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Simple Swaps for a Healthier Pasta Dish

There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of pasta. This carb heavy dish is usually a food that reserved for splurge night on occasion. Whether you’re team marinara or team cream sauce, it’s possible to enjoy a healthier bowl of pasta by substituting classic pasta for alternative noodle swaps!

Pasta is an easy weeknight dinner that usually wins over the entire family. With plenty of already made, healthy sauces available at the grocery store, this crowd favorite can make it on the table in under 30 minutes, easily.

But what do you do if you’re looking to cut down on carbohydrates in your diet? You likely avoid pasta night and traditional pasta noodles.

What if there was a way to enjoy a comforting bowl of pasta in a healthier way?

It’s entirely possible, and can still be delicious, with these five simple pasta swaps!

Spiralized vegetables. Zucchini, beet, sweet potato … there are many veggie options when it comes to spiralizing noodles. Since rising in popularity, veggie noodles can be found already prepped at the grocery store. However, vegetable noodles spiralized from scratch are going to be your best bet. They are easy to prepare and will hold up better to the heat of the sauce. Store-bought noodles, especially zucchini, can turn to mush easily depending on how fresh they are.

This recipe for Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto Sauce would be a delicious place to start!

Fiber-rich pasta alternatives. This is a favorite simple swap if you’re looking to stay within the traditional pasta family. There are many pasta alternatives made from lentils or chickpeas that are going to give you more fiber and protein, with less net carbohydrates, in every bite.

A word of caution – if pea protein is listed as an ingredient, it’s likely that it will be on the drier side and break apart easily. Pasta made from one ingredient, preferably lentils, is going to give you the closest texture resemblance to traditional pasta. Try it out with this 5-Ingredient Nut-Free Pesto.

Roasted spaghetti squash. Have you ever tried making spaghetti squash at home? It’s easier than it looks! All you need is a sharp nice and a little arm muscle.

To prepare the squash, cut of both ends, then cut the squash in half lengthwise. Spoon the seeds out of the middle and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with avocado oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place cut-side down. Roast in the oven at 400F for about 25-30 minutes, until you can pierce a fork through the flesh. Shred the “noodles” with a fork and serve with your favorite sauce!

Hearts of palm linguine. This is a newer noodle alternative on the market, but if you enjoy the taste of hearts of palm, this one is definitely worth trying. The linguine comes packaged in a can and preparation couldn’t be any easier. Just rinse, drain and serve!

Konjac (miracle) noodles. These clear noodles might look a little funky at first glance, but are a similar low-carb alternative to the hearts of palm linguine. The noodles are made from a soluble fiber that comes from the konjac plant called glucomannan. This type of fiber absorbs water, forming a gel in your gut to slow down digestion and help you feel fuller longer.

Try these noodles with a saucy curry, like this Veggie Thai Curry using ingredients you probably have on hand.

Pasta la vista!


Carly Paige, health coach and cooking instructor, believes that healthy doesn’t have to be hard. Her mission is to show you simple swaps in and out of the kitchen to elevate your everyday that will transform your health. Carly is the author of Simply Swapped Everyday, a healthy guide and cookbook with over 75 plant-powered recipes and founder of FitLiving Eats – a place where she shares nutritious recipes and how-to guides.

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