As much as we’d all love to shove a plateful of carbonara into our faces every night, it’s admittedly not always the healthiest option. Thankfully, there are pasta alternatives available that can satisfy our cravings without the bloat. Whether you’re gluten intolerant or you’re just seeking ways to balance out your diet, we recommend adding the following to your dinner rotation.
- Quinoa pasta: Quinoa pasta most closely rivals the texture of flour-made pasta. It’s a great gluten-free option that’s high in fiber and doesn’t get mushy, like other alternatives.
- Spaghetti squash: This Winter squash makes a hearty and satisfying plate of “spaghetti.” It’s super easy to cook (just pop it into the oven with some olive oil, salt, and pepper) and yields enough servings for leftovers.
- Edamame pasta: High in fiber and iron and great tasting, there’s not a whole lot going against edamame pasta. It also has a similar consistency to regular pasta and only contains a light edamame taste.
- Brown rice pasta: Up your fiber, protein, and whole-grain intake with some brown rice pasta. This option’s particularly great for gluten-free eaters with a sensitive stomach since it’s easily digestible. Keep a close eye while cooking, though — brown rice pasta softens quickly.
- Black bean spaghetti: The great thing about black bean spaghetti is that it pairs well with traditional pasta sauces. While it’s packed with protein and fiber, it has a chewier consistency than regular noodles.
- Shirataki noodles: These “miracle” noodles definitely deserve their nickname, as they’re free of carbs and calories but are high in fiber. The one caveat, however, is that they do have a slimy, gelatinous texture to them since they contain soluble fiber like chia seeds.
- Chickpea pasta: When cooked, this pasta’s texture and taste are comparable to al dente pasta, making it an easy swap. Best of all, it’s high in fiber and protein.
Another great option to add to the list above is soba noodles. Though they don’t go with traditional sauces like marinara, this protein-packed alternative is ideal with peanut sauces and cold dipping recipes that highlight its freshness.