Four Recipes that Prove Pasta Fits Into ANY Diet

Oh carbs, how we adore you! If we had it our way, we would put pasta at the top of our food pyramid but we’re in the change making mindset, so that means we need to get a bit more creative to satisfy our noodle cravings. Check out these recipes to help you make a healthier plate of pasta for dinner:

Paleo chicken alfredo (GF, DF, SF, low-carb, keto)

  • 1-2 large zucchinis (spiralized)
  • 2 large chicken breasts (seasoned with salt & pepper to taste)
  • ½ cup cashews (soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 large yellow onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 large clove of garlic (roughly chopped)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Diced parsley to garnish

In a saucepan, sauté onions and garlic in 1 tsbp of olive oil on medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, then cook until slightly brown (about 3-5 minutes). In a high-speed blender, combine soaked cashews, lemon, water, miso paste, and the sauteed onions with garlic. Blend on high until a sauce-like consistency is formed. Add more miso or salt to taste and set aside. In the same pan, add 2 tbsp olive oil and cook chicken on medium/low heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Once cooked, remove chicken from pan and dice into bite-size pieces. Add spiralized zucchinis to the pan with some sauce and cook on low heat until slightly soft. Served with diced chicken and garnish with fresh parsley. Serves 2-4.

Mediterranean spinach artichoke penne (*GF, DF, SF, V)

  • 2 cups uncooked penne of choice (*try chickpea or lentil based pasta for a GF option)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • ½ cup low sodium vegetable broth/stock
  • ½ can diced artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup sliced Kalamata olives (pitted)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt/pepper

In a medium saucepan combine olive oil, onion, and garlic and sauté on medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Combine spinach, artichokes, olives, cherry tomatoes, and broth and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. While sauce is simmering, combine tahini and lemon juice and mix well with about 4-5 tbsp of water until a sauce-like consistency is formed. Then add tahini mixture to the saucepan and mix well. Cook pasta according to package directions then toss into the pan. Stir to combine.

Spaghetti chard marina with tempeh “sausage” (DF, V, *GF)

  • 2 oz. cooked spaghetti of choice (can substitute with gluten-free pasta)
  • 1 package tempeh (crumbled)
  • 2 cups chopped swiss chard
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes
  • ½ tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan combine olive oil, onion, garlic, salt & pepper, and crumbled tempeh and cook on medium heat until tempeh is browned and onions are softened (around 3-5 minutes). While cooking, add fresh oregano, basil, chili, and a few more dashes of salt and pepper. Then combine crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and swiss chard. Bring mixture to a low boil then reduce to low heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add water (or red cooking wine) if sauce becomes too thick. After sauce is cooked and the desired consistency is reached, serve over cooked spaghetti.

Optional: garnish with vegan parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes.

Healthier Keto Shrimp pesto (GF, DF, SF, keto, low-carb )

  • 1/2 lb uncooked shrimp (peeled and cleaned)
  • 1 spaghetti squash (cut in half)
  • 1/3 cup pesto sauce of choice
  • ½ avocado (diced)
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the spaghetti squash, cut sides up, on a sheet pan. Brush the flesh completely with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 50 to 75 minutes, until the insides of the squash are very tender and shred easily when raked with a fork. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scrape out the squash into a large bowl (discarding the shells). Mix in pesto and avocado. In a medium saucepan, while the squash is cooling, combine 2 tbsp of olive oil with the ½ lb of shrimp and add about 1 tsp each of salt and pepper. Sauté on medium-low heat, flipping the shrimp until they are pink and slightly browned on both sides (about 4-6 minutes). Serve the shrimp over the pesto squash and garnish with pumpkin seeds.

Lindsey Gass

Lindsey Gass, RD, LD/N is a registered dietitian in Miami, FL. With a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University, Lindsey has years of experience in clinical, sports, long term care, and community nutrition. Lindsey currently works in critical care at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she provides nutrition support and participates in trauma research. Outside of her career, Lindsey is an avid runner and Nike run club pacer working towards qualifying for a Boston marathon. Follow Lindsey on Instagram at @lin.health for nutrition tips and tricks. Learn more about Youfit’s Registered Dietician