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Low-carb, high-nutrient pasta alternatives

Low-carb pasta substitutes include spiralized vegetables, seaweed, and bean sprouts. Fiber, vitamins, and minerals are all included in these alternatives.

Some people dislike pasta because it contains gluten or has a high carbohydrate content. Others report feeling bloated or exhausted after eating pasta.

Overindulging in pasta can result in weight gain. Whole-grain pasta can have a higher fibre content than white pasta. Both, however, contain a lot of calories and carbohydrates, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise. A 100 g serving of cooked pasta contains around 160 calories and 30 g carbohydrates on average.

This article compares the nutritional value of different pasta alternatives. It also includes instructions on how to plan and use them.

Cauliflower couscous

Cauliflower couscous

In a dish that calls for rice or couscous, cauliflower may be used instead of pasta. The cauliflower can be grated or chopped by hand, or it can be processed in a food processor. Steam or stir-fry the cauliflower briefly before adding the vegetables and spices. Cauliflower can also be used as a pizza base with a tomato topping. Rice, couscous, and pizza crust can all be replaced in recipes with frozen cauliflower items that are ready to steam or microwave.

In 100 g of fresh cauliflower, there are 5.16 g of carbohydrates, which is 84 percent less than standard pasta. Vitamin C, calcium, and folate are among the nutrients found in cauliflower. Cauliflower is a member of the brassica family, which contains sulphur compounds that have been shown to be beneficial in many studies.

All you need to know about cauliflower is right here.

Mung bean sprouts

Sprouts can be grown from raw mung beans or purchased at a grocery store. They must be kept in the refrigerator.

Sprouts can sometimes cause disease, but according to a study conducted from 1996 to 2016, alfalfa sprouts were responsible for the majority of outbreaks. Sprouting chia powder, clover, and mung beans were also included in the report. Salmonella, Escherichia coli (E. coli), and Listeria were the three most common pathogens.

Mung bean sprouts have a low carbohydrate content, with just 5.88 g per 100 g.

They also contain vitamin C, calcium, and fibre, which are all beneficial. They’re great in Asian dishes.


As an alternative to pasta, sliced and steamed green cabbage can be served with pasta sauce. It has a lower carbohydrate content and is a good source of protein. Cooked beef, soy, and minced onion may also be wrapped in a whole steamed cabbage leaf and topped with a tomato sauce.

A cup of cooked cabbage has 9.03 g of carbohydrates in comparison to 32.4 g in a cup of pasta shells. Cabbage is high in beta carotene, folate, and vitamin C, among other nutrients.

Kelp noodles

Kelp is a form of seaweed or sea vegetable that some companies use to make noodles. Rinsed kelp noodles can be eaten fresh, as there is no need to prepare them. Kelp noodles with additional ingredients like green tea or other sea vegetables are available from some brands.

Kelp is a source of minerals such as calcium, iodine, and magnesium, and contains 9.57 g of carbohydrates per 100 g.

Eggplant lasagna

In a lasagna, fresh eggplant slices may be used instead of pasta. The eggplant will absorb the flavours as it bakes in the sauce. Alternatively, slices of eggplant may be roasted in olive oil before being used to coat the lasagna.

With 8.73 g of carbohydrates per 100 g, eggplant is a low-carb alternative to standard lasagna sheets.

Learn about the health benefits of eggplant.

Shirataki noodles

Shirataki noodles are a type of long white noodle made from a konjac root vegetable. The noodles are also known as konjac noodles or “miracle” noodles.

Noodles that have been rinsed are simple to prepare. Simply place them in a hot skillet for a few minutes. The noodles complement Asian dishes as well as pasta sauces.

Although some brands contain tofu or yam flour, glucomannan is the main ingredient in shirataki noodles. According to a 2018 report, glucomannan extract given to patients as part of a healthy diet that includes exercise can aid weight loss in some people. However, there is no definitive proof that glucomannan helps people lose weight, and there is no evidence that shirataki noodles help people lose weight.

Other health benefits of glucomannan fibre, such as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, are still being researched.

Shirataki noodles are a low-carb alternative to pasta, containing 2.68 g of carbohydrates per 100 g.

Zucchini noodles

People can spiralize zucchini or cut it into ribbons with a peeler. Leaving the skin on adds fibre, but people should wash it first. Serve the zucchini noodles raw or lightly steamed with a tomato-based sauce.

For those who want a low-carb meal, zucchini noodles have become a common substitute for spaghetti. Zucchini contains less than 10% of the calories in normal pasta, with 2.7 to 3.5 g carbohydrates per 100 g serving.

Spiralized carrot

Carrot noodles made with a spiralizer can be eaten raw or lightly steamed with a favourite pasta sauce. A nutritious and tasty topping for the sauce can be made by pulsing walnuts and nutritional yeast together to imitate Parmesan cheese. It will also work well on a vegan diet.

Carrots have 9.58 grammes of carbohydrates per 100 grammes and are high in beta carotene and fibre.

Read more about the health benefits of carrots.

Butternut squash lasagna

Traditional lasagna sheets can be replaced with butternut squash slices for a low-carb alternative. Butternut squash can be thinly sliced and baked with lasagna sauces in a baking dish.

The carbohydrates in baked butternut squash are a third of those in standard pasta. Beta carotene and vitamin C are added benefits of this pasta substitute.

Spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash, as its name implies, is a great alternative to spaghetti. People may bake or boil the squash before separating the flesh into spaghetti-like strands with a fork. They can serve the squash with a sauce or an olive oil dressing, as well as fresh herbs like basil or parsley.

Cooked spaghetti squash has 9.7 grams of carbohydrates per cup. Fiber, calcium, and vitamin A are all found in spaghetti squash.


Vegetables such as spaghetti squash, zucchini, and cabbage may be substituted for normal pasta. Kelp noodles or bean sprouts may also be used. These low-carb alternatives provide additional nutrients and fibre that can help to control a person’s blood glucose levels.

People who follow low-carb diets or are gluten intolerant may still enjoy their favourite recipes by substituting pasta. Alternatives are often simple to cook, and some are suitable for dishes like Bolognese spaghetti and lasagne.


Chukwuebuka Martins

Chukwuebuka Martins is a writer, researcher, and health enthusiast who specializes in human physiology. He takes great pleasure in penning informative articles on many aspects of physical wellness, which he then thoroughly enjoys sharing to the general public.