Pasta dishes are among the easiest comfort foods to prepare, especially on busy weeknights.
However, regular pasta has a bad reputation for containing tons of refined carbohydrates. Too many refined carbs in your diet can increase the risk of heart diseases, but not all kinds of pasta are created equal.
You don’t have to give us pasta altogether, there are plenty of alternatives to white pasta that you can use to create nutritious dishes without compromising flavor.
They’re made from healthy sources like beans, legumes, whole grains, etc. Plus, they’re packed with complex carbs, fiber, and protein.
When you go to the pasta aisle in any bigger store (even in a smaller store), you’ll find different types of pasta, made from ingredients other than white flour. These replacements are also great if you’re looking for gluten-free pasta, as many of these are gluten-free.
9 Alternatives To White Pasta
Whole Wheat Pasta
Whole wheat pasta is one of the most popular white pasta replacements, as the taste and the texture are very similar.
It’s obviously made from whole wheat flour instead of white flour. It’s much more nutritious than white pasta, and has tons of fiber.
It’s good in any pasta dish that you’d typically use white pasta in.
Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, and they’re gluten-free. They’re very popular in Asian cuisine, and they’re good both hot and cold.
A popular way to eat them is by cooling them off, and dipping them in a soy-sauce-based broth.
You can also eat them hot, with veggies, a protein (chicken, tofu, pork, etc.), and soy sauce.
Black Bean Pasta
Black bean pasta is a great source of extra protein, and the flavor is very mild, so you can use it in a variety of dishes. It’s gluten-free, good for digestion, and has tons of fiber.
It’s also a great source of iron.
Another advantage of black bean pasta is that it has fewer calories than regular pasta, so it’s also better for weight loss.
Shirataki noodles are an amazing noodle replacement. They’re made from glucomannan, which is a type of fiber that has tons of health benefits, including weight loss benefits.
They have almost no calories, which is why people often call them miracle noodles. They mostly consist of water.
They can be used in a variety of dishes, but they work very well in Asian cuisine, as they absorb the sauce very well.
Brown Rice Pasta
Brown rice pasta is gluten-free, so it’s a great option if that’s something you’re looking for. Surprisingly, it doesn’t have as much fiber as you’d expect, but it’s still a good replacement for white pasta.
It works better in Asian dishes than in a dish with red or white sauce, just as all rice noodles typically do.
Zoodles, aka zucchini noodles or zucchini pasta, aren’t actually a type of pasta, but spiralized zucchini. However, it’s often used as a pasta replacement, when you want to completely avoid carbs, and have a nutritious, low-calorie replacement.
They can work with many different sauces.
Here is a zucchini pasta recipe you can try out.
2 cups Zoodles (zucchini noodles), raw or frozen – 42 calories
½ Egg, large – 36 calories
⅓ cup Cheese, Parmesan, grated (cups) – 115 calories
4 Uncured bacon, slice – 176 calories
1 Garlic salt, dash – 0 calories
Cut bacon into small pieces. Fry bacon on stove top by cooking on low heat & turning every few minutes. Alternatively, you can cook bacon in the microwave or in the oven (~15 minutes at 400 degrees) if you prefer.
Spray a separate pan with an oil spray. Stir fry zoodles on medium heat (breaking up noodles with tongs or wooden spoon if cooking zoodles from frozen). Once cooked through, drain any excess liquid with a sieve
Add zoodles to pan with bacon.
In a small bowl, mix egg and parm. Add to pan with zoodles and bacon, stirring until liquid has cooked through.
Top with seasonings.
No bacon? Use turkey or soy bacon.
Spaghetti squash noodles are another all-veggie alternative, where you get the noodles by shredding baked spaghetti squash. It’s obviously nutritious, and works great with many dishes.
Chickpea pasta has a very distinct flavor, so people typically love it or hate it.
It works well in pasta salad, because it’s good in cold dishes.
Quinoa pasta isn’t as nutritious as regular pasta is, as it’s usually not the top ingredient in it.
However, if you’re looking to try different white pasta alternatives, it’s worth trying out.