6 Delicious Pasta Alternatives That Won’t Make You Miss Refined Carbs

Updated: Apr. 06, 2021

Whether you are gluten sensitive or trying to cut out refined carbohydrates, these healthy pasta alternatives will satisfy your tastebuds.

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Spaghetti squash noodles in squash.

Spaghetti Squash

Scrape out the spaghetti-like strands from this squash and top with your favorite sauce. It may not be the real deal but it’s the next best thing—and you’ll save yourself a ton of calories! It’s just one of the clever substitutions that make meals healthier.

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Bowl of zucchini noodles and cherry tomatoes.


Shredded, julienned, or cut into ribbons with a peeler, this low-cal alternative will give you a huge veggie boost when topped with tomato sauce. You can even mix them in with regular noodles like in this vegan feta pasta recipe. After you’ve eaten a bowl, you’re ready to check out these healthy food swaps you haven’t considered yet.

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Soba noodles in a gray bowl with chopsticks.

Soba Noodles

Say hello to your new favorite pasta alternative: These Japanese noodles are packed with fiber and protein, have about a third fewer carbs than spaghetti, and have a nuttier taste than traditional pasta. After loading these into your cart, check out more of the healthiest foods in the supermarket.

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Shirataki Noodles

These noodles are primarily made of fiber and contain virtually no fat, carbs, or calories. They come in a package of liquid and are usually sold in the produce section alongside tofu. The only cooking required is draining the liquid and rinsing them off! Easy, right? Now check out these 97 no-cook, no-fuss meals.

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Forkful of quinoa and vegetables.
Sia James/Shutterstock


Though it’s not shaped like pasta, this ancient grain can be a great pasta alternative, especially if you are looking to increase your protein—1 cup has 8 grams! Quinoa is just one of many healthy foods that are more nutritious than you thought.

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Person holding a bowl of brown rice noodles.
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Brown Rice Pasta

A great source of protein and magnesium, brown rice pasta is a gluten-free pasta alternative, so people with wheat allergies or celiac disease can get their pasta fix. Next, discover the 17 healthy-eating secrets top nutritionists want you to know.

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest