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!

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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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