Best Gluten-Free Pasta: 5 Best Gluten-Free Pastas for Every Type of Pasta Eater

You don’t need gluten to make great pasta. You just need the best gluten-free pasta. Lucky for you, we tasted the top gluten-free pasta brands on the market to find the best gluten-free pasta you can buy at your local grocery store.

I think that you can make gluten-free pasta out of anything. Alchemy is strong in the modern food world. Gums, stabilizers, diglycerides, and the like are all used to create magical emulsions that hold the familiar shape of our favorite foods. Browse the pasta aisle and you’ll see gluten-free pasta made out of brown rice, chickpea flour, ancient grains, lentils, and white rice. Though it’s not traditional, at least in the Italian sense, upon first glance you wouldn’t really notice that it’s gluten free. But, are these pastas just mimics or do they actually taste good? How’s the texture? And will they hold sauce? 

So, in defiance of everything Italian, we did a gluten-free pasta taste test. The Sporked team sat down with Good Mythical Morning writer Meghan Malone to try bowlfuls of 14 different types of gluten-free pasta, eaten both plain and dunked in marinara sauce. What did we look for? Well, we wanted to see some semblance of Italian pasta principles: We wanted springiness, chewiness, and bite. The pasta needed to hold its shape, as well. It shouldn’t be too brittle. It also shouldn’t be overly sturdy and grainy. Basically, you shouldn’t be eating it and think, “This is gluten free.” If you’re going to imitate something as iconic as pasta, you damn well better do a good job.

So gather around, gluten-free brethren, and behold our list of pasta!

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Best of the Best

Bionaturae Organic Gluten Free Penne Rigate

This gluten-free penne rigate stood out above the rest in just about every category. It’s firm and sturdy, but still has a pleasant chewiness to it. The shape holds well, too. This penne is noticeably ridged (rigate) and has a sharp cut end. Sauce will cling to a ribbed, angular type of pasta way better than a smooth shape. Plus, gluten-free pasta is often a bit slick in general, so the extra texture here is a really smart move. 

This pasta is made from lentils and rice, but unlike a lot of the other lentil pastas, it isn’t grainy and tough. The rice flavor shows through as faint, sweet, and quite pleasant. Plus, Bionaturae penne rigate has eight grams of protein per serving. All in all, this is a really great gluten-free pasta product. You aren’t really aware that it’s gluten free while you eat it, and that’s the biggest compliment we could possibly pay it.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best Fusilli

Jovial Brown Rice Fusilli

A lot of brands make their gluten-free pasta in the shape of fusilli. It makes sense, as fusilli is a familiar, pleasing shape. Fusilli works both with sauce and in pasta salad very well, unlike a linguine or spaghetti which is not (I repeat not) meant for pasta salad.The problem with a lot of gluten-free pasta, though, is that it’s tough, almost granular. That’s not a problem with Jovial, though. It’s got a great chew and bounciness to it. It has  a faint brown rice taste, which is great if you like that sort of thing and also not too obvious if you don’t. Jovial’s greatest achievement, though, is its texture. You can confidently drown this in red sauce, toss it with garlic and vegetables, or make it into a nice summer pasta salad. It’s quite useful.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best for Pasta Primavera

Tinkyáda Brown Rice Fusilli

Another brown rice fusilli, and it also holds up well. The package for Tinkyáda advertises: “Good texture. Not mushy. Al Dente.” Good news: They hold that promise. This pasta isn’t as textured as Bionaturea; the fusilli here has got a smooth, almost oily feel to it, but it’s still quite nice. There’s a nice balance of texture, too. The outside is quite firm, but the inside is soft and delicate. It has a bit of a slick texture, though, which doesn’t make it ideal for red sauce. That’s why Tinkyada works best in a pasta primavera. Some vegetables, garlic, and oil will do this brown rice pasta right. Also, the package says the cook time is 16 minutes, but I’d start checking it after eight minutes so you don’t end up with anything too mushy. Tinkyáda also sells spaghetti, shells, elbow macaroni, ziti, and lasagna sheets. Lots of variety here, and if the fusilli is any indication, this could be your new go-to brand for gluten-free pasta.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Ancient Grain

Ancient Harvest Penne

This penne is made from quinoa, corn, and brown rice. Like Tinkyáda, it’s a bit on the slippery side. The flavor is quite subtle and plain, which is kind of what you want out of gluten-free pasta. Too much of it tastes like something else entirely. Not Ancient Harvest penne, though, which is the perfect base for mixing with bright and acidic ingredients. Some briny feta cheese, a squeeze of lemon, and some fresh oregano would make a nice Greek-style pasta salad. This pasta is also textured enough to handle baking. Think: baked penne with red sauce and mozzarella cheese. Ancient Harvest penne isn’t the type of pasta you want to just stir together with a glug of red sauce. You need to dress it up, but if you get creative, it’ll do the job just fine.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

6/10

Sporks

Best for Pasta Salad

Banza Rotini Made from Chickpeas

Banza is made from chickpeas, so it has a nice nutty, earthy flavor—although, it is a little grainy and firm. If you like your pasta al dente and with some added texture, Banza is a good choice. However, you might want to consider cooking this longer than the package directions instruct. While it wasn’t a great match with red sauce, it is a natural fit for pasta salad. Banza has a starkly red color to it, which will look bright and tasty in a big serving bowl. And cutting it with some vinegar and oil will do well to cut that earthy taste. Toss Banza rotini with some mozzarella and basil for a gorgeous looking, gluten-free caprese pasta salad.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

5/10

Sporks

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • Thanks for this list! I can’t eat gluten, and buying a new brand of gluten-free anything is a gamble – some of it is terrible, but it’s all so expensive that I hate wasting my money on something that turns out to be gross. Ronzoni is my current go-to pasta brand, but I’m planning to try out some of these!

    Reply
  • Barilla not on the list? Come on. Jovial is pretty good. Aldi’s has decent GF pasta also. Spaghetti or similar Barilla, hearty pasta stuff Jovial, and Tink or store brand for mac and cheese or macaroni salad. Tink shells seem to hold up the best of theirs.

    Reply
  • Probably worth mentioning that Banza is the only one that actually has a pretty darn healthy profile, better than wheat pasta and other GF pastas. That helps make it worth it! But it’s a little tough to get past the earthiness if making their Mac and cheese…

    Reply
  • I was strictly eating only the Barilla GF pasta but a new contender entered — Rummo GF pasta hands down is the best. From someone who went to culinary school and was diagnosed with Celiac mid-year two, I’m picky. I refuse to eat something GF because it’s my only option if it’s bad. Rummo is a game changer.

    Reply
    • super helpful! when we update the rankings soon – I’ll add Rummo to the list of things to try

      Reply
  • Banza is absolutely my favorite gluten free pasta, awesome protein content as well. Followed closely by Jovial!

    Reply