When embarking on a healthier way of eating, don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods, instead, upgrade them. Here I’m sharing the best, healthiest gluten-free pastas you can buy, based on taste, nutrition, and ingredients.
Gluten-Free Protein Pastas
If your middle name is pasta, start with these gluten-free pasta options below. They resemble and taste the most like traditional wheat pasta, so will make for an easy transition to healthier eating.
This is my favorite chickpea pasta brand (and the original maker of chickpea pasta) which comes in a variety of shapes, and tastes the most like “real” pasta. It has great texture, doesn’t get mushy, and is hard to overcook. Made primarily with chickpeas, along with tapioca, pea protein, and xantham gum, a 2 ounce (dry) serving contains 13 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.
This is another honorable Chickpea Pasta mention.
Made with a blend of chickpea flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and pea protein, this pasta packs 11 grams of protein per 2 ounce (dry) serving.
When you’re in the mood for spaghetti, try this lentil + quinoa spaghetti. I find it has a nice texture and is perfect for twirling around your fork. Saute a little garlic in olive oil and toss the noodles in it before serving. Add some pink salt and a pinch of almond flour for a very convincing cheese replacement. It delivers 14 grams of protein per 2 ounce serving.
If you want to add a serving of veggies to your pasta, check out these innovative pastas made from a blend of both lentils and veggies.
They come in an array of beautiful colors as a result – including green, orange, red, purple, and white. They contain about 13 grams of protein per 2 ounce serving. My preferred varieties include:
Gluten-Free Veggie Pasta
Veggie-based pastas are the absolute healthiest pastas you can find. Some may argue, hey they’re not really pasta! But, since they look like pasta noodles, twirl around your fork like pasta noodles, yet don’t bloat you like pasta noodles… they’re the best pasta noodles, in my book.
Are they delicious? Yes. But do they taste like pasta noodles? That’s debatable. Some do, some don’t. The amazing thing about our brain is that we can decide to be turned off or turned on by something just by thinking about it. So taste with an open mind and you may be amazed.
If you’re used to eating regular pasta, try these genius veggie noodles made from the inner core of palm trees. They have a great al dente texture and soak up the flavor of any sauce you put on them. You can use them straight from the pouch, but I recommend boiling them or sauteeing them for a few minutes to get a more pasta like texture. Each serving is just 4g of carbs and 20 calories, not to mention, counts towards your daily veggie quota!
Another option are these 0 calorie noodles made from the root of the Japanese Konjac (Konnyaku) plant. They are a source of soluble fiber and remarkably low in carbs (1 gram/ 3 ounce serving). These should be drained, boiled for a few minutes, and then dry sautéed for the best texture. These should always be served with sauce for the most pasta-like experience. Note – they have a very distinct fishy aroma when you open the bag. Don’t be put off by it. Just rinse under cool water for a couple minutes as directed, before using. They are really so filling and delicious with sauce if you give them a try!
Seaweed noodles are a rich source of minerals and iodine. They come in various different forms. The most common I’ve seen in the US are these Kelp Noodles which taste great with a pesto sauce. You’ll often find these at raw/vegan restaurants and juice bars. In UK and Dubai, I’ve see this organic seaweed spaghetti – although I have yet to try it, it looks good.
If you want to make your own veggie spaghetti, you can buy an inexpensive spiralizer and make your own veggie noodles. I prefer this style of spiralizer, because, unlike most models on the market, it utilizes gravity to make spiralizing easy and fast. My favorite vegetables to sprialize are beets, sweet potato, and broccoli stems. While I know spiralized zucchini is the most popular, I find it way too watery to be enjoyable to eat – or hold sauce – so I always skip that one.
Here is an easy baked Sweet Potato Spaghetti recipe, although I usually simply saute veggie noodles for 5-7 minutes with a little garlic and olive oil, or whatever spices/herbs I’m in the mood for.
Have you tried any of the pastas mentioned above? If so, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on it. What did I miss? Share your favorite gluten-free and nutritious pasta alternatives, below!
Maria Marlowe is a holistic nutrition and wellness coach who uses real food to help her clients improve their health, weight, and skin. She offers a 28-day healthy eating meal plan that teaches you how to batch cook, as well as one to clear up acne. Her most popular program is EatSLIM, a 10-week online group glass that guides participants to develop healthy eating habits that stick – and lose weight, boost their metabolism, improve their digestion, and quit sugar.
She writes healthy and delicious plant-based recipes for her popular blog. She is also the author of the #1 New Release on Amazon, The Real Food Grocery Guide, the most practical guide to selecting the healthiest foods, without going broke, which has been praised by Dr. Oz and InStyle magazines. You can find her on instagram @mariamarlowe.