Whether you’re new to spiralizing or a longtime pro, you probably love that spiralizing your vegetables gives you a more nutritious version of pasta and noodles. Instead of eating processed flour pasta, you’re eating a bowl of vegetables!
And although spiralizing is the best, there are several other creative ways you can substitute foods in place of pasta. Today, we’re going over our six favorite alternatives to pasta. And yes, spiralizing is on the list – how could it not be?
This list won’t include alternatives like pasta made from vegetable or legume flours (like a Banza pasta.)
Many of these pasta substitutes and alternatives are mentioned in my new cookbook, Inspiralized & Beyond, and there are many recipe ideas for them! Now, drumroll please….
6 healthy pasta alternatives
Here are 6 healthy, low-carb and gluten-free alternatives to pasta. Toss a little marinara sauce on top and you’ve got a healthy pasta base!
Are you surprised? Substituting in spiralized vegetables, like zucchini noodles or any of the 25+ other vegetables that you can spiralize is a nutritious, clean-eating friendly way to enjoy a pasta or noodle dish. From zoodles to sweet potato noodles, spiralized veggies are the most pasta-like alternatives!
Although you can actually spiralize cabbage, I’m including this as an alternative all on its own. Cabbage is a great substitute for pasta when cooked, because it holds an al dente texture. You can top it with a marinara sauce or it works really well as an Asian noodle base (for example, check out the Shrimp Cabbage Pad Thai in my Inspiralized and Beyond cookbook.)
Sliced or Shredded Brussels Sprouts
This is one of my favorites – thinly slicing brussels sprouts with a mandolin or hand slicing them can create brussels sprouts shreds that works as a fluffy base. Obviously, brussels sprouts aren’t thick like noodles, but when you slice them thinly, they create ribbons that can be used in place of pasta. My favorite recipe this way is my Brussels Sprouts Carbonara in my Inspiralized and Beyond cookbook.
Asparagus is an easy, quick way to make a pasta base! Simply set your asparagus spear down on a cutting board and peel with a peeler to get strands. Shred about 6-12 spears to use as a pasta alternative. Toss it raw with a pesto or cook it lightly (sauteé) with olive oil and toss in a marinara for a quick pasta base.
Probably the OG of healthy pasta substitutes – spaghetti squash is a delicious way to make pasta out of vegetables. Although not quite the consistency of noodles, the way it shreds mimics “strands” and can be used so many ways, not just as a pasta base. I love tossing it with pesto or topping it with a creamy sauce or marinara. And if you’ve ever made spaghetti squash but lamented how long it took in the oven, try it out on a pressure cooker – it takes less than 15 minutes!
Hearts of Palm Strands
After seeing the brand Palmini in a magazine, I knew I had to try it out. Palmini is cans of sliced hearts of palm that have been sliced in pasta-like strands. While the consistency is Asian noodle like, I couldn’t get over the strong hearts of palm taste. However, the company suggests soaking in almond milk for a couple of hours to get rid of that taste. For me, I like quick and easy, so I’m not going to do that, but for those that want to try something new, it definitely has a great consistency and cooks well!
And those are our six favorites! Did your favorites make the list?