Spaghetti vs. Zoodles

Spaghetti vs. Zoodles

Nutritional information of spaghetti versus zucchini noodles, or, zoodles, made with a spiralizer.

Spaghetti vs. Zoodles

There are many reasons why everyone should spiralize their veggies (actually, here are 9 reasons why!), and one of the main ones is that spiralized vegetables are nutritionally better than “regular” noodles.

We’re not saying to stop eating “regular” pasta and noodles, but if you’re focused on maintaining a healthy diet, spiralized vegetables offer you a bigger bang for your buck, nutritionally.

Let’s take a look at the nutritional profile of spaghetti versus zucchini noodles or, as many call them, zoodles. There are many different types of vegetables you can spiralize, but since zoodles are the most popular, we’ll start there!

A note on serving size

We recommend spiralizing just about 1 pound of zucchini per serving (for a large, lunch or dinner-sized meal) – that equates to about two medium sized zucchinis or 2 cups, cooked. With regular wheat spaghetti, the serving size is less than 1 cup cooked – actually, about 3/4 heaping cup. That’s a bummer, who wants to eat that little?! Already, you’re losing with regular spaghetti, because you can’t eat as much!

BUT, to keep it apples to apples, we’re comparing 1 cup cooked zucchini noodles to 1 cup cooked wheat spaghetti.

One serving of zucchini noodles

Serving size: 1 cup cooked zucchini noodles (about 1 medium zucchini)
Calories: 38.5 calories
Total fat: 0.68 g
Saturated fat: 0.23 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 18.12 mg
Carbohydrates: 7 g
Dietary fiber: 2.26 g
Sugars: 5.66 g
Protein: 2.72 g

One serving of wheat spaghetti

Serving size: about 1 cup cooked
Calories: 200 calories
Total fat: 1 g
Saturated fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 g
Sodium: 0 g
Carbohydrates: 42 g
Dietary fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 1 g
Protein: 7 g

A true pasta serving

But, as I said, I would never just eat one spiralized zucchini — that would never satisfy me! For your information, here’s the comparative information behind a large, 2-cups cooked serving of zucchini noodles versus the same of wheat spaghetti (2 cups, cooked), which, is probably what you’d get at a restaurant or serve yourself to feel satiated:

One true serving of zucchini noodles

Serving size: 2 cups cooked zucchini noodles (about 2 medium zucchinis)
Calories: 77 calories
Total fat: 1.36 g
Saturated fat: 0.45 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 36.24 mg
Carbohydrates: 14.04 g
Dietary fiber: 4.53 g
Sugars: 11.33 g
Protein: 5.44 g

One large serving of wheat spaghetti

Serving size: about 2 cups, cooked
Calories: 400 calories
Total fat: 2 g
Saturated fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 g
Sodium: 0 g
Carbohydrates: 84 g
Dietary fiber: 6 g
Sugars: 2 g
Protein: 14 g

OR, if you’re a visual person:

Spaghetti vs. Zoodles

Now let’s compare!

If you’re someone who likes to eat large portions, zucchini noodles (and spiralized veggies, in general!) are your friend. For the same two cups of noodles (pasta vs. zoodles), regular wheat spaghetti has over FIVE times as many calories, and almost SIX times as many carbohydrates!

Where regular spaghetti wins is in protein – it’s higher in protein than zucchini noodles, so, if you’re a vegetarian using wheat pasta as a protein source, keep that in mind! The differences in sugar and sodium can’t really be compared, because wheat spaghetti is processed and zucchini noodles are completely natural – the sugar and sodium amounts are a natural part of the vegetable, not added/processed.

Which one will you choose?

Spaghetti vs. Zoodles

Hope this was a fun comparison and look into the countless benefits of spiralizing!


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Stephanie says:
I know someone who often does half-and-half whole wheat spaghetti and zucchini noodles. That way you get the benefit of the protein and fiber from the whole wheat, plus all the other good stuff from the zucchini. She cooks the spaghetti as normal, and in the last 30 seconds throws in the zucchini noodles, then drains them all together. I haven't tried it yet, but I plan to.
ANdrea says:
That sounds like a great way to transition because what the post doesn’t mention is that zoodles taste nothing like spaghetti!!! When I tried them I just couldn’t get them down. Ick. But I want to like them. Going to try this method to try to shift from spaghetti to zoodles over time!
Stephanie says:
Andrea, try this recipe: Of all the ones I have tried, this recipe was the most like actual pasta.
Kristen says:
How often do you eat spiraled veggies during the week?

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