Even spaghetti diehards will love lentil noodles.
Gluten-free pasta doesn't always feel like an equal substitute to starchy noodles for most Italian cuisine aficionados — after all, most gluten-free noodles stray far from pasta's usual profile. Wheat-based pasta is often perfectly chewy thanks to the role that gluten plays in its makeup, helping to bind any of your favorite sauces to the actual noodles itself. But gluten-free pasta can provide a new, unexpected flavor profile, even for those who don't face dietary restrictions due to gluten sensitivity. Many of the best gluten-free pastas don't try to mimic traditional pastas exactly, as they're made with legumes, vegetables, and special wheatless flours; but the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen editors' say these gluten-free pastas emulate all the best qualities of a traditional noodle.
There's a gluten-free version of many popular noodles you'd find in the pasta aisle of your local supermarket. Most make use of wheat-free flours to imitate traditional spaghetti, lasagna, penne, rotini, or any of the other popular shapes you've come to love. Others use alternative bases altogether, including protein-rich legumes like chickpeas and lentils, or even vegetables like beets. And there's also gluten-free alternatives to convenience items like boxed macaroni-and-cheese as well as oven-ready lasagna.
Whichever kind of gluten-free pasta you choose, be sure to double check those boiling times — alt pasta often cooks much faster than regular noodles, and it's easy for a gluten-free option to quickly become mushy if it's overdone. These boxed varieties will help take your favorite weeknight sauces to a whole new level of flavor (plus, it makes a pasta dinner just that much more lighter!).