While its origins may come from Italy, pasta is usually a favorite in most American households. From spaghetti and lasagna, to macaroni-and-cheese and pasta salad, many varieties of pasta get the thumbs up from adults and kids alike at dinnertime. Unfortunately, white pasta is laden with sugar carbohydrates that are not rich in nutrients. However, there are many healthier alternatives to pasta that make for a more nutritious dinner without sacrificing the concept of your family’s favorite foods. Check these out and try them next time you’re serving pasta.
Spaghetti Squash: This squash is named after the very type of pasta it resembles. It may not appear spaghetti-like from the outside but its flesh peels into thin strands. Cook them and you’ll get a healthier alternative to pasta without missing those long, slurpy noodles.
Zucchini & Yellow Squash: These starchy vegetables can easily be turned into several healthier alternatives to pasta. The first way is to use a veggie spiraler or another form of slicer that will shred your zucchini and squash into thin spaghetti strands. These can be used raw for crunchy-style spaghetti or sautéed until soft for a traditional noodle alternative. Another way to use zucchini and yellow squash as pasta is in lasagna. Simply thinly slice the veggies length-wise and place them as the pasta layer atop tomato sauce, cheese and any other meats or veggies you want to add. When you bake it, the vegetable layers will cook through and soften like a noodle.
Sweet Potato: This delicious superfood can be spiraled or thinly sliced like zucchini and yellow squash. You’ll definitely want to cook it to make it noodly soft. Keep in mind that this will make a sweeter pasta alternative.
Whole Wheat or Soba Noodles: Whole wheat and soba or buckwheat noodles can be store-bought but are much healthier alternatives to white pasta. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. When topped with your favorite pasta sauce, meats or cheeses, your family most likely will not notice the difference in taste.
Eggplant: This purplicious vegetable can be layered for lasagna like zucchini and yellow squash, or it can be made into cannelloni tubes stuffed with ricotta, sauce and meat.
Black Bean Spaghetti: Another store-bought pasta alternative is black bean spaghetti. It is jam packed with protein and is a cool, dark shade that your kids will love.
Broccoli or Cabbage: Shredded broccoli stems or cabbage can be sautéed into delicious noodles. Skip a step and purchase pre-shredded packages of these vegetables to keep meal prep simpler.
We hope you enjoy these nutritious healthier alternatives to pasta! Bon Appetite!