8 Spaghetti alternatives to get you through pasta night

Mar 16, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. ET

Spaghetti is a classic dish, but not always the healthiest option. Believe it or not, you do have other options.

Each of these alternatives to spaghetti will leave you wondering what took you so long to discover them. Pick one to try, and don't be afraid to get your twirl on.

1. Spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash is almost like the real deal

Once cooked and scraped with a fork, the insides of spaghetti squash might fool you for the real deal (it's low carb and naturally gluten free, too). These veggie strands are great to serve with a lighter sauce, shrimp and all sorts of cheese. Try this recipe for spicy shrimp and spaghetti squash with Gorgonzola.

2. Quinoa pasta

Great for those who follow a gluten-free diet. Sub this pasta (which comes in all shapes and sizes) for any recipe that calls for traditional spaghetti. Give this recipe for quinoa pasta with creamy vegetable sauce a twirl.

3. Shirataki noodles

Sesame is the name of the flavor game with these Shiratake noodles

One reason shirataki noodles might appeal to you is that they have no carbs. They're slightly chewy, so they provide good texture, especially in dishes like this one for sesame noodles.

4. Brown rice noodles

Color and flavor combine for an easy meal with brown rice noodles

Brown rice noodles are perfect for Asian-inspired sauces and piled high with veggies. Bonus: there is no gluten in these strands, and they're high in protein. Try this one-pan recipe for stir-fried vegetables with brown rice noodles. It's colorful, flavorful and easy to get on the table.

5. Black bean spaghetti

Black bean spaghetti makes a great base for Southwestern flavors

Image: Snixy Kitchen

Turn black bean noodles into a dish with a decidedly Southwestern feel. This recipe from Snixy Kitchen for Southwestern black bean spaghetti with skinny avocado crema sounds like the best of both worlds.

6. Soba noodles

These soba noodles get added zing from Sriracha

These strands are made with buckwheat flour and have a nutty flavor to them. You can find them fresh or dried (the dried variety looks like flat spaghetti). You'll love this recipe for spicy soba noodles with kale and shiitake mushrooms. It includes tons of veggies and a soy sauce with spicy Sriracha.

7. Zucchini

It's easy to transform zucchini into tasty noodles

Zucchini is another veggie that makes a nice low-carb and naturally gluten-free alternative to spaghetti. Use a spiral slicer to transform zucchini into spaghetti strands. If you don't have spiral slicer, use a veggie peeler to slice the zucchini into fettuccini-like strands. Serve with red sauce. This recipe for roasted tomato Bolognese sauce over zucchini noodles makes a delicious, veggie-packed dinner.

8. Sweet potato noodles

You'd never imagine these noodles are made from sweet potatoes

Image: MJ and Hungryman

Although these noodles are clear when cooked, they're made from sweet potatoes — actually the starch from sweet potatoes. Enjoy this recipe for vegetarian japchae (Korean stir-fried sweet potato noodles) from MJ and Hungryman for a surprising taste we know you'll love.

Brought to you by Panera Bread. Try a new Asian-inspired broth bowl today.

More noodle recipes to try

Sweet and spicy cucumber noodles
Pad Thai zucchini noodles
Sriracha udon noodle bowls

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