Ah, pasta! Is any other type of food more comforting than a bowl of springy noodles? From Italian classics like spaghetti to the childhood staple of macaroni and cheese, pasta is a blank canvas on which our taste buds can travel the world. But can you still enjoy those noodle favorites if you have diabetes?
The answer is a resounding yes! Pasta is no longer off the menu for people with diabetes; with some minor adjustments, you can eat pasta dishes without sacrificing your healthy glucose levels.
If you want to eat traditional pasta dishes close to the original recipe and don’t care about quantity, you can switch out regular flour pasta for whole wheat pasta, which has a similar taste but includes more fiber to slow down the sugar absorption rate. Gluten-free pasta can work, too, although since it’s made from foods like chickpeas or black beans, it isn’t as carb-friendly.
Adding vegetables and proteins to the dish also helps keep the spike in sugar low, as does planning your carb intake for the day around the pasta meal you will have later. With whole-grain pasta, you will need to pay attention to serving size and practice portion control. In that way, you get the closest to regular pasta without high blood sugar readings.
If you want a lot of noodles without a blood sugar spike, consider keeping as much flavor from the usual pasta dish but use veggie noodles or alternative-ingredient pasta. You get the look and feel of pasta at little cost to your daily carb exchanges and the bonus of eating a much healthier option. Often, if you use vegetable noodles, your portion size can be similar to the old pasta days without much effect on your waistline.
Whether you are diabetic, pre-diabetic, or just in the market for healthy meals, here are 12 low-carb, diabetic pasta recipes you and your family will enjoy!
What do you get when you mix tangy sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, lemon, and heavy cream with a spaghetti noodle pasta alternative? A delicious, creamy, low-carb, diabetic-friendly Italian dinner that makes you feel like you are sitting in the Piazza del Popolo in Rome. All you need is fresh ingredients and 10 minutes to make this sun-dried tomato spaghetti using It’s Skinny Spaghetti low-carb noodles. The dish is an absolute delight for your tastebuds! Each serving contains 2 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber.
Are you hungry for Chinese food? Save money, time, and calories by cooking at home. Lo mein is a family favorite, and this recipe substitutes egg yolk noodles for noodles made from hearts of palm, making it one of the greatest diabetic pasta recipes. As is, this recipe is vegan, but you can add chicken or other meat for protein. Full of tasty, simple ingredients, this quick weeknight Asian staple is delicious and great for people with diabetes trying to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
I bet you thought your low-carb diet meant the end of comfort foods like mac and cheese! If eaten in appropriate portions, this diabetic pasta recipe will not create sizable post-meal blood sugar spikes. This recipe uses a smaller portion of whole wheat penne pasta, and offsets some of the carbohydrate load with the fiber found in broccoli. Add in sharp cheddar cheese, low-fat milk, and just a sprinkle of panko crumbs, and this baked mac and cheese is not only just 46 grams of carbs per serving but will flood your brain with childhood memories.
When the leaves begin to change color and the autumn air has a chill, snuggle up in your favorite hoodie and try this warm, hearty feast. Use fiber-packed whole-wheat rotini pasta to reduce the carb load. Add seasonal delights like pumpkin puree and ground nutmeg to make this easy diabetic pasta recipe everyone will love. Fall into autumn flavors with only 45 grams of carbs per serving!
Portion control is essential when eating fortified white flour or whole-grain pasta. An easy way to enjoy pasta without consuming too many carbohydrates is to use non-noodle pasta – in this case, pasta shells! This fan-favorite diabetic pasta recipe contains robust flavors like cheese, spinach, garlic, and butter, all mixed and melted in a savory marinara sauce. The dish is easy to make and pairs well with a side salad for extra fiber. Each serving of three stuffed shells is 32g of carbohydrates.
Aglio e Olio is a traditional Italian pasta dish from Naples that translates simply to “garlic and olive oil.” It’s a fresh, classic dish perfect for summer nights and busy days. Noodles made with flour, chickpeas, brown rice flour, or other grains will still contain a measure of carbohydrates. This delectable keto pasta recipe can be nearly carb-free if you switch the flour noodles for zucchini, heart of palm, or zero-net carb konjac noodles. The garlic provides flavor, and its antibiotic qualities make it great for oral health, a concern for many diabetics. When using hearts of palm pasta, this delicacy has 8 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Add protein like chicken or shrimp for a well-rounded, diabetic-friendly dinner.
Pad Thai, once a diabetic no-no, is now a full-flavored “yes!” using It’s Skinny pasta substitutes. This recipe uses zero-net carb, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free fettuccine pasta to lower the carb count of this popular Asian dish – with all the traditional flavors of Thai food, like ginger, soy sauce, peanuts, and lime juice. Enjoy Pad Thai again without the guilt or excessive blood sugar spikes. Use seasoned chicken or keep the dish vegetarian – either way, each bite is full of savory goodness.
Whole wheat flour adds more nutritional value and fiber to any meal, which helps people with diabetes enjoy pasta dishes with lower grams of net carbs. Like the diabetic mac and cheese recipe, this skillet penne dish uses whole-wheat pasta and vegetables to add fiber and reduce the carb count. Imagine a warm penne pasta mixed with greens, white wine, parmesan cheese, and other full-flavored ingredients. It’s a one-skillet wonder at only 25 grams of carbs per serving.
Shirataki noodles (also known as miracle noodles) are made from water and konjac plants and contain no carbohydrates and almost no calories, making them a great option for people with diabetes. Sometimes called konjac noodles, they contain a fiber called glucomannan, which has many health benefits. The noodles have a neutral flavor – which means they will absorb the delectable flavors of your favorite sauce while being very good for diabetics. This peanut sauce is healthy, low-carb, and low-calorie but big on taste. It includes veggies like carrots, but you can alter the recipe to add protein or spice. Enjoy an aromatic delight that has only 9 grams of carbs per serving.
Pasta salad is a perfect quick dinner or a fabulous picnic side dish, but is not often found in a diabetic’s home. Using alternatives to high-carb white pasta is the trick to enjoying this refreshing summer staple again. This pasta salad uses zucchini noodles, savory feta cheese, cucumbers, olives, fresh tomatoes and other garden goodies, and a unique semi-spicy yogurt dressing. You can make this beforehand or on the spot, as it only takes about 20 minutes to prepare. Even better, studies have shown a Mediterranean diet is beneficial to people with type 2 diabetes.
This diabetic spin on a classic spaghetti dish is not only delicious but is a quick dinner to make ahead of time. The traditional noodles are substituted with spaghetti squash and then covered with a rich, savory tomato sauce bolognese. The recipe adds carrots and bacon to the meat mixture to increase nutritional value while adding a rich thickness to the sauce. Enjoy this gluten-free non-pasta dinner without feeling heavy and sleepy afterward. The recipe includes tips on how to cook your spaghetti squash noodles al dente, and each serving has only 17 grams of carbohydrates.
Enjoy a deconstructed bowl of lasagna with almost zero net carbs in ten minutes! Lasagna is an Italian classic, but those noodles can be dangerous for people with diabetes. You no longer have to avoid lasagna when using It’s Skinny low-carb pasta alternatives. In this recipe, It’s Skinny fettuccine pasta was used to substitute for the thick lasagna sheet noodles. The dish is even more tempting with tasty ingredients like spinach, zucchini, mushrooms, and garlic. You can even add ground beef for a similar version with more protein. Pour your pasta alternative and this cheesy, dreamy sauce into a bowl and enjoy each mouth-watering bite!
Diabetes is a disease that requires daily maintenance, and dietary restrictions can make many of us feel left out. Gathering healthy, low-carb, diabetic pasta recipes is just one way we can safely participate in dinners with friends and family while enjoying the flavorful feasts we crave.