Keto Diet App - Free Download Keto Diet App - Free Download
Take the guesswork out of following a low-carb diet, lose body fat & feel great!
KetoDiet app is FREE to download!

The Ultimate Guide to Low-Carb Pasta Alternatives

5 stars, average of 18 ratings

This post may contain affiliate links, see our disclaimer.

The Ultimate Guide to Low-Carb Pasta AlternativesShareFollow us 261.1k

Quick Summary tl;dr

If you're following a low-carb or gluten-free diet and miss pasta, you'll love these low-carb pasta alternatives.

Vegetable-Based Options: These include zucchini noodles (zoodles), spaghetti squash, and cabbage noodles. They're a great way to add more veggies to your meals while keeping it low-carb.

Unique Alternatives: Explore different types like Palmini pasta (made from hearts of palm), shirataki noodles (from konjac yam), kelp noodles (from seaweed), and edamame pasta (from young soybeans). Each offers a unique taste and texture.

High-Protein Choices: For a protein boost, try ham pasta sheets. They add a new dimension to your pasta dishes.

This guide also covers how to cook these alternatives and what store-bought options are available. It's important to read labels to make sure they fit your dietary goals.

Plus, there are suggestions for low-carb pasta sauces to pair with these alternatives. From a creamy Alfredo to a classic marinara, there's a sauce for every type of low-carb pasta.

In conclusion, switching to low-carb pasta alternatives doesn't mean missing out on delicious pasta dishes. With these options, you can keep enjoying your favorite meals in a healthier way.

Table of Contents

If you're following a low-carb or gluten-free diet, you might find yourself missing the comforting taste and texture of traditional pasta. But don't despair! There are plenty of low-carb pasta alternatives that can satisfy your cravings without derailing your diet. Plus they are all gluten-free!

Adopting a low-carb diet has been linked to numerous health benefits, including weight loss, improved heart health, and better blood sugar control. With these delicious and nutritious pasta alternatives, you can enjoy all the benefits of a low-carb diet without sacrificing your favorite pasta dishes.

Why Choose Low-Carb Pasta Alternatives?

Choosing low-carb pasta alternatives can help you stick to your diet without feeling deprived. These alternatives are often lower in calories and higher in fiber and micronutrients than traditional pasta. Plus, they offer a fun and delicious way to incorporate more vegetables into your meals.

Whether you're a seasoned low-carb dieter or just starting your journey, these pasta alternatives can make your transition easier and more enjoyable. Depending on your preference and your available preparation time, you can choose the right type of pasta alternative to fit your lifestyle.

Types of Low-Carb Pasta Alternatives

Let's explore some of the most popular low-carb pasta alternatives that can satisfy your pasta cravings while keeping your carb intake in check:

Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles)

Zucchini noodles, or "zoodles," are made by spiralizing zucchini into thin, noodle-like strands. They're a great low-carb, low-calorie alternative to traditional pasta, and they pair well with a variety of sauces. Check out this Zucchini Spaghetti Bolognese recipe for a delicious and simple way to enjoy zoodles.

For meat-free recipe ideas, you should check our Zucchini Noodle Alfredo and Baked Ricotta Dumplings with Zoodles! Feeling creative? Make this Zucchini Carbonara Cake!

Apart from thin noodles, you can make wide zucchini noodles to create recipes like these Zucchini Lasagna Roll Ups.

Palmini Pasta (Hearts of Palm)

Derived from hearts of palm, Palmini pasta boasts a texture similar to al dente pasta and a very mild flavor, making it a versatile low-carb alternative. It's ideal for dishes like pasta salads or spaghetti. You can even craft a lasagna with palmini sheets for a unique twist on a classic dish.

Don't forget to try our most popular Palmini recipe - Baked Feta Pasta! It's a crowd-pleaser that's sure to satisfy your pasta cravings.

Find Palmini on: Amazon US, Amazon UK

Spaghetti Squash

When cooked, the flesh of spaghetti squash separates into strands that mimic spaghetti. It's a versatile alternative that can be used in anything from casseroles to spaghetti and meatballs. Once you prepare spaghetti squash by baking it, you can then use it just like regular spaghetti, or make this Chorizo Stuffed Baked Spaghetti Squash recipe for a quick and easy option.

If you're looking for convenience and speed, depending on where you live and your budget, you can even get dehydrated spaghetti squash noodles that are quick and easy to prepare.

Find Dried Spaghetti Squash Noodles on: Amazon US

Cabbage Noodles

Thinly sliced cabbage can be a great substitute for pasta in dishes like lasagna or stuffed pasta. It has a mild flavor that pairs well with robust sauces. Try these Cabbage Noodles for a hearty, low-carb side dish that's both comforting and nutritious.

Fennel Noodles

For a unique and flavorful twist, try these low-carb Fennel Pesto Noodles. The noodles are made from zucchini, but the star of the dish is the homemade fennel pesto. It's a refreshing change from traditional basil pesto and pairs perfectly with the mild flavor of the zucchini noodles. It's a simple yet flavorful option that's sure to impress.

Eggplant Lasagna

Slices of eggplant can be used in place of pasta sheets in lasagna for a low-carb, veggie-packed alternative. Check out this Eggplant Lasagna recipe. For a meat-free version, check out this Vegetarian Keto Lasagna that's just as satisfying and delicious as the traditional version.

Butternut Squash

Even butternut squash slices can be used to replace pasta! For a comforting and hearty meal, try this low-carb butternut squash lasagna. Thinly sliced butternut squash serves as the "noodles" in this dish, providing a slightly sweet contrast to the savory meat and cheese filling. It's a great dish for a cozy family dinner or a festive holiday meal that's sure to impress your guests.

Leek Cannelloni

Yes, you can use leeks instead of cannelloni pasta! Instead of pasta tubes, this Pumpkin and Spinach Cannelloni recipe uses leeks to encase a flavorful filling of pumpkin and spinach. Topped with a creamy sauce and baked until golden, this dish is a delicious and satisfying meal - a delightful twist on traditional cannelloni!


Even cauliflower can be used as a pasta alternative in some recipes like Cauliflower Cheese or together with shirataki pasta in The Best Keto Mac And Cheese. Although the flavor and texture is nothing like pasta, it's a delicious option that works really well in Mac and Cheese.

Other Vegetable Noodles

Other vegetables like beets or carrots can also be spiralized into noodles for a colorful, nutrient-dense pasta alternative. Keep an eye on the carb count if you follow a keto diet, and use them only as an additional ingredient for flavor and variety rather than the main pasta alternative. These vibrant noodles can add a pop of color and an extra serving of veggies to your meal.

High-Protein Ham Pasta Sheets

For a high-protein, low-carb alternative, try using thinly sliced ham in place of pasta sheets. This is a great option for dishes like lasagna or cannelloni, where the ham adds a savory flavor and a satisfying texture. Plus, it's a great way to add extra protein to your meal. My friend Maria Emmerich has even created the perfect solution for clean deli meat which would be ideal for such purpose. This high-protein option is a fantastic way to keep your meal satisfying and filling.

Shirataki Noodles

Made from the konjac yam, shirataki noodles are almost zero calorie and zero carb. They're a bit more slippery and chewy than regular pasta, but they're a great base for strong flavors.

Shirataki noodles can be used just like spaghetti and rice noodles. Cover them in some cheese sauce and get a super simple meals like this Shirataki Noodles with Creamy Cheese Sauce. They're great in soups and stir-fries, including this Vegetable Laksa with Shirataki Noodles, Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup, Pad Thai and Asian Vegetable & Noodle Stir-Fry.

Apart from noodles, other shapes are also available. You can get fettuccine, penne and even rice. Even Mac And Cheese, one of the most beloved American classics, can be made low-carb!

Find Shirataki Noodles on: Amazon US, Amazon UK

Kelp Noodles

Made from the edible brown seaweed known as kelp, these noodles are a fantastic low-carb, gluten-free alternative to traditional pasta. They're virtually tasteless, which makes them a great canvas for any type of sauce or flavor you'd like to add. They're also rich in minerals like iodine, which supports thyroid health.

Kelp noodles can be enjoyed raw or lightly cooked, and they work well in a variety of dishes, from salads to stir-fries. These noodles are a great way to incorporate the health benefits of seaweed into your diet.

And there are lots of recipes to try! There's a way to use them in salads like this Thai Pork Salad with Kelp Noodles and Vegan Kelp Noodle Salad, in stir-fries like Chicken Lo Mein, and finally even soups like Duck Ramen and Thai Chicken Noodle Soup.

Find Kelp Noodles on: Amazon US, Amazon UK

Edamame Pasta

Made from edamame (young soybeans), these noodles are a high-protein, low-carb alternative to traditional pasta. They are less processed than many other forms of soy and can be part of a healthy diet. They have a slightly nutty flavor and a firm texture that holds up well to a variety of sauces. Some people find them enjoyable, while others may not, so the taste can be subjective. Edamame noodles can be found in many grocery stores and online, and they're a good option for adding a protein boost to your meals.

Find Edamame Noodles on: Amazon US, Amazon UK

The Ultimate Guide to Low-Carb Pasta Alternatives

Our Low-Carb Pasta Alternatives

Apart from vegetable and other pasta alternatives, you can even make your own low-carb pasta dishes. Check out the recipes below.

Lasagna Sheets

If you're looking for a unique take on lasagna, this Cheesy Keto Crepe Lasagna recipe uses thin, savory keto crepes in place of traditional pasta sheets. The crepes are layered with a rich and flavorful meat sauce, then topped with a creamy cheese sauce for a satisfying and delicious meal. This innovative recipe is a great way to enjoy lasagna while keeping your carb intake low.

Spaghetti Pasta

This homemade keto spaghetti pasta is made with no wheat gluten, no flour, no nuts, no coconut, no psyllium, no dairy. It's a bit more work than spiralizing a zucchini, but the result is a low-carb pasta with a texture and taste that's close to the real thing. This recipe is perfect for those who miss the texture of traditional pasta.

Fettuccine Pasta

You can make noodles by simply making thin egg & ricotta omelets and then rolling them up and slicing into noodles. This Keto Fettuccine Alfredo recipe takes a classic Italian dish and makes it keto-friendly by using these thin, flat strips of egg-based pasta which is then topped with a creamy, rich Alfredo sauce for a truly indulgent meal. This recipe is a great way to enjoy a classic Italian dish with a low-carb twist that's super simple.

Cauliflower Gnocchi

Gnocchi, the classic Italian dumplings, get a low-carb makeover in this Low-Carb Cauliflower Gnocchi recipe recipe. Made with cauliflower instead of traditional potatoes, these gnocchi are perfect for soaking up your favorite sauces, making it a delicious and satisfying low-carb meal. This recipe is a great way to incorporate more cauliflower into your diet.

Pumpkin Gnocchi

This Low-Carb Pumpkin Gnocchi recipe offers a seasonal twist on traditional gnocchi by using pumpkin in the dough. The result is a flavorful, low-carb gnocchi that pairs perfectly with a variety of sauces. Topped with a rich cheese and pesto sauce, this dish is a comforting and satisfying meal. This recipe is a great way to enjoy a seasonal twist on a classic Italian dish.

Mozzarella Gnocchi

Make gnocchi with just two ingredients! This Italian Gnocchi Soup recipe brings the comfort of Italian cuisine to your low-carb diet with homemade gnocchi. The gnocchi are made with almond flour and mozzarella, resulting in a satisfying texture that's perfect for soup. Paired with Italian sausage, kale, and a creamy broth, this soup is a hearty and delicious meal. This recipe is a great way to enjoy a comforting soup with a low-carb twist.

How to Prepare and Cook Low-Carb Pasta Alternatives

Preparing and cooking low-carb pasta alternatives can be as simple as spiralizing a zucchini or baking a spaghetti squash. For the best texture, avoid overcooking vegetable alternatives including zucchini, eggplant, cabbage, fennel and carrot as they can become mushy.

Not all low-carb pasta alternatives are prone to overcooking. Options like palmini noodles and shirataki noodles have a tougher texture and are unlikely to overcook. If you're using shirataki noodles, make sure to use this Guide To Cooking Shirataki Noodles to prepare them and avoid disappointment.

Check out hundreds of trialed and tested low-carb pasta recipes on the blog and in our app for details on how to prepare them. These recipes provide step-by-step instructions to help you create delicious low-carb pasta dishes at home.

Store-Bought Low-Carb Pasta

If you're short on time or prefer the convenience of store-bought options, there are many low-carb pasta alternatives available in supermarkets and online, especially in the US.

These can range from shirataki noodles to pasta made from various types of legumes or vegetable flours. However, it's important to read the labels carefully. Not all products marketed as "low-carb pasta" are truly low in carbs or healthy. Some may contain hidden starches or unhealthy additives. Always check the ingredients and nutritional information to ensure you're making a choice that aligns with your dietary goals.

Remember, while store-bought options can be convenient, they shouldn't replace replace homemade low-carb pasta alternatives in your diet.

Apart from the options already mentioned above, Perfect Keto has a delicious low-carb version of Mac & Cheese. It's so popular that it's often sold out. You may need to wait extra time for delivery but it's totally worth it!

Perfect Pairings: Low-Carb Pasta Sauces

What's pasta without a delicious sauce? Here are some low-carb sauce recipes that pair perfectly with your low-carb pasta alternatives:

Baked Feta Pasta Sauce: This creamy, tangy sauce is made with feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, and a blend of herbs. It's a great match for zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. Try this Baked Feta Pasta Sauce recipe.

Tomato Celery Pasta Sauce: This sauce is a low-carb twist on classic marinara, with celery adding a unique flavor and texture. It's versatile and pairs well with any low-carb pasta alternative. Check out this Tomato Celery Pasta Sauce recipe.

Alfredo Sauce: Creamy and rich, this low-carb Alfredo sauce is perfect for a comforting pasta dish. It pairs especially well with shirataki noodles. Try this Low-Carb Alfredo Sauce recipe.

Cheese Sauce: This creamy, cheesy sauce is a great way to add flavor to any low-carb pasta dish. It's particularly good with vegetable spirals. Check out this Cheese Sauce recipe.

Marinara Sauce: A classic choice, this low-carb marinara sauce is a staple for any pasta dish. It's a great match for Palmini pasta or homemade keto spaghetti. Try this Marinara Sauce recipe.

Pesto Sauces: Pesto is a versatile sauce that pairs well with almost any low-carb pasta alternative. From classic basil pesto to unique variations like fennel pesto, you can find a variety of pesto sauce recipes on our blog.

Remember, the best sauces for low-carb pasta alternatives are those that are rich in flavor, made with healthy fats, and low in carbs.


Switching to low-carb pasta alternatives doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite pasta dishes. With a little creativity and the right recipes, you can enjoy a variety of delicious, low-carb meals that satisfy your pasta cravings. Whether you choose to make your own low-carb pasta at home or opt for a store-bought alternative, there's a world of options available to keep your meals exciting and your carb count low.

Have you tried any of these low-carb pasta alternatives? Do you have a favorite recipe? Share your experiences and favorite dishes in the comments below!

Do you like this post? Share it with your friends! 

Martina Slajerova
Creator of

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

Let us know what you think, rate this post!

Leave a comment

Note: Any links to products or affiliate links will not be approved.
Please note that we do not offer personalised advice. For any diet related questions, please join our Facebook community.

Comments (10)

Thank you for this post. I have tried the Palmini pasta. My favorites are rice and angel hair spaghetti (VERY thin spaghetti) The problem with it is: doesn't come dried (to make meals for later, like backpacking meals) and it definitely has a very tangy taste to not a neutral taste at all. But I DO like it.
Second, I have tried spaghetti squash and like it, a bit difficult to scrape it all out to make a meal...
I've used cauliflower RICE, but not as a noodle sub.
Shiritake: I have used them, and followed your instructions on how to "like" them, and it did well, but since they are not only no carb and no calorie, they also have 0 nutritional value. At least real noodles are usually made with eggs, so there is nutritional value...
I really would like to find dried versions of these pasta substitutes to make (as mentioned) meals that can be made in advance, only requiring water and heat to 'cook' later for backpacking or for storing for emergencies. I suppose I could try dehydrating them myself and see what happens...Like with zuchinni and palmini noodles...
Thank you for all of the other suggestions that I had not thought of or did not know about!

Thank you Carol! That's true, there aren't many options (at least vegetable based). I know there's dried spaghetti squash (US only). Generally speaking, the US has more options and since I live in the UK, I don't get to try them all. There's pasta made from lupin beans which are relatively low-carb. These might be good for travelling.
I totally agree, shirataki pasta is a good zero-carb option but I never eat it alone because it has nothing in it. For instance, when making rice, I combine it with cauliflower rice. I get more bulk with fewer carbs plus there's a nutritious vegetable used as well.
I just shared this: A Comprehensive Guide to Low-Carb Alternatives to Rice, Bulgur, Couscous, and Quinoa, and there's more guides coming soon so stay tuned! 😊

This guide is AWSOME! Shared & printed for future reference 😊

Thank you Ivonne, that's a great idea! Maybe I should create an infographic so my readers can pin it to their fridge 😊

This guide is amazing!! Thank you Martina!!

Thank you Charlene, another one will go live later today 😊

This is the BEST guide I've seen! I didn't know about half of those options I could use. Thank you so much for all your hard work!

Thank you for your kind words Maria, I'm glad you find it useful!

This is the most helpful post I have ever come across thank you for taking the time to write it for us

Thank you Deb, more is coming! 😊