Taste Republic Gluten-Free Fresh Pasta Review: A Tasty Alternative To Regular Pasta

One of the foods that those who have to eat gluten-free miss the most is pasta. While there are scores of gluten-free pasta offerings for sale, if you have ever sampled any, you will know that most leave much to be desired. For this reason, we were excited to taste the gluten-free fresh pasta offerings from Taste Republic. The company began making gluten-free pasta in 2008 with the mission of delivering a product that was as flavorful as and had the mouthfeel of the real deal.

With its success, Taste Republic set its sights even higher, wanting to produce pasta that could accommodate those with myriad dietary needs sustainably and responsibly. The company, based in Wisconsin, is a certified B corp, which has driven its commitment to using 100% renewable energy and green packaging. It has also made a concerted effort to become a dedicated Certified Gluten-Free facility, obtain Kosher certification from the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and secure Paleo and Organic certifications for some of its vegan and grain-free offerings.

And while all of this, along with its many awards, reviews, and extensive media presence, are impressive, the proof is in the pasta. We sampled four of Taste Republic's most popular offerings, plain and with sauce. For each, we have noted our impressions of flavor, texture, and how well the pasta held the sauce. 

What does the Taste Republic vegan + gluten-free, plant-based cheese tortelloni taste like?

The fresh vegan + gluten-free, plant-based cheese tortelloni is produced as a classic tortelloni using a rice flour base and filled with a dairy-free cheese-like combination. Because it is fresh, it should take 2 to 3 minutes to cook to an al dente texture. Allergens include coconut, and there is a cross-contamination notice that it may be produced on equipment that handles milk and eggs.

Before putting the pasta in the water, several tortelloni appeared cracked. Once cooked, we sampled half a dozen of them. Unfortunately, only three of these had the filling still inside. The cheese-like center in those that did was rich and flavorful. The texture of this pasta was more like an udon noodle than a wheat-based pasta — gummy but not unpleasant. The taste was very rice-forward with a buckwheat-like quality. Of the products we sampled, this was our least favorite.

What does the Taste Republic gluten-free four-cheese tortelloni taste like?

The fresh gluten-free four-cheese tortelloni is fashioned using a brown rice flour base filled in classic tortelloni style with mozzarella, asiago, parmesan, and ricotta cheeses. Like the other fresh gluten-free pasta types, this should cook in 2 to 3 minutes to a perfect al dente finish. Allergens include eggs and dairy.

This tortelloni held together beautifully through cooking. Each pillowy noodle had its filling intact, which was rich and cheesy. The texture of the pasta, though perhaps just a touch more sticky than traditional wheat noodles, was tender. The flavor was deceptively wheaty, even though it was gluten-free. We sampled it with both a classic marinara and an alfredo. It was delightful with both, but most definitely played well off the creaminess of the latter. We gave this a solid favorable rating.

What does the Taste Republic gluten-free fusilli taste like?

The fresh gluten-free fusilli is certified Kosher. These corkscrew-shaped pasta noodles made with a brown rice flour base are ideally served with more substantial sauces, like a Bolognese or an alfredo. They can also make for a great pasta salad if the noodles hold together. These contain an allergen warning for eggs and should cook in 2 to 3 minutes for the ideal al dente doneness.

As gluten-free fusilli is concerned, we have yet to find one that is this good. As far as holding its shape, it was magnificent. It had a wonderful texture that was a perfect al dente and didn't get overly starchy. There was no noticeable aftertaste that was in any way synthetic, which is frequent with other gluten-free fusilli brands. We sampled this with both an alfredo and a sausage and mushroom ragu. It was lovely with both and would be great in a pasta salad.

What does the Taste Republic gluten + grain-free cauliflower linguini taste like?

Linguini, or "little tongues," are designed to lap up sauces like pesto or clams. The base for these gluten-free, Kosher, paleo, and grain-free (but not egg-free) noodles is cauliflower, which made us skeptical. Often cauliflower noodles are aggressively vegetable-tasting and can turn into mush. We cooked the noodles per the instructions for about 3 minutes after gently pulling them apart and tossing them into the water. After straining them, we sampled them without any sauce.

We stand corrected in our anti-cauliflower stance. This was an incredible pasta, the best of the bunch we tried. Not only did they hold their shape beautifully, but the texture was also perfectly toothsome, redolent of the finest wheat pasta. It had zero cauliflower taste to it. And although the noodles began to stick together after cooling, this would not have been the case if we had tossed them directly into a sauce.

Nutritional information for Taste Republic gluten-free pasta

These types of pasta are not disproportionately higher in calories or carbohydrates than their wheat alternatives. They are high in sodium levels, ranging from 620 to 800 milligrams per serving, significantly higher than wheat-based pasta.

According to Taste Republic, this amount of salt is necessary to increase shelf-life and to replace other lesser-known ingredients needed to obtain a desirable texture. It also suggests that the unfilled pasta will lose 60% of its sodium in the cooking water, while the filled noodles will lose 30%. Since it is generally recommended to salt pasta water before cooking regular pasta, which is not required for these noodles, the final sodium levels may be a wash.

Additionally, two ingredients are unusual in this pasta: Glucono-delta-lactone and Konjac. The former is a plant-derived additive that helps bind and leaven foods without an acidic aftertaste. The latter is a root vegetable starch used as a thickening agent.

Where you can find Taste Republic gluten-free pasta and how much does it cost?

Taste Republic gluten-free pasta can be ordered directly from its website and are shipped in cold containers. They are available in 9-ounce packages in six-pack bundles. You can also obtain them at select retailers, including Target and Costco.

The one qualm many will have about this gluten-free pasta is cost. A six-pack ranges from $54.99 to $59.99. That works out to between $9.17 and $10.00 per 9-ounce package of pasta, which is rather spendy. There are some workarounds, however, in the form of subscriptions. If you sign up to receive a box monthly, bi-monthly, or every three months, you will get an additional 5% off. A 20% off coupon is available for your first online order.

How to best enjoy Taste Republic gluten-free pasta

Since Taste Republic gluten-free pasta has a great texture compared with most other gluten-free pasta brands, you can use these in any recipe you might use wheat-based pasta. We'd highly recommend making a homemade pesto using fresh basil or mint to toss with the linguini or fusilli. And a creamy alfredo with prosciutto and peas would be a knockout with the tortelloni.

We also love a good pasta bake with meat and cheese in it. These are easy to assemble and feed a crowd, and leftovers are great for several days. And finally, try substituting the fusilli for traditional macaroni noodles in a sophisticated baked macaroni and cheese casserole with bacon, gruyere, and fresh tomatoes.

Final thoughts about Taste Republic gluten-free pasta

Our final takeaway about Taste Republic's gluten-free pasta? We forgot we were eating gluten-free pasta, which is a glowing endorsement. We would likely skip the tortellini and stick with the unfilled varieties. However, because of the cost, we would not make this an everyday staple in our pantry. For those needing to eat gluten-free, pasta becomes a luxury item anyway, which makes spending a bit more on a great quality product that much more worth it.

These will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days after arrival and up to one year in the freezer. If you have a big family, the bundles are a pretty good deal to have delivered every three months. You could also split a bundle with friends or family to help divide the cost. Whichever option you choose, if you love pasta and need to eat gluten-free, you really ought to check out Taste Republic.