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Best Vegetable Substitutes for Pasta and Potatoes

As delicious as they are, pastas and potatoes should be enjoyed in moderation. Fortunately, there are some tasty alternatives. Read to learn what we recommend as the best vegetable substitutes for pasta and potatoes. Bonus: Tons of tasty recipes included!

Bowl of zucchini noodles, best vegetable substitute for pasta

If you’re trying to lose weight, you’re probably aware not all carbohydrates are equal. While complex carbohydrates are nutritionally valuable to our bodies when consumed in moderation, starchy items like potatoes and foods made out of white flour—like some pasta—are not. And that is where vegetable substitutes for pasta and potatoes come in handy.

As delicious as they are, you should eat pasta and potatoes in moderation. Refined carbohydrates have most of their fiber, vitamins, and minerals removed. They digest quickly and cause your blood sugar and insulin levels to spike after you eat them. This sometimes triggers overeating, which could potentially sabotage your weight loss efforts if not kept in check.

Fortunately, there are healthy alternatives to these favorites that will give you both the taste and texture you enjoy—without the extra calories or food cravings.

Here are our recommended replacements for pasta and potatoes that are just as tasty.

Healthy Alternatives to Pasta

  1. Spaghetti squash. Squash noodles are rich in vitamins and low in saturated fat and cholesterol. You can roast, bake, grill, or even microwave them. Give our Buffalo Spaghetti Squash recipe or Spaghetti & Meatballs recipe a try.
  1. Spiralized zucchini. Much like spaghetti squash, zucchini is low in cholesterol, fat, and sodium and a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and nutrients. A vegetable spiralizer can transform zucchini into a tender, delicious pasta alternative that satisfies that pasta craving in a healthier way. Try it out with our flavorful Mediterranean Zoodle Pasta recipe.
  1. Cabbage or eggplant. You can easily substitute the long, thick strips of pasta traditionally called for in lasagna recipes with cabbage leaves or sliced eggplant. 
  1. Profile products. Profile by Sanford provides delicious alternatives to traditional pasta. Our Instant Spaghetti Noodles are similar to Shirataki noodles, which are nearly calorie and carb-free thanks to their 100 percent fiber content. We also have a frozen pasta entrée that’s the equivalent of a serving of protein. Another delicious option we offer is Cheesy Fiesta Pasta. Quickly whip up a tasty meal loaded with veggies and protein by making our Cheesy Nacho Zucchini Boat recipe.

Healthy Alternatives to Potatoes

  1. Roasted veggies. Instead of roasting potatoes, try roasting squash, turnips, jicama, carrots, rutabaga, or radishes. They have tons of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. We have a Roasted Squash recipe and a Roasted Jicama recipe that are both delicious!
  1. Baked yams. Slice them into long thin strips, bake them, and you’ve got yourself a French fry substitute! You can also prepare avocados this way. As a bonus, these are filling, so you may be satisfied faster and not need to eat as many.
  1. Mashed cauliflower or broccoli. Both of these veggies mash easily when cooked, are packed with nutrition, and can be used as a lower-starch option to mashed potatoes. Give our Garlic Herb Mashed Cauliflower recipe a try.
  1. Kale or radish crisps. These are a delicious crunchy snack that has virtually no fat, kale crisps or radish crisps can be a great substitute for salty potato chips. Try our Oven-baked Kale Chips recipe.

Helping our members find satisfying, healthy alternatives to the starches they love is a big part of what we do here at Profile by Sanford. Our science-based nutrition program combines compassionate, one-on-one health coaching with sensible meal options to help our members lose weight. We would love the opportunity to help you develop a healthy relationship with food so you can live a longer, healthier life.