If you’ve ever tried nixing gluten from your diet—whether because you’re legit allergic or you’re just cutting back on inflammatory foods—you’ve likely spent hours at the supermarket staring at a wall of gluten-free sandwich bread, debating your options. What kind of flour should you go for? What’s healthiest? What’s worth the money? And why do so many of the options taste like…dust?
To help you suss out the absolute best, we tapped celiac disease nutrition consultant Tricia Thompson, MS, RD (founder of Gluten Free Watchdog) to scour the nutritional information on some of the biggest gluten-free bread brands on the market right now. And because we are big believers in the importance of food being delicious, the Well+Good staff selflessly gorged on bread, trying as many loaves as we could get our hands on.
In the end, we came up with a short list of gluten-free breads that aren’t filled with all kinds of unhealthy stuff—all while tasting pretty damn great.
Keep reading to see the five healthiest—and yummiest—gluten-free breads.
Canyon’s offering didn’t take the top spot in either the taste or nutrition categories, but it scored really high in both, making it the top pick overall. Thompson, pointing to the whole grain millet, quinoa, and whole grain sorghum flour—all of which pack lots of vitamins, minerals, and plant-based protein—notes that “it’s one of the better brands.” As she explains, “It’s really getting a lot of alternative grains in there, and you know what all the ingredients are.”
Taste-wise, it came in just behind the ubiquitous Udi’s gluten-free bread. (That one didn’t sit will with Thompson, who doesn’t love when the first ingredient listed is a starch, so it didn’t even make the list.) But Canyon Bakehouse’s 7-Grain was a close second. “This one has the most bread-like texture—fluffy, but substantial enough to pile on avocado and other sandwich ingredients,” one editor remarked. “It’s soft and tastes freshly baked,” raved another.
Thompson gave this one top honors on the nutrition front. “It’s a Paleo bread, so there’s no grain, making it a little different from the others,” she explains. Unlike many gluten-free breads, the first ingredients on the label are eggs, unsweetened applesauce, and almond flour—not just a straight-up starch. There’s even some apple cider vinegar in there.
Because it’s made with almond flour and coconut flour, Barely Bread has a slightly sweet taste, which most editors dug (although a few definitely didn’t). Overall, it performed well. “The texture is lighter than ‘normal’ bread, which is nice,” one editor remarked. “Since it’s a little sweet, I’d have it with jam or nut butter, but I wouldn’t use it for a sandwich,” another recommended.
Rudi’s—a brand you’ll find in most grocery stores nowadays—landed smack-dab in the middle of our top picks, both in terms of taste and nutritional qualities. The brand also offers a higher fiber gluten-free bread, but Thompson prefers the original. “The other one has more fiber, but it’s not coming from the whole grain,” she says, citing the inulin and psyllium husk as not-so-great sources. The Rudi’s Original ingredients list is shorter and cleaner, Thompson adds.
Flavor-wise, our editors were torn. Some taste-testers thought it was bland and had a not-so-great texture (“It’s like dry cornbread,” one said). But others were singing its praises. “The taste grows on you—it might be my favorite,” said one editor.
Thompson didn’t love the fact that this loaf is made from refined carbs (in this case, rice flour), but “at least it is being enriched with B vitamins and iron,” she says. “A lot of brands that make refined bread don’t do that—and those breads have very little in the way of nutritional value. This one is very enriching.”
Well+Good editors liked the texture, which is hearty and thick (“It’s like Wonder Bread!”), but couldn’t put their finger quite on the taste. “It’s…tangy,” one said. “It’s a little sweet, but not terrible,” clarified another editor.
Rounding out the top five is Glutino. It’s starchy—made with tapioca, corn, and potato starch—which, according to Thompson, isn’t ideal.
But the inclusion of sunflower, poppy, flax, and sesame seeds (while maybe not quite upping its nutritional factor) scored raves with some taste-testers. Several editors praising its nutty texture and real-bread texture. “It has a surprising, subtle crunch—which I like,” one editor noted.
Looking for a delicious vegan, gluten-free breakfast? Try Oh She Glows blogger Angela Liddon’s strawberry breakfast bars. And for dinner, check out these healthier pasta brands—they’re all gluten-free.