Zucchini Pasta on a Budget

Let’s review the benefits of zucchini pasta versus regular pasta so far: Lower in calories...

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Let’s review the benefits of zucchini pasta versus regular pasta so far:

  • Lower in calories
  • Lower in carbs
  • Lower in fat content
  • Easier to prepare/cook

Now, let’s talk moolah.

Many advocates of pasta claim one of its main “perks” is that it’s cheap. Wow, what a perk. Cue eye roll. A pound of organic Dellalo spaghetti runs for about $2.89. A pound of organic zucchini at Whole Foods runs for $2.99 (as of 8/13/13). A pound of zucchini can deliver about 2 bowls of zucchini pasta, whereas a pound of regular spaghetti can yield around 8 servings (and remember, that regular pasta “serving” is basically a baby’s fistful).

Well, if we’re talking about costs, we all know now how much regular pasta costs us. That’s about 190 calories and 36 grams of carbs per serving.

Spend an extra couple dollars on zucchinis to make zucchini pasta and you SAVE  190 calories and 36 grams of carbs per serving. To save actual dolla’ bills on zucchinis and other fresh ingredients, shop at a farmer’s market. If you haven’t yet seen my post about why you should shop at farmer’s markets, click here. To recap, not only does it support local farmers and the environment, it’s easy on your wallet.

For example, take a look at my first Farmer’s Market Thursday post. Let’s examine the price of that meal, when shopping at a farmer’s market:

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Garlic Basil Zucchini Pasta with Roasted Potatoes, Chicken Sausage and Tomatoes*

Serves 4

  • 4 large zucchinis: $4.00
  • 1 package of farm-to-table chicken sausage: $7.99
  • 1 head of garlic: $0.35
  • 4 red potatoes: $1.25
  • 1 bushel of basil: $1.00
  • 2 tomatoes: $1.00

Total cost of meal: $15.60
Cost per serving: $3.90

*This does not include the pantry items salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and olive oil.


ALSO, not only do you SAVE calories and carbs on zucchini pasta, you GAIN the following health benefits, which you don’t get with regular spaghetti (aka cardboard):

  • Move those bowels: The skin of zucchini is a great source of dietary fiber to help reduce constipation.
  • Get your blood pressure in check: Zucchinis are a great source of potassium, a heart friendly electrolyte that helps reduce blood pressure and heart rates to counter the effects of sodium.
  • Get skinny: Not only are zucchinis low-calorie and low-carb, they help curb overeating, because they help maintain blood sugar levels.
  • Fight cancer: Zucchinis are high in Vitamins A and C which are powerful antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress that can lead to cancer.
  • Breathe better: The anti-inflammatory nature of the many antioxidants in zucchini can deter the development of hyper-inflammatory disorders such as asthma.
  • Spend your botox dollars on zucchinis: Manganese, found in zucchinis, helps produce proline, an amino acid that allows collagen to form and results in healthier skin.

Of course, not all spiralized dishes have to be made with zucchinis, so other vegetables bring in other nutrients as well. Zucchini pasta is the most popular spiralized vegetable, hence the example.

You do the math and come back to me and tell me that regular pasta is cheaper. Man, I should have been a lawyer. Case closed.

with love, Ali

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  • Great when you grow your own tomatoes, potatoes, basil and garlic. Even better when you have you own chickens to turn into sausage.
    • Definitely- that would be a dream :)
  • Most people who say pasta is cheap, mean per calorie. 3 meals of the zucchini pasta in your zucchini pasta vs regular pasta post would only be 90 calories(plus sauce) which is very low.
  • How many zucchini do you need for a family of 3 to equal the amount of pasta. I'm going shopping and I need to know. Thank you so much.
    • This depends on the size of the zucchini you're able to get! This time of year they can be a little small, but one zucchini per person is a good place to start.
      • Thank oh I much
  • Thank you so much