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Gluten-Free Pasta Taste Test

F&W editors sampled more than 20 gluten-free pastas but despite the growing market, still found products that provoked comments like “Bleh—gritty” and “Cardboardy aftertaste.” Pasta made with corn or quinoa tasted best, and all of the top picks would be delicious with a variety of sauces like those at right. Here’s how to navigate increasingly packed shelves.

Gluten-Free Pasta: Corn-Based

Gluten-Free Pasta Taste Test: Rustichella’s Corn Fusilli
Rustichella’s Corn Fusilli.
Photo courtesy of Rustichella.

*Overall Pick: Rustichella’s Corn Fusilli

“Nice and firm. Would be good with a hearty sauce.” “This is my favorite.” “Good corn flavor. Best of the lot.” “I’d use it.”

Sam Mill’s Corn Pasta d’Oro

“I definitely like the corn pastas best for g-free.” “Very corny-tasting. Hefty and hearty.” “Yellow! Not bad—they really hold their shape. OK flavor too.”

Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Corn Fusilli

“Not much flavor at all but a good chew.” “Good texture.” “ Bland but not terrible.”

Gluten-Free Pasta: Brown Rice-Based

Gluten-Free Pasta Taste Test: Jovial’s Brown Rice Pasta
Jovial’s Brown Rice Pasta.
Photo courtesy of Jovial Foods.

*Top Pick: Jovial’s Brown Rice Pasta

“I like the chew!” “Definitely the best of the brown rice pastas.” “Flavor is OK, and it has nice, bouncy chew—just a little gummy.”

Tinkyada’s Brown Rice Spirals

“I like the texture of these, and I don’t detect any unpleasant flavor—so it’s OK!” “Not great. Boo brown rice pasta.” “Reasonable flavor but still unlikely to use this—I’ve had much more success with the corn- or quinoa-based pastas.”

Field Day Organic’s Brown Rice Elbows

“I guess fusilli is a better shape! These are superflabby.” “Papery aftertaste.” “Wouldn’t hold up against any sauce. Bland, soft.”

Gluten-Free Pasta: Quinoa-Based

Gluten-Free Pasta Taste Test: Andean Dream’s Quinoa Fusilli
Andean Dream’s Quinoa Fusilli.
Photo courtesy of Andean Dream.

*Top Pick: Andean Dream’s Quinoa Fusilli

“Seems like a nice noodle to me. Cooking problematic: Some are broken and shredded.” “I like the flavor quite a bit.” “Texture, when you get a good one, is nice and al dente.”

Gluten-Free Pasta: Mixed Starches

Gluten-Free Pasta Taste Test: Rienzi’s Corn & Rice Fusilli
Rienzi’s Corn & Rice Fusilli.
Photo courtesy of Rienzi.

*Top Pick: Rienzi’s Corn & Rice Fusilli

“I like this one: Texture is good, with a nice chew.” “Not a lot of flavor, but maybe that is good when you want something more neutral.”

Orgran’s Vegetable Rice Spirals

“OK texture and flavor. Pale and washed-out-looking.” “You can actually taste the vegetables.”

Ancient Harvest’s Quinoa and Corn Rotelle

“Fun shape, not bad.” “Better than the brown rice pasta.” “Papery flavor. Not terrible, though. Sturdy.”

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