10 years ago when I was looking for gluten-free options, lots of the choices were…. pretty tough to swallow. Since those early days of chalky bread and tasteless pasta, things have gotten so much better! I can now go to a restaurant and find GF items on most menus, and the options in stores are *so* improved.
Since I often get asked by friends and family what some of the best GF options are, I’ve rounded up my all-time favorites here to share. I’ve been taste-testing lots of options over the years, and I’m happy to say the options now are really good, if you know where to look. 😉
I hope this list is helpful whether you’re looking for GF options for yourself, your family, or for gathering with friends & family.
Here are gluten-free favorites broken down by category:
There’s a lot of GF bread options now – and I’ve found that personal preference really plays a big part with bread selection because a lot depends on whether you’re looking for a white bread or more fiber-filled bread. Because of this, it can be helpful to experiment a bit to find your favorite brand and type of bread. Here are a few brand recommendations to get you started:
(FYI – since a lot of GF bread tends to be frozen, I find doing this helps get the best consistency: I microwave for ~30 seconds then put it in the toaster)
- French baguette – Udi’s makes hands-down one of the best GF breads with this baguette, in my opinion. It warms up in the oven in 10-15 minutes… so good!
- Bagels & sliced bread– I first tried Canyon Bakehouse a few months ago b/c I’d been hearing great things and I’m now a big fan! They make my favorite bagels and I’m also a fan of their sliced bread.
- Other good options include Udi’s, Trader Joe’s GF sliced bread, and Schar.
Burger & Hot Dog Buns
- Udi’s (burger buns, hot dog buns) – We use these buns whenever we have a BBQ at our house. They come frozen and we’ve found the best consistency comes from warming them up in the microwave first (for 30 seconds or so) then popping it in the toaster.
- Nature’s Path makes great frozen waffles. My favorite flavor is Homestyle. It also smells amazing!
- Van’s also makes great frozen waffles. Apple Cinnamon is a favorite in our house.
- Paleo waffles – A great alternative if you’re looking for a paleo option. They do taste a little plain though, so I always add sliced fruit and sunflower seed butter on top.
- Capello’s pasta – (found in the freezer section) – This is *the best* GF pasta in my opinion. Even my husband really likes it! If you can find it, the fettucine is better than the spaghetti in my opinion (I think b/c it’s thicker and harder to overcook). It cooks in boiling water very quickly – so be sure to follow the instructions so it doesn’t overcook. I love their fettucine pasta, and really want to try their lasagna sheets.
- Other than that, GF pasta has come a long way so there are lots of good options. I like brown rice pasta (Tinkyada is my fav brand), red lentil pasta (most brands I’ve tried have been good), chickpea pasta, etc. They’re all pretty good in my opinion – I think it’s mainly personal preference when it comes to choosing which type of pasta (brown rice vs. lentil pasta, etc.) tastes best.
- Perdue Simply Smart Organics Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets – Our favorite nuggets for those nights when we want something quick & easy.
- Cheddar crackers – My husband is a fan of these Simple Mills crackers, which are almond flour based.
- Lance makes good GF crackers, including these plain crackers.
- Graham crackers – Pamela’s makes these graham crackers that taste so good.
- Tonya’s makes a great line of soft pretzels that are microwaveable (we often find these at our local grocery store.)
GF cookies have come a long way! Honestly, there aren’t many that I’ve tried & haven’t liked – so it’s worthwhile to experiment here since most options are good. That said, here’s a few recommendations:
- Enjoy Life cookies – This brand is one of my go-to’s when I’m craving something sweet. It’s pretty easy to find them in most grocery stores, and they’re free of 14 common allergens (including dairy, nuts, eggs) and yet still are somehow really tasty. Some of my favorites are chocolate chip, double chocolate brownie, and snickerdoodle.
- Sweet Loren’s Cookie Dough – I usually bake chocolate chip cookies on Sundays, and this is what I almost always buy. They come ready to pop in the oven, and taste so good! Even my husband approves. (Another brand I *love* for oven-ready cookies is Immaculate Baking Company)
A few odds & ends that can be helpful to keep on hand:
- GF Soy Sauce – great to keep on hand since soy sauce typically contains gluten.
suggestions for when you have guests come over
Sometimes I get asked what would be great to have on hand when inviting friends & family over who eat gluten-free. Let me start by saying that having any GF items on hand is such a kind gesture & will make your guests feel so welcomed. That said, if you want some more ideas, here are my top 2 suggestions of what to serve:
- French bread – For someone can’t/doesn’t eat gluten, it is *so* nice to eat a warm, delicious loaf of GF bread because it’s still pretty rare! Plus, this is super easy to prepare. You can find it in the freezer section, and all you need to do is pop it in the oven for the recommended time (about 15 minutes). Slice and serve and you’ll have one happy guest! (FYI – we can usually find this baguette at our local grocery store, but if you can’t find it, I’d probably pick another frozen bread/roll to heat in the oven since those tend to taste best.)
- Dessert – Picking up dessert from your favorite grocery store is a great way to go since most stores have really good options now. If you store carries it, GF chocolate flour-less cakes or GF cookies from the bakery section are usually quite good! You can also check the aisles for desserts from brands like Enjoy Life, Immaculate Baking Company, or Sweet Loren’s.
Hope this list of favorites was helpful & that you found a few new favorites of your own!
I’ll be updating this list frequently as I try new GF products and find new favorites, so feel free to bookmark or pin this list for whenever you need it.
P.S. If you have any GF favorites that you love that I didn’t mention, feel free to drop them below in the comments. I’m always looking for great new recommendations!