10 Clever Low-Carb Pasta Alternatives
From chickpea linguine to black bean spaghetti, these low-carb pasta alternatives are both healthy and tasty.
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This legume makes a good alternative to wheat pasta. The brand Banza, for example, offers up to three times the fiber and 30% fewer net carbs (48g) than traditional pasta. What’s more? This better-for-you choice will keep you full and satisfied, so there’s no threat of late-night snacking.
The word “boodles” may sound like a type of designer poodle, but it’s not. Boodles is short for butternut squash noodles—which are so perfect for fall. Who doesn’t love a warm and tasty butternut squash pasta after a hard day’s work? See what other spiralized vegetables you can make at home.
It sounds unusual, but don’t knock it before you try it. This noodle is made from edamame, a great source of plant-based protein. It’s low in carbs but rich in fiber, which will keep you feeling full. Plus, Explore Cuisine’s Organic Edamame Spaghetti has received several five-star reviews on Amazon.
Craving Asian food? Shirataki is the way to go. Made from the plant-based fiber glucomannan, shirataki noodles have to be the best way to make lo mein without breaking any rules. In fact, at least one doctor was so impressed with the health benefits that he dubbed the long, white noodles “miracle noodles.”
Zoodles are made with zucchini, which is low in carbs and packed with manganese, vitamins C and B, potassium and fiber. It’s easy to make zucchini noodles with (or without) a spiralizer. You can also buy zoodles pre-spiraled at the grocery store. Just steam them and top with homemade sauce and you have a delicious, nutrient-dense pasta alternative.
Traditional to Asian cuisine, kelp noodles are cholesterol-free, low in sodium, gluten-free and low-calorie. They’re made with just three ingredients—edible brown seaweed, water and sodium alginate—so kelp noodles are the ultimate low-carb pasta replacement. You can use them in place of rice noodles to make noodle bowls.
“Take the raw pumpkin, peel it with a vegetable peeler, cut it into quarters and remove the seeds, then either shred it or spiralize it, and then you can roast the pumpkin at 425°F for 20 minutes,” says Ben Canary, founder and culinary director of HercuLean Meal Prep, which delivers healthy frozen meals. He likes to add some marinara and baked chicken thighs for a high-protein, low-carb family dinner.
Black Bean Spaghetti
Black bean spaghetti is pretty much exactly what it sounds like—pasta made from black beans. There are no add-ins and no preservatives, just good ol’ fiber (one 2 oz. serving contains 12 grams) and protein. Top with our favorite brand of pasta sauce!
Use spaghetti squash as a tasty substitute for noodles. It’s easy to make, too. Just halve the squash, roast at 350°F for 45-60 minutes and use a fork to separate and scoop out the “noodles.” Find more hearty spaghetti squash recipes from when you’re craving pasta.
Mung Bean Noodles
You may find mung bean noodles in the grocery store as “glass noodles.” This is because of their delicate, translucent exterior.
“These are excellent for low-carb, gluten-free and paleo eaters,” says Jamie Hickey, a certified personal trainer, nutritionist and founder of healthy lifestyle website Truism Fitness. “They do have some carbs but unlike boxed pasta, they also have a good protein and fiber content to balance it out.”