Melt-in-your-mouth pasta dishes aren’t just popular among Italians; they’re a worldwide hit. Regular pasta is delicious and versatile, but it’s notoriously high in carbs. Keto dieters, those who are intolerant or sensitive to gluten, and others might avoid pasta for various reasons. If you don’t want to give up pasta entirely and the scrumptious sauces that go with it, you’ll be delighted by these pasta replacements.
Keto Pasta Alternatives
From Gnocchi to spaghetti, pasta lovers and keto dieters will relish in these palatable pasta-alternative keto recipes:
1. Spaghetti Squash!
Spaghetti squash makes an excellent, gluten free, pasta substitute. This yellow vegetable originated in North and Central America and has a similar starchy texture and feel to pasta. After cooking, you can use a fork to separate the flesh of your spaghetti squash into strings that resemble spaghetti noodles.
3.5 ounces (100 grams) of spaghetti squash only contains around 20% of the carbs you’d expect in the same amount of pasta. Squash is also much richer in nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, and K.
2. Eggplant Lasagna
Eggplant or aubergine comes from India and is botanically considered a berry, though it’s commonly consumed as a vegetable. One 3.5 ounce serving (100 grams) of eggplant provides around 9 grams of carbs, which is around 3.5 times fewer carbs than the same amount of pasta. Eggplant is also a good source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and manganese .
To make your eggplant lasagna sheets:
Cut your eggplant into thin slices and brush both sides with oil
Roast the slices until golden and soft, turning them once
Use these roasted eggplant slices instead of pasta sheets to make your lasagna
You might decide to skip the initial roasting step and use the raw slices directly for a different texture in your dish. You might also like this keto eggplant Caprese stack recipe.
3. Cauliflower Couscous
Cauliflower can be used as a replacement for rice, couscous, mash, and more. This versatile cruciferous veggie has many health benefits, including reducing the risk of certain cancers. Cauliflower is low in carbs and rich in folate, fiber, and vitamins K, E, and C. 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of cauliflower contains around 4 grams of carbs, which is 13% as much as pasta.
Break the cauliflower and place the florets through a food processor until you have pieces about the size of rice. The pulse function works best to avoid over-blending.
Drizzle oil into a large skillet and sauté your cauliflower couscous for 1-2 minutes. Cover it with a lid and cook it for around 5-8 minutes or until tender. Use the cauliflower couscous in any keto-friendly recipe.
4. Spiralized Veggies!
Spiralized veggies are an easy and attractive way to get more healthy veggies into your keto diet and avoid giving in to a tempting pasta dish. Spiralized vegetables are sliced by a spiralizer — a kitchen tool used to cut vegetables into long strips resembling noodles. Many different veggies can be spiralized. The most popular are zucchini noodles, carrots, and cucumber.
Veggie noodles are lower in net carbs and higher in vitamins, fiber, and minerals. You can enjoy your spiralized veggies warm or cold. Overcooking will make them lose their crunch.
If you want to warm your spiralized veggies, toss them in boiling water for 3-5 minutes until cooked but still firm (al dente). Chow down on these keto alfredo zoodles!
5. Shirataki Noodles
Shirataki noodles are a popular low-carb pasta alternative. These long white noodles are made from a type of fiber known as glucomannan, which comes from the konjac plant. This soluble fiber can make you feel fuller for longer, which might be helpful for weight loss.
Shirataki noodles are an easy keto pasta to prepare. Unpack and rinse these low carb noodles under hot running water. Warm them up and add your choice of sauce! You could also heat the noodles in a skillet to get a more noodle-like texture.
You can also try some of these other keto pasta alternatives:
Tofu noodles (made from a blend of tofu and glucomannan fiber)
Seaweed pasta (i.e., Seaweed noodles)
Cabbage pasta (use whole cabbage leaves as a substitute for lasagna sheets)
Celeriac couscous (a root veggie related to celery originating from the Mediterranean)
Sprouts (such as bean sprouts or alfalfa sprouts)
Get creative in your keto kitchen and stay on top of your health and fitness goals without giving up the wonderful, fulfilling feeling of pasta pasta pasta! Simply toss these pasta replacements with your favorite pasta sauce and enjoy! Try one of these delicious keto pasta dishes:
Steph Green is a writer, researcher, and singer/songwriter with a passion for all things wellness. In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.
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