The 10 Best Gluten-Free Pastas, According to Chefs

Our list includes everything from chickpea-based cavatappi to penne made from yellow peas.

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ZENB Spaghetti with Outdoor Summer Dinner Spread

Food and Wine

It feels like just yesterday that finding a good gluten-free pasta felt nearly impossible. Luckily, that landscape has changed, and now there are more gluten-free options than ever before. For those of us with celiac disease or who can't eat gluten (hi!), this influx of new gluten-free goods has been more than welcome. However, it also presents a new challenge: With so many different choices on the market, which gluten-free pasta is the best? 

Discovering a favorite gluten-free find is now a bit more complicated. With diverse ingredient bases of rice, corn, chickpeas, and just about every other sans-gluten ingredient in between, it can be tricky to decide which box to grab. That's why we're here to help!

From kid-friendly options to fresh ravioli that tastes like you made it from scratch, we’ve found the best gluten-free pasta out there. Through testing dozens of popular brands as well as market research, we considered ingredients, versatility, shape, and sauce-holding capability. We also spoke with chef and dietician Breana Killeen to get some fine-tuned details on what makes the best gluten-free pasta so great. Read on for our favorites.

Best Overall

ZENB Pasta Variety

ZENB Pasta Variety


Pros: Every ZENB cut has a springy, durable structure that uncannily mimics traditional pasta. This pasta is leftover-friendly and made with only yellow peas, which means no additives, fillers, or mystery ingredients. 

Cons: Despite its outstanding taste and texture, ZENB pasta may pose a problem if you’re looking to buy a single box, as they’re not sold individually. They’re also only available in a handful of different cuts. 

ZENB achieves an almost unparalleled gluten-free pasta texture with a single ingredient: yellow peas (including the skins!). The six-box variety pack includes three cuts — rotini (a personal favorite), elbows, and penne — each of which cooks to a chewy but never mushy consistency that’ll stand up to a day or two in the fridge and can be served at room temperature in pasta salads and the like.

In our testing, we found the flavor of these little morsels to be smooth, delectable, and perfectly toothsome no matter what they were paired with or how they were prepared.

Price at time of publish: $30 for a pack of 6

  • Base Ingredient: Yellow peas 
  • Protein: 12 grams per serving
  • Fiber: 7 grams per serving

Best Chickpea Pasta

Banza Cavatappi

Banza Cavatappi Pasta Made From Chickpeas


Pros: These mild-tasting noodles hold their shape through various applications. Plus, they’re much higher in protein and lower in carbs than other options.

Cons: We found that this Cavatappi can become mushy if overcooked, so it requires extra attentive cooking. We also noticed that contingent upon the sauce, this pasta might not absorb sauce well.

Fan-favorite Banza Cavatappi makes for a great choice that’s high in fiber and protein without the unpleasant taste that can be experienced with some other legume-based brands. Aside from its dietary specs (each 3.5-ounce serving contains an impressive 20 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber), this curly-Q cut makes for a pleasantly bouncy texture and an excellent mouthfeel.

During our taste tests, we loved this cavatappi shape specifically. We found it successfully held little pockets of sauce inside its hollow center for flavor-packed bite after bite.

Price at time of publish: $45 for a pack of 6

  • Base Ingredient: Chickpeas
  • Protein: 20 grams per serving
  • Fiber: 8 grams per serving

Best Brown Rice Pasta

Jovial 100% Organic Gluten Free Brown Rice Farfalle Pasta

Jovial 100% Organic Gluten Free Brown Rice Farfalle Pasta


Pros: This certified-organic farfalle has just one single ingredient. They maintain their shape wonderfully and hold up well as a good leftover option.  

Cons: This pasta has a lower protein and fiber content than its legume counterparts and tends to stay hard in the center until fully cooked. It may be difficult to reach an al dente texture with this cut.

Imagine our surprise when this single-ingredient rice-based pasta did not fall apart in its pasta pot during our tests! Versatile, leftover-friendly, and uber absorbent when it comes to soaking up the sauce, this farfalle is well suited for many pasta dishes including cold pasta salads and pasta bakes (not something you can say about all gluten-free options).

Making sure these bowties are not over or undercooked might be a daunting task, but when perfectly cooked, they’re bound to become your go-to gluten-free pasta.

Price at time of publish: $9

  • Base Ingredient: Brown rice
  • Protein: 5 grams per serving
  • Fiber: 2 grams per serving

Best Organic

Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta, Elbows

Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta, Elbows


Pros: With a subtle and versatile flavor, we found these elbows can be cooked al dente without giving a bitter taste. Bonus points for superb sauce-holding-ability. 

Cons: This option does not hold well in pasta bakes or when overcooked. 

Go ahead: Ask a gluten-eating friend to try out these elbows. Our guess is they won’t be missing the gluten one bit. You’ll find this pasta cut springy, buttery, and bouncy in the best way. We recommend using this particular corn-, quinoa-, and rice-based pasta dressed in a classic pomodoro or simple butter and cheese. While it may not hold its shape or consistency in totality if added to a bake or a salad, it’ll certainly sop up all the flavor of a sauce.

Price at time of publish: $9

  • Base Ingredients: Corn, rice, and quinoa
  • Protein: 4 grams per serving
  • Fiber: 3 grams per serving

Best Mac & Cheese

Camp Classic Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Camp Classic Cheddar Mac and Cheese


Pros: This vitamin-rich boxed mac & cheese has “hidden” veggies, higher protein than other boxed options, and offers a vegan choice for ultimate inclusivity. Plus, they use no artificial colors or dyes. 

Cons: At over $6 a box, this mac is on the pricier end of things. We also don’t love that it requires added butter and milk (or a vegan alternative) after cooking.

Many of us know and love boxed mac & cheese, but Camp takes the tried-and-true staple to another level. Both the noodles and the sauce contain “hidden” veggies (which add in nutrients and provide the orange, cheesy flavor) and come in a vegan option. This quick and easy meal is accessible to many and doesn’t skimp one bit when it comes to nutrition.

Delicious, cheesy, saucy, and ready to eat in under ten minutes, these boxes are not just for the kiddos. Oh, and did we mention it’s also gluten-free?

Price at time of publish: $20 for a pack of 3

  • Base Ingredients: Corn and brown rice 
  • Protein: 12 grams per serving
  • Fiber: 3 grams per serving

Best Red Lentil Pasta

Taste Republic Gluten-Free Red Lentil Fusilli

Taste Republic Gluten-Free Red Lentil Fusilli


Pros: With minimal cook time, this fresh find is a grain-free option with minimal ingredients and a silky texture and bite.

Cons: Because this fusilli is not dried, however, it’s got a shorter shelf life and requires attentive cooking as it is easy to overcook. 

This fresh red lentil pasta turns to a stunning orange shade when cooked (yes, it does look like a work of art when dressed with pesto, believe me). It’s also a slightly sweet, subtle, and adaptable flavor that cooks in just two minutes. Because this gluten-free option is fresh and not dried, it has a fridge shelf life of 5 days, but if you need it to stick around for longer you can freeze it. No need to defrost before cooking. It can be added directly into the pot.

Price at time of publish: $60 for a pack of 6

  • Base Ingredient: Red lentils
  • Protein: 10 grams per serving
  • Fiber: 4 grams per serving

Best Stuffed Pasta

Cappello’s Five Cheese Ravioli

Cappello’s Five Cheese Ravioli

Thrive Market

Pros: With a chewy, tender encasing and a creamy, versatile filling, this fresh pasta has the perfect bite and stays together even if overcooked.

Cons: For those with allergies to things other than gluten (such as dairy, nuts, or eggs) this may not be the best option. These ravioli also can become gummy if overcooked or left without sauce for a long period. 

Unlike the plethora of dried pasta out there, finding a filled gluten-free pasta that isn’t sticky, pasty, or a total mess after it's boiled is a feat. But trust me, this packet of ravioli is a blast from the past for those of us who used to eat gluten and no longer can. The almond flour base gives the dough a slight sweetness that pairs perfectly with lighter, umami-centered sauces.

Pro tip: there's a delightful combination to be found in browned butter and sage with loads of parmesan and cracked pepper. 

Price at time of publish: $20

  • Base Ingredient: Almond Flour
  • Protein: 17 grams per serving
  • Fiber: 2 grams per serving 

Best Spaghetti

Jovial Grain-Free Cassava Spaghetti

Jovial Grain-Free Cassava Spaghetti


Pros: This pasta is extremely flexible and will twirl without breaking. We love that it’s grain-free (AKA paleo-friendly) and has a smooth, buttery taste that pairs with any sauce.

Cons: Despite its redeeming qualities, this spaghetti has no protein content, can harden when cold, and might stick together if overcooked and not fully tossed in sauce. 

This grain-free spaghetti is shockingly flexible. I’m convinced you could play tug-of-war with a piece without it breaking. Besides its marvelous ability to twirl itself around a fork, this tuber-based option is like a sponge for sauces and provides a neutral base to soak up whatever flavor you decide to dress it in. If you’re looking for a linguine and clam situation, this cut is a wonderful fit. We recommend eating this pasta right when it’s hot to capture it at its best.

Price at time of publish: $13

  • Base Ingredient: Cassava flour
  • Protein: 1 gram per serving
  • Fiber: 4 grams per serving

Best for Lasagna

Capello’s Almond Flour Lasagna Sheets, Frozen

Capello’s Almond Flour Lasagna Sheets, Frozen


Pros: We love these multi-use pasta sheets for a variety of culinary purposes. They’re also paleo-friendly and will not rip or tear in the cooking process. 

Cons: These sheets are not friendly for those with allergies to nuts or eggs. They also must be kept frozen which limits their portability and shelf life. 

These ready-to-use sheets can be used for anything from hand pies to manicotti and, of course, lasagna. Grain- and gluten-free, these almond flour sheets just need to thaw and then can be handled as you would fresh, handmade dough. The taste and texture of these sheets have fooled family and friends, they’ve got a little give, a pleasantly muted flavor, and are extremely pliable. You can even slice them into wide ribbons for linguine in a pinch.

Price at time of publish: $12

  • Base Ingredient: Almond flour
  • Protein: 9 grams per serving
  • Fiber: 3 grams per serving

Best For Kids

Tolerant FOODS Organic Safari Green Lentil

Tolerant FOODS Organic Safari Green Lentil


Pros: For kids’ pasta, this stuff is super high in protein, low in fat, and low on the glycemic index. We love that it’s got just one ingredient but doesn’t compromise on flavor or texture.

Cons: Be careful not to overcook this animal-inspired cut, as it can get dense with too much time in the pasta pot. 

With the highest protein content of any of the options on this list, these cute little green lentil animals are a perfect way to add nutrients to your kid’s (or your own) diet in a fun, tasty way. This cut may take a little longer to cook to perfection, so don’t be afraid if you find yourself waiting pot-side a little longer than you would with other gluten-free options.

Plus, Tolerant FOODS also makes chickpea alphabet and red lentil galaxy pasta if you or your little one isn’t zoologically inclined. 

Price at time of publish: $8

  • Base Ingredient: Green lentils
  • Protein: 25 grams per serving
  • Fiber: 12 grams per serving

How We Chose the Best Gluten-Free Pasta

To make our selects, we used both real-world testing insights as well as market research. We evaluated each gluten-free pasta brand based on taste, texture, and versatility. For the varieties we tested, we paid close attention to how firmly each pasta shape held up during the recommended cooking time and each pasta's ability to soak up various sauces, like Pomodoro and pesto. Bonus points were awarded to the pasta brands that could be refrigerated and reheated without losing flavor or texture.

Additionally, we spoke with Breana Killeen, a chef and registered dietician, to get some fine-tuned details on the nutritional content of gluten-free pasta, how gluten-free pasta is different than traditional wheat-based pasta, and what factors make the best gluten-free pasta taste so great.

Factors to Consider

Base Ingredients

The main ingredients in the gluten-free pasta you choose play the most important role in your finished dish. Not only do they greatly affect the taste, but the ingredient makeup is also a key factor in the texture of the cut. If, like me, you struggle with allergies or intolerances to certain foods, then you’ll want to pay close attention to ingredients just like you would any other pasta. Just because it’s gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean it's also nut-, dairy-, or soy-free.

Another reason to pay close attention to ingredients is to decipher nutritional value. Despite the misconception that gluten-free products are automatically healthier than ones that contain gluten, some gluten-free pasta may contain less protein or fiber than wheat-based options.

Flavor and Texture

Ingredients are key to achieving the desired flavor and texture of your pasta. Because gluten is a protein, it provides elasticity, structure, bounce, and give. Without that key component, many gluten-free kinds of pasta can fall apart, or worse, turn to mush. Opting for a legume-based option will minimize your chances of this dreaded outcome because peas and beans are also high in gluten. The only caveat with legume-based cuts is that they sometimes can air on the bitter side.

While non-gluten grain-based pasta usually results in a silkier, sweeter, and milder taste, they tend to lack structure. For this reason, you may want to consider looking for corn, rice, and other grain-based pasta with binders (such as xanthan gum or tapioca starch) to aid in texture and bounce.

Cooking Time

Gluten-free pasta generally has a shorter cook time than traditional cuts. While each gluten-free product will have different directions and cook times, we found that most generally land somewhere between the 6-9 minute mark for dried pasta and the 2-3 minute mark for fresh or frozen options. Without the structural support of gluten molecules, these rice-, corn-, quinoa-, and legume-based options can quickly turn squishy or gluey when overcooked. When cooking gluten-free pasta it is important to pay attention to cooking time. Air on the side of less is more.  

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What type of gluten-free pasta tastes best?

    Taste is subjective. However, there can indeed be rounder, creamier, slightly earthier notes in legume-based pastas, in comparison to the understated, subtle flavor profile of grain-based options. Unlike traditional gluten pasta, though, gluten-free options are less one-cut-fits-all.

    Killeen equates picking out a gluten-free pasta to a wine pairing: “When people ask me what wine I like best, and my answer is always ‘Well, what am I eating?’ With gluten-free pasta, you have to ask yourself the same question."

    While the flavor notes of a corn- or rice-based option may complement a pasta bake, a chickpea-based pasta may be the best paired with a simple pesto sauce. Trying a variety of brands, cuts, and gluten-free ingredient bases is an important step in deciding which pasta option tastes best in various dishes.

  • Which gluten-free pasta is best for mac & cheese?

    When asked this question, Killeen answered with a particular brand: “I like Bionaturae. They have amazing rigatoni.” She explained that she turns to this particular cut “any time [she is] going to make something like a big baked mac & cheese because it holds up.” But don’t worry if you can’t get a hold of that particular box. “If I can’t find that one,” she said, “I opt for the Barilla which I will cook for a minute or two less than it says to.”

  • Why does gluten-free pasta fall apart during cooking?

    The main textural component in traditional pasta (or any bread, pastry, or gluten-based product for that matter) is gluten. Gluten is a protein structure, or a series of molecules that physically hold up dough to provide a springy, stretchy, and structurally sound dough composition.

    “Gluten-free pasta just doesn’t have the same structure,” says Kileen. “Gluten is an amazing structural web that just has more of a give.” Without that supportive structure, some pasta can fall apart in the pot. That’s why it’s important to opt for a legume-based option or look for a grain-based choice that has binders (such as tapioca starch or xanthan gum) that will keep the pieces together and perfectly chewy.

  • What is gluten-free pasta made of?

    Without gluten, pasta makers have had to get creative. Now, you can find products made with just about every gluten-free ingredient. We lean toward two main categories: legume-based and grain-based. Pasta made with legumes uses ingredients like lentils, chickpeas, and legumes. Grain-centered options have main ingredients like rice, corn, quinoa, and buckwheat.

  • Does gluten-free pasta have carbs?

    Long story short: Yes. Killeen says, “If you look at a 1:1 ratio, you’ll see how much higher in calories some gluten-free options can be.” In terms of carbs, she says the carbohydrate content between gluten and gluten-free pasta can sometimes be equivalent, contingent upon the ingredients. Something to keep in mind when shopping for a gluten-free option: “Without the protein and fiber (which slow down the absorption) they can be a pure carb rush.”

  • How do you cook gluten-free pasta?

    Just like you would your average cut, make sure your water is salted, and at a roaring boil before you add in your gluten-free pasta (both dried and fresh). When it comes to cooking time, Killeen says, “I always cook gluten-free pasta under the suggested time, especially if I am going to be reheating it or cooking it in another sauce.” In general, though, she advises cooking gluten-free options a minute or two under to make sure you avoid the dreaded mushy texture.

Our Expertise 

Stella is a former Pastry Chef turned food writer with years of experience testing and researching all things food. Invested in discovering fun, new flavors, and the tools that help to make them, you can find her work in EdibleLA, Apartment Therapy, and the Kitchn. Stella discovered she was a celiac nearly a decade ago and has dedicated much of her culinary work to discovering and creating gluten-free alternatives that fit the bill. In addition to testing dozens of gluten-free pasta for this article, she also consulted Breana Killeen, a chef and registered dietician, for her expert recommendations.

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