Read this article to find out how to eat gluten-free at Noodles and Company. Updated April 23, 2018. This post contains sponsored and/or affiliate content. Please read my disclosures.
As a mom with two young kids, I don’t fine dine much as evident by this post about a family favorite fast-casual restaurant, Noodles and Company. We love going to Noodles and Company because everyone is happy there, even me! Noodles and Company offers a place where I know we can all get a gluten-free and noodle-riffic meal for a reasonable price, and I know everyone will be happy.
There are plenty of ways to be gluten-free at Noodles and Company, so you’ll want to make sure you have a detailed conversation with the cashier (or, even better, ask for the manager so they get your order right). Also consult the Noodles and Company website for nutrition and allergy information.
Like most restaurants, eating gluten-free at Noodles and Company can be fraught with disaster if you’re not careful. The restaurant says on its website that it is not a dedicated gluten-free restaurant (obviously), and diners must weigh the pros and cons before deciding to eat here. There is ALWAYS a risk of cross contamination.
To help me feel more confident in my decision to eat gluten-free at Noodles and Company, I decided to use my trusty Nima Sensor to test three dishes for gluten. I tested the Mac n Cheese, Pasta Fresca with Chicken, and Pad Thai. (Scroll down for pictures of my Nima test results.)
In case you’re not familiar with the Nima Sensor, it is a gluten detecting device. Insert a small amount of your food into the test capsule, and in about three minutes, Nima will tell you if the food you’re about to eat is really gluten-free (or not).
You can watch my Facebook Live from Noodles and Company next to see exactly how the tester works – and don’t forget to scroll down to see pictures of all my test results!
What’s Gluten-Free at Noodles and Company?
Before I share the results of my Nima Sensor testing, I’d like to share more about what’s gluten-free at Noodles and Company.
The restaurants offers a delicious gluten-free fusilli noodle for those of us who cannot eat gluten. I can’t stand most gluten-free noodles at restaurants (restaurants seem to pick the cheapest ones they can find) but I really like Noodles and Company’s gluten-free fusilli noodle. It’s tender and has a great texture!
The gluten-free fusilli noodles are made from rice flour, corn flour, mono and diglycerides (of fatty acids), water, and soybean oil.
For those of us who are gluten-free, you can enjoy so many dishes at Noodles and Company as long as you order it with the gluten-free fusilli. Gluten-free dishes include:
- Penne Rosa
- Pesto Cavatappi
- Spaghetti with Marinara
- Buttered Noodles
- Wisconsin Mac & Cheese
- Steak Stroganoff
- Pasta Fresca
You can also enjoy these dishes gluten-free (some with modifications):
- Thai Green Curry with Shrimp (no modifications)
- The Med Salad with Chicken (request no cavatappi)
- Chicken Veracruz Salad (request no crispy jalapeños)
- Caesar Salad (request no croutons)
- Tossed Green Side Salad (with Med, Jalapeño Ranch, Balsamic or Caesar dressing)
- Pad Thai (no modifications – made with gluten-free rice noodles vs. gluten-free fusilli)
- Thai Chicken Soup (no modifications)
- Tomato Basil Bisque (no modifications)
Please note there is an up-charge when you order the gluten-free fusilli – add $1.50 to each dish that contains the gluten-free fusilli (this upcharge kinda sucks, I’m not gonna lie).
I always like to add a protein to my meal. I prefer chicken, but you must be careful with chicken as the grilled chicken is cooked on the same surface as the parmesan crusted chicken, which is not gluten-free. Ask the staff to BAKE your chicken instead of grill it for a better chance at a safer meal.
Noodles and Company also offers shrimp, beef, and naturally raised pork, all of which are gluten-free. Avoid the tofu as it contains gluten, as does the parmesan crusted chicken and meatballs.
Nima Sensor Testing Noodles and Company
Here are the official results of my Nima Sensor tests at Noodles and Company – enjoy!
Should You GF Eat at Noodles and Company?
Yes, I am confident you can find something delicious and gluten-free at Noodles and Company. It’s a fantastic family-friendly option and makes for an easy lunch or dinner out. Just be sure to communicate your needs clearly to your server (and preferably the manager). Ask:
- Is the pasta water used for the gluten-free items dedicated to the gluten-free items or shared (i.e., make sure they don’t use the same pasta water to cook GF and regular noodles).
- If you want chicken, ask for it to be baked, not grilled.
- Remind the cashier or manager that you cannot eat gluten – even a little – and ask them for “gluten allergy prep” on your meal.
Good luck and leave a comment to share your gluten-free at Noodles and Company experiences!
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- Eating Out Gluten-Free (the ebook)