Growing up in an Italian-American home with three of my four grandparents being Italian themselves, I eat an inordinate amount of pasta. In my cupboard at any given time, I have about eight to nine different types of pasta — radiatori, capellini, acini di pepe, orzo, you name it. It is truly my comfort food.
All that said, I’m also a health and wellness reporter, so the idea of testing pasta brands that are created with specific health needs in mind was right up my alley.
So if you’re a pasta lover like myself, you’ve come to the right place! Ahead, we’re sharing the best gluten-free pasta brands that are guilt-free and totally satisfying.
How to Choose a Healthy Gluten-Free Pasta Brand
With gluten-free and grain-free foods coming such a long way, I needed to figure out some metrics when testing and grading the pasta — how would I be evaluating each of them? Here’s how I weeded through all the options and whittled down the list.
Availability: Can anyone get it, or is it only available in niche markets in NY and LA?
Affordability: How expensive is it compared to other kinds of pasta, including run-of-the-mill wheat pasta?
Options: Does this brand make one type of pasta, or are there multiple options and varieties?
Nutritional profile: How does it stack up with calories, macros, and micronutrients? What are the ingredients?
Taste and texture: Does it taste good? What’s the texture?
Cooking experience: Is it easy to cook? Are the instructions straightforward and intuitive?
Ability to hold sauce: The marker of a good pasta — does it ‘grip’ the sauce?
My Top Gluten-Free Pasta Picks
With those metrics in mind, here are the brands I tested (we’ll get into specific reviews shortly) and why I selected them:
Whole Foods 365. I was drawn to this label for accessibility and affordability. Thanks to Amazon buying Whole Foods, you can access this brand almost anywhere in the US.
Cappello’s. I was drawn to this label because of the fresh pasta offering and high-end packaging, as well as the almond-flour Paleo approach.
Jovial. This one has the health world abuzz! I was drawn to Jovial’s unique assortment and excellent reputation, particularly the cassava flour varieties.
Banza. I’ve loved Banza’s wide geographic availability, expansive offering, and reliable consistency for years. It was exciting to test it against some fresh competition.
Chickapea. I had heard great things about this brand’s nutritional profile — it’s made from high-fiber superstars, including chickpea (obviously), and different lentils, with no additives.
5 Gluten-Free Pasta Brands You’ll Actually Love
I decided to get some family and friends in on this test (after all, this was a lot of pasta for one person) and used my gluten-free, organic Oatmot pasta sauce to stay in the theme of ‘healthified pasta night.’ We tried the noodles plain, with a little butter (we know so many kids like butter noodles, so this was an essential test for those with little ones!), and finally with the sauce for ‘the real deal.’
Ingredients: Brown rice flour, yellow corn flour, white corn flour, rice flour, mono and diglycerides of fatty acid (emulsifier)
Calories: 200 per 2oz serving
Macros: 1.5g fat, 4g protein, 44g carbohydrates per 2oz serving
Pros: Closest taste to pasta, least expensive option, made in Italy
Cons: Not organic, contains whole grain brown rice and corn (could be a dietary restriction for some)
Cook time: 8-12 minutes
Review: This was the best overall, thanks to it tasting virtually identical to a classic DeCecco or Barilla spaghetti. I got it for under $2 at my local Whole Foods. Easy to cook, tastes just like the real deal, and the most affordable of the bunch — a clear winner!
Best Fresh: Cappello’s Almond Flour Spaghetti
Ingredients: Almond flour, cage-free eggs, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, sea salt
Calories: 140 per ¾ cup serving
Macros: 7g fat, 4g protein, 15g carbohydrate per ¾ cup serving
Pros: Fresh pasta texture, great sauce grip, nutritionally dense
Cons: More expensive, not vegan, higher-calorie
Cook time: It cooked in just over a minute (75 seconds in boiling water will do the trick), making this exceptionally fast compared to the others
Review: Fresh pasta that’s gluten-free? And it’s delish? It’s not a fever dream — Cappello’s is real, and it’s (probably) in a store near you. This brand is much more accessible than I anticipated. While you may not be able to order it on Amazon (depending on your region), this brand is not exclusive to Whole Foods, and you can find it at different retailers across the country (or simply order online). I even checked rural zip codes in Wyoming and North Dakota, and there were several grocery locations where Cappello’s was available.
Keep in mind, like Italian fresh pasta, there are eggs on the ingredient list. This helps with the silky texture, but it also means it’s not vegan. And while a glance at the nutrition facts makes this look like a lighter calorie option, I didn’t realize that this package of pasta was supposed to yield six servings — to me, it looked like two servings max. So if it’s 140 calories per serving and I ate half the package, that makes it 420 calories per serving. At $11 a box (on sale for $8 at my local Whole Foods), this is the most expensive option — then again, fresh pasta always is pricier compared to its dried siblings.
Best Dried: Jovial Cassava Pasta
Ingredients: Organic cassava flour, water
Calories: 200 per 2oz serving
Macros: 0g fat, 1g protein, 49g carbohydrates per 2 oz serving
Pros: Delicious flavor and texture, allergen-friendly, organic, simplest ingredient list, made in Italy, the only fat-free option of the five
Cons: Penne was a bit chewier than the other options
Cook Time: 9-11 minutes
Review: This one is definitely worth the hype! I tried the penne and the spaghetti made from cassava flour, and both were delightful.
With only two ingredients — water and cassava flour — and a type of flour that isn’t super popular or available in the market just yet, Jovial really stands out. And it’s allergen-friendly, produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility, free of milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy. If allergies and food sensitivities are an issue for you, this is an absolute must.
Cassava flour isn’t their only option (they have tons of brown rice pasta if you’re not allergic or avoiding grains!), but it certainly is worth trying whether you’re gluten-free or not.
Best For Pasta Recipes: Banza Chickpea Shells
Ingredients: Chickpeas, pea starch, tapioca, xanthan gum
Calories: 190 per 2oz serving
Macros: 3g fat, 11g protein, 35g carbohydrates per 2 oz serving
Pros: Widely available, affordable, incredible offering (variety), great structure, simple ingredients, high protein content
Cook time: 9-11 minutes
Review: Overall, Banza provides an excellent substitute for grain-based pasta and has for years. They offer mac and cheese, a variety of pasta shapes (from rotelle to rotini to ziti), pasta alphabet letters, and even chickpea rice and pizza! As such, I see Banza is a ‘for the whole family’ kind of brand, with a lot of opportunities for creative recipes. Because of its sturdy (but not tough!) structure, these shells would be excellent in a pasta bake, but they’re great on their own with some sauce, too. Chickpea pasta, in general, creates a bit of foam — don’t be alarmed by that! (it reminds me of aquafaba, actually) but once you drain the water, you’ll be good to sauce it up. I grabbed a box for under $4 at my local Whole Foods, but you can order online (Amazon or direct from Banza) or find it in retailers such as Target.
Best Nutrition: Chickapea Chickpea and Lentil Linguine
Ingredients: Organic chickpea flour, organic yellow lentil flour, organic red lentil flour
Calories: 210 per 2oz serving
Macros: 2g fat, 13g protein, 34g carbohydrates per 2oz serving
Pros: Great sauce grip, nutritionally dense, organic, no additives, quick cook time, highest protein content
Cons: Not the best flavor
Cook time: 6-8 minutes
Review: To be perfectly honest, this option tasted the least like ‘traditional’ pasta to me (and the other reviewers) — the others on this list were closer in taste and textural experience to the classic. That said, it is hands down the best nutrition-wise, grips sauce well, and has enough structure to not turn to mush (a big feat with grain-free pasta). Like Banza, Chickapea’s chickpea-based pasta creates some foam in the water — nothing to worry about, just a heads up! The brand also makes vegan mac and cheese options and can be found online, including on Amazon.
Make Your Next Pasta Night Gluten-Free
Craving comfort food in the form of pasta? With countless gluten-free and healthy options, no need to skip Italian night in order to meet your health goals or nutritional needs. Zucchini noodles and spaghetti squash are great veggie-based alternatives, but sometimes we just want the real deal. So when those cravings strike, give these gluten-free pasta brands a try!