All over the world, you’ll find different variations of noodles, from Italian lasagna layers to Chinese egg noodles to Vitamenese-style pho noodles. Despite being relatively flavorless on their own, each one plays an essential role in turning our favorite flavors into memorable meals.
Unfortunately, each noodle will also add enough net carbs to transform the recipe into a less healthy, high-carb dish. This leaves us with two strategies we can use to transform the dish into a keto-friendly one using low-carb noodles:
- Cut the noodles out altogether or use a low-carb noodle alternative.
Though the first option is the easiest, you may find that it only worsens your craving for lasagna, pasta, ramen, or pho. This is why we decided to put together a comprehensive guide to low carb noodles so you can become an expert at the second strategy.
We’ll show you how to do this with recipes and tips for the following noodle varieties:
Common Low Carb Noodle Alternatives
Of all the different and unique takes on noodles, here are some of the most common varieties that we’ve found and use on a regular basis:
- Spiralized vegetables. While zucchini is the most common in most low-carb recipes, you can also spiralize daikon radish, cucumbers, bell pepper, turnips, kohlrabi, onion, and even broccoli stems.
- Eggplant pasta. You can cut eggplant into strips and cook as a penne-style pasta, or slice into thin sheets and use as a layering noodle in lasagna or pasta roll-up recipes.
- Cabbage. Thinly sliced cabbage can work really well as a noodle, but you can also use whole cabbage leaves as a layer in lasagna or even use it as a wrapper for eggroll type recipes.
- Spaghetti squash. Once cooked, you can use a fork to create strings of squash pasta that is an excellent replacement for spaghetti.
- Shirataki noodles. Also known as konjac or miracle noodles, these fibrous noodles are made from glucomannan which creates a very realistic looking replacement.
- Tofu noodles. Similar to shirataki noodles, these are typically a combination of tofu and glucomannan, which give a much more pleasant, less crunchy texture.
- Homemade noodles. Using psyllium husk, almond flour, or a combination of low-carb flours, you can create noodles at home. These tend to be the most realistic in texture and flavor but can add a significant amount of calories into the dish, so you have to be relatively careful with portions and macros.
Vegetables generally do great as a pasta replacement and there’s a lot of options you have when it comes to spiralizing or slicing, but always keep the carb counts in mind and make sure to portion appropriately. Things like spaghetti squash or turnips can quickly add up in carbs so it’s good to always keep that in mind.
Low Carb Spaghetti and Other Keto Pasta Recipes
When it comes to making pasta keto-friendly, you have several noodle variations to rely on. The three main categories of low carb noodles are shirataki, low-carb vegetables, and keto egg noodles.
To get a better idea of what you can make, let’s take a look at keto pasta recipes that feature noodles from each one of these categories:
Keto Pumpkin Carbonara
To replace the carb-rich spaghetti in this recipe, we recommend using shirataki noodles. These are one of the healthiest store-bought alternatives to spaghetti available. You can find them in your local grocery store or Walmart, typically where the tofu is stocked.
If you can’t find them (or if you don’t like their slightly slimy texture), try using zucchini noodles, Palmini noodles, or one of the other keto pasta recipes below.
Keto Pesto Chicken Pasta with Zucchini Noodles
This recipe shows you how to take a whole zucchini and turn it into a delicious keto-friendly pasta dish. The combination of chicken, pesto, and zoodles are so delicious that you’ll forget the carbs are missing.
If you are looking for a vegetarian-friendly rendition of pest pasta, try making our Zucchini Ribbons & Avocado Walnut Pesto recipe instead.
Keto Spaghetti Bolognese Bake
Another way to get the most out of your zoodles is by making them into a keto-friendly bed that you can lay some hearty bolognese sauce on. The result of this simple technique is a satisfying low carb meal that you’ll want to make every week.
You can also turn this into a freezer-friendly meal by freezing the bolognese separately, and thawing it out anytime you want to make a quick keto pasta dish.
Eggplant “Fettuccine” Alfredo with Bacon
All you really need for an excellent keto-friendly alfredo is butter, cream, parmesan, and garlic — but what about the fettuccine? Look no further than eggplant.
By peeling and julienning an eggplant, you’ll create the perfect fettuccine alternative for keto. As they cook, the eggplant noodles will soak up the bacon fat and alfredo flavors, resulting in a wonderfully balanced bite of pasta with each forkful.
Low Carb Pasta a la Carbonara
Though it’ll take you some extra time and prep to make the pasta, you’ll find these noodles to be just like the real thing. They will be al dente on the outside and satisfyingly tender on the inside, with a mouthfeel and taste resembling a mix between egg noodles and whole wheat pasta.
Feel free to have it with any sauce you’d like, but don’t forget to try the carbonara. The combo of bacon, parmesan, egg, cream, and keto pasta is something you won’t want to miss.
Low Carb Lasagna Recipes: Four Noodle Options
It is surprisingly easy to make traditional lasagna into a keto-friendly meal without missing out on any of the flavor. The trickiest part is replacing the carb-laden noodles with something low in carbs that is equally sturdy and satisfying.
On our quest for the perfect keto lasagna, we’ve come across four lasagna noodle options you can try:
- Pasta sheets made from egg, cream cheese, and psyllium husk powder
- Thin sheets of zucchini
- Spaghetti squash layers
- Go 100% noodle-free
To learn more about each option, we’ve included a brief description of these keto-friendly lasagna variations below:
Lasagna with Keto Noodles
If you want to make something special for yourself, your family, or a large social gathering, this recipe will help you stay keto without having to explain yourself. Even non-ketoers will find this to be much more satisfying than traditional lasagna.
Of the four low carb lasagna recipes in this article, this will take more time and effort to get right, so keep that in mind before you try it out. For those of you who are looking for a quick and easy lasagna fix, try making keto mug lasagna instead.
Keto Mug Lasagna
This recipe shows you how to pack in all the tastes and textures you love into a convenient keto meal. Rather than channeling your inner baker to make keto noodles, all you need to do is thinly slice the zucchini and use it to separate each one of your lasagna layers.
Feel free to customize what you put in the mug as well. For example, you can add your favorite cheeses, go with bolognese instead of standard marinara sauce, or serve it as a side dish to add extra fat and low-carb vegetables to your keto dinner.
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Casserole
Despite being more like spaghetti than a sheet of pasta, spaghetti squash can easily be transformed into a lasagna noodle as well. Each “spaghetti strand” is small enough and sticky enough to combine into a low carb lasagna noodle layer.
This is also one of the meatiest lasagna recipes you can make. Thanks to the amalgamation of cheese, sauce, spicy sausage, and ground beef, you and your loved ones may find this to be better than traditional homemade lasagna.
Instant Pot No-Noodle Keto Lasagna
It may not look like lasagna, but the no-noodle route is worth a try. As with the keto mug lasagna, this recipe keeps it simple without skimping on the flavor.
The beauty of this variation is how quickly it’ll be ready for you to eat. Plus, you can let it cook in the instant pot in the morning and come home to a freshly cooked lasagna that you can eat within minutes.
Bonus: Creamy Spinach Alfredo Rollups
While it’s not lasagna, I felt this deserved an honorable mention. We use thin slices of zucchini and fill them with a creamy, ricotta-based filling. Roll them up, top with cheese, and bake.
If you find zucchini to be a bit watery, I’d recommend slicing the zucchini and seasoning with some salt, then laying over paper towels a few hours before cooking. This will help pull any water out of the zucchini and leave you with a creamy meal (instead of something more soup-like).
Low Carb Asian Noodle Recipes
When it comes to making your favorite Asian-inspired dishes — whether it is Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, or some sort of Asian fusion — you have plenty of keto-friendly noodle options to choose from.
Not only can you repurpose the pasta options from the previous section, but we can add kelp noodles and daikon radish to the list of possibilities as well. To learn how it’s done, let’s take a look at some of our favorite low-carb Asian noodle dishes:
Braised Pork Belly Noodles
This noodle bowl can be used as a keto alternative for both pho and ramen. Instead of rice or wheat-based noodles, the recipe calls for kelp noodles — a low-carb substitute that can be used in pretty much any Asian-inspired dish.
Feel free to customize this keto noodle bowl concept with any meat and broth combo you like. For example, you can try braised short ribs with beef broth or slow-cooked chicken thigh with chicken broth if you don’t have pork available.
Spicy Keto Ramen Bowl
Slices of beef, a soft-boiled egg, and an umami-packed mushroom broth. This is a ramen bowl you just can’t go wrong with, and it comes together very quickly! We use shirataki noodles for this recipe, but tofu or kelp noodles would also do great.
You can also customize this bowl however you’d like, by using different additions to the sauce or changing up the meat used in the dish. We used deli-sliced roast beef to keep it simple and fast, but you could use thin strips of any type of steak you like.
Keto Crispy Sesame Beef
If you are craving Chinese takeout but want to avoid the carbs, make this dish instead. It cuts out all the unnecessary high-carb ingredients, leaving you with the wonderful flavors behind Chinese food’s worldwide popularity.
The keto noodles in this recipe are made from daikon radish. They replace the carb-heavy rice or lo mein that typically accompanies this dish while breaking up the richness of the other ingredients for a balanced bite each time.
Sesame Almond Zoodle Bowl
Replacing the chicken with meaty mushrooms, this vegetarian dish is packed full of flavor. The zucchini noodles are tossed with a sesame and almond butter sauce, which adds deep flavor and keeps you coming back to your bowl for more.
If you’re looking for a way to get your satay fix in but want to reduce your intake of legumes, this is the perfect dish for you to try. The sweet and savory sauce is a great stand-in for the traditional peanut-butter based sauce.
Keto Chicken Pad Thai
Another great noodle option for Asian cuisine is shirataki noodles (or Miracle Noodles) — particularly for making low carb Thai dishes. This keto pad thai is the perfect example of what I mean.
The ingredients come together wonderfully with a unique balance of textures and flavors. After each bite, you’ll forget that the carbs are missing.
That being said, if you aren’t a fan of shirataki, you can make similar keto Thai dishes with zoodles instead.
Vegan Sesame Tofu with Eggplant Noodles
One thing you’ll notice with many low carb noodle dishes is that they often have meat as the primary ingredient. This is why we included our favorite vegan-friendly keto noodle recipe here as well.
The eggplant noodles are the star of this dish, soaking of all the flavors for the perfect bite. For any even more satisfying experience, make sure to include some sesame tofu in each forkful.
Other Keto Alternatives: Low-carb Egg Noodles and Chicken Noodle Soup
Unfortunately, egg noodles and chicken noodle soup are both packed with carbs from the flour used to make their noodles. On a low-carb or keto diet, the best alternative for these foods is to make your own egg noodles with keto-friendly ingredients.
Store-bought Keto-friendly Noodles from Walmart and Your Local Grocery Store
You may come across a plethora of noodle products that market themselves as being low-carb or keto-friendly. However, most of them contain enough carbs to impair your keto results.
As with any product you find at your local grocery store or big-box stores like Target and Walmart, read the labels carefully. Ignore the marketing messages on the front and make your decision based on the ingredients and net carbs per serving.
In general, the best keto noodle products you’ll find will be shirataki noodles and pre-spiralized veggie noodles made from keto vegetables.
If you’re looking for shirataki noodles, Walmart and most grocery stores carry the shirataki-based brand called Miracle Noodle (and if you’d like to learn more about this option, check out our guide to shirataki). Conversely, for those who want fresh veggie noodles, you’ll often find spiralized zucchini zoodles in the produce aisle.
More recently, Palmini noodles are becoming more common in grocery stores. These are spiralized hearts of palm and do a great job as a pasta replacement. If you haven’t tried them, I’d highly recommend picking up a can!
Key Takeaways — Low Carb Noodle Recipes and Your Weight Loss Results
Cutting out carb-laden noodles and replacing them with keto-friendly recipes and store-bought alternatives is crucial to keto success. By using the recipes and tips above, you will be one step closer to transforming your health and body composition for the better.
However, we must also consider the quality and quantity of what you eat so you can get the results you want and maintain them for life. If you’d like to learn how to do this with a low-carb or keto diet, we’ve included several tools and resources below: