These are the best healthy pasta recipes all in one place! Find delicious and nutritious pasta dinner ideas including veggie pasta, chicken pasta recipes, seafood, and more. Plus learn tips and tricks for making any pasta recipe healthier!
Table of Contents
- Healthy Chicken Pasta Ideas
- Vegetable Packed Pasta Recipes
- Love Veggie Noodles? Spaghetti Squash and Zoodle Ideas
- More Amazing Healthy Pasta Recipes
- Healthiest Store-Bought Pasta Noodles
- Tips for Making Healthy Pasta
- What is the healthiest pasta you can eat?
- What can I add to pasta to make it healthy?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Healthy Recipes
- Healthy Roasted Vegetable Pasta
Looking for some delicious and nutritious pasta recipes to add a healthy twist to your dinner routine? You've come to the right place.
In this article, we'll explore a wide variety of healthy pasta recipes that not only satisfy your taste buds but also keep your well-being in mind. From vibrant vegetable-packed pasta to hearty chicken and seafood pasta dinners, these recipes are packed with flavor and healthy ingredients.
Healthy Chicken Pasta Ideas
Chicken is one of my favorite types of protein to cook with. I love how quickly it cooks and how perfectly it soaks up all the flavors around it. Plus, you can save time by using a rotisserie chicken.
This delicious One Pot Chicken Pasta is ready in less than 30 minutes! It's a meal the whole family loves with seasoned chicken, pasta, and vegetables in a creamy tomato sauce topped with melted cheese.
One Pot Orzo Pasta with Chicken, Sundried Tomatoes, and Spinach is wholesome, easy to make, and bursting with crave-worthy flavors. This healthy 20-minute meal is perfect for busy weeknights and dinner parties alike!
This easy One Pot Chicken Broccoli Pasta is ready in less than 20 minutes, all cooks in one single pot, and tastes like an indulgent creamy restaurant pasta dish. It's easy, it's light, and it will be a family favorite.
Cajun Chicken Pasta with bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes in a creamy Cajun sauce is a lightened up version of a famous restaurant dish.
Chicken Fajita Pasta is a hearty, easy to make, one pot meal that your family will absolutely love! This wholesome meal is packed with lean chicken breast and veggies for a flavor-packed dinner that’s also good for you.
Skinny Chicken Broccoli Alfredo made with a cauliflower based alfredo sauce that is lighter and healthier than the traditional heavy. cream based alfredo. So good and surprisingly easy to make!
Chicken Sausage Pasta with Broccoli with plenty of garlic, a hint of spice, and a creamy Parmesan sauce is ready in less than 30 minutes for an easy, comforting meal.
Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta with a creamy lemon Parmesan sauce and plenty of chicken and broccoli for only 400 calories per serving.
One Pot Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pasta that comes together in less than thirty minutes. This healthier pasta dish has half the calories of a restaurant version, is easy to make, and it has so much flavor.
Lemon Orzo with Broccoli and Chicken Sausage that's all cooked in one pan for an easy, healthy dinner that is comforting and full of flavor. All for under 400 calories!
Vegetable Packed Pasta Recipes
Let's start out with some delicious ways to eat more veggies. These vegetable salad recipes all feature different types of delicious noodles.
One Pot Creamy Mushroom Pasta that's lightened up and has less than half the calories of the restaurant version. Packed with hearty mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, and garlic, this is a pasta dish you will want to make again and again.
Cheddar and Carrot Mac and Cheese features all the cheesy deliciousness of your favorite comfort food, with hidden veggies your kids won’t even notice. This nutrient-rich twist on a classic is flavorful, wholesome, and ready in under an hour.
Lemon Broccoli Pasta is your new favorite 20-minute dinner recipe. Packed with fresh broccoli, garlic, lemon, and parmesan cheese, this healthy pasta dish is bursting with fresh and savory flavors. Serve it alongside your favorite side salad and enjoy!
This vegetable Pasta Primavera is packed with fresh broccoli, zucchini, carrots, and cherry tomatoes tossed in a creamy lemon garlic sauce,. Ready in just 20 minutes.
This Creamy Tomato, Mushroom, and Spinach Pasta tastes like an indulgent restaurant dish but has less than 300 calories and is ready in thirty minutes.
One Pot Tomato Basil Pasta with Mushrooms and Spinach is an easy, flavor packed pasta dish that comes together in 20 minutes all in one dish.
This Baked Zucchini Pasta is lightened up comfort food at its best with creamy pasta packed with tons of fresh zucchini, garlic, and herbs.
One Pot Caprese Pasta is the perfect 20 minute healthy dinner and full of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, garlic, basil, and balsamic vinegar.
This easy creamy vegetable pasta is made in just one pot in less than 25 minutes! Use any veggies you like (fresh or frozen) to make this healthy, filling pasta.
In just 20 minutes make this delicious Pesto Pasta with zucchini using homemade or store-bought pesto. It's creamy, full of flavor, and it's easy to add extra veggies, chicken, or shrimp,
Roasted Vegetable Pasta with roasted tomatoes, asparagus, zucchini, and leeks with plenty of garlic and Parmesan cheese is your new favorite healthy pasta dish.
Vegetable alfredo that's actually light and healthy! This easy to make alfredo pasta is packed with veggies and has the best creamy Parmesan sauce.
Skillet Lasagna with Vegetables is the weeknight answer to your lasagna cravings. Simple to make, packed with veggies, and all the lasagna flavor you are looking for in under thirty minutes.
Spinach Artichoke Pasta that is surprisingly good for you with tons of veggies for under 350 calories. Made with a quick homemade sauce using spinach, artichoke hearts, and light cream cheese, this dish has so much flavor and is ready in just 30 minutes.
Love Veggie Noodles? Spaghetti Squash and Zoodle Ideas
If you are looking for a lower carb or gluten-free option, these pasta recipes are all made with vegetable noodles! Find the best ideas for spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles.
These delicious and garlicky Shrimp Scampi Zoodles are a lightened-up version of the Italian classic packed with plump shrimp, zucchini noodles, garlic, lemon, and Parmesan cheese. Ready in just 15 minutes!
Italian Spaghetti Squash Casserole is a healthy and filling low carb dish packed with a homemade bolognese, spaghetti squash, and fresh mozzarella.
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with ground turkey, creamy ricotta cheese, spinach, fresh basil, and mozzarella makes a dreamy low carb meal that is filling and delicious.
Baked Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti squash is a healthy way to enjoy your favorite comfort food guilt free. It's simple to make, under 350 calories, and has all the crispy, cheesy goodness of the original.
Cajun Chicken Pasta with bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes in a creamy Cajun sauce is a lightened up version of a famous restaurant dish.
This low carb spaghetti squash and meatballs with fresh mozzarella is the ultimate comfort food. Flavor-packed beef meatballs and tender spaghetti squash noodles all tossed in a quick homemade marinara. You won't miss the spaghetti at all!
This 20-minute Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles with Sausage is the perfect low-carb and keto-friendly pasta dinner. It's full of flavor, packed with protein, and no one will miss the pasta.
Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Sausage is a low carb dish that's filling and packed with flavor from a homemade basil pesto and lean turkey sausage. Topped with melted cheese, this dish is one you will make again and again.
This low carb Creamy Parmesan Spaghetti Squash with Chicken and Broccoli tastes rich and indulgent but is actually a healthy, low carb dinner your whole family will love.
Ground Turkey and Tomato Basil Zucchini Noodles is a delicious low carb meal with a delicious tomato sauce packed with ground turkey.
Tasty zucchini noodles with ground turkey sausage in a delicious garlic cherry tomato sauce. Easy to make, low carb, and delicious.
Pesto Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles is a low carb/keto friendly dish that has all the flavor of your favorite pesto pasta without the calories, carbs, and fat. Made with a quick homemade basil pesto, this dish comes together in no time and couldn't be tastier.
More Amazing Healthy Pasta Recipes
Looking for even more ideas for how to make a healthy dinner with pasta? Don't miss these recipes featuring shrimp, ground beef, pork, and more.
This easy Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta with lemon, garlic, and fire-roasted tomatoes is packed with flavor, healthy, and tastes like a restaurant dish.
This Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad with balsamic vinaigrette is easy to make, bursting with flavor. and anything but boring!
This classic Baked Zitti Bolognese is a delicious baked pasta dish packed with turkey bolognese, tons of veggies, and delicious melted mozzarella cheese. Great to prep and freeze for a make ahead meal.
This Vegetable Pasta Salad with a tangy lemon dressing is packed with good-for-you ingredients including whole wheat pasta, chickpeas, chopped fresh vegetables, fresh herbs, and feta cheese.
Brussels Sprouts Pasta with crispy bacon and Parmesan cheese tossed in a lemon garlic sauce is an easy 20 minute dinner that couldn't be more delicious.
Sausage and Pepper Pasta made with lean turkey sausage, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and a quick and easy tomato sauce is an easy, tasty weeknight dinner.
The most delicious Sausage Pasta that's easy to make and packs in so much flavor with lean turkey sausage, tender cauliflower, and a quick tomato sauce.
Healthiest Store-Bought Pasta Noodles
When it comes to buying noodles in the store, the marketing claims on the boxes can get pretty confusing. Which ones are the healthiest? Which should you buy? There are pros and cons to all of them, so let's look closer at the healthiest store-bought noodles so you can make a smart choice.
- Whole Wheat Pasta: The good thing about whole-wheat pasta is how much fiber it has. One serving also has more protein than an egg. You just have to be careful with serving sizes, since it also has quite a few calories and carbohydrates.
- Chickpea Pasta: This is a wonderful choice if you need a gluten-free option. It is also really high in protein too. Some people struggle with the texture of it.
- Red Lentil Pasta: These noodles are also gluten-free and they have quite a bit of plant-based fiber and protein too. The only downside to red lentil pasta is the color.
- Heart of Palm: This is a plant-based noodle that has so much fiber that it is basically a zero-carb noodle. It has a different texture than flour-based pasta.
- Frozen Vegetable Noodles: You can also buy frozen zucchini noodles or frozen butternut squash noodles. The downside to buying frozen versions is that they tend to be less crispy than if you make them homemade.
- Soba Noodles: Soba noodles are made with buckwheat, which is surprisingly gluten-free. It's also really high in fiber and is used a lot in Japanese recipes.
Tips for Making Healthy Pasta
Pasta gets a bad reputation and many people automatically think they need to cut it out of their diets if they are trying to eat healthily. However, pasta can easily be a part of any healthy diet. Especially if you follow these simple tips.
1. Add vegetables
A good rule of thumb is to try to make your recipe half pasta and half vegetables. That means for every 8 ounces of pasta you are cooking, you should aim to include about 4 cups of veggies. This simple trick not only ensures you are getting your daily serving of vegetables, but it also gives you double the portion size. A simple way to incorporate this is to use zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or another veggie noodle. For example, when making Bolognese, we always use half spaghetti squash. No one even notices.
2. Reach for lean proteins
Another trick for making your pasta more filling is to add lean proteins. Think about incorporating things like lean ground turkey, chicken breast, shrimp, or fish. You can also use plant based protein sources like chickpeas, lentils, tofu, and beans. By adding lean proteins, you add protein, vitamins, minerals, and make the portion size larger. It's a win-win.
3. Pay attention to portion sizes
One of the hardest things about eating pasta is sticking to the proper serving size. Many of us don't realize that a plate of pasta we order at a restaurant is usually 3-4 servings. Instead, focus on measuring your portion sizes and trying to stick to around 1 cup of cooked pasta. With the veggies and lean protein you add, you can still get a rather large serving. It just won't be all pasta.
4. Consider whole wheat or alternative pasta
If you want to add some extra nutrients and whole grains, consider using whole wheat pasta or high-fiber pasta. You can also try one of the alternative pasta options out there like those made with chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, or edamame.
5. Avoid creamy sauces (or lighten them up)
Pasta itself is not that unhealthy of an ingredient, but the rich and creamy sauces that often top pasta can pack in tons of calories and saturated fats. Try to stick to lighter sauces, like those made with tomatoes, olive oil, lemon, and other lighter ingredients.
You can also still enjoy creamy sauces, but make them with lighter ingredients like skim milk, light cream cheese, part-skim ricotta cheese and mozzarella.
What is the healthiest pasta you can eat?
The answer to this question depends on your health goals. The healthiest pasta will be the kind that has plenty of fiber, protein, and nutrients. This might include noodles made from vegetables, whole wheat pasta, or pasta enriched with vitamins.
What can I add to pasta to make it healthy?
When it comes to noodles and pasta, be careful with the types of sauce or dressings you add on top. Do not add anything that is really high in sugar or calories. That's why I prefer to make my own sauces out of tomato sauce and cheese.
To make a pasta dish healthier, fill it up with lean protein (like tofu, shrimp, or chicken) and plenty of your favorite vegetables. Vegetables are really high in soluble fiber - meaning they help you feel full. Plus, they are fantastic sources of nutrients and antioxidants!
You can also sprinkle fresh herbs on top of your pasta which provides even more flavor and nutrition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about healthy pasta recipes.
The best type of pasta for weight loss is one that is high in protein, fiber, and contains lots of vitamins and nutrients. This may include pasta made from vegetables (spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles), hearts of palm noodles, or whole wheat noodles.
High-fiber foods help with weight loss because they keep you feeling full longer and make your gut healthier by improving the microbiome.
Plain egg noodles are not very healthy because they are so low in fiber. One cup of egg noodles contains 221 calories and only 2 grams of fiber. Enriched egg noodles do contain manganese, so they aren't completely bad for you. It's just that there are better choices out there that have more fiber.
Honestly, brown rice has lower calories and more fiber than traditional pasta. The comparison is tough because there are a lot of different types of healthy pastas out there and some of them are better choices than rice. It all depends on your nutritional goals.
This all depends on what type of pasta you are comparing gnocchi to, but even regular pasta has more protein than gnocchi does. If calories are what you focus on, then gnocchi comes out ahead, because it has fewer calories and carbs than typical types of pasta.
I prefer to eat whole wheat pasta more than gnocchi because it has more nutrients in it.
More Healthy Recipes
Looking for more dinner inspiration? Check out these next!
Healthy Roasted Vegetable Pasta
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- 4 cups cherry tomatoes (whole)
- 1 lb asparagus, chopped
- 2 zucchini, chopped
- 1 red onion, sliced thin
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, minced, divided
- 8 oz. high fiber pasta
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 lemon (juice and zest)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.