So you've decided to give keto a try…chances are you're wondering what is the best keto pasta alternative? IS there keto pasta out there? Am I stuck making “zoodles” out of zucchini for the rest of my life?
Well, first of all, you’ve come to the right place—there are pasta options out there. We’re here to tell you about the best keto pasta alternative on the market: It’s Skinny pasta.
But first, let’s explore a little bit about the ketogenic or “keto diet” and why it works.
What is Keto, and Can I Still Eat Keto Pasta?
The ketogenic diet, or "keto" as it's often called, is a high fat, high protein, low carbohydrate diet. In many ways, it's like several other low-carb diets, including Atkins and Paleo. The keto diet has many benefits, including helping to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. Interestingly, it was initially developed as a treatment for children with epilepsy.
One of the benefits of keto is that people often see weight loss when following this diet. This is because when you cut out carbs and replace them with fats and protein, your body goes into a state that's called "ketosis." During ketosis, your body burns fat for energy rather than carbs.
People report feeling sharper and more energetic on keto. Weight loss is, of course, a happy benefit that draws many people to this way of eating. So what are the guidelines for keto?
In most plans, the keto diet suggests reducing carbohydrates to between 20 and 50 grams per day. The goal is to eat a diet that's about 75% fat, 20% protein, and around 5% carbohydrates.
This may sound easy at first—after all, who doesn’t love delicious high-fat foods? Our bodies often crave fat for its texture, mouthfeel, and taste. Think of avocados, butter, olive oil, cream, and other high-fat but healthy foods.
But often, when we reduce the carb intake in our diets, we may also experience strong cravings for carbohydrates. Most of us love starchy, sugary carbs. Think of a delicious piece of cake, a perfect loaf of French bread, Chinese takeout over a big bowl of rice, or of course, pasta. Is there keto pasta that tastes good and fulfills your cravings? You bet! Meet It’s Skinny.
I Dream of Pasta
Pasta is one of the biggest carbohydrate cravings—and no wonder! It's ultra-comforting. We often have strong memory associations with pasta too. Even if you didn't grow up in a household with lots of noodle-based dishes, chances are your family had a go-to spaghetti dinner recipe, a creamy tuna noodle casserole, or brothy ramen that they loved.
When we think of pasta, we think of home. We think of pasta salads and fettuccine alfredo. Maybe we think of our favorite pesto. Pasta may take us on vacation—that time we visited New York, the summer spent in Italy, our favorite Thai drunken noodles we ate on the beach.
It’s no wonder pasta has such a strong association with comfort and satiety. It fills us up. It makes us feel connected, cared about, even loved. Pasta is a family meal, a Sunday dinner, a barbecue side dish.
But, when we’re watching carbohydrates, those pasta dreams can really get in the way of our progress. A bowl of spaghetti noodles contains about 220 calories and 43 grams of carbohydrates. Switch to whole-wheat pasta (with its grainy, never-quite right texture), and you're still looking at 175 calories and about 37 grams of carbohydrates.
Now, if you’re following the keto diet and you can only get 25-50 grams of carbohydrates per day, you may think, “that’s fine, I’ll just eat my carbohydrates in pasta.” But unfortunately, almost every fruit or vegetable also contains carbohydrates. Even low-carb fruits like watermelon still contain about 11 grams of carbohydrates per cup. Strawberries have about 13 grams. Potatoes have 26 grams of carbs, and corn has about 27 grams per cup. Squash has between 14-16 grams of carbohydrates per cup, and the list goes on.
Dairy products can also be a source of carbohydrates. For example, a glass of skim milk has about 13 grams of carbs. Cheese is lower in carbs, with about three carbohydrates in half a cup of cottage cheese. Parmesan has about .3 carbs in a two-tablespoon serving. But what are you going to eat with your cheese?
If you want to feel full and satisfied on keto, you can't survive on bacon and steak alone. While it's true that most unprocessed meats don’t contain any carbohydrates, chicken, turkey, fish, and steak can become tedious without rice, noodles, or vegetables to go along with the meal. Most of us have a bit of a sweet tooth too, and even if we only eat strawberries and watermelon, we will probably feel unsatisfied.
Besides, do you really want to live in a world without pasta? Where’s the fun in that?
A Keto Pasta Alternative on Your Terms
It’s Skinny keto pasta alternative isn't your grandmother's pasta…but it still works in your grandmother's recipes. So you can still enjoy your favorite noodle dishes with all of the saucy, delicious flavor and none of the starchy, carby guilt.
A 100-gram serving of It’s Skinny Pasta contains 4.5 calories, zero carbs, and two grams of dietary fiber! It may sound unbelievable, but tasting is believing!
The It’s Skinny pasta portfolio includes low-carb spaghetti, angel hair, keto fettuccine, as well as rice. In other words, you can find ways to use It’s Skinny pasta in almost every meal!
So how did we do it? How did we get the carbs out of pasta but still make noodles that you'll love? We used a root vegetable called konjac. You may have heard of konjac noodles or shirataki noodles before. It's Skinny uses our own unique formula to make shirataki noodles with a better, more authentic pasta texture.
The unassuming konjac is similar to a turnip. Long used in Asian dishes, konjac roots aren’t the prettiest vegetable out there, but they may be one of the most amazing. The konjac root takes on the flavor of surrounding ingredients without overpowering the dish. You can use all sorts of sauces and toppings to make pasta your way.
And what are the “pastabilities”? Well, they’re nearly endless.
For keto-friendly pasta sauces, try pesto, olive oil, roasted tomato (jarred tomato sauce often contains added sugar), eggplant, or keto fettuccine. You can use tahini or unsweetened peanut butter for a Middle Eastern or Asian dish. Soy sauce, rice vinegar, or hot sauce are also lovely additions to your pasta dish.
As for toppings, choose any keto-friendly vegetable you like. Top your pasta with spinach, sauteed broccoli, kale, cabbage, mushrooms, and more. Finish off the dish with plenty of fresh herbs and spices to highlight the meal's flavors.
Meats are generally low-carb or carb-free, so they always make a great addition to a keto-friendly pasta dish. Go for a “bacon and egg” spaghetti carbonara, sauteed chicken, steak, or shrimp. You can use hamburger to add extra depth and texture to your sauce or sausage to make the dish even more authentic.
Finally, don’t forget to top your pasta with plenty of cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, or a pat of butter. Because fats are part of the keto diet, you don’t need to worry about a little indulgence to round out the dish. Not only do the fats bring lots of flavor, but they bring satisfaction, which is one reason why so many people find keto to be such a manageable dietary guideline.
What Makes It’s Skinny the Best Pasta Alternative
There are many healthy pasta options on the market today, from DIY options like noodles made from zucchini, carrots, or squash to pasta alternatives made with chickpeas, rice, or quinoa. When you're following keto, very few of these options are genuinely low-carb and keto-friendly.
What’s more, many of these pasta alternatives don’t quite hit the nail on the head in terms of flavor, texture, or satisfaction. Zucchini noodles, or zoodles, are one of the more popular pasta alternatives, but they can bring a lot of water to a dish. They're crunchy, and, in some cases, the flavor can still come through—in other words, there's no way you aren't painfully aware that you're eating zucchini instead of pasta. Plus, it takes time to spin out all those zoodles.
Squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots, can be delicious in certain dishes, but they all of strong flavors. Even though they tend to be a bit heartier than zucchini noodles, they also contain a fair amount of carbs. You may have to cut back some of your sauce or toppings to balance the dish. We can all admit that the best part of pasta is the sauce, protein, herbs, and cheese that go along with the meal.
Finally, the whole grain and chickpea pasta options never seem to cook quite right. Either you get soggy, gloppy pasta that ruins the dish, or the pasta is too chewy and beyond “al dente.” No matter how you spin it, these pasta alternatives miss the mark. Furthermore, they all contain carbs, calories, and other stats that may derail your keto progress.
Cue It's Skinny. Our pasta alternative hits all the right notes—texture, ease of preparation, and ability to play well with other ingredients. The stats are unbeatable, with only 9 calories per bag and no carbs. It's Skinny cooks quickly—no need to heat water, saltwater, wait for the water to reach a roving boil, and then watch your pot like a hawk.
Instead, with It’s Skinny, you open the bag and add the pasta at the end of your cooking. Toss it with the sauce, protein, and other ingredients to heat through, and you’re ready to enjoy. No stress, even for cooking novices!
You can order It’s Skinny on Amazon, making it super convenient for your next meal. Get a four-pack of spaghetti, fettuccine, angel hair, or It's Skinny rice. You’ll see why this is the best keto pasta alternative out there.
So, if you’re wondering how you can still enjoy pasta on keto, don’t worry—It’s Skinny is the perfect noodle to help you get all the flavor you crave, with none of the guilt.
If you’re looking for pasta recipe inspo, don’t miss our awesome selection of It’s Skinny recipes, including: