Top Low-Carb Pasta Swaps: Zucchini Noodles, Spaghetti Squash, Tofu Shirataki, Palmini

Nov 1 2019
Fact: Traditional pasta comes with a fairly hefty number of carby calories… A mere cup has around 200 calories and 40g carbs. So for those times when you want a BIG portion with a SMALL calorie count, these veggie-based noodles are where it’s at. (Also recommended: Mix ‘em with real pasta to supersize those servings!)

Spiralized Zucchini

1 cup (about 7 oz.) spiralized zucchini: 33 calories, 0.5g total fat (<0.5g sat fat), 16mg sodium, 6g carbs, 2g fiber, 5g sugars, 2.5g protein -- SmartPoints® value 0*

Zucchini noodles just may be the most popular pasta swap around. Spiralize them yourself -- we love our tabletop spiralizer -- or save some time with precut options. Green Giant Veggie Spirals are staples in our freezer!

Why We Love It:
⭑ mild flavor that goes with everything
⭑ tastes great hot or cold
⭑ cooks up in just minutes

Spaghetti Squash

1 cup cooked strands: 42 calories, <0.5g total fat (0g sat fat), 28mg sodium, 10g carbs, 2g fiber, 4g sugars, 1g protein -- SmartPoints® value 0*

This is Mother Nature’s pasta swap: Spaghetti is right there in the name! Just drag a fork across cooked squash halves for ready-to-eat noodle goodness.

Why We Love It:
⭑ many ways to prepare it (in the slow-cooker, oven, or microwave)
⭑ great for meal prep or feeding a group (1 squash = 5+ cups)
⭑ precooked squash stays fresh for days

Tofu Shirataki Noodles

8 oz. (1 bag): 20 calories, 1g total fat (0g sat fat), 30mg sodium, 6g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 2g protein -- SmartPoints® value 0*

This is an old-school Hungry Girl favorite! Tofu shirataki is made from konjac yams and tofu -- the texture is a little chewy and bouncy, but it’s 100% delicious. Look for House Foods Tofu Shirataki near the tofu at the supermarket. Top tip: Drain and dry those noodles WELL.

Why We Love It:
⭑ lots of pasta shapes (fettuccine, angel hair… even macaroni)
⭑ no need to cook it (rinse, drain, heat, eat)
⭑ only 20 calories per serving!

Palmini Hearts of Palm Linguine

75g: 20 calories, 0g total fat (0g sat fat), 140mg sodium, 4g carbs, 2g fiber, 0g sugars, 2g protein -- SmartPoints® value 0*

This is our latest discovery, and we’re absolutely nuts about it. Palmini is simply hearts of palm cut into linguine-like strands. It tastes a little like artichoke hearts, and it’s a GREAT noodle swap. We order ours from Amazon -- it comes in both cans and pouches -- but you can also find it at select supermarkets. Bonus: There’s now a LASAGNA version of Palmini!

Why We Love It:
⭑ easiest prep ever (no cooking… you don't even need to rinse 'em!)
⭑ delicious hot or cold
⭑ shelf-stable convenience

We don't have any recipes that call for Palmini specifically (yet!), but give it a try with some of the recipes above. Our favorite ways to enjoy it: in faux pasta salads, with marinara & Parm, and in pasta-less lasagna!

FYI: We may receive affiliate compensation from some of these links.

Chew on this:

It's November 1st, National Vinegar Day! Seasoned rice vinegar is one of our favorites. We created this slaw in the summertime, but it's perfect for fall!

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SmartPoints® value* not what you expected? We follow the same method as WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) when calculating the value of a recipe: We add up the SmartPoints® values* of the individual ingredients using the Recipe Builder, not the calculator. (Many foods have a value of zero and remain zero in recipes.)

*The SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by WW International, Inc., the owner of the SmartPoints® trademark.