Tag Archives: low carb pasta

But What About Pasta on a Low Carb Diet?

The Backstory

Pasta is high in carbs.  Period.  True pasta, wheat-based pasta.  Therefore, pasta is not good for me, those with diabetes or those with metabolic syndrome.  It is not a good choice even for those wanting to just lower their carbs to lose weight or lead a healthier lifestyle.  (I’m pretty much in ALL those categories!)  Those with gluten issues also need to avoid wheat pastas.  So if you are in one of those categories… come along with me!

The Realization

It was really tough to realize I could no longer have pasta.  Not even some of the lower carb offerings out there because they still had high carb wheat as part of the formulation.  I LOVE pasta.  Not as much as I love rice, but you realize when you can’t have it anymore… what all you used it for.  Lasagna, Spaghetti, Mac & Cheese.  In Soups.  In Casseroles.  Just with butter, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and herbs!  The list literally could go on!

The Challenge

The challenge really was on to find alternatives to pasta that would trick my brain and trick my tastebuds!

The Solution


I realized you can use chunks of vegetables for pasta substitutes.  The best is cauliflower.  I just made my mother’s recipe for her custard Mac & Cheese recipe last night.  (Which I will post soon.)  It was delicious!  Cauliflower is amazing at tricking the brain.  The neutral flavor helps in making what is around it the star of the dish… as my mother’s recipe did.   Try it!


Everyone has heard about Spiralizing by now.  If you haven’t, then you need to get a spiralizer and try it.  (I wrote about Spiralizers I have tried.  Check it out by following the link.) You can spiralize a multitude of vegetables!

The most useful veggies to spiralize that are low carb are: Bell Peppers, Broccoli stems, Butternut Squash, Cabbage, Carrot (for those that can), Cucumber, Jicama, Kohlrabi, Onion, Parsnip, Radishes, Turnip, Sweet Potato (for those that can), Summer Squash, Zucchini.  Oh, there are more, but these are on my low carb list. 

There are several on there that I just don’t like, but that is my choice.  You might like them!  Grab a good Spiralize book if you are worried about how to spiralize or watch a You Tube video and get to spinning those delicious curls! Try them all!  (See some spiralizers and cookbooks below in “Items I like”.)

I’ve discovered that Zucchini can be a bit watery for me.  It is a pain to wring out all the water, but it is rewarding when you do so.  I never seem to do it right.  Or more accurately, I never have the patience to get all the moisture out of it.  I like zucchini better sliced for lasagna noodles rather than spiralized for spaghetti noodles.  Some people like to use eggplant in place of lasagna noodles.

I’ve discovered, that though higher in carbs, I like butternut squash spirals very much. Broccoli spirals are good.   

You can make spaghetti, fettuccine and lasagna sized noodles.  Go crazy!


You can rice vegetables to replace small pastas.  You can rice Broccoli Stems, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Jicama, Kohlrabi, Parsnips, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips and Zucchini.

Some hold up in recipes better than other. Some retain moisture more than others (I’m looking at you zucchini!)  All have their place.  I haven’t tried them all, but will and amend this article in the future!  I do know I go through a healthy amount of riced cauliflower.  Works for me for everything I want to use it for!  I love it! 

At the Grocery

You can buy riced and spiralized vegetables in the fresh and frozen sections of your grocery.  These are certainly handy, but it is pretty cost effective to do your own.  I admit, however, that the convenience of grabbing a microwave ready pre-spiralized vegetable has pulled me out of dinner jams more than once.  (Sometimes, I spiralize more than I need and freeze what I don’t use.  Making my own recipe ready packages.)

You can buy other fresh items as well.  I have used broccoli slaw or bean sprouts for “spaghetti noodles” before.  The broccoli slaw was delicious!!!!!  It is a favorite go to item!  The bean sprouts are a bit earthy tasting.  You can also use cabbage leaves for lasagna noodles!

You can buy Shirataki noodles.  Konjac is the major ingredient in these.  Low carb.  It has an earthy smell you will need to rinse out. I even resorted to rinsing with vinegar to help.  They keep a great noodle shape but are a bit chewy for my taste.  But in a pinch, they are a good substitute!   I’ve tried Nasoya brand and it was pretty good.  I tried some other brands too, and all are similar.


You can buy Hearts of Palm noodles.  This is BY FAR my favorite noodle!  I discovered Harvest Palm brand noodles.   They have spaghetti, fettucine and tagliatelle noodles.  They are a little more expensive, but less so if you buy in bulk and you will WANT to buy in bulk! OH SO WORTH IT!!!!   If you like artichoke hearts, you will love the bit of flavor it adds to a dish, but it isn’t strong and easily covered by your sauces.   They come in convenient pouches that you rinse.  You can eat raw or cook them.   My husband raved about it!  My family I’ve served them to raved about them!  I am raving about them!  In some larger cities you might be able to find this in stores, but for me, I have to order them.  Please go visit these folks at www.harvestpalm.com.  Tell them I sent you!  I promise, I found them on my own and bought their product to try.  They did not find me first to give me a sample for an endorsement.  I truly love this product!   UPDATE: Too, in the grocery you can get the canned or packaged Palmini linguini and lasagna noodles.  Shark tank really gave these folks a boost and they are everywhere and I have the best luck finding the canned linguini version in Walmart.  Check them out at http://www.eatpalmini.com .  I just drain and rinse any of the hearts of palm noodles really well.  I let them sit in milk for 30 minutes and then rinse and drain well again.  It gets rid of that slightly acidic bite that comes with things like hearts of palm and artichoke hearts due to their packaging and preservation.

Until next time…!


Some Items I like