Your supermarket-to-stove guide to the best whole-grain varieties.
February 18, 2016
1 of 14Photo: Jennifer Causey
The Taste Test
In just one serving of whole-grain pasta, you can meet your daily whole-grain needs (plus a few extra) at the cost of about $0.25 a serving. Add in supporting ingredients like healthy oils, seafood, greens, nuts, veggies, and beans, and you've got yourself a winning weeknight dinner. But not every noodle is as pleasantly slurpable as the next, and navigating the endless pasta aisle can be a bit overwhelming. We tasted more than 60 varieties in order to give you our 12 favorite brands.
2 of 14Photo: Jennifer Causey
1. Bionaturae Lasagna
This top pick builds a sturdy frame for saucy layers, but its mild profile won't compete with other ingredients.
3 of 14Photo: Jennifer Causey
2. Lundberg Brown Rice Spaghetti
Elegant and delightfully chewy: Splash with olive oil, and toss with roasted veggies.
4 of 14Photo: Jennifer Causey
3. Tinkyáda Brown Rice Elbow
Silky, nutty, and mildly sweet—perfect for mac and cheese.
5 of 14Photo: Jennifer Causey
4. Barilla Penne
Nice and nutty; built with grooves to keep sauce clinging on the outside.
6 of 14Photo: Jennifer Causey
5. Whole Foods 365
A top pick for those who want an earthy profile. Thick and sturdy, it's perfect for a hearty meat sauce or Bolognese.
7 of 14Photo: Jennifer Causey
6. Wild Oats Organic
Toss this tender noodle with something simple: a bright pesto or olive oil-dressed tomatoes.
8 of 14Photo: Jennifer Causey
7. Barilla Lasagna
We love the hearty chew this one lends to a gooey, supersaucy white lasagna.
9 of 14Photo: Jennifer Causey
8. Trader Joe's Brown Rice Quinoa
Silky and springy; the only quinoa-based noodle we tasted with no bitterness.
10 of 14Photo: Jennifer Causey
9. Delallo No Boil
No-boil lasagna with bounce! Coat entire noodle in sauce to avoid crunchy edges.
11 of 14Photo: Jennifer Causey
10. Market Pantry (Target Store Brand)
So delicate it was creamy; a lovely stand-in for traditional white pasta.
12 of 14Photo: Jennifer Causey
11. Barilla Spaghetti
Elegantly thin, pleasantly bran-flavor-forward, and great under a hefty sprinkle of Parmesan.
13 of 14Photo: Jennifer Causey
12. Alma's Penne
This neutral noodle will let the sauce shine beautifully. Best if kept al dente.
14 of 14Photo: Jennifer Causey
Bonus: Bean Pastas
Legume-based pastas have an impressive protein and fiber count, some with as much protein as meat. Just don't expect these to taste—or be firm to the bite—like traditional pasta.
Banza Chickpea Pasta
With 14g protein and 8g fiber per serving, this pasta is starchy like its main ingredient and goes best with something it won't soak up—a few glugs of good olive oil, garlic, fresh tomatoes, and feta cheese.
Explore Asian Edamame & Mung Bean Fettuccine
Thin strands with a bouncy, springy texture, much like tofu. A 2-ounce portion has 24g protein (as much as a 3-ounce steak) and 10g fiber. Try it with an herby or garlicky pesto.