For a lot of people, pasta is an easy go-to meal, but that doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy. Most conventional store-bought pasta is filled with artificial ingredients, so we’ve decided to figure out what makes a good, healthy pasta.
While researching, we found that the best pastas are made from just a few whole ingredients and feature nutrient-packed bases like beans or whole grains. They cater to personal dietary restrictions and have a balanced macronutrient profile. Keeping these things in mind, we’ve handpicked our favorite healthy pastas available online.
Top 10 Best Healthy Pastas to Buy Online
When it comes to finding a healthy pasta, the key is to be open-minded about ingredients. Often, alternative pastas can be even more delicious than wheat-based pastas.
1. Explore Cuisine Organic Edamame Spaghetti (6 Pack, 6 oz Each)
Best High-Protein, High-Fiber Pasta
This high-protein, gluten-free pasta is made from only organic, non-GMO edamame. With 13 grams of fiber per serving (and thus only 7 net carbs), it’s a good option for those watching their carb intake.
Reviewers write that the flavor is mild and that texture quite close to that of whole wheat pasta, which makes it a fantastic substitute for conventional pasta. The high fiber and protein content also leave you feeling full and satisfied.
|Per Serving||Calories: 180, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 3.5g (2oz serving)|
|Certifications||Organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, kosher|
2. Bentilila Organic Red Lentil Pasta (5 Pounds)
Best Texture for a Gluten-Free Pasta
This rotini pasta is made solely from red lentils and features a massive amount of vitamins and minerals including folate, phosphorus, and manganese.
Reviewers love the light, nutty flavor and report that it feels like you’re eating regular pasta–so long as you don’t overcook it, which can cause it to fall apart. Thus, these may not be the best for pasta soups.
|Per Serving||Calories: 355, Carbs: 63g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 1g (100g serving)|
3. Cinque Terre Pasta Spaghetti (8 Pack, 16 oz Each)
Best Healthy Traditional Pasta
This Italian pasta is for those who just want a healthier version of more traditional pastas. Like most pasta, it’s made from durum wheat semolina–but that’s it. No dyes, preservatives, or conditioners.
Reviewers rave about the springy texture and love that it cooks in under five minutes. Even the most discerning pasta enthusiasts consider this a great pasta.
|Ingredients||Organic durum semolina and water|
|Per Serving||Calories: 200, Carbs: 40g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 1g (2oz serving)|
4. Explore Cuisine Organic Chickpea Fusilli (6 Pack, 8 oz Each)
Best Pasta to Use in Soups
This chickpea pasta is fairly high in protein and has a mild flavor that pairs well with any sauce. It has a low glycemic index and higher fiber content than traditional pastas.
Reviewers write that this pasta holds together well when cooked and could easily pass as regular pasta. For those who like to make pasta soups, this one gives off just the right amount of starch to lightly thicken your soup.
|Ingredients||Organic chickpea flour, organic brown rice flour, organic tapioca starch, organic pea protein|
|Per Serving||Calories: 200, Carbs: 35g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 2.5g (2oz serving)|
|Certifications||Organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, kosher|
5. The Only Bean Organic Edamame, Soy, Black Bean Pasta (4 Pack, 8 oz Each)
For pasta alternative newbies, this multi-pack could serve as an introduction to some of the different flavors available. Each of these pastas has a similar nutrient profile but the flavor does differ.
Reviewers write that these pastas are a little lighter than traditional pasta and cook much quicker. The two lighter pastas pair well with most toppings while the black bean is great for more strongly flavored sauces.
|Type||Edamame, soybean, black bean|
|Ingredients||Organic edamame/organic soybean/organic black bean|
|Per Serving||Calories: 190, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 4g (2oz serving)|
6. Eden Organic Kamut Spirals (2 Pack, 12 oz Each)
Best Ancient Grain Pasta
This fusili pasta is made from kamut, an ancient grain known for its rich, nutty flavor. It keeps its shape extremely well and has a smooth, bouncy texture without any of the graininess that can sometimes accompany whole wheat pastas.
Reviewers write that it’s nearly indistinguishable from regular pasta when prepared and that it makes for great hot or cold pasta dishes.
|Ingredients||Organic whole grain kamut wheat|
|Per Serving||Calories: 210, Carbs: 40g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 1.5g (55g serving)|
7. Zeroodle Soy Bean, Black Bean, Mung Bean Fettuccine and Spaghetti (2 Pack, 7 oz Each)
Best for Those Watching Carb Counts
These bean-based noodles are high in protein and low in carbs. With 15 grams of fiber, each serving has just 3 net carbs, making them ideal for carb counters.
Reviewers love the mildly earthy flavor and write that when cooked according to directions, these noodles have a great al dente texture. Reviewers recommend rinsing the noodles off after cooking to prevent excess chewiness.
|Type||Soy bean, mung bean|
|Ingredients||Organic mung bean, organic green soy bean|
|Per Serving||Calories: 188, Carbs: 18g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 3.5g (50g serving)|
|Certifications||Organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan|
8. Explore Cuisine Organic Green Lentil Lasagne (6 Pack, 8 oz Each)
Best Healthy Lasagna Noodle
For those looking for a healthier lasagna (that doesn’t require strips of zucchini), these noodles have you covered. Packed with protein and whole food ingredients, this pasta is a step above your average casserole.
Reviewers love the texture and report that when cooked into lasagna, these noodles are virtually identical in taste to normal pasta. Additionally, they cook fast enough that you don’t need to pre-boil them when layering them into your lasagna.
|Ingredients||Organic green lentil flour, organic green pea flour, organic brown rice flour|
|Per Serving||Calories: 190, Carbs: 31g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 1g (2oz serving)|
|Certifications||Organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan|
9. Fiber Gourmet Spaghetti (6 Pack, 8 oz Each)
Best Light Conventional Pasta
For those who want a lighter pasta but don’t want to give up texture or flavor, these noodles use resistant starch to increase fiber, reduce calories, and support gut health.
Reviewers write that these noodles are virtually indistinguishable from conventional pasta. It holds up well to cooking and retains its texture even after reheating.
|Ingredients||Enriched durum semolina, modified wheat starch, wheat gluten|
|Per Serving||Calories: 130, Carbs: 41g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 1g (2oz serving)|
10. Organic Well Lean Fettuccine (6 Pack, 9.5 oz Each)
Best Super Low-Calorie Pasta
These konjac-based noodles are great for those watching their calories. Unlike other shirataki noodles, these don’t have any odor and have a more pasta-like texture thanks to the addition of oat fiber.
Reviewers write that though the texture is still noticeably not pasta, it’s much more palatable than other konjac noodles and holds sauce well.
|Ingredients||Purified water, organic konjac flour, oat fiber, citric acid|
|Per Serving||Calories: 5, Carbs: 2g, Protein: 0g, Fat: 0g (100g serving)|
How to Choose a Healthy Pasta – Buying Guide
Always be sure to read reviews when looking at a new pasta to check for flavor and texture.
For a Fuller Nutrient Profile, Look Past Processed Semolina
While it’s a great vehicle for other flavors, the kind of semolina normally found in store-bought pasta is definitely not the best pasta base—it’s made from highly refined flour stripped of all of its beneficial nutrients like iron, protein, fiber, and B vitamins, leaving you with the nutritional equivalent of a plateful of sugar.
Luckily, there are a ton of other pastas available now that are made from more healthful options such as whole wheat, quinoa, spelt, and buckwheat. Do note, however, that texture and taste might differ slightly from type to type, but that’s just part of the fun! Read our product descriptions for specific examples.
The Shorter the Ingredient List, the Better
Generally speaking, pastas should be little more than grains and water. Many conventional store-bought pastas include artificial preservatives, conditioners, and dyes–not what you’re looking for. So always be sure to read the ingredients list to ensure that you’re only getting the good stuff.
Check the Macronutrients for a Balanced Meal
Let’s be honest here, half the time we eat pasta, we’re basically just eating noodles and sauce. But as most traditional pastas are high in carbs and low on everything else, that makes for a pretty unbalanced meal. Meals that are too high in carbs tend to give you energy spikes and don’t fill you up for very long.
So, for the sake of your satiety and energy levels, it might make sense to look for a pasta that has a more even balance of carbs, protein, and fat. For reference, the Food and Nutrition Board recommends that adults get 45 – 65% of their calories from carbs, 10 – 35% from protein, and 20 – 35% from fat.
On the other hand, if you’re watching your carb intake, there are also pastas that cater to low-carb diets.
For Allergies, Intolerances, and Restrictions, Look for Official Certifications
Grain-based foods can be a bit of a minefield for those with dietary restrictions, so the best way to be sure that a food is safe for you to eat is to look for official certifications. Some of the most common certifications include non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, and organic.
If you have a serious gluten allergy, it’s especially important to look for the official certification as many pastas that “contain no gluten” may still be processed on machines that have been used to process gluten for other products.
Consider Slowly Weeding Overly Processed Foods out of Your Life
You are what you eat. What you consume has a huge effect on your mood, energy level, and appearance. If you want to feel and look your best, consider swapping out some of the overly processed foods in your kitchen for some more healthful options.
Finding a healthy pasta that you love can transform your quickly thrown together meal from a matter of necessity to a fully balanced meal that you can feel good about.
By Jacqueline Oshiro
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