13 Best Substitutes for Pasta

Best Substitutes for Pasta
Photo by Önder Örtel

Pasta is a staple in many cuisines. However, it also contains a high amount of carbohydrates.

Are there other best substitutes for pasta you can use to switch up your regular meal routine? Let’s get to know more about the pasta itself.

Pasta is one of the most popular dishes around. It’s a convenient food that’s easy to make and stores well, but unfortunately, it often has too many carbs for some diets.

Fortunately, many alternative ingredients can replace pasta without sacrificing flavor and texture. 

If you’re like me and need more pasta-free options in your cooking regimen, look no further—here’s a comprehensive list of healthy and the best substitutes for pasta dishes.

From zucchini noodles to almond flour wraps, you’ll surely find something that will fit your needs!

1. Shirataki Noodles

Shirataki (known as konjac) noodles are becoming increasingly popular as healthier alternatives and the best pasta substitutes.

These Japanese-style noodles are made from the soluble fiber of a plant called ‘Konnyaku,’ giving them a chewy texture and flavorless taste.

Shirataki noodles have gained recognition for their low-calorie count – they contain virtually no calories and are relatively high in fiber. 

As such, these noodles have been embraced by people looking to maintain their weight or lose weight and those who need to regulate their blood sugar levels.

Additionally, Shirataki noodles have many other advantages as one of the best substitutes for pasta.

They require minimal preparation – in most cases, they must be heated through before being added to any recipe. 

They can also absorb flavors from many types of sauces while maintaining their form better than regular pasta, which may break down when cooked longer than recommended.

Moreover, since Shirataki is composed mainly of water and soluble fiber, it can add moisture and volume to soups or casseroles without adding extra calories or unhealthy fats usually found in regular kinds of pasta.

All in all, Shirataki noodles are an excellent replacement for traditional pasta dishes due to their overabundance of health benefits and versatility in many recipes.

2. Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is one of the best substitutes for pasta, as it has a very similar texture and taste when cooked with some seasoning.  

These qualities make spaghetti squash an ideal replacement if you want to reduce your calorie intake or cut down on carbohydrates.

Another great advantage of spaghetti squash over traditional pasta is its versatility; it can be cooked in various ways, including baking, boiling, microwaving, and steaming.

It can also be served with savory and sweet sauces, depending on the flavors you’re looking for. 

For an interesting twist, try roasting it at high heat so that natural sugars caramelize while maintaining its crunchiness within the crisp exterior layer resulting in a slightly sweeter flavor profile.

Whatever way you decide to prepare your spaghetti squash, one of the best substitutes for pasta, rest assured that it will add a nutritionally dense meal without sacrificing taste!

3. Chickpea Pasta

Ch chickpea pasta is coming in third on our list of the best substitutes, an increasingly popular pasta alternative that is taking the health food industry by storm.

Chickpea pasta offers a similar taste and texture to traditional pasta, with added benefits such as greater fiber content.

For those looking to make a diet change or just trying to eat healthier, chickpea pasta is one of the best substitutes for pasta available on the market today.

Not only does chickpea pasta provide significant health benefits compared to wheat-based pasta, but it can also offer a delicious alternative to many traditional Italian dishes.

It can be cooked in various ways, from boiling to stir-frying and even baking. 

The possibilities are endless! If you’re looking for versatility in flavors and textures, then chickpea pasta may be right up your alley!

With its subtle flavor and firmer consistency than other alternatives such as quinoa or rice-based pasta, you won’t miss out on favorite meals like spaghetti bolognese or fettuccine alfredo when switching over.

In addition, chickpea pasta requires far less boiling time than other wheat or flour-based noodles, so if you’re short on time, it’s a great option with no compromise on quality!

4. Quinoa Pasta

Quinoa pasta is one of the best substitutes for pasta due to its high nutritional value.

Unlike regular pasta, quinoa pasta is a whole-grain food, making it a significantly more nutritious option. 

Quinoa pasta comes in many shapes, such as spirals or elbows, and different flavors, like spinach fusilli or red pepper penne – allowing you to experiment and create delicious dishes every night of the week.

With its extensive benefits and convenience in preparation, quinoa pasta should be on everyone’s list when looking for substitutes for regular wheat-based pasta!

We are just getting started with a list of the best substitutes for pasta!

5. Brown Rice Pasta

Brown rice pasta is one of the market’s best alternatives to traditional wheat-based pasta.

It is a healthier alternative since it is made from 100% brown rice instead of white wheat, which has significantly higher levels of gluten and calories than unrefined grains such as brown rice.

Brown rice pasta is also packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it nutrient dense. 

Brown rice pasta can replace regular white wheat-based pasta in countless recipes and can even be used in salads for added protein.

All in all, brown rice pasta is undoubtedly one of the best substitutes for pasta due to its high nutritional value and low-calorie content.

6. Cauliflower or Potato Gnocchi

Cauliflower or potato gnocchi are two excellent and best substitutes for pasta, providing an alternative to traditional flour-based noodles; for those looking to reduce their carbohydrate intake, cauliflower and potato gnocchi offer similar texture and flavor as pasta and a substantial boost of fiber.

Cauliflower gnocchi is made with riced cauliflower, egg, grated cheese, and spices. 

Additionally, it provides the same firmness and chewiness that you’d expect from regular chicken, yet it’s grain-free and much lower in carbohydrates.

Meanwhile, potato gnocchi is made with mashed potatoes or other starchy root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, yams, and some wheat (generally wheat). 

Though these two varieties differ slightly in ingredients and texture, they are both excellent sources of flavor when cooked properly.

Both options pair nicely with various sauces ranging from pesto to tomato-based sauces to cream-based sauces adding a delicious but healthy twist to your favorite pasta dish.

If you are interested in knowing other best substitutes for pasta, read on!

7. Buckwheat

Buckwheat (soba) noodles are one of the best substitutes for pasta that you can make.

They are made from gluten-free buckwheat flour and are often used in traditional Japanese dishes like zaru soba.

Compared to pasta, soba noodles have a nutty flavor and an earthy taste, making them a delicious alternative for anyone who wants something unique but still feels like they are eating pasta. 

In addition to having great flavor, soba noodles also provide many health benefits due to the nutrients in the buckwheat flour, including protein, fiber, and vitamins.

Soba noodles also provide some nutritional benefits compared to regular pasta, such as a higher fiber content which helps with digestion.

Furthermore, buckwheat may help reduce inflammation and blood sugar levels due to its high concentration of essential nutrients like rutin and zinc. 

With regards to convenience, these noodles require minimal cooking time compared to many other types of pasta – usually only requiring soaking or boiling before they’re ready!

As such, they make an excellent meal option if you’re looking for something quick and easy on this list of the best pasta substitutes but still want both delicious and nutritious.

8. Sweet Potato Noodles

Sweet potato noodles, also known as glass noodles, are the best substitutes for pasta traditional dishes.

These long and thin starchy threads offer a healthier alternative to regular pasta because they are low in calories and fat but high in minerals and vitamins.

Sweet potatoes are packed with dietary fiber essential for digestive health, promoting healthy microflora balance in the gut. 

Additionally, sweet potatoes contain anti-inflammatory benefits that can help reduce inflammation caused by chronic diseases like heart disease or diabetes.

Furthermore, sweet potatoes have a mild flavor that offers an enjoyable eating experience while providing nutritional value.

Compared to regular pasta dishes, making sweet potato noodles requires much less preparation as they cook almost instantly once submerged in boiling water. 

This makes them great for busy weeknight meals or something quick and nutritious.

The extended cooking times required with most types of regular pasta may cause some nutrients to be lost in the boiling process.

Meanwhile, sweet potato noodles hold onto their natural vitamins and minerals better due to their quick cooking time. 

Sweet potato noodles are among the best pasta substitutes and have more variety than regular pasta.

They come in different shapes (threads, spirals, ribbons) or sizes (short or long).

This adds extra interest to boring dishes by creating an unexpected texture that will delight even picky eaters!

9. Mung Beans Noodles

Mung bean noodles are made from mung beans, a nutrient-dense bean native to parts of Asia.

They make for a great substitute for traditional pasta, offering a high protein content and many health benefits.

Mung bean noodles, one of the best substitutes for pasta, are incredibly versatile and can be used in dishes ranging from stir-fries to noodle salads. 

Not only do they contain more protein than pasta, but they also contain no gluten or wheat, making them an ideal choice for people with dietary sensitivities.

Cooking mung bean noodles is easy and requires minimal time – usually just soaking the noodles before cooking.

Because they don’t need boiling like other noodles, they cook quickly and evenly in any hot pan with oil or butter. This makes them a great base for proteins, vegetables, and sauces. 

The mild flavor also allows them to absorb whatever flavors you choose to cook with them so that your dish can be as creative as you choose it to be!

They also reheat nicely in the microwave or stovetop, making them perfect for meal prepping and quick dinners when time is limited.

Mung bean noodles are highly recommended if you’re looking for the best pasta substitutes without giving up the flavor – try some today!

10. Red Lentils Pasta

Best substitutes for pasta? Look no further than red lentil pasta, which has become increasingly popular in recent years as a substitute for traditional wheat-based pasta.

The main difference between red lentil pasta and traditional pasta is that red lentil are naturally gluten-free, making them ideal for those who suffer from gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

Red lentils have a mild flavor profile, making them an excellent pairing to dishes heavy with spices and flavors. 

Red lentil pasta also provides more protein per serving than typical pasta, making it a great option for vegetarians and vegans looking to add more protein to their diets.

In addition, red lentil pasta is incredibly easy to cook, typically taking under ten minutes to cook al dente.

Its color ranges from a light yellowish-brown to a deep reddish-brown, depending on the brand – making this pasta both visually appealing and delicious when cooked. 

This type of pasta also mixes perfectly with all sorts of sauces, such as tomato sauce, pesto sauce, or even olive oil garlic topping – depending on your preference!

Moreover, its firm texture works especially well with rustic dishes involving vegetables or mushrooms, as it does not break apart easily.

Red lentil pasta is one of the best substitutes for pasta (regular wheat/white flour-based pasta) due to its low glycemic indexes and high nutritional value, such as proteins and dietary fibers.

11. Black Bean Pasta

We cannot mention the best substitutes for pasta without mentioning black bean pasta, a great substitute for traditional pasta and can be used in an array of recipes.

This pasta is made from black beans and water and does not contain wheat or gluten, making it a great option for those with gluten allergies or following a gluten-free diet.

It has a slightly nutty taste and chewy texture, making it interesting to experiment with flavors. 

Black bean pasta also contains more dietary fiber, protein, and vitamins than traditional pasta varieties and is lower in calories and carbohydrates, which could benefit weight management goals.

Additionally, due to its high fiber content, black bean noodle portions of pasta can provide a feeling of fullness faster than regular pasta portions, making eating smaller portions easier without feeling deprived.

All these benefits make black bean pasta one of the best substitutes for traditional pasta dishes!

12. Kelp Noodles

Kelp noodles are the best substitutes for pasta. They are made from seaweed, providing a much lower carbohydrate option than regular wheat pasta.

In addition, Kelp noodles have a unique texture that many people find even more enjoyable than eating traditional noodles. 

Unlike regular pasta, Kelp noodles are high in healthy minerals like iodine and calcium, making them an exceptionally nutritious choice compared to other types of food.

They also provide a source of fiber which can help with digestion, and are low in calories, making them an ideal substitute for those trying to lose weight or maintain it. 

Furthermore, they’re gluten-free, making a wonderful alternative for those suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Overall, Kelp noodles are incredibly versatile and delicious and much healthier than other types of carb-heavy pasta on the market – perfect for those looking for a healthier option without sacrificing taste.

13. Spiralized Vegetables

Spiralized vegetables are also considered the best substitutes for pasta in many dishes.

Not only are they healthier and lower in calories than traditional pasta, but spiralized vegetables also contain more vitamins and minerals.

Additionally, spiralized veggies provide a new flavor profile due to their shape and texture. 

For example, zucchini noodles can be used as a base for lasagna or stir-fry, while sweet potato noodles are a great alternative for macaroni and cheese.

Spiralizing vegetables, one of the best substitutes for pasta is much easier than one might think.

All you need is a hand-held vegetable spiralizer which can be found relatively cheaply online or at some specialty kitchen stores.

Meanwhile, it works by cutting the vegetable into thin noodles or “spirals” that can be used as replicas of traditional pasta dishes without all of the added carbs or calories of regular wheat pasta.

You can also even use spiralized vegetables as toppings for pizzas and salads!


In conclusion, when looking for the best substitutes for pasta, it is important to consider the individual’s tastes and dietary needs.

While vegetables such as spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, and cauliflower rice are common alternatives that offer significant benefits compared to traditional pasta dishes, other options such as quinoa, lentils, and black beans offer different textures and nutrients.

Ultimately, each person should experiment with various ingredients to find the best substitutes for pasta dishes that will suit their taste.

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