Giada De Laurentiis’ Healthy Pasta Recipes Prove ‘Pasta Isn’t the Enemy’

Eating healthfully doesn’t mean pasta has to be excluded from your diet. These three recipes from Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis feature just the right vegetables and, in a supporting role, perfectly cooked pasta.

They also prove, as the celebrity chef writes in her recent cookbook Eat Better, Feel Better, “Pasta isn’t the enemy: it’s about keeping everything in balance and in the right proportions.”

Food Network chef Giada De Laurentiis wears denim coveralls and a T-shirt during a 2020 virtual Food Network event.
Food Network chef Giada De Laurentiis | Getty Images/Getty Images for NYCWFF

De Laurentiis’ Spaghetti with Lemon and Zucchini is a flavorful pasta dish

With shallots, capers, anchovy paste, red pepper flakes, fresh basil, dill, zucchini, and blanched lemons, De Laurentiis’ dish is big on flavor. The vegetable and herb mixture is tossed with hot spaghetti and feta or goat cheese for a satisfying recipe.

Reviewers were wowed by the recipe’s burst of vivid flavors despite a short ingredients list.

“Made this as soon as I saw Giada make it because I had everything I needed. It is absolutely delicious. The lemons add a unique and bright flavor,” one reviewer wrote on Food Network’s site.

Another home cook said, “This was flat-out incredible. … This is definitely A KEEPER.”

Get the full recipe and reviews on Food Network’s site.

De Laurentiis’ Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables has nearly 800 five-star reviews on Food Network’s site

As comforting as baked ziti with half the amount of cheese, the chef’s baked pasta with roasted vegetables is an enormous hit on Food Network’s site. Red peppers, zucchini, summer squash, cremini mushrooms, and onions are sliced and roasted.

They’re then tossed with cooked and drained penne pasta, marinara sauce, frozen peas that have been thawed, and grated Fontina cheese for a warm and delicious baked casserole.

The mixture is poured into a baking dish and baked for 25 minutes in a 450-degree F oven.

Reviewers loved this healthier alternative to heavier baked pasta dishes.

“This was delicious! I’ve made dishes like this in the past and they all had too much cheese. This is the perfect ratio of cheese, sauce, and veggies. Yum!!,” one home cook said.

Another fan wrote, “A delicious, light version of Italian comfort food.”

Find the full recipe, video, and reviews on Food Network’s site.

Giada De Laurentiis’ Campanelle with Fresh Puttanesca is a crowd-pleasing dish

The Everyday Italian star wrote of this dish in Eat Better, Feel Better, “Made with fresh salmon, [this dish] is much lighter and brighter, but no less flavorful [than the original dish made with tuna]. Plus, it’s a good way to stretch half a pound of salmon to feed a group!”

De Laurentiis notes the dish can also be made with clams or shrimp.

“This was a dish with so much flavor in every bite!! It is simple to create and a real treat to enjoy,” a home cook wrote on Food Network’s website.

Another fan of the recipe added, “This recipe is amazing. I made it exactly as Giada showed us and although I was skeptical I could actually make something so scrumptious I tried. It turned out so good I can’t stop eating it! This is a keeper.”

Get the full recipe, video, and reviews on Food Network’s site.

RELATED: Giada De Laurentiis Confessed She Never Wanted to be Known as the ‘Sexy Cook’