We all love pasta, but we don’t necessarily love the carbs and calories that come with it. Luckily, it’s easy to satisfy your noodle fix and stick to your fitness goals with these healthier pasta substitutes that taste just like the real thing!
1. Zucchini Noodles
Zucchini noodles are great because they are high in fiber and low in carbs – not to mention they taste amazing! Plus, this healthier alternative does not need to be cooked like regular pasta. Simply sauté or eat raw like you would normal veggies and top with your favorite sauce. Make sure not to overcook, and the texture will be spot on!
2. Spaghetti Squash
With only 30 calories per cup, spaghetti squash is much easier to fit into your healthy lifestyle than conventional spaghetti, which has more than triple the amount of calories (100 per cup). It’s also pretty fun to prepare. After cooking the squash and removing the seeds, use a fork to scrape and release the spaghetti-like strands. Coat with butter, salt and pepper, and you’re good to go.
3. Shirataki Noodles
These thin Japanese noodles made from konjac yam aren’t just colorless – they are also calorie-less! That’s right, served on their own they have virtually ZERO calories. They’re a great pasta substitute, as they take on the flavor of whatever they’re served with. If you buy them packaged in liquid, remember to rinse them thoroughly before preparing. (And plug your nose when opening the package, as they tend to have a fishy smell, but don’t worry, it does not affect their taste.)
4. Black Bean Spaghetti
Calling all brown rice and whole wheat pasta lovers! This is the best substitute to fill that whole wheat pasta craving. One serving is packed with 12g of fiber and 25g of protein, with only 180 calories! It’s also gluten free. Cook like you would normal pasta, and top with low-fat tomato sauce and turkey meatballs for a more nutritious version of your favorite comfort food.
5. Eggplant Manicotti
A fresh alternative to traditional manicotti pasta! Simply bake slices of eggplant until tender, and roll with ricotta filling before adding tomato sauce and finishing it off in the oven. Eggplant can also be used to replace the noodles in lasagna for a lower-carb version of the Italian classic.