Gluten-free pasta doesn’t have to feel like a sacrifice. To prove it, we procured 35 types (in five different shapes) from over a dozen producers: Ancient Harvest, Andean Dream, Bionaturae, Jovial, DeBoles, DeLallo, Le Veneziane, Lundberg, Riso Bello, Rizopia, Rustichella D’Abruzzo, Sam Mills, Tinkyada, Trader Joe’s and Tru Roots.
Over two days, our Test Kitchen’s Brad Leone cooked all the pastas according to package instructions, adding equal amounts of olive oil and salt to each one.
A panel of Bon Appétit editors gathered in the Test Kitchen for a blind taste test in five categories—spaghetti, elbows, penne, fusilli, and fettuccine—and debated the flavors and textures of each until consensus was reached on the winners. There were a lot of gluten-free pastas out there that tasted, well, as though some key component were missing. But there were some producers whose products not only tasted great but also managed to achieve just the right texture.
These are our winners, the pastas even the gluten-indulgent would be hard-pressed to pass up.
1. Spaghetti Winner (Tie)
Andean Dream Quinoa Spaghetti
The highest compliment we could pay to this rice flour and quinoa–based noodle: This could be real pasta.
2. Spaghetti Winner (Tie)
Ancient Harvest Spaghetti
Corn flour lends this corn-quinoa pasta a bright yellow color, corny flavor, and impressive structural integrity.
3. Penne Pasta Winner (Tie)
Jovial Penne Rigate
Not only was this rice-flour penne texturally impressive, the pasta absorbed the flavor of the olive oil nicely.
4. Penne Pasta Winner (Tie)
Le Veneziane Penne
Once again, Italy proves it knows a thing or two about pasta. These imported penne had a firm bite and a mildly corny taste.
5. Elbow Macaroni Winner
Elbows were not the strongest category for gluten-free pastas, but this rice-flour version stood out with a neutral, agreeable flavor.
6. Fusilli Winner
Delallo Whole Grain Rice Fusilli
This brown rice flour pasta had a springy bite.
For more of the best tasting gluten-free pastas, check out the full list.
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