Pasta is delicious, but it’s not always the healthiest option.
People are starting to get tired of eating the same old pasta dishes and want something that will excite their taste buds.
It can be hard to find a healthy pasta replacement without sacrificing flavor or texture.
Fortunately, there are many pasta substitutes you can use that are 1. easy to find and 2. healthier than pasta.
Here are some best pasta substitutes that can help you be more creative in the kitchen: Zucchini Noodles, Squash Noodles, Quinoa Pasta, Eggplant Lasagna, Shirataki Noodles, and Cauliflower Rice.
Read on as I explain how you can try these healthier options and prepare similar or even better-tasting dishes.
- What is Pasta?
- 7 Best Pasta Substitutes
- What Is the Lowest Carb Pasta Available?
- Is Pasta Bad for You?
- Is Eating Pasta Healthier Than Rice?
- How Can You Make Pasta Healthier?
- Are Zucchini Noodles Healthy?
- Final Words
What is Pasta?
Pasta is a staple dish in many parts of the world. It includes a staple food originating from Italy. The word “pasta” is derived from the Italian word “paste”, which means “dough”.
When cooked or eaten, it becomes soft due to cooking and usually has a long shape similar to spaghetti.
Traditional pasta is made from wheat flour, water, and eggs. The most commonly served type of pasta is a long thin tube-like product called spaghetti, which is made of semolina and water.
Other types of pasta include macaroni, lasagna, and rotini.
7 Best Pasta Substitutes
1. Zucchini Noodles
If you are looking for a gluten-free alternative to pasta, then Zucchini noodles might be your answer. Zucchini Noodles are a healthy and easy substitute for classic fettuccine, spaghetti, and even lasagna.
The trick to making perfect noodles is using the right tools. You can make them with a spiralizer or a julienne peeler. It’s a great replacement for regular noodles because it’s low carbohydrate and high in nutrients.
This dish sounds like a dream come true for vegans and vegetarians who want to have an alternative.
The best part about this is that they are totally customizable if you use different types of zucchini or noodles! There are no rules when it comes to creating your own masterpiece.
2. Squash Noodles
This is another substitute for traditional pasta that zucchini noodles are usually compared to. They both share a lot of the same characteristics and have similar cooking methods.
You can use them in soups, salads, stir-fries, or even by themselves as a pasta replacement! It has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor, so it tastes great with a lot of different dishes.
This dish will be the perfect complement to your meal if you’ve been on a no-carb diet for too long!
3. Quinoa Pasta
The third option for pasta replacements is quinoa pasta. It is often called “the meatless noodle” because it looks like traditional pasta and takes a similar shape.
It’s made from quinoa and contains nutrients such as fiber, minerals, protein, and amino acids.
This is the perfect pasta alternative for vegans who are on a gluten-free or low-carb diet! They have a great texture that can resemble rice noodles more than classic wheat pasta.
4. Spiralized Vegetables
This is perfect for when you are looking to create something simple, but delicious at the same time! Spiralizing vegetables like zucchini, cucumber, or carrots and using them as noodles can be a great family-friendly dinner idea.
It can also work in salads which can help bring in more veggies and fresh ingredients! They are also the best choice for picky eaters because they’re fun to eat, especially for children.
5. Eggplant Lasagna
If you are craving something rich and hearty, then this might be an option for you. This is a great way of getting your nutrients without sacrificing too much on taste.
The best part about this dish is that it’s not the typical lasagna you’re used to, so you can satisfy your cravings without feeling like you are missing out on anything.
6. Shirataki Noodles
If you’re looking for a substitute for traditional pasta but don’t want anything too heavy then this is the perfect choice for you.
Shirataki noodles are made from konjac yams and they have a very low-calorie count. They also contain no sugar, fat, gluten, or starch!
You can make this healthy dish using different types of sauces to add more flavor and nutrients. It’s best if you experiment with different types of vegetables or proteins to add more nutrition.
7. Cauliflower Rice
Last but not least, the last substitute for traditional pasta that we have is cauliflower rice. This dish has gained a lot of popularity because everyone can enjoy it and it tastes great!
It’s best when you marinate the cauliflower before cooking it, so you can add a lot of different flavors. You can add it to salads or eat it alone because it’s light but filling at the same time!
The great thing about this dish is that you get all the health benefits without sacrificing any flavor. No sauce necessary!
What Is the Lowest Carb Pasta Available?
I think it’s important to stay away from pasta when you’re on a low-carb diet because it doesn’t have much fiber and can be high in calories.
If you are looking for something that resembles traditional pasta the most then I would go with Shirataki noodles!
Is Pasta Bad for You?
Depending on what you serve it with, pasta can be a great choice for your meal because it has a lot of vitamins and minerals.
However, if you are using traditional white pasta or just eating carbs in general then yes; it is bad for you! I would recommend using one of the substitutes we mentioned above instead!
The problem lies in consuming too many carbs on a daily basis. If you are looking for something to satisfy your pasta cravings then try using different vegetables as noodles and see if it doesn’t make the craving disappear!
Is Eating Pasta Healthier Than Rice?
This can depend on the type of pasta you are consuming. For example, if it’s made using whole wheat or legumes then you’re getting a lot more nutrients and fiber from this than white rice.
White rice is usually enriched which means that they are adding vitamins and minerals to make up for what was lost in processing. The thing is, you can do this to anything including pasta.
If you are looking for a healthier option then I would go with quinoa; it has all the amino acids that your body needs and it’s very filling too! It will keep you full for longer compared to traditional pasta or rice.
How Can You Make Pasta Healthier?
There are different ways to make pasta healthier and here are just some of them:
Using whole-wheat pasta instead of traditional white or refined. Using a tomato-based sauce instead of an Alfredo dish which is way more caloric.
Choosing high protein sources for your meal like chicken or beans. Adding veggies to your meal will add variety and nutrients without upping the calories too much.
Are Zucchini Noodles Healthy?
Compared to traditional pasta, zucchini noodles are a lot healthier because they don’t have any fat in them and they are low in calories.
However, you can make this dish even better by adding some proteins to your meal like shrimp or chicken. This will add flavor and nutrients without upping the fat or calories too much!
There are many substitutes for pasta that you can use to reduce the number of carbs in your diet and feel full without feeling guilty.
The options I have provided will allow you to enjoy a healthy dish, with or without sauce, while still getting all the essential nutrients needed by your body.
If none of these sounds appealing then it is worth trying one of our other suggestions like cauliflower rice or quinoa pasta!
So there you have it! There are seven ways that you can replace pasta with healthier alternatives.
Phew! I hope that by now you have everything you need to know about finding the best pasta substitutes for your health needs AND for your tastebuds!
Try them out and let us know which one is your favorite!