How do you cook gluten-free linguine?

Gluten-free diets are becoming increasingly popular, even among people who don’t have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. Gluten-free pastas like linguine are a great way to cut gluten from your diet while still enjoying classic pasta dishes. But cooking gluten-free pasta can be a bit different than regular wheat pasta. Here’s a quick guide on how to cook delicious gluten-free linguine.

Why Choose Gluten-Free Linguine?

There are a few key reasons you may want to opt for gluten-free linguine:

  • You have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity – Gluten triggers an autoimmune reaction in those with celiac disease, and leads to digestive issues in those with a sensitivity. Going gluten-free improves symptoms.
  • You’re looking to cut back on gluten – Even if you don’t have celiac disease or a sensitivity, reducing gluten intake can provide some health benefits for some people. Gluten-free pasta lets you work less gluten into your diet.
  • You want pasta but are following a gluten-free diet – If you’re already adhering to a gluten-free diet, gluten-free linguine and other pastas allow you to still enjoy classic pasta dishes.
  • You want to try an alternative to wheat pasta – Gluten-free linguine provides a change of pace from traditional semolina or egg pastas. The texture and flavor profile is a bit different.

Many people are going gluten-free for various health, dietary, and lifestyle reasons. Opting for gluten-free linguine allows you to follow a gluten-free diet while still enjoying a classic pasta shape.

Picking the Right Gluten-Free Linguine

When shopping for gluten-free linguine, you’ll find there are a few varieties available:

  • Corn linguine – Made from corn flour or corn starch. It will have a hint of sweet, corn flavor.
  • Rice linguine – Made from rice flour or rice starch. It will have a mild flavor.
  • Quinoa linguine – Made from quinoa flour. This has a nutty, wholesome flavor.
  • Multigrain linguine – Made from a blend of gluten-free flours like rice, quinoa, corn, etc. This offers a diversity of flavors.

The ingredients will impact the taste and texture of the linguine. Corn and rice varieties tend to be more firm in texture. Quinoa and multigrain linguines may have more bite. Pick whatever gluten-free linguine appeals most to your tastes.

You can find gluten-free linguine in the specialty diet section of most well-stocked grocery stores. Health food stores will also have a dedicated gluten-free pasta section. Buying online is another option if you have trouble finding it locally. Brands like Barilla, Ronzoni, and DeBoles make gluten-free linguine.

Cooking Gluten-Free vs. Regular Linguine

While cooking gluten-free linguine is similar to cooking regular wheat linguine, there are a few differences to keep in mind:

  • Use generous amounts of water – Gluten-free pasta can stick together, so use at least 6 cups of water for every 8 oz of dried linguine.
  • Stir frequently – Stir the pasta occasionally as it cooks so it doesn’t clump together.
  • Cook al dente – Gluten-free pasta can get mushy and lose its texture if overcooked. Take it off the heat while it still has a bit of firmness.
  • Rinse after cooking – Rinse cooked gluten-free linguine with cool water to prevent sticking.
  • Add oil/sauce right away – Toss cooked gluten-free linguine with a bit of oil or sauce to prevent noodles from drying out.

Following these tips will help ensure your gluten-free linguine turns out perfectly cooked with the right texture.

Recipe for Basic Gluten-Free Linguine

Here is a simple recipe for how to cook basic gluten-free linguine:


  • 8 ounces gluten-free linguine
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the salt.
  2. Slowly add the dry linguine to the boiling water. Stir immediately with a wooden spoon or pasta fork to prevent sticking.
  3. Boil for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the linguine is al dente (still has a bit of firmness).
  4. Drain the cooked linguine into a colander and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process.
  5. Return the rinsed linguine to the pot and toss with the olive oil. This prevents it from getting dried out.
  6. Serve the linguine warm. It can be topped with your desired sauce or ingredients.

This basic method allows you to cook up gluten-free linguine that tastes great. The key is using plenty of water, stirring during cooking, and rinsing/oiling after draining to get the ideal texture.

Making a Hearty Bolognese Sauce for Linguine

For a more complete meal, serve your gluten-free linguine with a hearty meat sauce like a traditional bolognese. Here is a gluten-free bolognese sauce recipe:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the ground beef/turkey to the skillet. Cook while breaking it apart with a wooden spoon until no longer pink.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, broth, red wine (if using), and Italian seasoning. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the cooked gluten-free linguine to the bolognese sauce and toss to coat. Serve warm.

This hearty meat sauce pairs perfectly with gluten-free linguine. The linguine soaks up the rich, tomatoey sauce nicely.

Whipping Up a Creamy Pesto Sauce

In addition to meat sauces, you can also top gluten-free linguine with creamy pesto sauces. Here’s a dairy-free pesto recipe:


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Add the basil, olive oil, garlic, nuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and seasonings to a food processor or blender.
  2. Puree until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, stir a few heaping tablespoons of the pesto sauce into the hot linguine until coated.
  4. Serve the pesto linguine warm, garnished with extra basil leaves if desired.

The creamy pesto clings nicely to the linguine. Feel free to add shredded dairy-free parmesan cheese too if you can tolerate dairy.

Incorporating Vegetables

In addition to sauces, adding vegetables to your gluten-free linguine can create a hearty, nutritious, and delicious meal. Here are some tasty veggie add-ins:

  • Sauteed zucchini or yellow squash – Thinly slice and saute in olive oil until tender.
  • Roasted broccoli or cauliflower – Toss florets with oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400F for 20 minutes until browned and tender.
  • Sauteed mushrooms – Slice mushrooms and saute in butter or olive oil.
  • Roasted bell peppers – Roast pepper halves or slices until skin blisters. Remove skins then slice.
  • Caramelized onions – Slowly cook sliced onions in oil on low heat until browned and sweet.
  • Cherry tomatoes – Roast halved tomatoes in olive oil until bursting.
  • Fresh spinach – Saute raw spinach leaves in olive oil just until wilted.

Aim for 1-2 cups of vegetables per serving. Saute, roast or steam them to desired tenderness before tossing with the cooked gluten-free linguine.

Ensuring Proper Cooking Times

Getting the right cook time is important when preparing gluten-free linguine. Here are some tips:

  • Read package instructions – Brands may vary in required cook times. Use given times as a starting guide.
  • Start tasting at lowest time – If the package says 7-9 minutes, start checking and tasting at 7 minutes.
  • Check frequently near end – Test every 30 seconds towards end of cooking window to catch that perfect al dente stage.
  • Look for opaque, raised edges – Visible cues like opaque color and the linguine edges starting to rise signal it’s nearly done.
  • Bite into a noodle – Taste testing is the best way to check doneness. It should still have a bit of chewiness when done.
  • Err on the side of undercooking – You can always cook an extra minute if it seems too firm. But overcooked pasta turns to mush.

Taking the time to test for doneness and catch gluten-free linguine at the ideal moment ensures it has the proper firm-yet-tender texture.

Avoiding Pitfalls

There are a few common mistakes to steer clear of when cooking gluten-free linguine:

  • Don’t salt the water too early – Add it once boiling to prevent drying out pasta.
  • Don’t crowd the pot – Use at least 6 cups water per 8 ounces pasta so it can move freely.
  • Don’t skip stirring – Occasionally stir to prevent sticking as linguine cooks.
  • Don’t rinse with hot water – Rinse with cool water to stop cooking and prevent mushiness.
  • Don’t let it sit after draining – Quickly add sauce or oil when done to prevent pasta drying out.

Being mindful to avoid these common gluten-free linguine mishaps will ensure you end up with perfectly cooked pasta every time.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Like regular wheat pastas, cooked gluten-free linguine lasts several days refrigerated and can be frozen too. Here are some storage tips:

  • Let cool before storing – Don’t pack hot pasta into an airtight container. Let it cool to room temp first.
  • Store in airtight container – Prevent drying out by using a container with an airtight lid or plastic wrap directly on surface.
  • Only refrigerate up to 5 days – Eat refrigerated leftovers within 5 days for optimal freshness and quality.
  • Reheat gently – Gluten-free pasta can dry out. Reheat leftovers with a splash of water in the microwave or on stove over low heat.
  • Add more sauce or oil – Toss reheated linguine with extra sauce or oil to restore moisture and prevent dried out pasta.

With proper storage and gentle reheating, gluten-free linguine leftovers can taste nearly as good as fresh.


Cooking delicious gluten-free linguine at home is easy with this handy guide. Boiling it in lots of salted water, saucing immediately after rinsing, and taking care not to overcook will ensure your gluten-free linguine turns out perfectly al dente. Pair it with your favorite sauces like a hearty bolognese or creamy pesto. Adding sauteed veggies boosts nutrition too. Follow these tips and you’ll be whipping up restaurant-quality gluten-free linguine in no time. Enjoy!

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