Carbs have become public enemy number one in recent years, and it’s spawned all sorts of different anti-carb diets such as paleo, keto, or simply going gluten-free. Cutting carbs from your diet means no more pasta, a dish that many won’t want to give up so easily. Worry not — there are many healthy alternatives to regular pasta that will still taste incredible without subjecting you to the negative effects of carbs. Check out some of the possible substitutes for pasta below:
Mung Bean Noodles
Made from mung bean starch and turned into translucent, dehydrated noodles, mung bean noodles require boiling to rehydrate. Mung bean noodles are a great choice for paleo and gluten-free enthusiasts, as these noodles contain few carbs and no gluten, and they are a wonderful addition to stir-fry and salads.
Black Bean Pasta
Black bean noodles have a consistent chewiness with minimal flavor on their own. That makes them perfect for mixing with various sauces and turning them into the delightful pasta-dish that you’re craving.
Zucchini noodles are simple to make — just trim the ends off a zucchini and run it through a spiralizer to create perfect noodles that will serve as a healthy and tasty alternative to regular pasta. A cup of spaghetti pasta yields around 220 calories, whereas a cup of zoodles only holds 33 calories, while also holding a lower carb-count than traditional pasta.
Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour and have a similar thickness and texture to regular spaghetti. Buckwheat flour has a reputation for being a heart-friendly food that will help fight off high cholesterol, while also being rich in antioxidants. Buckwheat flour is also gluten-free, as the flour is made from seeds and not grains.
A popular substitute to pasta, spaghetti squash is loaded with Vitamin C, fiber and only has 42 calories per cup. The squash turns into spaghetti-like noodles when cooked, making it a natural alternative. Spaghetti squash has a very mild flavor, leaving lots of room for customization, although it’s recommended to season the squash with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper prior to baking it.
Made from konjac yams, shirataki noodles have some similarities to the mung bean noodles, in that they’re equally low-carb, low-calorie and free of any gluten. The biggest appeal of Shirataki noodles is that they are almost entirely water and only have 15 calories per serving. While they don’t contain much in terms of nutrients, they are a great substitute for those who want some form of noodle in their dish without worrying about high-calorie content.
Egg noodles are low in fat and provide you with a nice dose of protein, at the cost of having a higher carb-count than other alternatives. Egg noodles have a soft, buttery texture while also providing a strong flavor, making these noodles a great substitute for heavier pasta dishes. They can be gluten-free if gluten-free flour is used.
There are green kelp noodles and clear kelp noodles. Green kelp noodles have a chewier texture and have a noticeable seaweed flavor to them, whereas clear kelp noodles are crunchier and more neutral in taste. If you’re worried about the taste of seaweed disturbing the other flavors in your pasta dish, clear kelp noodles are a safe bet.