Drop Your Calorie Count by Swapping Pasta out for These Alternatives

Craving pasta, but counting calories? Try a nutrient-rich alternative. Whether you spiralize your most beloved veggies for a low-calorie take on your favorite dishes, or you give protein-rich bean pasta a try, making the switch to a pasta alternative is a delicious way to add more nutrient-rich foods to your diet.

From spaghetti to shells to elbows and fettuccine, you can find a variety of exquisite pasta alternatives on the same shelves as some of the more traditional options. Up ahead, we share a selection of guilt-free pasta alternatives you’re going to want to try.

1. Explore Cuisine’s edamame spaghetti

Pasta Alternatives Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame Spahetti

Explore Cuisine’s edamame spaghetti | Explore Cuisine

Looking to add more nutrient-rich foods to your diet? Consider edamame spaghetti (six boxes for $25) as an option. What makes this pasta alternative so unique? Made from just one ingredient — organic edamame beans — one serving of these vegan, gluten-free spaghetti noodles equals half of your daily protein and fiber requirements.

2. Banza’s chickpea penne pasta

Pasta Alternatives Banza Chickpea Penne Pasta

Banza’s chickpea penne pasta | Thrive Market

Make your pasta dinner healthy by adding a protein-rich alternative. Made from chickpeas and pea protein, Banza pasta ($3.99) tastes as good as the real deal — and that’s not all. Like many other bean-based pasta alternatives, one serving of these chickpea noodles are rich in iron, protein, and fiber.

3. Ancient Harvest’s black bean elbows

Pasta Alternatives Ancient Harvest Pow! Black Bean Elbows

Ancient Harvest’s black bean elbows | Ancient Harvest

If you’ve browsed the pasta aisle at your local market recently, you might have noticed that there are many options for pasta alternatives — and one alternative in particular is popping up everywhere. From Trader Joe’s to Whole Foods, black bean pasta is quickly becoming a must-try alternative. Made from black bean flour, brown rice flour, and organic quinoa flour, the black bean elbows ($4.49) from Ancient Harvest are rich in iron, protein, and fiber and make for a delicious, healthy alternative.

4. Spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash on a wooden background

Who knew squash could also be spaghetti? | iStock.com/DipaliS

Think pasta alternatives don’t taste as good as the real deal? Think again! Whether you’re making traditional “spaghetti” and meatballs, or using it instead of traditional noodles in a lasagna dish, spaghetti squash is as delicious as it is nutritious. Low in calories, the yellow, pasta-like squash delivers health-benefiting nutrients — think: potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C — straight to your mouth.

5. Al Dente Pasta’s spinach fettuccine noodles

Pasta Alternatives Al Dente Pasta Spinach Fettuccine Noodles

Al Dente Pasta’s spinach fettuccine noodles | iHerb

Looking for ways to add more greens to your diet? Try a pasta alternative made with spinach. Rich in fiber, the spinach noodles ($4.39) are a healthier alternative to regular fettuccine, but taste just as good!

6. Inspiralizer

Pasta Alternatives The Inspiralizer

The Inspiralizer | Inspiralizer

Want more pasta options that are not just low calorie but full of health-benefiting nutrients, too? Try making your own veggie noodles! Thanks to The Inspiralizer ($49.95), spiralizing your veggies is easier than ever. From zucchini noodles to carrots to squash, you can add the whole rainbow to your dish and reap the benefits of a variety of different vegetables. All while enjoying a delicious “pasta” meal!

7. Ancient Harvest’s quinoa supergrain pasta shells

Pasta Alternatives Ancient Harvest Quinoa Supergrain Pasta Shells

Ancient Harvest’s quinoa supergrain pasta shells | Ancient Harvest

With gluten-free pasta more popular than ever, quinoa noodles are having a major moment. And the quinoa supergrain pasta shells ($3.89) allow you to reap the benefits of a supergrain pasta without compromising flavor. Made from all natural ingredients, the gluten-free shells can be added to your favorite mac and cheese recipe for a more nutritious take on a classic dish.

8. Explore Cuisine’s edamame and mung bean fettuccine

Pasta Alternatives Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame & Mung Bean

Explore Cuisine’s edamame and mung bean fettuccine | Explore Cuisine

Eating clean? Try a two-ingredient all-natural pasta like edamame and mung bean fettuccine (six for $25). Made from edamame and mung bean, these noodles put an Asian twist on an Italian classic. What’s more? These noodles are high in protein, fiber, and potassium.

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