This is a sponsored post in partnership with Noodles & Company. I was compensated for my meal and time, however, all opinions are my own.
After going gluten-free in 2012, I remember a friend saying to me, “You can never eat at Noodles & Company again.” She wasn’t trying to be mean; rather, she was reminding me that my once favorite food, noodles, would be off the menu now that I had celiac disease.
However, almost a year after my celiac disease diagnosis, I realized that I could eat gluten-free at Noodles & Company. I even wrote a detailed post about what’s gluten-free at Noodles & Company, and I went back recently with my Nima Sensor to test the restaurant’s gluten-free menu to make sure it’s really gluten-free (I confirmed that it is!).
Noodles & Company Offers Lighter Alternatives
Not only do I worry about gluten in my food, but also I don’t want to eat a belly bomb. Eating right is important to my health and waistline. It’s no secret that a bowl of noodles can be heavy in the tummy (even though the gluten-free fusilli noodles offered at Noodles & Company are divine).
When I found out earlier this year that Noodles & Company officially had zoodles (aka zucchini noodles) on its expanded menu, I was ready to do the Noodles & Company happy dance once again!
You can order any noodle dish (as long as it’s labeled GF) with zucchini noodles for a $.75 upcharge (less than the $1.00-$1.50 upcharge for the gluten-free fusilli noodles). Ask your server for a list of gluten-free options to ensure you choose a safe meal for you.
Noodles & Company Cleaned Up Its Menu
Not only can you order zucchini noodles and enjoy a carb-light, veggie-loaded option at Noodles & Company, you also can take solace in knowing that Noodles & Company has prohibited a long list of nasty ingredients from its entire menu.
You won’t find any artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives at Noodles & Company. Things like MSG, nitrates, aspartame and high fructose corn syrup are non-existent on Noodles & Company’s menu. You can view a full list of prohibited ingredients here.
If you thought Noodles & Company only offered junk food, you are dead wrong. This fast casual restaurant is worth a second look.
On top of it all, the zucchini noodles are a big deal for the restaurant. All staff members were sporting this pro-zoodles shirt:
On-the-Go at Noodles & Company
Last week, as I finished up my personal Whole30 challenge, I took my family to Noodles & Company for a celebratory lunch. We needed to “research” healthy GF options at Noodles & Company.
We surveyed the menu and decided on a few items.
My husband ordered the Pad Thai with chicken. The pad thai noodles are rice noodles and completely gluten-free. This is a favorite dish of mine, too. It’s slightly sweet yet satisfies that pad thai craving!
My son ordered the Pasta Fresca with chicken along with the gluten-free fusilli noodles. He doesn’t have to eat gluten-free, but he knows I like to have a bite or two of the fusilli noodles, so he ordered his dish gluten-free so I could have a few bites. (Yes, I’m raising a thoughtful son.)
I ordered the Pasta Fresca with chicken and zoodles. I wanted something on the lighter side yet still savory, warm and delicious.
When placing a gluten-free order at Noodles & Company, be sure to tell the staff that you need a gluten-free (“allergy-prepared”) meal. This prompts them to change gloves. Also, if you order chicken, request that they bake it vs. pan-fry it, as the pans are used to prepare the parmesan crusted chicken, which is not gluten-free.
Everything at Noodles & Company is made to order, so don’t feel bad asking for these extra accommodations. The staff has ALWAYS been more than accommodating to me.
The woman working behind the counter was knowledgeable and took extra effort to make sure she got my order right. I must compliment Noodles & Company here – it has done a great job training its staff to be conscientious and courteous to customers with special dietary needs.
Happiness in a Bowl
When our food arrived, we were all smiles. Let’s just say eating at Noodles & Company is always a happy experience for the Good For You Gluten Free family. How in the world can you eat noodles and not be happy?!?!
Here is a picture of all the wonderful, gluten-free dishes my family ordered! (Please forgive the swim cover-up in the picture, we were on our way to the pool!)
At the end of the meal, I was so happy that I ordered the Penne Rosa with zoodles. I felt light, which is a huge plus given that I had to sport my swimsuit just a few minutes after eating lunch.
My dish, with zoodles and baked chicken, only contained 600 calories!
You can check all nutritional information on the Noodles & Company website. This carb-light and low-calorie meal definitely hit the spot! And look at those gorgeous, bouncy zoodles!
I wish there were MORE zoodles in my bowl because they went fast. Next time I will ask for extra zoodles with my order. It’s worth the upcharge, in my opinion.
I also noticed (in hindsight) that the Pasta Fresca is high in sodium, so if you’re watching sodium, Noodles & Company suggests your order the Penne Rosa and Buttered Noodles instead. It also recommends you order the Pesto Cavatappi, Pasta Fresca or Buttered Noodles if you’re looking for a lower-sugar option as well.
One thing you will notice is that Noodles & Company is completely transparent in its ingredients and nutritional information, and it does a great job disclosing and properly labeling allergens.
What Will You Order?
There is truly something for everyone at Noodles & Company. There are plenty of gluten-free options, vegan and vegetarian options, as well as options for someone looking to eat a bit lighter.
No longer is Noodles & Company known for its carb-heavy, unhealthy food… today it has fresh, light and healthy alternatives to make sure everyone finds something they love.
If you haven’t already, take a closer look at what Noodles & Company has to offer. You just might be surprised at what you find!
Cheers to happy [and healthy] eating!