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It’s difficult not to love pasta. Its starchy texture has made it a people-pleaser in homes around the world, and it mixes well with all sorts of flavor-packed sauces. Its versatility and low cost have made it a dietary staple, but there’s one downside: It’s packed with carbohydrates.
To be clear, carbohydrates aren’t inherently bad; in fact, the right carbohydrates are actually quite good for you. However, study results released earlier this decade suggest that Americans eat too many carbohydrates and that this habit can have adverse health effects. As a result, chefs are starting to devise pasta recipes that cut carbs without sacrificing taste; often, these recipes reduce carbohydrate intake by substituting vegetable-based noodles for traditional, wheat-based pasta.
Here are some of our favorite pasta recipes that taste great even though they have fewer carbs:
Garlic Butter Meatballs, from Delish. In this recipe, you’ll mix garlic, ground chicken, egg, and parmesan together to make scrumptious, healthy meatballs. These meatballs are served atop a bed of warm zucchini noodles, also known as “zoodles,” which function as spaghetti does, but with far fewer carbs.
Lower Carb Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti Bake, from She Likes Food. This recipe uses both traditional pasta noodles and zoodles. The pasta is cooked as usual — in boiling water on a stovetop — but the combining of these noodles with herbs, zucchini, and cheese makes for a uniquely savory experience.
Butternut Squash Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Garlic Mushrooms, from Diet Doctor. Instead of using zucchini to make pasta noodles, this recipe relies on butternut squash, which is sweeter and richer in flavor than zucchini. Mushrooms, garlic, onion, and parmesan establish a vivid flavor profile for this healthy “pasta” dish.
Low Carb Pasta Alfredo With Sausage, from Keto Connect. The base of this recipe is shirataki, a type of noodle that very literally has zero calories. Drying these noodles, which are stored in a water-filled plastic baggie, is key to getting the alfredo sauce to stick the way it would to traditional pasta. And with sausage on top, this dish is just heavenly.
With these recipes, you can enjoy pasta as much as you always have while cutting back on carbs! Let us know some of your other low-carb pasta favorites in the comments.