Best Low-Carb Pasta Swaps: Zucchini Noodles & More

May 21 2024
Love pasta but looking to save carbs and calories? We’re shouting out our favorite veggie noodles: the best ways to use them, how to prepare them, and more!

Zucchini Noodles

Spiralized zucchini, aka zoodles, is super popular for a reason: It tastes great in both hot and cold dishes, and with all sorts of sauces!

Make ‘Em: Bust out a veggie spiralizer to make noodles with ease. Or just grab a simple veggie peeler: Peel off a long zucchini strip, rotate the zucchini, and repeat. Zucchini noodles cook up quickly in the skillet or even the microwave. Drain off the excess liquid before you add any sauces.

Buy ‘Em: Look for fresh zucchini spirals with the bagged veggies in the produce section at your local grocer. You can also find them in the freezer aisle!

Serve ‘Em: Add zucchini noodles to your next stir-fry for a veggie-packed lo mein swap. Making baked ziti? Cut peeled zucchini into pieces similar to the size of your noodles, and bulk up the serving size. You can even use thin slices of zucchini as pasta-like layers in lasagna!

Spaghetti Squash

It’s nature’s spaghetti swap! The flavor is slightly sweet, but it’s mild enough to pair with most classic pasta sauces.

Make It: There are lots of ways to cook it, but here’s our fave no-fuss method. Put a whole squash in your slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on high for 2 1/2 hours (or until soft). Then slice the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and scrape out the spaghetti-like strands.

Buy It: Look for frozen strands at the supermarket, or snag the dehydrated kind on Amazon!

Serve It: The mild sweetness is extra yummy with tangy tomato sauce and savory Parm. (Meatballs welcome!) Cooked squash is stellar in a spaghetti-style casserole, and shrimp scampi is just begging to be served over spaghetti squash.

Heart of Palm Noodles

The new kid on the block! It’s not one you’re likely to DIY (unless you have a better hearts-of-palm hookup than we do), but the precut veggies come in a lot of pasta shapes. The flavor is slightly tart a la canned artichoke hearts, and the texture is tender but won’t fall apart.

Buy ‘Em: Look for hearts of palm noodles with the canned veggies, or order them online: They’re shelf stable! Just drain and rinse—no cooking required. In addition to the spaghetti shape, there are hearts-of-palm lasagna noodles.

How to Serve ‘Em: Prepare like a pasta salad, with chopped veggies, olives, turkey pepperoni, and light Italian dressing. Or mix up an easy tuna casserole in minutes, with frozen peas, drained tuna, whipped cream cheese, and seasonings.

Chew on this:

Oooh, it’s National Strawberries and Cream Day, May 21st! Four-ingredient Strawberry Shortcake Cream Puffs, anyone?

Tell your friends about these low-carb pasta swaps. Share this info now!


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