Best Pasta for Acid Reflux & Heartburn

Best Pasta for Acid Reflux & Heartburn

Posted on: Pasta

By Dr. Jorge, Ph.D.

Wildgrain is the first bake-from-frozen subscription box for sourdough breads, fresh pastas, and artisanal pastries. 

Are you craving pasta but worried it will trigger acid reflux or heartburn? For many, the fear of digestive discomfort is reason enough to avoid eating foods they love, like pasta. Fortunately, plenty of delicious pasta dishes are gentle on the stomach. Keep reading to explore the best types of pasta and sauces that will satisfy your cravings while keeping acid reflux and heartburn at bay.  

Does eating pasta cause acid reflux and heartburn? Why does pasta give me acid reflux?

On its own, pasta doesn’t necessarily cause acid reflux and heartburn, but you might still experience symptoms after eating pasta due to sauce, cheese, and other toppings. Certain pasta sauces, such as those with a tomato or cream base, can cause heartburn in people predisposed to it. Similarly, spices, garlic, and high-fat ingredients, like cheese, are often included in pasta dishes and can contribute to acid reflux and heartburn. Ingredients that are acidic, spicy, or high in fat can irritate your stomach and esophagus, leading to acid reflux and heartburn.

What is the best pasta for heartburn? Is pasta good for acid reflux?

While pasta in and of itself usually doesn’t cause heartburn, white pasta made from refined grains is more likely to lead to uncomfortable digestion symptoms. Instead, opting for high-fiber foods, such as those made with whole grains, which can improve digestion and might lower the chances of developing heartburn and acid reflux. This means whole wheat or whole grain pasta is the best for those with heartburn and acid reflux.

What can I put in my pasta sauce to stop heartburn?

A common culprit of heartburn is the acidic tomatoes used to make your favorite pasta sauces like marinara sauce and vodka sauce. To try to prevent heartburn caused by tomato-based sauces, a pinch of baking soda can be added to the sauce. This works because the alkaline nature of baking soda can balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. If you try this trick, you should wait to add salt until after adding baking soda to the sauce, because the reaction between the baking soda and the acid from the tomatoes will form salt.

Can GERD patients eat pasta? What are the best pasta and pasta dishes for GERD?

Those with gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, can absolutely eat pasta. However, high-fiber pasta such as whole wheat pasta should be prioritized, since high-fiber foods are known to decrease symptoms of GERD. Those with GERD should avoid acidic and creamy pasta sauces like tomato and carbonara sauce. Instead, you can pair whole-grain pasta with a roasted red pepper or spinach pesto sauce.

How can I eat spaghetti without acid reflux or heartburn? How can I eat pasta without acid reflux or heartburn?

You might be able to eat spaghetti without experiencing acid reflux and heartburn if you replace white spaghetti with spaghetti made from whole grains and avoid adding toppings that are high in fat, spices, and acidity. You should also carefully choose the pasta sauce you pair with your spaghetti to reduce acid reflux and heartburn symptoms. This means reaching for an oil-based sauce instead of marinara or another sauce heavy in tomatoes.

What pasta sauce is OK for heartburn and acid reflux? Can I eat spaghetti sauce with acid reflux?

Pasta sauces with minimal acidity and fat are OK for those with heartburn and acid reflux. This can include sauces with an oil base (like pesto) sauces made with roasted red peppers as a tomato sauce substitute, or sauces made with other vegetables like pumpkin. You can eat spaghetti sauce with acid reflux, but limiting your intake of tomato-based sauces is recommended. You can also add a pinch of baking soda to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes. This should reduce the severity of your acid reflux and heartburn.

Is Alfredo pasta OK for heartburn? What can I eat instead of Alfredo pasta for acid reflux?

Creamy sauces are generally not recommended if you suffer from heartburn. This is because high-fat foods, like alfredo sauce, can delay digestion by sitting in your stomach. This can then cause stomach acid to back up into the esophagus after consumption, leading to acid reflux and heartburn. Instead of a creamy sauce, you can opt for a pesto sauce (without garlic) or another oil-based pasta sauce.

What are better pasta dishes for heartburn and acid reflux?

The best pasta dishes for heartburn and acid reflux include those with minimal spices, low to no acidity, and lots of fiber and vegetables. Limiting certain ingredients frequently found in pasta dishes, such as cheese, garlic, and tomatoes, is crucial as these can exacerbate acid reflux and heartburn. Try swapping white pasta out for whole wheat pasta, replacing marinara sauce with a roasted red pepper sauce, and adding your favorite vegetable to avoid acid reflux and heartburn.

Where can I buy healthy pasta and pasta sauce online?

At Wildgrain, we specialize in making high-quality, fresh breads that are delivered directly to your door. Wildgrain is the first bake-from-frozen delivery subscription service for breads, rolls, pastries, and fresh pastas. Some of our popular pastas include Fresh Fettuccine, Fresh Rigatoni, and Fresh Tonnarelli. We also make homemade Classic Marinara Sauce. Learn more about Wildgrain and our artisanal baking and cooking methods. 


About the Author

Dr. Jorge has been a public health researcher for many years, holding both a Bachelor's degree and a Ph.D. in Chemistry. They presently work as a medical writer and love being able to assist others in understanding various health and scientific topics.


This content is for informational use only and does not replace professional nutrition and/or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for and should not be relied upon for specific nutrition and/or medical recommendations. Please talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns.