Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Go Gluten-Free, Vegan at Noodles & Company!

There's nothing I love more than a bowl of noodles! Probably because it's the first meal I ever learned to cook which consisted of  plain spaghetti noodles boiled and cooked, topped with Kraft Parmesan cheese.  No sauce, no other cheese, nothing else...just Parmesan.  You'd think that might be a bit dry, but it didn't turn me away, I ate this stuff for years! Clearly I was not the health nut then that I am now. Yet, a few years ago when I found out about my gluten-sensitivity, I thought my noodle days were over.  But luckily I came across Tinkyada brown rice pasta and I was saved! From that point on I was set at home, but trying to have noodles out at restaurant? Not a chance. 

But then I found Noodles & Company, a fast-casual style restaurant similar to Chipotle where you choose your type of noodle, sauce, and add-in (meat, tofu, or veggies) to create one delicious and fresh meal.  Now although they are famous for dishes like "Buttered Noodles" and "Wisconsin Mac and Cheese,"  there are a few options for vegans and gluten-free followers alike. They are also very allergy-aware and fully disclose all possible allergy ingredients on their website, which is great if you have a very limited gluten-free, vegan diet like mine. 

My delicious Noodles & Company dish!

Take one look at their nutritional/allergen chart and you can see that if you have a gluten allergy, there is not much you can eat there other than their rice noodles (or "Pad Thai" as it's recognized on the chart). Granted their salads, and meats are gluten-free too.

If you're vegan, the are few options for you too: "Japanese Pan Noodles", "Indonesian Peanut Saute", "Pasta Fresca" (no cheese), "Penne Rosa" (no cream or cheese), "Whole Grain Tuscan Linguine" (no cream or cheese), and my personal favorite: "Spaghetti" (with no cheese).  Don't feel like looking at the nutritional chart? Check out this page for their "sorter" where you can sort the dishes by dietary style...such as "watching fat," "watching gluten," or "vegan." this makes it much easier!

So as I said the "Spaghetti" is my all-time favorite, but if I'm ever feeling adventurous  I might maybe try mixing and matching some of the veggies of the other dishes listed above with rice noodles and seeing what I get!  By the way, I'll sometimes take some vegan "Parmesan" with me to really add to that "Parmesan Noodle" dish of my youth- he he! ( :
I'm one noodle-loving green girl!

On top of delicious, fresh, made-to-order food, their prices are rocking as well with a "Regular Bowl" costing $5.60 and a "Small Bowl" at $4.50.  Add a water to drink and you've got yourself a great meal under $6! Sweet! Curious about other prices? Check out their full menu here.

Unfortunately at the present time Noodles & Company doesn't have many locations across the US.  You can click here to find the closest near you and if there isn't one near your city or state, put it on your list of places to stop on your next road trip!
My neighborhood Noodles & Company.

Want more specifics about my order? I say, "Can I have a Regular Size bowl of spaghetti with RICE NOODLES and NO CHEESE." Now back when I was pregnant, I got the Regular Size bowl and I figured once I had Avery, I'd drop back down to a Small Size bowl, but now I still get a Regular size bowl...sometimes I just have a little bit to take home with me. 

I don't have a problem polishing off a regular-size bowl!

So that's how I eat gluten-free, vegan at Noodles & Company.  Have you ever been there? What did you think about it? Or do you have any other favorite restaurants where you can eat gluten-free, vegan at? Post below! I'd love to hear about them! ( :


  1. Thanks for the head's up! I love Noodles, but always get penne rosa with the chicken...i will try this!! Also...Avery is ADORABLE! She's getting so big. I love how you're using her chalkboard to mark her growth!!

    Have a great weekend!

    Tina :-)

  2. Hey Tina, good to hear from you. Yes, this "Rice Noodle Spaghetti" is my all-time favorite at Noodles...yum! And your chalkboard is really coming in handy now to write her heights and weights on, why didn't I think of this sooner?! Oh well, glad I'm doing it now. Today is actually her offical "5 month" b-day (post to follow soon) and we get to weigh and measure her and mark it on the chalkboard again...can't wait to see what it is! Thanks again for the cool chalkboard, I love it! Take care! ( :

  3. Just stumbled upon your blog tonight - I got my free birthday noodle bowl coupon and was looking to see what a gluten sensitive girl could get! I just recently cut gluten from my diet, and boy has it made a difference in how I feel! I'm also lactose intolerant so I'm excited to try your vegan, g-f recipes. Thanks!

  4. Hey Teachermom,
    Yeah, it's pretty amazing how different you can feel once you get the gluten culprit out of the way! I remember feeling overwhelemed at first trying to find alternatives, but after a while it just kind of became second-nature. Lactose intolerant too? We might as well be buddies- lol! Hope you find some recipes that work with your diet on here. Happy eating! ( :

  5. That's great you do these posts! I try to do something like this too, but with chain restaurants.

  6. Hold the phone! Did I see on your blog post that Olive Garden has a gluten-free menu? WHAT?! I haven't ate there in years! I had no clue they had gluten-free pasta! As you can see above, pasta is my favorite! I will have to give it a try! Thanks for sharing!( :


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