If you're a fan of pasta but trying to keep your carb intake down, consider low-carb pasta alternatives that are both healthy and tasty. Though there is a huge variety of pasta alternatives on the market today, not all of them are created equal! Some are packed with nutrients while others have a texture close to regular pasta. If you want to know how to choose the right low-carb pasta product that both suits your taste and dietary requirement, you've come to the right place.
We did our research and went through reviews to pick the 10 best low-carb pasta products that can be purchased online. Chickapea is our top-ranking product because it's delicious, nutritious, and has a nice texture. Want to know more? Take a look at our other top picks and a buying guide to help you choose on your own!
Rachel Binkley is a registered dietitian who helps individuals develop healthy habits that fit into their lifestyle. She recommends adequate intakes of all micronutrients to help prevent deficiency as well as chronic conditions that may arise. You can keep up with her recipes, lifestyle, and more on Instagram or her blog, S'more Satisfaction.
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Table of Contents
Aside from considering the amounts of carbohydrates per serving, there are other important factors to consider. Make sure you keep these points in mind while shopping.
Not all low-carb pastas are created equal! Some are extremely low in calories and carbohydrates while others are packed with more protein and fiber.
The term "net carbs" is something you may hear when looking for low-carb pasta. It doesn't have a scientifically fixed definition, but is a manufacturer-created claim based on the fact that not all carbohydrates are equal in terms of how your body digests them. Net carbs are also called "impact carbs" or "digestible carbs."
Fiber and sugar alcohols are carbohydrates but are indigestible or only partially digestible. Therefore, many manufacturers subtract these from the total to prove that their products are low-carb. However, an accurate number is very hard to determine because of the variation in the way the body processes different types.
In the US, the total carb number is the only one required to be on food labels, and this is broken down into fiber and sugar. If you want to calculate the net carbs, subtract the fiber amount (which we've done in the ranking above). Sugar alcohols aren't usually present in pastas.
Pasta is one of the most popular high-carb foods, and most are made from wheat or rice. Whether they're refined or unrefined, a serving contains about the same amount of carbohydrates. Each serving (one cup, cooked) of wheat or rice pasta has about 40 grams of carbohydrates.
If it's hard to avoid wheat or rice pasta, try to choose pasta that doesn't contain wheat or rice as a primary ingredient. In other words, make sure that wheat or rice isn't the first ingredient listed on the label.
If you're looking for pasta that is free from gluten and grains, consider almond flour pasta. Compared with wheat pasta, almond flour pasta is low in carbohydrates but high in monounsaturated fat, which helps to reduce the LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in your blood, and helps to lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
It's quite difficult to find pasta that's made with only almond flour unless you make your own. Most almond flour pastas on the market contain tapioca starch to add a thick, chewy texture. But even so, they still make a great low-carb pasta alternative.
Take Cappello's almond flour spaghetti as an example. Each serving has only 15 grams of carbohydrates and seven grams of fat, compared to Barilla's wheat spaghetti with 42 grams of carbohydrates and one gram of fat.
Many low-carb pasta alternatives are both tasty and healthy. Many of them are made from vegetables like lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, kale, spinach, edamame, buckwheat, black beans, mung beans, hearts of palm, konjac, zucchini, or cauliflower.
Each serving of lentil pasta has 34 to 45 grams of carbohydrates, while the same amount of chickpea pasta has around 32 to 37 grams. Black bean pasta offers slightly lower carbohydrates, around 19 to 35 grams per serving.
If you're on the ketogenic diet or looking for ultra-low-carb pasta, consider hearts of palm and konjac pasta that have only one to three grams of carbohydrates per serving.
Not all types of vegetables are low in carbs! Though root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, beets, and cassava are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, they're also high in carbohydrates.
If you're strictly limiting carbohydrates, it's a good idea to avoid pasta that's made with only root vegetables. This is because each serving of root vegetable pasta contains approximately 44 grams of carbohydrates, which has as many carbs as wheat pasta.
However, if you're a fan of root vegetables, consider pasta that's made with a mix of root vegetables and other low-carb vegetables like peas and spinach to reduce the amounts of carbs per serving.
Asides from carbohydrates, you may want to think about protein and fiber as well. In general, one cup of whole-wheat pasta has eight grams of protein and six grams of fiber, whereas refined pasta contains about the same amount of protein with two grams of fiber.
If you're looking for high-protein, high-fiber pasta, consider lentil, chickpea, or bean-based pasta. These offer five to nine grams of fiber with up to 20 grams of protein per serving.
Though hearts of palm and konjac are very low in carbohydrates, they don't offer a good amount of protein and fiber. These pasta noodles offer approximately two grams of protein and two grams of fiber per serving.
Non-wheat-based pasta can also be packed with vitamins and minerals. For example, lentil pasta contains more than twice as much potassium per ounce as wheat pasta. Spinach pasta is a great source of folic acid, while sweet potato pasta is rich in vitamin A and C.
One main concern about low-carb pasta is that its taste and texture are different from traditional pasta. If you don't like an earthy, beany smell or taste, avoid legume-based pasta like lentils, chickpeas, or black beans. Instead, consider cauliflower, zucchini, or sweet potato pasta, that have a more neutral smell.
When it comes to texture, many people find lentil and chickpea pasta have the closest texture to traditional pasta. Black bean pasta tends to have a chewier texture compared to other types of pasta. Zucchini, mung bean, and buckwheat pasta have a soft texture, while hearts of palm and konjac pasta offer a slightly crunchy texture.
Pairing your pasta with the right sauce can transform the taste of your dish. Thin, long pasta shapes like spaghetti and linguine go well with a wide variety of sauces, including carbonara and tomato sauce.
Tube-shaped pasta like penne, ziti, rigatoni, and macaroni are great for baked cheese dishes. Since they're sturdy, they also work great for a thicker sauce.
Stuffed pasta such as ravioli or tortellini pair well with cream-based sauces. A butter-based or oil sauce is often served with stuffed pasta like ravioli and cappelletti.
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Organic Spirals｜6 pack
A Great Combination of Chickpeas and Lentils
Organic Red Lentil Penne ｜6 pack
Sugar-Free, Firm-Textured Pasta Made of Lentils
Hearts of Palm Lasagna Sheets｜3 pack
Ultra-Low-Carb Pasta That's Easy to Prepare
Great Low Carb Bread Company
Fiber-Rich, Low-Carb Macaroni With Wheat
Cybele's Free to Eat
Superbfood Green Rotini
Allergy-Friendly, Nutrient-Dense Veggie Pasta
Red Lentil Spaghetti and Penne Pasta｜6 pack
Two Types of Pasta Made With Single Ingredient
The Only Bean
Pasta Variety Pack｜6 pack
Bean-Based Pastas Packed With Protein and Fiber
Variety Pack (Elbows, Penne, Rotini)｜6 pack
Different Pasta Shapes Perfect for Various Recipes
Big Green Organic Food
Capellini Buckwheat Pasta
Additive-Free, Organic Buckwheat Pasta
Amazing Lokarb Noodles
Keto-Friendly, Pre-Cooked Pasta
This product is made with a mix of chickpeas and lentils. Besides its high protein content, it's also packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, like vitamin B and zinc. Plus, it comes in different pasta shapes, including spaghetti, penne, and shells.
Some reviewers noted that this pasta is chewier and takes longer time to cook than traditional pasta. But overall, they said it's delicious and has a nice, mildly nutty taste. Quite a few people said it holds sauces well and makes a great cold pasta salad.
This organic pasta is made with just two ingredients: red lentil flour and brown rice flour. It's free from sugar and sodium. Each serving has 12 grams of protein and three grams of fiber. The texture is smooth and the flavor mildly nutty.
Overall, reviewers noted that this product makes a great low-carb pasta alternative. They also said it's delicious, nutritious, and filling. Quite a few people appreciated its firm texture, and also said that it holds up well when cooked.
With only 20 calories and four grams of carbohydrates per serving, this pasta is ideal for diabetics and the ketogenic diet. Since it's already cooked, it's quick and easy to prepare; just rinse and drain thoroughly with water. You can also boil them for a softer texture.
A few people claimed that this pasta has an unpleasant smell. However, others loved its crunchy and firm texture, saying it's slightly al dente. They also said it doesn't get mushy like zucchini or eggplant noodles.
This sugar-free elbow macaroni pasta is made with high-quality protein from peas and egg whites. Each serving offers only 100 calories with 18 grams of fiber. It does contain wheat, so you can expect a familiar taste.
Quite a few reviewers said it takes a longer time to cook than what instructions say, or it's just too firm. However, others loved its consistency, saying it gives a little al dente texture and holds up to pasta sauce well. They also said it's filling and tastes close to regular pasta.
Not only is this rotini pasta nutritious and filling, but it's also perfect for people with many food allergies. It's only made with four types of green vegetables, including kale and broccoli. Plus, it's free from the top eight food allergens, like gluten, dairy, eggs, and soy.
A few reviewers thought that this pasta has a strong taste or weak texture. But overall, many appreciated its full serving of vegetables and high protein content. Some said it's quick and easy to prepare, and it also pairs well with marinara and Alfredo sauces.
This product contains the two most popular pasta shapes: penne and spaghetti. They're made with 100 percent red lentils, which are an excellent source of iron and potassium. Plus, they're free from sodium and have only one gram of sugar per serving.
People said these pastas are filling and have a slightly nutty taste. However, others said they're more chewy and firm than traditional pastas. Some noted that the penne takes a little longer to cook than what the box says. The spaghetti is just like whole-wheat spaghetti, according to others.
Are you looking for high-protein pastas? Consider these bean-based pastas that offer 25 grams of protein per serving. They're processed in a gluten-free facility. The order includes edamame, black bean and soybean pastas in a variety of shapes.
A few reviewers said the pastas are heavy and tough to digest. Many others said they're tasty and each type's flavor and texture are unique. A few people said they're filling, easy to cook, and that the soy one is very close to wheat pasta in taste.
Undecided what types of pasta shape to get? Why not consider this variety pack that includes elbows, penne, and rotini? These pastas are made with just three plant-based ingredients: lentils, rice, and peas. They're also certified gluten-free.
A few reviewers noted that the texture can be a bit mushy if overcooked, or gummy, which some solved by adding oil or butter to prevent the noodles from sticking together while cooking.
Others said it tastes like real pasta and makes a great pasta alternative. Those who aren't fans of 100 percent lentil pasta say it tastes mild and delicious.
This capellini pasta doesn't contain additives and preservatives. It's made with 100 percent organic buckwheat flour that's rich in protein, iron and fiber. It's gluten-free and non-GMO.
Reviewers agreed that this product makes a great wheat pasta substitute. They said it's easy to cook and holds its shape, but will get mushy if left in liquid too long. They recommend it for Japanese soba dishes or spaghetti.
How could we not include this in our list? This fettuccine pasta is made with konjac, which is extremely low in carbohydrates and calories. It has only 25 calories and six grams of carbohydrates per serving.
People said this pasta doesn't have a fishy or weird smell like some shirataki noodles do. They also said it's filling, easy to prepare, and takes only one minute to cook. Plus, they said it absorbs flavors and goes well with different types of sauces.
Having proper low-carb substitutes for your favorite dishes will make it a whole lot easier to stick to your dietary goals. Check out our suggestions!
No. 1: Chickapea｜Organic Spirals｜6 pack
No. 2: Explore Cuisine｜Organic Red Lentil Penne ｜6 pack
No. 3: Palmini｜Hearts of Palm Lasagna Sheets｜3 pack
No. 4: Great Low Carb Bread Company｜Elbows
No. 5: Cybele's Free to Eat｜Superbfood Green Rotini
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