If there’s one word to describe keto-ers – it’s creative. Almost any carb-heavy food you can think of has had a low-carb version created to replace it.
Missing bread? You can make it with almond flour, or coconut flour and eggs.
Missing pizza? Turning mozzarella and eggs into fathead dough fixes that.
Missing potatoes, and rice? Cauliflower can be used to fill the gap (we actually have a whole post dedicated to the humble cauliflower with delicious recipe ideas).
With all that creativity – and the desire to replace the high-carb favorites with low-carb alternatives – there would certainly be at least one replacement for pasta.
As it turns out – there are many replacements for pasta.
You can stay in ketosis while still enjoying the pasta-based classics such as spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, or even a noodle casserole.
Keto Friendly Pasta Alternatives
There are a variety of ways you can get your pasta fix, by using low-carb ingredients instead of traditional grain-based pasta. Using any of these options will get you a keto-friendly pasta dish that is low in carbohydrates but still delicious.
Spiralized Veggies and Vegetable Pasta
If you don’t have a spiralizer yet, I highly recommend you get one stat! They are an affordable kitchen appliance that is oh so useful – especially once you realize how simple spiralized veggies are to make.
Butternut, zucchini, carrots, and cucumber can all be spiralized. If you don’t have one (or don’t want get one), you can use a vegetable peeler instead and peel thin ribbons of the vegetables.
Cucumbers work best for salads (and skip the middle section – it contains too much water).
Zucchini and carrot noodles can be eaten raw or lightly cooked. But it is recommended to cook the butternut noodles first.
There are other vegetables that also make excellent pasta replacements.
Spaghetti squash got its name because after being cooked, the strands of the squash look similar to spaghetti.
Spaghetti squash is really easy to cook – in fact, you can simple microwave it. Serve it with a heart marinara, and you have a comforting, low-carb meal right there.
If you’re looking for a lasagna replacement, both eggplant and zucchini make excellent replacements.
Slice the eggplant or zucchini lengthwise in thin sheets. If you’re using eggplant – parboil it quickly before laying it in the dish.
Both eggplant and zucchini will soak up the flavors of the sauce you use, but won’t end up tasting the actual vegetable. Like cauliflower, their mild flavor is one of the reasons they make such good substitutes for other starches.
Kelp noodles are made of seaweed – but don’t worry, they don’t have a fishy smell!
Thank you have a firm, chewy texture similar to tradition to pasta, but without the carbs. They work great in cold dishes.
You can find kelp noodles in Asian grocery stores. They are quick to cook – most will simply need a parboil, which makes them ideal for when you are short on time.
Egg and Cheese Noodles
This is a type of pasta that you can make yourself using just egg and mozzarella.
The result doesn’t exactly taste like traditional pasta (it has a cheesier taste) but they do have a similar ‘chewy’ texture of normal pasta. The cheesy flavors make them a great option for Italian-inspired sauces such as marinara or carbonara.
These noodles are labeled as a ‘wonder food’ – they are zero calorie, zero carb.
Shirataki noodles are a staple in Japanese cuisine. They are made from the root of the konjac plant, and are a translucent white color.
They have a bit of an unusual flavor, so it does take some getting used to. But if you use a strong flavored sauce, it will cover the konjac taste. Be sure to rinse them well before eating – the liquid they come in have a slightly unpleasant smell and taste.
Keto Pasta Recipes To Try Tonight
It’s one thing knowing what to use to make the pasta, but what do you do with it? Here are some amazing recipes that show you how you can use the low-carb pasta alternatives.
Pillowy-Soft Spinach & Ricotta Fried Ravioli
Image credit goes to gnom-gnom
The ravioli pasta is made with an almond flour, coconut flour and xanthan gum base. They trick to getting the ravioli soft is to get the the pasta very thin – otherwise it will end up quite doughy.
I love the idea of frying the Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli to cook it – it is certainly an interesting take on it!
To make sure the ravioli doesn’t fall apart when cooking, you freeze it for 15 minutes beforehand.
- Calories: 88
- Fats: 6g
- Proteins: 4g
- Net Carbs: 1.5g
View this recipe on gnom-gnom: Pillowy-Soft Spinach & Ricotta Fried Ravioli
Zoodles with Sardines, Tomatoes & Capers
Image credit goes to I Breathe I’m Hungry
If you’re not a fan of sardines, you can replace them with chicken. But – give the sardines a try. They are one of the top sources of Omega 3’s, is a valuable source of Vitamin B, as well as many other vitamins and minerals.
This Zoodles with Sardines, Tomatoes & Capers recipe takes just 10 minutes from start to finish, making it ideal for hot summer nights when you don’t want to be in the kitchen.
- Calories: 230
- Fats: 19g
- Proteins: 10g
- Net Carbs: 6g
View this recipe on I Breathe I’m Hungry: Zoodles with Sardines, Tomatoes & Capers
Asian Garlic Beef Noodles
Image credit goes to Paleo Flourish
Asian food from restaurants or take away spots is usually loaded with sugar. Rather make your own Asian-inspired stirfry without the sugar and carbs.
The garlic, ginger, and cilantro in this Asian Garlic Beef Noodles make for a very flavorful dish!
- Calories: 620
- Fats: 50g
- Proteins: 37g
- Net Carbs: 5g
View this recipe on Paleo Flourish: Asian Garlic Beef Noodles
Low Carb Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi
Image credit goes to Sweet C Designs
I’ve most often come across a tomato/bolognese-y type sauce to go with spaghetti squash, so I was quite surprised to see this take on spaghetti squash!
This Low Carb Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi definitely pushes the limit of the net carb count, so you’ll need to take care to balance out the other meals in the day.
- Calories: 418
- Fats: 24g
- Proteins: 26g
- Net Carbs: 21g
View this recipe on Sweet C Designs: Low Carb Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi
Cucumber Pasta Salad
Image credit goes to The Lowcarb Diet
One meal I used to love having in summer was pasta salad. This Cucumber Pasta Salad will make a great low-carb substitute I can have instead.
You can use this as a light main dish, or as a side to go with your main dish (steak or chicken things would work well this this).
- Calories: 95
- Proteins: 1.48g
- Net Carbs: 6.9g
View this recipe on The Lowcarb Diet: Cucumber Pasta Salad
Keto Mushroom Pasta With Shirataki
Image credit goes to Happy Keto
This Keto Mushroom Pasta With Shirataki looks almost too good to eat!
The pasta looks like spaghetti, but it is actually shiritaki noodles. The shiritaki noodles are quite filling, so you’ll find you’ll end up with smaller portions than you are used to.
- Calories: 237
- Fats: 20g
- Proteins: 6g
- Net Carbs: 4g
View this recipe on Happy Keto: Keto Mushroom Pasta With Shirataki
Enjoy the Options You Have
Being on a ketogenic diet doesn’t have to limit all of your food options. You are only limited to foods that are going to negatively affect your health, namely sugars and carbs.
As you can see, there are plenty of chances for you to make a dish that is filled with all kinds of flavors. You won’t be missing out on much.
I understand that some recipes sound too good to be true, but if you trust the process of the keto diet, you’re going to lose the weight you want.
If you happen to still be a little skeptical of the diet in general, take a look at Keto Bootstrap. Here, you will have plenty of support and options for even more food. You’ll also see that you don’t have to worry about anything if you trust the process.