5 Healthy Noodle Alternatives

bean/lentil noodle

Craving noodles but want a healthier option? These healthy noodle alternatives are delicious and meet many dietary needs.

These 5 alternatives differ from the standard wheat noodles and can serve preferences such as gluten free or keto friendly. It’s also a nice variety in texture and taste, plus you may get more veggies in.

Want more healthy ideas? Check out:

1. Sweet Potato Noodles

Sweet potatoes are a vitamin A rich vegetable that can easily be turned into a noodle. You also still get a healthy form of carbs despite replacing noodles.

The interesting part about sweet potato noodles, is they add a sweeter touch than most noodles, which can be a nice change. That means you also may need less sweetness in a sauce that has a sweet touch.

Sweet potato noodles are something you just gotta make from scratch. But don’t worry, all it requires is sweet potato and a spiral vegetable slicer or a peeler.

There are two ways to easily form sweet potato noodles:

  1. For thin sweet potatoes: grab a spiral vegetable slicer (if you have it) and twist.
  2. If you don’t have access to a spiral vegetable slicer, or the sweet potato doesn’t fit, grab a peeler and peel as you would a carrot, except you keep on going past the skin.
  3. After forming the noodle shape, simply put them in the pan with the rest of your noodle dish and sauces to cook.

Sweet potatoes pair well with most flavors, so pick your desired noodle dish and get peeling with this.

2. Spaghetti Squash

Look for yellow oval-shaped squash, that should be your spaghetti squash. If you can’t find it note, that the peak season is fall through winter. That’s probably when you’re more likely going to want to make this dish.

Of course, you can buy pre-made noodle-turned spaghetti squash, but I highly recommend taking the simple extra step to bake it yourself.

Preparing this squash is actually quite simple.

  1. Simply cut in half (the long way)
  2. Remove the seeds
  3. Poke a few holes with a fork
  4. Oil inner sides
  5. Place in oven faced down for around 30-40 minutes
  6. Once it’s done cooking you scoop out the meat on the inside, which will look like spaghetti

You can easily pair this with butter and parmesan, tomato sauce, or other pasta sauce, and it’ll be delicious. Since it’s already cooked, it’s easy to just mix the sauce in. Or you can put everything in a pan to mix with heat.

3. Bean/Lentil Pasta

Chickpea, lentil, black bean, edamame, and so many more are now available as pasta.

You’re bound to find them in your go-to grocery store, even from private-labeled brands (like 365 and Trader Joe’s) that may sell them cheaper than neighboring competitor brands.

The cooking methods are usually similar to regular pasta, so there’s no extra effort needed.

It’s the ingredients that make these must-eat healthy noodle alternatives.

How? If you look at the ingredients it should state the food such as chickpea as chickpeas flour. That’s then the flour replacement used for the noodles.

If you’re wary about this, don’t be, just try. Unlike the spaghetti squash, these also come in all sorts of varieties. There is penne, lasagna, rotini, fettuccini, and so much more.

The only warning I have is that it may be a little firmer than a typical noodle, and depending on what brand you get a slightly different texture. Sometimes I even cook these types of noodles a little longer than the box suggests.

Since these noodles are made from beans and/or lentils, they are much richer in protein and can be a great substitution for vegan/vegetarian folks looking for higher protein options.

4. Heart of Palm

Ever heard of the vegetable heart of palms? Perhaps. Ever heart of palm noodles? Chances are even less. I’m telling you right now, give it a try!

While these don’t taste exactly like regular noodles, they are a very easy noodle alternative. They usually just taste a little crunchier, but not crunchy, just crunchier, if that makes sense.

The typical varieties are so easy since they don’t require you to boil a pot of water like other typical noodles.

Heart of Palm can be found in many grocery stores, both in cooled and pantry sections. These Heart of Palm lasagna sheets were used for the lasagna pictured here.

heart of palm lasagna

5. Your Own Vegetables

While many vegetables were already listed, such as sweet potatoes and spaghetti squash, I’m here to say you can use a variety of other vegetables as healthy noodle alternatives.

Eggplant and zucchini are great as lasagna sheets. Eggplant is more so since you can get a wider surface.

Simply spiral zucchini for zucchini pasta (aka zoodles).

You can use bell peppers as noodles by cutting them really thin and even mixing them with shaved carrots.

This is a great way to sneak in more vegetables all while still getting the flavor you want.

These are some of my favorites to use as noodles:

  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Bell pepper
  • Carrots

The key to making it taste more than vegetables here is the sauce. Most of these vegetables easily absorb flavors so cook them thoroughly but not too mushy with your sauce.

The image on the right is pad thai inspired, where both the pad thai sauces, and the egg provide a more vibrant taste.

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