Derek is very gluten intolerant. He gets sick from anything that has a bit of gluten in it. I, on the other hand, am not noticeably affected by gluten. In an effort to support Derek and lead a healthier lifestyle I eat 99% gluten-free (GF). However, sometimes I just want some fried chicken that doesn’t take 2 hours to make. Because of this unique lifestyle, I feel I can adequately determine the best products sans gluten. These are Derek’s and my favorite GF products out of what we have tried so far (which is a lot).
This is a tough one. There are so many types of pasta noodles made from beans, lentils, rice, and lord knows what. My favorite pasta based on closeness to regular pasta, price point, and pasta noodle variety is Barilla Gluten Free Pasta. However, there are still other noodles that have a flavor to them from their ingredients (pea noodles taste like peas) that are my favorite in certain dishes because they add flavor.
Barilla GF pasta is comparable in price to regular pasta noodles, forget spending $6 on a spaghetti alternative you can normally get for $1.50. They seem to have some of the lowest prices without lacking in quality (probably because they are a large brand name). The only difference between their GF noodles and the regular ones is cooking time. These noodles do need a bit more time to cook, but they don’t stick together, they maintain a perfect al dente texture, and don’t have a residual flavor (like bean and lentil kinds of pasta do).
The best thing about this GF brand is that there is so much variety. Seriously, variety in a gluten-free brand, who would have thought we GF eaters would like to eat noodles in something more than spaghetti and penne! According to their website they make spaghetti, fettuccini, rotini, penne, elbows (say hello to some Mac and Cheese baby!), and lasagna. Plus, the lasagna noodles don’t need to be pre-boiled. You just place them into a casserole dish, assemble as normal, cook for at least 45 minutes, and boom perfectly cooked (and I’m not just taking their word for it, we made some last week and it was BOMB).
This is celiac friendly as they are produced on a separate line according to their website. They are also made of corn and rice if you’ve been wondering. I could go on forever about how much I like their pasta. Hopefully, you can find them in your local store, if not, they are sold on Amazon for reasonable prices and you can get it in bulk.
This is something I very recently stumbled upon because the recipe was just updated, and I have been thoroughly surprised. Udi’s Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread is the best bread, by far, and I’m so glad that they decided to update their recipe. The recipe was updated to specifically improve (according to their website) flavor, texture, and to provide bigger slices. Most importantly it DOESN’T HAVE HOLES! If you have had GF bread before, you’ll know it’s not uncommon to open it up and be able to peer through the entire loaf of bread like a damn keyhole.
I’ll be honest, I was a bit skeptical about their claims, but sure enough, when I opened up the loaf I wasn’t missing 25% of it.
Another amazing perk is that this bread isn’t made for ants like most other brands seem to be.
Seriously, I have to make 4 different sandwiches just to have the amount of bread a gluten-filled bread would offer! We made french toast with it, and it was to die for. Best french toast Derek has ever had and I was happy we could enjoy a breakfast together that was delicious and only needed two slices each. This bread tastes amazing, is super soft, no holes, and big slices (what more could you ask for)! This bread is pretty common as it is carried by Walmart, Kroger, and more. It may be in the bread aisle or frozen, so look around a bit to find it!
Now ‘cookies’ is a big category so I’m going to give you my favorite shortbread brand (my favorite cookie) and my favorite chocolate chip brand (America’s favorite cookie, screw you Oreo).
By far the best GF shortbread brand I have ever had is Walkers, which makes a lot of sense as they specialize in shortbread. They are completely dedicated to a few things and decided to get into the GF game. They have a few varieties of shortbread including chocolate chip, ginger and lemon, and plain rounds. I have only had the plain rounds.
I will say, the only difference I could be nitpicky about is that the GF option seems the tiniest bit less buttery compared to gluten-filled, but that was really looking for something to complain about. I love these stupid things and regularly try to get my mom to send me some (can’t find them where I live, small town). They do sell them online at a competitive price for what it is sold in-stores, but shipping is steep until you get to $49 where it is free. They are a bit expensive compared to gluten-filled cookies, but shortbread is kind of always a bit more expensive than say, Oreo. I think they are worth the price!
My favorite cookie growing up was Chips Ahoy!. I always loved to microwave them for 10 seconds, just enough to melt the chocolate chips and drink with a big glass of cold milk. When I discovered Glutino’s Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies I was instantly reminded of my forgotten love of Chips Ahoy! cookies. Glutino’s cookies are a tiny bit softer and have a nuttiness to them, but they are a deliciously close substitute. Glutino is also one of the cheaper GF brands, so it won’t break the bank. I also seem to be able to find Glutino everywhere I go, so hopefully, you will too!
Now, these are separated from the previous category because we all know a freshly baked cookie is on a whole different level than packaged cookies. This brand is one of those brands that their GF product is better than the gluten-filled one. Immaculate Baking Company’s Cookies are amazing and some of the only GF cookie doughs on the market (not a mix, just ready to pop in the oven). They do have a bit of a chalky/graininess to them, but honestly, if you aren’t looking for it, I doubt you’ll have any issues. They are the only brand I can get to consistently turn out in the oven. They crisp up on the bottom but are still chewy in the center. They offer a variety of flavors including chocolate chunk, double chocolate, and peanut butter. They are a great alternative to gluten-filled cookie dough, and not too bad for the price.
I feel like this is just as essential as a cookie dough. When you want cookies or pizza, you only occasionally want to go through the hassle of making it from scratch, and sometimes you just want pizza with an adult beverage and some TV. I have four different brands that I like and hopefully one of them will suit your needs and location!
I have raved about this pizza before in this blog post. A summary of this pizza is that the crust is essentially made the same as Brazillian Cheesy Bread. If you’ve ever had that then you know the texture I’m about to describe. The crust is basically chewy and cheesy and tends to be on the greasier side for anyone that has issues with oil. This is the largest GF pizza I have been able to find, and the price reflects that. It is more expensive than others, but you get a lot out of it, so do with that info what you will. This brand offers cheese, pepperoni, and pesto. The pesto ended up being too greasy for me but still wasn’t bad. The cheese and pepperoni have a red sauce which is more on the mild side, comparatively, and it is seasoned well. I mostly like this pizza for the size, the crust texture, and it is packed with cheese.
This pizza is defined as ‘ultra thin’. If you like DiGiorno’s for their strong red sauce and general flavor, you should be happy with this pizza. The crust is a bit on the ‘too thin’ side for me and is a bit cracker-like, but again, if you enjoy DiGiorno’s for their flavor profile, you will probably like this. It is one of the cheaper ones and is average size for frozen pizzas. Because the crust is so thin, you don’t get full from eating it. I would recommend this pizza as a light dinner and eaten with a salad or other side. Derek really liked this pizza because he hails to the DiGiorno gods and is so happy he can get the Digiorno taste GF. This pizza comes in cheese and supreme, but you can always add your own toppings (Derek does).
This brand offers the most variety, in that, you have more than two choices. They offer cheese, pepperoni, Tuscan style chicken, and spinach and roasted mushroom. This one is comparable to DiGiorno. It has the traditional Freschetta taste with a medium to strong tomato sauce and has a bit thicker of a crust compared to DiGiorno. Because of the thicker crust, I prefer this one. The crust feels less cracker like and more like a crust. Overall good flavor, a bit bigger than most, and is a bit more expensive but not as expensive as Against the Grain.
This pizza comes in two flavors, Margherita and BBQ chicken. This one is a cracker-like thin crust in normal California Pizza Kitchen style. The crust is a bit chewier than DiGiorno and standard thin crust. These pizzas taste very comparable to the gluten-filled versions. They are on the smaller side and more expensive, but this brand tends to be with all their pizzas. We really like this one for the interesting flavors as cheese and pepperoni can become a bit boring.
Pancake mix is always a necessity around our house. We love Bisquick’s GF Pancake Mix. It is easy to whip up and takes really well to adding things to it. These pancakes can become thin and a bit flat, but I think it depends what you put in them.
I highly recommend adding a bit to them (I always add to any pancake mix, GF or not). I like to add a 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla, a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon of almond extract. This always gives it a better flavor profile. We sometimes add a banana, a spoonful of peanut butter, and some chocolate chips to the above additions and it is amazing. I personally don’t see a huge difference between Bisquick’s GF and gluten-filled mixes. Plus, the price difference between the two isn’t substantial. You should also be able to find these near you (in the US) as it is in Target, Walmart and carried by Kroger (and whatever variety of Kroger is near you).
This post is getting long, so if you would like to see more of what I recommend, give this post a like or comment below so I know.
Here are some of my GF recipes:
- Coconut Curry Buttermilk Chicken Strips
- Prep-Ahead Restaurant Style Tikka Masala
- Cheater’s Eggs Benedict
Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day!
P.S. let me know some of your favorite GF products below so I can give them a whirl.
*I am not affiliated with or sponsored by the above brands or links used. I really do enjoy these brands all on my own, no strings attached.*