Ramen, with its savory broth, perfectly cooked noodles, and an array of delicious toppings, has undoubtedly secured its place as a beloved comfort food around the world. However, for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease, the prospect of enjoying a warm bowl of ramen may seem out of reach.
But don’t worry – we’ve searched grocery store shelves and online spots to track down the best gluten-free ramen and rice noodle soups that can be found in Canada! Read on to learn about our top picks and where to find them.
Why isn’t ramen gluten-free?
Traditional ramen noodles are typically made from wheat, which of course contains gluten. While some ramen is made from rice noodles, which are gluten-free, you still have to be careful with consuming the broth as wheat is often found in seasoning packets as well.
Luckily for us, the culinary world has heard the plea for gluten-free alternatives, and we’re excited to guide you through our top picks for gluten-free ramen options available right here in Canada, both online and in-store. So, if you’ve been missing the joy of slurping noodles and sipping broth, read on!
THAI KITCHEN Rice Noodle Soup Bowls
THAI Kitchen’s Rice Noodle Soup Bowls are by far one of our top choices when it comes to gluten-free ramen replacements available here in Canada! Not only are they easy to find in many grocery stores, they are also available on Amazon (and for a really great price, too!). They come in a bowl (duh) and all you have to do is add water and microwave, or, you can alternatively add boiling water directly to the bowl. This makes these a great gluten-free ramen option for school or work lunches, as they can easily be transported and require little effort to make!
Not only are they gluten-free, but several of the flavours are vegan too!
Since we consider ourselves gluten-free microwave ramen experts (yes, that’s a thing), here’s a breakdown on available flavours and our notes on each…
Just like the name suggests, this flavour is best for those unafraid of a little heat! With chili pepper in the seasoning packet, this flavour adds a little kick and is perfect if you’re after a spicier gluten-free ramen option. This flavour is vegan.
A personal favourite of ours, the lemongrass adds a unique flavour to this rice noodle bowl and while the chili adds a tiny bit of heat, it’s not particularly spicy and a safe choice for those who don’t want too much heat!
In our experience, we tend to come across this flavour less commonly when shopping in-store, so if you’re looking to try it Amazon might be your best bet! An earthier taste, it definitely reminds us of the Mr. Noodle mushroom flavour, pure nostalgia!
We’re noticed that at least around Toronto, this is another flavour of the THAI KITCHEN Noodle Soup Bowls that is harder to come by when shopping in-store, but can still be found online on Amazon. It’s certainly worth ordering if it’s delicious, garlicly flavour that you seek! This flavour is vegan.
The Spring Onion flavour is one we find ourselves consistently going back to, probably because it has that nostalgic taste of Mr. Noodles that we’ve been trying to create a gluten-free version of. It’s predictable, delicious, and really just hits the spot for our gluten-free ramen cravings. We have found the Spring Onion flavour to be the most commonly found in-store, and you can of course order it online as well. This flavour is vegan.
The final THAI KITCHEN Rice Noodle Soup Bowl flavour to highlight is Thai Ginger. We bought this on a whim and ended up loving it! This flavour actually contains coconut milk which gives the broth a thicker, slightly more creamy consistency. This flavour is vegan.
Gluten-Free Ramen Single Serve Package Options
We’ve already hyped up the THAI KITCHEN Rice Noodle Soup Bowls above, but if you’re planning on just enjoying your gluten-free ramen at home and don’t require the bowl, then THAI KITCHEN’s Instant Rice Noodle Soups are another great single-serve gluten-free ramen option available in Canada.
These are more like the commonly found ramen packets – you can either add boiling water to a bowl with the dried rice noodles and the seasonings, or you can add them all in a bowl and microwave it for a few minutes.
The flavours of the THAI KITCHEN Instant Rice Noodle Soups are similar to the bowls, but there does seem to be some flavours available in one form and not the other, such as the Bangkok Curry flavour, which, in our opinion, is seriously delicious.
You can find these sold individually in-store, or, you can purchase them in packs on Amazon, which generally makes the cost per package significantly less than what you’d pay for them in-store!
Another gluten-free ramen single serve option available in Canada is the Lotus Foods Millet & Brown Rice Ramen. As the name suggests, these gluten-free ramen noodles are made from a combination of millet and brown rice, both of which are naturally gluten-free grains. The millet gives these gluten-free ramen noodles a slightly nuttier taste.
Make your own broth
We should be clear that the packs of the Lotus Foods Millet & Brown Rice Ramen are only the ramen noodles – they don’t contain any seasoning packets! So, if you’re a home chef looking to DIY your own gluten-free ramen, then these are the perfect choice to add to your homemade broth! But, if you’re looking for something quick and easy, THAI Kitchen’s offerings are probably your best bet.
Ramen is just one of those things that people newly diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerances/sensitivities often miss the most. We think it’s no coincidence that the foods we miss the most are often the most difficult to find gluten-free alternatives for.
We are always on the hunt for new gluten-free ramen options available in Canada, and we will continue to keep you posted on our latest discoveries!