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Gluten-free Pasta – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

If you have been gluten-free for any longer than a week or so, you know what my title is referring to. Pasta is a hard thing to replicate gluten-free. I don’t even notice any more that I am eating gluten-free pasta – it is just what I eat. I have become accustomed to it. It is good, don’t get me wrong, but is it the same as the gluten-filled pasta? I am sure there are many who can’t stand gluten-free pasta and refuse to eat it. I think it is all about finding what kind you like or can tolerate, if you want to eat pasta bad enough. There are so many choices on the market today, I find it hard to believe that there isn’t something out there for everyone.

Tinkyada -Brown rice pasta. Probably the most well known in the gluten-free market. Does very well with cooking, over-cooking & baking. Can be frozen & reheated without disintegrating.

DeBoles- Made from rice and rice & corn. This pasta is okay. I use it when there is nothing else available. It is very easy to find in grocery stores across the country.

Mrs. Leeper’s- Pasta made from corn or rice. I have never been a huge fan of Mrs. Leeper’s, but it may just be that I buy Tinkyada or Trader Joe’s most of the time. I have had the corn pasta & it is decent. Because I haven’t used it a lot, I can’t report on the reheating texture of the pasta.

Ancient Harvest -One of my favorites. Made from quinoa & corn. Higher in fiber than the other gluten-free pastas and a more in-depth flavor. All of the corn flours used are organic & non-GMO. Cooks & reheats well.

Glutino- Rice pasta. I have had this once or twice and it was much like the DeBole’s. Not bad, but not fantastic.

Bi-Aglut-Made from corn starch, potato flour, lupin flour & lupin protein. This pasta is amazing! It is also very $$ compared to the other pastas out there. I have only had this once or twice because I can’t bring myself to spend the $$ when Tinkyada, Trader Joe’s or Ancient Harvest are very good.

Notta Pasta-This is rice pasta, much like what is used in Thai dishes. I have now had this with marinara sauce & a stir fry that I made last night. The noodles are very good and they absorb the flavors that they are cooked with. There are different shapes – I was sent complimentary samples of the fettucine & spaghetti to try.

Trader Joe’s – Rumored to be Tinkyada in Trader Joe’s labeling. I don’t doubt it, as it is very similar in taste & I couldn’t tell the difference if you placed them side by side. This pasta is made from brown rice.

Do I have any favorites? Yes, but different pasta for different dishes. I like Ancient Harvest, Tinkyada or Trader Joe’s for traditional Italian dishes. I like Notta Pasta for Thai dishes, but it works well with marinara, too. For pasta salads, out of all of the above, Ancient Harvest is the best, but is not going to mimic gluten-filled cold pasta. It definitely has a much different texture when it is cold.

Here are a couple of dishes I made with the Notta Pasta.


This dish was awesome! I made it up as I went along. It contained:

  • Notta pasta
  • Chickpeas
  • Spinach
  • Roasted zucchini & mushrooms
  • Peanut Butter
  • Coconut Aminos
  • EVOO
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sundried Tomatoes

It turned out so good!! I didn’t measure the ingredients, I just created based on taste.

The next dish I made with the Notta Pasta:


This was really good, too! It contained:

  • Notta Pasta
  • Chicken breast marinated in Italian dressing
  • Roasted eggplant
  • Spinach
  • EVOO
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Red Hot
  • Sundried Tomatoes
  • Fresh grated parmeson

Again, so good! I love the noodles!! I will definitely be buying them in the future.

Do you have a favorite gluten-free pasta?

12 comments to Gluten-free Pasta – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

  • I'll have to go back and check the brand, but in Europe we have been buying 100% corn pasta and it has been awesome, coming out with texture exactly like wheat based pastas. Definitely our best gluten free find so far!

  • Skyegiggles

    Don't forget about Lundberg Farms rice pasta, I would put it on the same level as Tinkyada. Lundberg also makes couscous, chips, and rice cakes that are rice based and gluten free. And very good.

  • Agreed! My favorite is also the Lundberg brown rice pasta. It's higher in fiber then most other gluten free pastas and my non-gf boyfriend can't even tell the difference between that and regular pasta.

  • Kim

    I have never tried the Lundberg, but will make sure to pick it up the next time I am out, if I can find it. I think the only place that carries it by me is Whole Foods. I do love their brown rice couscous, rice & rice cakes! YUM!!

    Jenn, yes, please, please let me know the brand if you remember. :)

  • Trader Joe's is our favorite!! I agree about TJ's and Tinkyada probably being the same one. I couldn't tell them apart if I had to. I used to buy multiple cases of Tinkyada at once, the UPS guy loved me! Now Tj's works for us.

    We also like asian rice noodles.

  • Tracy

    Have you tried Schars Pasta? Wal-Mart is now carrying it and is made of corn and rice flour. It's got a good texture and is from Europe. It's probably my favorite along with Tinkyada. There is no TJ's in Colorado which is a shame!

  • Kim

    I really need to try Schar! :)

  • Gina Levy

    There is also Pasta Riso, also made from brown rice. Per my conversation with one of their executives a few years ago, they were the ones providing product to TJ's.

    Trader Joe's also has rice stix – similar to Notta Pasta.

    TJ's is my favorite for quality, selection and price.

  • Kay

    I use BioNaturae: Rice, potato, soy components. Look for the GF pink package; they also has a non-GF version. GF BioNaturae makes spaghetti, ziti, penne, perhaps another shape. The taste and texture are far above any other GF pasta I've tried. My non-CD husband was a pasta snob after working in Rome for years. He's okay with eating this pasta, but disdains all the others I've brought home.

  • Pauline

    Do you know if the "not organic" tinkyada rice pasta is NonGMO?____By the way, Tinkyada pasta is awesome, being a newly converted gluten free eater, I was really happy with all the Tinkyada pastas I tried and family loved them too!____I've tried Arrowhead Mills corn pastas, they're okay, but not chewy like the rice pasta.

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