The Best Gluten-Free Pasta – A Taste-Test/Review of Gluten-Free Pastas

Pasta Taste-TestAttention Pasta Lovers!! If you love pasta but don’t want the refined carbs in white pasta and don’t like the cardboard taste of regular, whole-grain pasta, gluten-free can be a great solution!

Some varieties of whole-grain, gluten-free pastas are so delicious that many prefer them over regular white pasta. On the other hand, some gluten-free pastas are mushy and/or gummy.

So how do you find good gluten-free pasta?

I conducted a blind tasting of the most common brands of gf pasta, judging them by taste, texture, and how well they held up during cooking. We also did a “next-day” test to see how well they did cold (like in pasta salad).

We uncovered the worst and the best to save you time and spare you the heartache of mushy, gummy, gritty, gluten-free pasta.

Our testers:

An international team of three pasta-lovers and 1 pasta-liker. One of the pasta-lovers eats gluten-free all the time, the other 3 don’t.

How we tested:

Each pasta sample was numbered (so participant couldn’t know what brand they were testing) and after each tasting, the participants filled out a score where they rated pastas on a scale of 1 (bad) to 10 (good) and offered comments.

The contenders:

Pasta Taste-Test

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There are at least 40 different varieties of gluten-free pasta (that I’m aware of) on the market.

I whittled down the list by eliminating any gf pastas that had mono-diglycerides and other weird ingredients in them (like Target’s Simple Balanced, Market Pantry, and Heartland).

Then I excluded those that were made with a large amount of refined ingredients. (I’m looking at you, Notta Pasta and Bionaturae.)

I also didn’t test the ones that weren’t guaranteed to be gluten-free (like Mrs. Leepers) or those that contained oats (like Modern Table), since some who need to eat gluten-free can’t eat oats.

And I ended up with 21 gluten-free pastas to try.

Taste Test Results (from worst to best):

 

ANCIENT HARVEST BEAN AND QUINOA PASTA

I really like many of Ancient Harvest products, but we were not impressed with this one.

Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 1.5

Average texture rating: 1

Nutrition rating: 10 (100% whole grain; 7 gm fiber per serving)

COMMENTS:

“Did not like at all”

“Bitter taste”

“Burning after taste”

“Did not hold together”

“Mushy”

Where to buy:

Don’t.

BANZA CHICKPEA PASTA

Pasta made from chickpeas! Go figure!

Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 2

Average texture rating: 1.75

Nutrition rating: 7 (Bonus points for being made with high-fiber chickpeas. It does have xantham gum in it, which some prefer to avoid.)

COMMENTS:

“Did not like”

“Too beany”

“Held together well, but dry and starchy”

Where to buy:

If you’re into chickpea pasta (we weren’t), you can get Banza Chickpea Gluten-Free Pasta from Amazon.

POW RED LENTIL PASTA

Red lentils and quinoa – a great combination, but we just couldn’t in this pasta.

Gluten free pasta review

Average taste rating: 2

Average texture rating: 5

Nutrition rating: 10 (Made from 100% whole foods – red lentil flour and organic quinoa flour)

COMMENTS:

“Beany taste”

“Tastes like raw beans”

“Mushy, not tender”

“Smells like lentils”

Where to buy:

If you really want to eat lentils under your pasta sauce, I suggest cooking some lentils. But if you still want lentils in your pasta, you can get Pow Red Lentil Pasta directly from the Ancient Harvest website.

BONAVITA GLUTEN-FREE PASTA

I’ve never quite acquired a taste for corn pasta, and this brand didn’t help that status any.

Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 3.5

Average texture rating: 3.75

Nutrition rating: 7 (Made from non-gmo corn flour.)

COMMENTS:

“Very strong corn flavor”

“Sticky”

“Holds together well”

Where to buy:

You can get Bonavita Gluten-Free Pasta from Amazon.

EXPLORE ASIAN BLACK BEAN SPAGHETTI

The package calls this spaghetti, but I would prefer it in an Asian dish rather than as traditional spaghetti.

Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 4.75

Average texture rating: 4.75

Nutrition rating: 10 (Super high in fiber. One ingredient – black beans)

COMMENTS:

“Would probably give it a higher rating for flavor if it were in the right recipe”

“Very unique flavor”

“Somewhat tender”

“A bit rubbery”

“Held together nicely”

Where to buy:

You can get Explore Asian Black Bean Spaghetti from Amazon.

POW GREEN LENTIL PASTA

This was better than the red lentil pasta, but still I’m thinking if I wanted beans in my pasta, I would do it a tastier way.

Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 4.5

Average texture rating: 6

Nutrition rating: 10 (Made from 100% whole foods – green lentil flour and organic quinoa flour)

COMMENTS:

“Not my favorite”

“Not bad if you like a beany pasta.”

Where to buy:

You can get Pow Green Lentil Pasta directly from the Ancient Harvest website.

DeBOLES QUINOA & GOLDEN FLAX PASTA

Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 6.25

Average texture rating: 6.25

Nutrition rating: 7 (The second ingredient is white rice flour – a refined food.)

COMMENTS:

“A bit of an odd taste”

“Texture was okay”

Where to buy:

You can get DeBoles Quinoa and Golden Flax Pasta from Amazon.

ANCIENT HARVEST ORGANIC CORN AND QUINOA PASTA

As I mentioned, I don’t really like corn pasta, but if I had to eat corn pasta, I would probably choose this one.

Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 5.75

Average texture rating: 6.75

Nutrition rating: 9

COMMENTS:

“Very good for corn pasta”

“A bit gritty and dry”

Where to buy:

You can get Ancient Harvest Pasta from Amazon.

DeBOLES BROWN RICE PASTA

Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 7.25

Average texture rating: 5.5

Nutrition rating: 7 (Two ingredients – Brown rice flour (yay!) and white rice flour (boo!))

COMMENTS:

“A bit sticky and chewy”

Where to buy:

You can get DeBoles Brown Rice Pasta from Amazon.

SEAPOINT GLUTEN-FREE EDAMAME PASTA

What is edamame? Baby soybeans!

Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 6 if you like edamame, lower if you don’t

Average texture rating: 6.75

Nutrition rating: 10 (Made from one, simple, whole-food ingredient – edamame)

COMMENTS:

“Would be great with some oil and the right seasonings.”

“Tastes like tofu”

“Good, if you like edamame”

“Interesting texture”

Where to buy:

You can get Seapoint Edamame Pasta from Amazon.

BGREEN BLACK RICE PASTA

Black rice pasta. I was intrigued. Very creative!

Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 7

Average texture rating: 6

Nutrition rating: 7 (Simple, organic ingredients; but it does contain some white rice flour)

COMMENTS:

This pasta was the pasta of ironies for us.

“Surprisingly, it has a mostly neutral flavor.”

“The texture is slimy, but still good.”

Where to buy:

You can buy BGreen Black Rice Pasta directly from their BGreenfood website.

AL DENTE BRAND PASTA

Made with white bean flour and brown rice flour so it’s rich in fiber.  If I had to eat beans in my pasta, I would choose this pasta.

We found it took much longer to cook than the package directed.

Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 7.25

Average texture rating: 6

Nutrition rating: 7 (Bonus points for being made with slimming, white bean flour and whole-grain brown rice flour. It does include xantham gum, which some prefer to avoid.)

COMMENTS:

“The best of the bean pastas”

Where to buy:

You can buy Al Dente Gluten-Free pasta from Amazon.

BGREEN BUCKWHEAT PASTA

Quite good for a buckwheat pasta.

Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 7.5 if you like buckwheat pasta, much lower rating if you don’t

Average texture rating: 6.75

Nutrition rating: 10 (Very high in fiber. Simply organic, whole-grain buckwheat)

COMMENTS:

“Somewhat slimy texture, but holds together very well”

“Would be great for certain dishes”

Where to buy:

You can BGreen Buckwheat Pasta directly from their BGreenfood website or from Amazon.

TRADER JOE’S BROWN RICE PASTA

I love that this pasta has one simple, healthy ingredient.

The Best gluten free pasta

Average taste rating: 7.5

Average texture rating: 8.25

Nutrition rating: 10 (One healthy ingredient – organic brown rice)

COMMENTS:

“Funny taste, but still good”

“Starchy”

Where to buy:

You can get Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Pasta from Amazon and, of course, from Trader Joe’s.

TRADER JOE’S BROWN RICE QUINOA PASTA

A delicious way to eat quinoa.

Best Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 8.75

Average texture rating: 7.5

Nutrition rating: 10 (Organic brown rice and organic quinoa)

COMMENTS:

“Tastes like pasta”

“Held together well”

“Slightly slimy and starchy, but still good”

Where to buy:

You can get Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Quinoa Pasta from Amazon and, of course, from Trader Joe’s.

FIELD DAY BROWN RICE PASTA

Took longer to cook than what package says.
Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 8.5

Average texture rating: 8

Nutrition rating: 10 (One healthy ingredient – organic brown rice)

COMMENTS:

“Flavor was ‘different’, but good.”

Where to buy:

You can get Field Day Gluten-Free Brown Rice Pasta from Amazon.

BGREEN BROWN RICE PASTA

BGreen also makes Ramen – I can’t wait to taste test that!

Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 9

Average texture rating: 9

Nutrition rating: 7 (Simple, organic ingredients, but it does contain white rice flour – which is a refined food)

COMMENTS:

“Very good!”

One taste-tester thought the texture was great (and attributed it to the angel-hair shape), while another taste-tester thought the texture was good but a little bit watery.

Where to buy:

You can BGreen Brown Rice Pasta directly from their BGreenfood website.

BGREEN MILLET PASTA

BGreen pastas are known to be a favorite among picky kids.

Gluten-Free Pasta Review

Average taste rating: 9

Average texture rating: 9

Nutrition rating: 9 (High in fiber. Simple, organic ingredients, but it does contain some white rice flour)

COMMENTS:

“Tastes like yummy pasta!”

Where to buy:

You can BGreen Millet Pasta from Amazon.

JOVIAL BROWN RICE PASTA

Jovial also has some other great products besides pasta, including organic tomatoes (packed in BPA-free glass jars) to put on top of this yummy pasta.Best Gluten-Free Pasta

Average taste rating: 9

Average texture rating: 9

Nutrition rating: 10 (One healthy ingredient – organic brown rice flour)

COMMENTS:

“I like this pasta a lot.”

“It was a little bit dry, but pasta sauce would fix that.”

“Mmm. Very good.”

Where to buy:

You can get Jovial Gluten-Free Brown Rice Pasta from Amazon.

TINKYADA GLUTEN-FREE PASTA

The winner in our taste test!

Tinkyada comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, including elbows, spirals, penne, fettuccine, spaghetti, and lasagna.

Best Gluten-Free Pasta Brand Review

Average taste rating: 9

Average texture rating: 9.75

Nutrition rating: 9

COMMENTS:

“Tastes great!”

“Good texture”

“Holds together well”

Where to buy:

You can get Tinkyada Gluten-Free Pasta from some grocery stores, Azure Standard, and Amazon.

The Winners

Of all the gluten-free pasta we tested, we found 3 that were our favorites.

1. Tinkyada

2. Jovial

3. BGreen Millet Pasta

Which gluten-free pasta is best for pasta salad?

In addition to testing for flavor and texture, we also tested each pasta the next day for how well they did cold in pasta salad. (Gluten-free pasta is notorious for being dry and hard in pasta salad.)
1. BGreen Millet pasta came in first place.
2. Tinkyada and Trader Joe’s Quinoa Brown Rice Pasta tied for second place.

Delicious and Healthy Pasta Recipes

Now that you know the best gluten-free pastas, here are some great gluten-free pasta recipes to use them in!

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13 Comments

  1. I LOVE pasta. Just wish I could have been part of your taste-testing team. I always use Tinkyada, but now I know which other ones I can use without regret. Thanks.

    By the way, your Creamy Fettuccine recipe is the absolute best in the world. I could eat it everyday if my conscience would let me.

  2. I searched for the answer to that question and this post came up. However the pasta I have been using for my pasta salad was already tinkyada. It’s great for the first two days but once it’s been three days the texture is hard again as though they are undercooked. I was hoping to find a better alternative because i cannot eat up all the pasta salad in two days by myself. Also, I’m currently pregnant and with this one I’ve been getting tired of foods much faster than usual.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I know what you mean. I like pasta salad, but when I make it with gluten-free pasta, it gets very dry after a couple days in the refrigerator.

      What has worked for me is either to make less (boil only 1/3 of the package of pasta at a time), OR I cook all the pasta, but only mix half of it with the dressing. Then, when I’m ready for the second half of the pasta, before I mix it with the dressing, I give it a quick 60 second boil in a small amount (1/4 cup or so) of water and it’s as good as new.

      Another solution that I’ve used is to mix it with and extra, extra amount of my homemade Creamy Italian or my homemade Creamy Dill while it’s still hot. That seems to keep it good longer.

      I hope this helps!

      Jennifer

  3. Thank you for this post. However, I am concerned about arsenic in rice flour, especially for my grandchild. Are you aware of this issue? The source of the rice flour is especially important, California being safest in the U.S. My question is, would I be right in assuming that if I eliminate the rice flour pasta, your ratings would still be in order given, or did the nutrition or other factors change the preference? Was it strictly based on taste even though you gave the other factors, which I appreciated.

    1. Hi Karen,
      That’s a great question. In short, yes, my ratings would be in the same order if rice pasta is eliminated from the list. The ratings were based on taste once the really unhealthy pastas were eliminated from the taste testing.

      If you choose not to eat rice pasta, then the other pastas are a good solution for you.

      I hope this answers your question.

      If you’re interested, below is an explanation of why I feel comfortable including rice pasta in my diet. But again, if this isn’t something you choose, then just ignore the following. 🙂


      Arsenic-based pesticides have been used in agricultural practices for many years and, consequently, soils and groundwater in the U.S. are contaminated with varying levels of arsenic. Because arsenic exists in soil and water, it finds its way into our food supply.

      The top food sources of arsenic in the U.S. are chicken and other poultry, beer and wine, commercially prepared juice, seafood (especially dark-meat fish), bone broth, mushrooms, rice, and cruciferous vegetables (like kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts).

      Because the amount of arsenic varies greatly from sample to sample depending on where and how the food is produced, it is impossible to list foods according to their arsenic levels; however, poultry has consistently tested with the highest amount of arsenic of all foods and certain varieties of rice tend to be the lowest (in the list of top sources).

      While arsenic certainly isn’t something we want to ingest, there are a host of other even more dangerous toxins in our food supply. A diet that contains animal products results in greater exposure to these pollutants than does a plant-based diet, because these toxins accumulate up the food chain.

      For example, studies show that people who consume dairy products, take in a hundred times the acceptable daily exposure for industrial pollutants, some of which are even more dangerous than arsenic. This is not to minimize the risk of consuming arsenic, but rather to put it in its proper perspective.

      To reduce the amount of arsenic you get from rice, purchase rice grown in California. On average, rice grown in California has 40% less arsenic than rice grown in the southern U.S. (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, etc.) because arsenic-based pesticides were more heavily used in the southern states. Also, black rice, red rice, short-grain rice and basmati rice have the lowest levels of arsenic.

    1. Hi Mike,
      Yes, I have and it’s pretty good in my opinion. But, as I mentioned in the post, I tried to only include the healthier gluten-free pasta options. I avoided those that contained quite a bit of refined flour (like the Shar brand).
      Jennifer

  4. My favorite gluten free pasta is GoGo Quinoa Organic Spaghetti… when Costco carried it for a short time, I wish I’d bought their entire stock, because it’s sadly not affordable anywhere else I’ve found it. Every time I fed it to my family, they repeatedly asked if it was really gluten free. The texture and taste is perfection.

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