If you fancy switching up your store cupboard durum wheat pasta for some healthy alternatives, these are the ones to know.

Pasta is a staple of our weekly repertoire because, well, who doesn’t love a piping hot bowl of Italian comfort? It’s the perfect 10-minute supper to whip up, plus it has a near-endless variety of sauces to go with it, making it an easy and inexpensive way to crowd please and sate hungry mouths. If, however, you are looking for alternatives to switch things up, or you simply want to swap out the carb-heavy for the protein-rich, these are some of the alternatives to look for in the supermarket and at health food stores.

Edamame Pasta

Edamame pasta is a great alternative to the Italian staple. It is low in calories, yes. But much more than that, it is brilliant for anyone who wants to eat pasta while also controlling blood sugar spikes. Additionally, it may even lower cholesterol and reduce menopausal symptoms and bone loss – plus it’s high in protein. Why not try this Edamame And Mung Bean Fettucine from Holland and Barrett?

Chickpea Pasta

Made with 100 per cent organic chickpea flour, this pasta alternative is lower in simple carbohydrates than its traditional counterpart, plus it contains resistant starch, which can help to stabilise blood sugar and have a positive impact on the microbiome. Minimally processed, it contains twice the protein and four times the fibre of regular pasta. Do try Napolina’s Gluten Free Organic Chickpea Fusilli.

Lentil Pasta

Back in the days when talk of vegetarianism – let alone veganism – used to have people rolling their eyes and muttering about worthies who knit their own yogurt, lentils used to get an especially bad rep. They seemed, in the eyes of some, to connote hessian sack-wearers liable to lecture all those who had the misfortune to encounter them. But now, as we awaken to the ecological benefits of reducing meat consumption, as well as the health benefits consuming a variety of plants, the lentil has been well and truly rehabilitated. Not only is it an inexpensive source of nutrition, it can also be very tasty. Plus, lentil pasta makes a brilliant alternative to the ordinary durum wheat stuff while still being an excellent vehicle for our favourite pasta sources. Red lentil pasta is packed with fibre, potassium, protein, calcium and iron – all while containing fewer calories. Great all round, no? Try Waitrose LOVELife Red Lentil Pasta.

Spinach Pasta

Low in calories and high in vitamin A, spinach pasta – like all pastas made with vegetables – gives you a nutrient boost that traditional pasta simply cannot. It also contains a good dose of antioxidants, too. Why not give Seeds of Change Spinach Trottole Organic Pasta a go?

Black Bean Pasta

A healthy and gluten-free alternative to white flour pasta, black bean spaghetti contains eight times the amount of protein and iron. Plus, if you like Japanese soba noodles, these are a pretty good dupe for them. A great way to pack in the nutrients and keep your microbiome healthy and happy. Try Explore Cuisine’s Organic Black Bean Spaghetti.

By Nancy Alsop
January 2023

Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.