Wheatless Wednesday: Five Gluten-Free Alternatives to Traditional Wheat Pasta

Gluten-free PastaThere’s so much more to the wonderful world of noodles than old-world durum semolina pasta. And no, I’m not talking about substituting stringy spaghetti squash or strips of summer squash for pastalicious goodness.  Did you know there are gluten-free noodles made from rice, soy protein, quinoa, and even sweet potato starch? [social_buttons]

Rice Vermicelli

These thin noodles made from rice flour are also known as rice sticks or simply rice noodles. After cooking, rice vermicelli have a pleasant, creamy-white color.

Cellophane Noodles

Unlike rice vermicelli, cellophane noodles turn clear after cooking and are generally made from the starch of mung beans, cassava root, yam or potatoes.  Other names include bean threads or glass noodles.

Prior to using either rice vermicelli or cellophane noodles in a recipe, soak in boiling-hot water for approximately 15 minutes, or until fully reconstituted.

Tofu Shirataki

Traditionally made from nothing more than konjac yam starch, tofu shirataki noodles combine high-protein soy tofu and low-carb konjac to make a unique neutral-flavored noodle.  You will often find these packaged in liquid in the refrigerated section.

Quinoa Pasta

A replacement for standard pasta, these gluten-free, rice-free noodles usually contain a combination of quinoa and corn flours and offer a nice change of pace.

Tinkyada Rice Pasta

If quirky flavors aren’t your style, and you’re looking for a gluten-free pasta that’s virtually indistinguishable from wheat pasta, then the Tinkyada brand is the way to go.

What’s your favorite wheatless pasta? Let me know in the comments!

Image via Avlxyz on Flickr under a Creative Commons license

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About the Author

Gina was born in Mexico, but spent her early childhood years in Eastern Europe. She gained her Associate and Bachelor degrees from schools in California and Michigan, respectively, and was mostly recently employed in the Business Systems field in California. Diagnosed with a corn allergy in her early twenties, Gina has taken on the challenge of living corn-free -- as well as dairy, wheat, and gluten-free -- in a corn-saturated world. She currently lives in beautiful Northern California. Gina loves her husband, watering her plants, writing poetry and blog posts, creating collages, browsing art galleries, eliminating toxic chemicals, reading the Bible, doing laundry, reading cookbooks and substituting ingredients in recipes, collecting broken shells from the beach, repurposing everyday objects, and watching curtains dance over open windows. Follow her on Twitter @gmunsey.
  • My favorite pasta is Schar, and a close second is Tinkyada.

  • Marcie

    I agree that Tinkyada pasta is truly delicious – and both my husband and I are pasta holics. I have tried other brands and have found none as good as Tinkyada brand. Only wish more supermarkets carried it to keep the cost down.

  • We buy brown rice pasta and quinoa pasta. They are easy to find in the stores and taste very good. We don’t miss traditional pasta at all. I’ve noticed some don’t swell up as much as trad pasta. It would be wonderful if the oven ready gluten free lasagna pasta was easier to find.