15 Tasty Low-Carb Options for Pasta Lovers

Today is World Pasta Day! This is definitely one food holiday I can get behind, and not just because I love pasta. Today the world celebrates pasta as a sustainable, healthy food. Pasta in its many forms is enjoyed all over the world, on every continent. However, those who have special diets that don’t include wheat pasta or noodles might not feel like they are able to join in today in celebrating. It’s hard to be gluten-free for many reasons, but I really, really miss my pasta! And then I started thinking of people who are paleo or eat a low-carb diet because of dietary restrictions. Can those of us who don’t eat traditional pasta and noodles still join in the fun of celebrating World Pasta Day? The answer is a resounding YES! There are so many low-carb pasta options out there now. I’m talking about other options beyond the wheat- and gluten-free pastas gracing grocery store shelves. There are so many low-carb options for pasta lovers that also happen to be naturally gluten-free. Many come from veggies you’ve probably got sitting in your fridge right now! It’s easy to adapt a lot of pasta recipes to fit special diets and needs using these low-carb pasta options. I think you’ll find some that you’ve seen before and some that you haven’t. I know I’m excited to seek out some new low-carb pasta options to try out for myself!

  • 15 Tasty Low-Carb Options For Pasta Lovers 1 of 16

    Ladies and gentlemen, get your forks ready!

  • Roasted Onion "Pasta" 2 of 16

    Robin from The Big Red Kitchen says, "The sweet vidalia, cut in thin slices, rings separated, drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper creates a sweet, savory, nutty, and surprisingly flavorful substitute for pasta under the mass of my Bolognese Sauce." I am left wondering where this "pasta" has been all my life ... sigh.

    Recipe and photo source: The Big Red Kitchen

  • Butternut Squash Ribbons 3 of 16

    I love butternut squash anyway, but sliced into thin ribbons? I'm totally in love. You could use it in place of pappardelle. I like this simple preparation of butternut ribbons with butter and herbs. Perfection.

    Photo and recipe source: Savoring Kentucky

  • Dang Myun with Beef 4 of 16

    Korean dang myun is new to me. It's a kind of cellophane noodle made from the starch of purple sweet potatoes. It's often stir-fried with beef and vegetables, and only needs a 10-minute soak in hot water before using. It's a great thing to keep on hand for quick dinners.


    Recipe and photo source: Hungry Cravings

  • Shirataki Fettucine Alfredo 5 of 16

    Tofu shirataki is a popular low-carb pasta option with only 40 calories for a two-serving package. A popular way of serving it is to slather it with Alfredo sauce, shown here in a vegan cream sauce topped with peas.


    Photo and recipe source: Vegan Crunk

  • Turnip Pasta with Creamy Brazil Nut Sauce 6 of 16

    Turnips create the noodle of choice in this amazing raw pasta dish creamy Brazil nut sauce.  And because it's raw and vegan, there's zero guilt. Only happiness.

    Photo and recipe source: Choosing Raw

  • Sausage n’ Cabbage Noodles with Fried Apples 7 of 16

    Cabbage is a great pasta replacement, especially in this flavorful paleo recipe for sausage n' cabbage "noodles" with fried apples.


    Photo and recipe source: Everyday Paleo

  • Lasagna-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash 8 of 16

    Spaghetti squash has long been the darling when it comes to low-carb or gluten-free pasta replacements. And why not? It naturally separates into threads after cooking. I absolutely love this hearty, cheesy lasagna-stuffed recipe from Closet Cooking. 


    Recipe and photo source: Closet Cooking

  • Carrot Noodles in Peanut Sauce 9 of 16

    Long, thin shreds of sweet carrots are the perfect vehicle for peanut sauce in this recipe. Top with plenty of green onions and sesame seeds. I'll take mine with a good dose of Sriracha too, thankyouverymuch.


    Photo and recipe source: A House in the Hills

  • Zucchini Spaghetti Zoodles with Meatballs 10 of 16

    I think the first time I saw or heard of "zoodles" was on Nom Nom Paleo. What a brilliant idea! Zucchini zoodles have a very similar texture to wheat pasta, but are lower in carbs. Plus, cutting them into spirals is a lot of fun.


    Photo and recipe source: Nom Nom Paleo

  • Low-Carb Zucchini Lasagna 11 of 16

    Like spiral sliced "zoodles," thinly sliced zucchini is a light,  low-carb replacement for lasagna noodles. You won't have to feel one ounce of guilt about having seconds or thirds (fourths?), or feel sluggish and weighed down afterward.


    Photo and recipe source: Dashing Dish

  • Chilled Sweet Sour Cucumber Noodles 12 of 16

    I make cucumber salads all the time, but the thought never occurred to me to turn cucumbers into noodles. Brilliant! I love the fresh, sweet and sour component of this salad. (And I wouldn't feel at all guilty for eating an entire bowl.)

    Recipe and photo source: Just a Taste

  • Stir-Fried Kelp Noodles with Ground Beef and Broccoli 13 of 16

    I've only recently been learning all about kelp noodles as a gluten-free, low-carb pasta alternative. Kelp noodles are high in iodine and made from brown seaweed. There are two types: green and clear. Both have their uses, but clear is more popular and has less of a seaweed flavor. They can be used like pasta and noodles in most applications and are common in raw diets. I'm excited to try them cooked in a stir fry like the one pictured.


    Recipe and photo source: Nom Nom Paleo

  • Black Bean Spaghetti 14 of 16

    Have you ever tried pasta made from black beans? No? Me neither. I'm ready to give it a try, though. My mind is swirling with ideas of how to use it first. With marinara sauce? In a veggie-packed stir fry? Maybe a Mexican-inspired recipe? According to what I've been seeing on the web, people either love it or hate it. I'm game.

    Photo source: Amazon

  • Raw Beet Ravioli 15 of 16

    Raw beet ravioli is so beautiful, it hurts! It's also very sophisticated. Sonnet's recipe includes a raw almond cheese filling and is topped with pesto. All the yum without the guilt!


    Photo and recipe source: In Sonnet's Kitchen

  • Cauliflower Mushroom Sparassis Crispa Noodles 16 of 16

    I was really intrigued when I saw Fit & Fed's cauliflower mushroom noodles. I've seen dried mushroom strips used in place of pasta/noodles before, but these are from a foraged Sparassis crispa. I think that's pretty amazing! It's definitely changing how I look at mushrooms. We use them to replace meat all the time, but I love the idea of using them as a pasta option. I can only imagine how delicious the result is!

    Recipe and photo source: Fit and Fed

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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