gluten-free pasta with just one ingredient, red lentil flour. A 2-ounce serving is a great source of protein at 13 grams, and dietary fiber at 6 grams. It’s also a good source of some micronutrients, including iron and potassium.

You can find Barilla Red Lentil Pasta in two other shapes: penne and spaghetti. Their legume-based line of pastas includes chickpea pasta, too.

Serving size: 2 ounces (56 grams) | Calories per serving: 180 | Fiber per serving: 6 grams Protein per serving: 13 grams | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: No | Certified Gluten-Free: Yes

Best Tasting: Garofalo Gluten Free Penne Rigate

4.6
Garofalo Gluten Free Penne Rigate

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Texture and taste very similar to regular pasta

  • Offers authentic Italian pasta shapes

Cons
  • More expensive

  • Lower in protein and fiber

For pasta that looks, feels, and tastes like real Italian pasta, our top pick is Garofalo Gluten-Free Penne Rigate. It is made from a carefully selected blend of corn, brown rice, and quinoa flours. Processed in the same way as their regular pasta, their gluten-free offerings are made for optimal cooking and can hold on to sauces. It's Certified Gluten-Free and Non-GMO Project verified.

Garofalo's Gluten-Free pasta is similar in nutritional value to regular pasta with a serving size (2 ounces) containing 1 gram of fiber, and 3 grams of protein. Garofalo's corn, rice and quinoa blend comes in many pasta shapes including mafalda corta, casarecce, spaghetti, and fusilloni.

Serving size: 2 ounces (56 grams) | Calories per serving: 180 | Fiber per serving: 1 grams Protein per serving: 3 grams | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: No | Certified Gluten-Free: Yes

Best Tasting Runner-up: ZENB Yellow Pea Penne Pasta

ZENB Penne Pasta

Courtesy of ZENB

Pros
  • Single ingredient

  • High in protein and fiber

Cons
  • Not Certified Gluten-Free or organic

We couldn’t choose just one, so ZENB Yellow Pea Penne makes the list as our best-tasting runner-up that also packs the nutritional benefits of a legume-based pasta. It has a similar color and texture as regular wheat pasta and cooks up perfectly al dente.

Made from 100 percent yellow peas, this gluten-free pasta includes yellow pea skin, so it’s an excellent source of dietary fiber. A 2-ounce serving of ZENB penne provides 7 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein. You can also pick from two other shapes of ZENB pasta—elbows and rotini—which can be used for warm pasta dishes and soups or chilled in pasta salads.

Serving size: 2 ounces (56 grams) | Calories per serving: 200 | Fiber per serving: 7 grams Protein per serving: 12 grams | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: No | Certified Gluten-Free: No

Best Spaghetti: Bionaturae Rice and Lentil Spaghetti

Bionaturae Rice and Lentil Spaghetti

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Organic

  • High in protein

Cons
  • Lower in fiber

When you’re craving classic spaghetti and meatballs—but gluten-free—reach for a box of Bionaturae spaghetti, a product of Italy. This certified gluten-free pasta is also certified organic and non-GMO. It’s allergen-friendly because it’s made in a dedicated kitchen free of gluten, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, fish, and milk.

Bionaturae spaghetti is made from brown rice flour, white rice flour, and lentil flour. Each 2-ounce serving has 2 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. Bionaturae also comes in other pasta shapes, like elbows, fusilli, and rigatoni. All of their pastas are made from the same blend of rice flours and red lentil flour.

Serving size: 2 ounces (57 grams) | Calories per serving: 210 | Fiber per serving: 2 grams Protein per serving: 8 grams | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: Yes | Certified Gluten-Free: Yes

Best Allergen-Free: Jovial Grain-Free Cassava Penne Rigate

Jovial Grain-Free Cassava Penne Rigate

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Single ingredient

  • Allergen-friendly

  • Organic

Cons
  • 0 grams of protein

  • More expensive

Jovial Cassava Pasta is made with just one ingredient, cassava flour, so it’s allergen-friendly. It’s made in a dedicated gluten-free facility, and is completely free of milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy.

Cassava is a gluten-free, starchy vegetable native to South America. Because of the high starch content, cassava is a good base for many gluten-free products, including chips and tortillas. Jovial Cassava Pasta is USDA organic, certified gluten-free, non-GMO certified, and grain-free. A 2-ounce serving provides 4 grams of fiber but no protein.

Serving size: 2 ounces (57 grams) | Calories per serving: 200 | Fiber per serving: 4 grams Protein per serving: 1 gram | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: Yes | Certified Gluten-Free: Yes

Best Low-Carb: Palmini Hearts of Palm Pasta

Palmini Hearts of Palm Pasta

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Does not require cooking

  • Vegtable-based

Cons
  • Not organic

  • Lower in protein and fiber

If you are looking for low-carbohydrate pasta option with a unique flavor, try Palmini Low Carb Linguine. It’s made from hearts of palm, a vegetable harvested from the inner core of certain palm trees that is naturally low in carbohydrates and calories, making a good alternative to pasta for those looking to lower their carbohydrate intake.

Palmini comes fresh, packed in either a can or a pouch but it shelf stable. It’s important to drain and rinse the noodles well before you add sauce and eat them. Rinsing the hearts of palm noodles changes the taste and texture, and the result is a taste that more closely resembles traditional pasta.

One serving of Palmini has 4 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and just 18.6 calories. Because it is so low in calories with little protein and fiber, it is best paired with a protein, healthy fats and added vegetables to make it a more satisfying meal— try it tossed in pesto sauce, paired with roasted chicken and broccoli.

Serving size: 75 grams | Calories per serving: 18.6 | Fiber per serving: 2 grams Protein per serving: 1 gram | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: No | Certified Gluten-Free: Yes

Best Mac and Cheese: Banza Chickpea Mac and Cheese

Banza Chickpea Mac and Cheese

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • High in protein and fiber

  • Sauce mixture included

  • Kid-friendly

Cons
  • Contains preservatives and texturizing agents

  • Higher in saturated fat and sodium

  • Not organic

Boxed mac and cheese is the ultimate nostalgic comfort food, and now you can have it gluten-free! Banza Mac and Cheese is tasty and easy to make, just like those of your favorite childhood brands.

Banza is one of the leaders in gluten-free pasta, making many pasta shape varieties from chickpeas. One serving of their prepared mac and cheese packs 15 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.  It looks and cooks up like regular boxed mac and cheese, so you have a quick and easy meal option with this in your pantry.

Banza Mac and Cheese comes in a variety of shapes and flavors—elbows, shells, classic cheddar, and white cheddar—and is non-GMO.

Serving size: 3.3 ounces (94 grams) | Calories per serving: 280 | Fiber per serving: 5 grams Protein per serving: 15 grams | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: No | Certified Gluten-Free: Yes

Best Frozen Fresh Pasta: Cappello’s Almond Flour Fettuccine

4.6
Cappello’s Almond Flour Fettuccine

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Quick cooking

  • Taste and texture similar to regular fresh pasta

Cons
  • More expensive

  • Higher in sodium

When you have a preference for fresh pasta instead of dried, try Cappello’s Gluten-Free Fettuccine. This pasta contains quality sourced ingredients including cage-free eggs and almond flour and is frozen at peak freshness to retain its flavor and texture.

This pasta is incredibly quick to prepare—just pop it in boiling water for 1 minute and 45 seconds. Top it with your favorite gluten-free sauces for a satisfying and easy meal. It is lower in fiber with 2 grams per serving, so try pairing it with sautéed vegetables fora satisfying meal.

In addition to being gluten-free, Cappello’s Fettuccine is also grain-, soy-, and dairy-free, and non-GMO. However, it is not suitable for those with a tree nut or egg allergy.

Serving size: 1 cup (82 grams) | Calories per serving: 260 | Fiber per serving: 2 grams Protein per serving: 8 grams | Non-GMO: Yes | USDA Organic: No | Certified Gluten-Free: Yes

Final Verdict

Tolerant Organic Green Lentil Rotini is the best of both worlds because it tastes great and packs a nutritional punch. The noodles cook up perfectly al dente like traditional wheat pasta, and you reap the benefits of a protein and fiber boost in your pasta dinners.

What to Look for in Gluten-Free Pasta

Base Ingredient

Since there are all sorts of ingredients used to make gluten-free pasta, make a note of what the base ingredient(s) are. If you’re allergic or intolerant to other foods besides gluten, carefully read the ingredients list to make sure your pasta is free of allergens. Depending on your dietary preferences, you may want a pasta with more protein and fiber, such as the bean- and legume-based products.

Shape and Texture

It’s important to choose the best shape and texture of gluten-free pasta depending on how you are going to use it. Some gluten-free pasta shapes, such as penne and ziti, are better suited for thick, chunky sauces. Others, like spaghetti, are best for thinner and creamy sauces and pestos.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is gluten-free pasta healthy?

    The nutritional value of gluten-free pasta varies greatly and depends on what the base ingredient is. Some gluten-free pasta options are quite nutrient-dense, such as the ones made from beans and legumes. These varieties are usually an excellent source of fiber and protein.

    Gluten-free pastas that are made from starchy base ingredients tend to be lower in protein and fiber than regular wheat pasta, and can be higher in carbohydrates. 

    Depending on your dietary preferences, be sure to read the ingredients list and nutrition facts panel to help you choose the best gluten-free pasta for you. Plus, it’s always a good idea to add high fiber vegetables to any type of pasta for added nutrition!

  • Do you need to rinse gluten-free pasta after boiling?

    Most gluten-free pastas shouldn’t be rinsed after boiling, similar to regular wheat pasta. When you rinse pasta, the water flushes away the starches that were released during cooking. These starches are important as they allow pasta sauce to stick properly. However, some varieties are better rinsed, so be sure to check the box for cooking instructions.

    If you are making hearts of palm pasta, we recommend rinsing and draining these low-carb noodles before cooking with them. This prep step helps the noodles lose some of their hearts of palm flavor and makes them taste and feel more like regular pasta.

  • Is pasta gluten-free?

    Traditional pasta is typically made with durum or semolina wheat flours which do contain gluten. The gluten-free pastas on this list are made from alternative flours like cassava or almond or they are made from legume bases like chickpeas, peas and lentils, which are all gluten-free.

  • What is a gluten-free pasta recipe?

    There are a variety of ways to make gluten-free pasta yourself, but a basic recipe typically includes some type of gluten-free flour (such as almond, cassava, corn or rice) mixed with eggs, starch (such as tapioca), salt and sometimes a texturizing agent like xanthan gum. There are also recipes that don't contain eggs. Try pairing it with a gluten-free pasta sauce like this healthier gluten-free Alfredo sauce.

  • How do I make a gluten-free pasta salad?

    There a variety of ways to make a gluten-free pasta salad. Start with a gluten-free pasta base, following the cooking instructions on the package. Try shapes like fusilli, rotini, cavatappi, bowtie, and orzo that hold onto thinner dressings typically used in pasta salads. Also, using dried pasta instead of fresh and slightly undercooking it typically yields a pasta that holds up better in a pasta salad.

    Try a Greek-style pasta salad with your gluten-free pasta of choice, mixed with olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion and feta tossed with olive oil, lemon, oregano and salt. Another great combination is gluten-free pasta mixed with pesto and any sautéed vegetables of your choice (such as tomatoes and zucchini), topped with mozzarella pieces or Parmesan cheese.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

Alex Aldeborgh is a Registered Dietitian with experience in counseling clients with celiac disease and gluten-free diets. She has also personally tried many gluten-free pastas in her own cooking and recipe development for her blog. She would happily purchase and eat any of the gluten-free pastas on this list and recommend them to family, friends, and clients. 

1 Source
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Erbersdobler HF, Barth CA, Jahreis G. Legumes in human nutrition. Nutrient content and protein quality of pulses. Continuation. Ernährungs Umschau. 2017;(64(10)):140-144.

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